Ari Moskowitz is the latest Young Achiever to be featured in our Impact Series.
With extensive experience in sponsorship strategy, activation, brand development, and sales, Ari has worked on a variety of projects geared towards properly intertwining brands with emerging trends. His career has taken him to a wide range of destinations within the industry including The Drone Racing League, CSM Sports & Entertainment, University Tees, and IMG College.
Check out below for our Q&A with Ari!
1. What drew you to the sports industry?
In addition to my love of sports, what really drew me to the industry were executives like David Falk and David Levy. Both Falk and Levy helped pioneer the business of sports and ultimately drove me to study Sport Management at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University. In my first-ever class, 8:00 AM SPM 205 - Principals and Contemporary Issues in Sport Management, Dr. Gina Pauline mentioned something that would stick with me for the rest of my life. Surrounded by young and eager freshman, Dr. Pauline said that as of this moment, you can no longer be a fan of sports but rather you must be a fan of the business of sports. Six years later, I can’t walk into a sporting event without first looking at the venue/team sponsors and wondering how those came about. The business of sports and the industry as a whole continues to excite me each and every day. I look forward to learning more and being an even bigger contributor to the industry in the future.
2. What are your favorite types of partnerships to work with?
The best types of partners are the ones that believe in what you are working towards and share a cohesive set of values. Working with partners like Allianz and the U.S. Air Force at DRL was great because they clearly believed in the future of DRL and its mission to grow the Sport of the Future. Having partners that are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and place their trust in your brand’s hands allows the breadth of a partnership to expand drastically. Folks like Bud Light and Old Spice are great examples of industry rockstars who are always the first to try new things. From Bud Light Seltzer logo placement on XFL helmets to Old Spice Bathrobes at this year’s NFL Draft, brands need to continue to be open-minded in order to get the most attention in a highly competitive market.
3. Talk to me a bit about The Drone Racing League. How has it grown since its inception and what does its future look like?
Founded in 2015, The Drone Racing League is the world’s first professional drone racing league, combining custom drone technology, live sporting events, and full, in-house content production to create the sport of the future. Over the past few years, DRL has grown significantly by signing new media rights deals with power players like NBC and Twitter all while bringing on major blue-chip sponsors like Allianz, the United States Air Force, and Lockheed Martin. The future of DRL is bright and I can’t wait for the day I see a sold-out Madison Square Garden Drone Racing event.
4. What trends are you buying for partnership activations?
Gone are the days where a brand is just interested in a left-field signage play and a 3rd inning shout out. Nowadays, brands are interested in reaching the fan and consumer on several different levels. Prior to the pandemic, I was seeing a lot of brands spend on “experiences”. I think one trend to watch is if brands and agencies can create these experiences for fans via social media, online gaming platforms, and more. Expect more brands to go down that route in addition to utilizing platforms like Tik Tok, Twitch, Snapchat, etc.
5. What are some examples of partnerships that have stood out in the industry?
From the NBA to new up-and-coming properties like the American Cornhole League, there are a number of partnerships in the industry that I am a fan of. Some of those include American Express’s Jersey Assurance Program with the NBA, Google Cloud’s technology-focused partnership with the NCAA, and of course, Bud Light’s Victory Fridge activation with the NFL and the Cleveland Browns. All three of these thoughtful and one-of-a-kind partnerships will continue to shape the way brands partner with sports properties in the future.
6. Who are your mentors in the sports industry?
Over the past few years, there have been many industry professionals who have helped me along the way, but none more than Harry Neuhaus, Bryce Townsend, and Michael Patent. Harry, Bryce, and Michael have been there for me most-recently in the good times and bad and I truly look up to them. It’s not every day you find brilliant minds like theirs, and I can’t wait for the day I can help someone like me find their way in the industry.
7. Many 2020 college grads are coming into the industry. What are a few attributes you would say are important to have in order to be successful in the industry?
The two most important attributes, in my mind, that one must have in order to be successful in the industry are persistence and passion. President Calvin Coolidge once said that “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence… Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”. Whether it’s chasing down a new business lead or finding your next role in the industry, persistence is key and is something I pride myself on each and every day. In addition to persistence, it is equally important to have passion when working in the industry. Whether it was living in a Phoenix heatwave for 3 weeks to sell-out DRL’s Chase Field event or staying up all night in sub-freezing temperatures to chase down crashed drones in an abandoned mall, working in sports isn’t always glorious. At the end of the day though, passion is what keeps you going through the good and especially the bad times! It is passion and persistence that will get me through this uncertain time in my career.