Megan Ebeck: Getting Inside the Event Marketing Game – Work in Sports Podcast e106

Arena Marketing Manager Megan Ebeck is the queen of multi-tasking, marketing over 150 events each year including San Jose Sharks home games, US Figure Skating Championships, Nitro Circus and a bevy of concerts. How does she do it? Listen in and learn.  

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

I have this incredible fear of details.  Sound weird right, so many people fear sharks and heights and I fear details.

But let me explain – I have this recurring nightmare that I tell people to show up somewhere important, somewhere I need them to be…but I give them the wrong date and time to be there. This also happens to me in the day, I have panic moments of getting and sharing information wrong.

Sick right?megan ebeck

Someone in our audience will probably interpret that dream and tell me I’m crazy, or I have daddy issues…we’ll see.

But I think a lot of that comes from my journalism background where you are always so concerned with inadvertently providing false information and losing credibility.

So that is one of my many issues – fear of details. One thing I’ve realized lately is that it isn’t just media roles who are obsessed with the details, it’s marketing. There is no room for error!

Imagine for a second you are promoting an event and give a wrong date…or spell the name wrong of someone you are helping brand, or mischaracterize a products use and function.

Sports marketing jobs take extreme attention to detail. Just think of the daily challenges this weeks guest Megan Ebeck, Arena Marketing Manager for the SAP Center, Home of the San Jose Sharks takes on…

Megan conducts marketing efforts for 41 Sharks home games, 34 San jose barracuda games (their minor league affiliate) and then US figure skating championships, Nitro Circus and other sports events like the  Harlem Globetrotters  …and then the entertainment focus of her job… Nicki Minaj? Fleetwood Mac? Panic! At the disco – yep she’’s marketing that too.

Details matter for Megan every single day. Keeping straight multiple clients needs, event details and marketing tone and voice through a blur of events… it’s a crazy pile of details she needs to keep straight.

Enough me talking… let’s hear more about Megan’s job as Arena Marketing Manager for the SAP center, Home of the San Jose Sharks… from her

But first… the Work in Sports podcast is brought to you by WorkinSports.com not only are we the #1 job board for the sports industry, we are also hosting our first Sports Career Accelerator 2-day event September 13th-14th in Atlanta. We’re constantly looking for ways to serve our fan base better, and after much research and focus groups we determined what you wanted was more hands-on career focused events. But we didn’t want some basic career fair, we wanted to turn the volume up.

This two day event will put you behind the scenes and networking with executives and staff form the Atlanta Hawks, Braves, Falcons, United, College Football Hall of Fame, Mercedes Benz Stadium Phillips arena and more.

Learn, network and engage with experts in the sports industry!

We are limiting this event to the first 40 people because we want to keep this intimate and give you one on one exclusive time with our incredible guests.

For more information and to be added to our interest list – visit workinsports.com/atlanta

This event will crush any career event you’ve ever participated in before. Trust me.

And now… it’s time for Megan Ebeck, Arena Marketing Manager for the SAP Center, Home of the San Jose Sharks!

Questions for Megan Ebeck, Arena Marketing Manager SAP Center, Home of the San Jose Sharks

1: You manage the marketing for the SAP center, which is home of the San Jose Sharks, technically you work for Sharks Sports and Entertainment, but the Sharks are just the main tenant – you have over 150 events each year you are in charge of marketing for – take us through the scope and overall breadth of your role–

2: How does the approach to marketing change from something like the US figure skating championship, to an NHL hockey game, to the Harlem Globetrotters or Nitro Circus – we’re talking completely different audiences here!

3: You earned your masters in sports management from University of San Francisco – I ask people all the time why they decided to get their masters, but I want to ask you something different… what type of things did you learn in your Masters program that gave you extra confidence heading into the workplace?

Data vs instincts

4: One of your marketing responsibilities is in social media – social is obviously a great way to communicate with an audience, how important is it to couple an enthusiasm for social communication with a tangible skill, like let’s say photoshop? I know you are photoshop trained, how much does that help you on the job?

5: I saw a meme the other day where a business was trying to market their “annual” membership, but made an unfortunate spelling error – very unfortunate – in social and in other forms of marketing you are such a short distance from the end user – why is it important to be detail oriented?

6:  Over my career being in the sports media, there was always urgency, so you had to be calm under pressure and handle whatever comes at you. I loved this. I hear you mention all the things you are responsible for, the various events, marketing, budgeting, planning – what is your process for staying calm under pressure and maintaining focus on the task at hand?

7: Most people think of relationship building as a media thing – building sources and contacts within organization to help get information – but I’d imagine you as a marketer want contacts in the local media and with thought leaders how important is external and internal relationship building for you and how do you go about it?

8: Social media has changed marketing.  What once was a billboard and brochure world is now snapchat and Instagram stories – put on your future hat, where do you think things will go in marketing? what do you think we’ll be doing to promote a brand or event in, let’s say, 5 years?

9: You were recently promoted from Arena Marketing Coordinator to Arena Marketing manager – this is a big step, I assume you now have people under you – what has been the biggest eye opening difference thus far and what is your strategy or approach to management?

10: What does success look like for you – how are you measured and what are the goals you set out to hit?

Finishing up with Megan Ebeck

Just yesterday on Linkedin a fan of the podcast, Ben Milliett asked me – how do you deal with the monotony of the day to day grind?

My answer was pretty simple – there isn’t much of a day to day grind.

That’s not to say there aren’t bad, frustrating, annoying times, of course there are. But the days aren’t monotonous because they are never the same.

Take Megan for example – she’s doing the marketing for the Sharks and Barracuda – but then also events like Nitro Circus – totally different audience – US Figure Skating – totally different audience – Nicki Minaj – totally different audience.

You are always striving to find new ways to communicate, target, inform and work with vendors… so no, there isn’t a whole lot of monotony.

Thanks to Megan for her time on the podcast sharing her challenges and the exciting parts of her role – next week Associate Director of New Media for Fresno State Athletics – Betsy Lauritzen! Another great interview especially for anyone who wants to work in college athletics…and don’t forget about our Sports Career Accelerator event September 13-14th in Atlanta – let us know you are interested by going to WorkinSports.com/atlanta and providing your email address!

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Getting Inside the Event Marketing Game - Work in Sports Podcast
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Getting Inside the Event Marketing Game - Work in Sports Podcast
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Megan Ebeck Arena Marketing Manager for the SAP center, home of the San Jose Sharks joins the show to explain her role in sports event marketing
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Work in Sports
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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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