Louis is currently an Account Executive, Partnership Marketing at Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. Previously, he worked as an Associate Account Executive for Long-Island headquarted marketing agency Austin & Williams, and before that he managed the Partnership Marketing group for the New York Islanders, overseeing the activation of over $9.4 million in corporate sponsorships that included brands such as American Express, PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch. His undergraduate work experience includes developing marketing and sponsorship platfoms at IMG, the Madison Square Garden Company, Leverage Agency and Radegen Sports Management. Louis was recognized as one of Sports Networker's Rising Stars in Sports Business for 2013, and is also the Co-Founder of the Business of Sports Society at Fordham.
1) What is your best advice for students trying to enter the sponsorship world?
Any sponsorship department, whether its within a team or consumer brand, wants to see that you're able to become an "expert" of their company, with the ultimate goal of capitalizing on the partnership and generating brand value on both ends. Next time you're at a sports or entertainment event, take a look at the companies you see associating their product or logo with the event. In your free time, do a quick Google search of the company's location(s), current marketing campaign, target market and other partnerships of theirs that you can find. What are the commonalities between the event and your notes? I was taught this method while working at IMG on their Strategic Marketing and Business Development team, and have passed it along to my interns who use it daily. Figuring out what makes a partnership valuable, doing research and staying up-to-date on industry trendswill put you on the right path to breaking into the sponsorship industry. Also be passionate about building and strengthening relationships with others, because that's what sponsorship is all about.
2) Outside of your brand, who do you think is setting the standard in corporate partnerships?
Hands down, Pepsi. From dominating the promotion and branding of the Super Bowl Halftime show, to owning the pouring rights in major arenas and venues across the globe, Pepsi has established itself as much more than a soft drink. Their partnerships are strategic, valuable, and embody the Pepsi message of “Live for Now” and enjoying memorable moments with their product in-hand. Pepsi constantly flexes their creativity in utilizing League partnership activations with the NFL and MLB, as well as athlete/celebrity endorsements with Kyrie Irving (aka Uncle Drew), Jeff Gordon in their Pepsi Max “Test Drive” videos, and Beyonce and her 2013 World Tour. They spend their sponsorship dollars in all the right places and have developed one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. If Pepsi doesn’t make your list of “best sponsorship practices”, you’re doing it wrong.
3) Who is your favourite athlete of all time?
I’ve always tried to emulate the work ethic and character of Derek Jeter. I honestly don’t know how he has managed to remain one of the most elite athletes of our generation while keeping his personal life under the radar, but he pulled it off spectacularly. Five World Series championships, 13x All Star, 1996 AL Rookie of the Year and the 11th Captain of the New York Yankees…It’s no surprise that Fortune magazine just named him the 11th-best leader in the world.
Job: Account Executive, Partnership Marketing at Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
Education: Fordham University
Age: 22 years old