Questions for Jennifer Keene, VP of Athlete and Property Marketing at Octagon:
Listen to the podcast episode for the answers to all of these questions and more!
1: You majored in psychology at Cornell – which at first glance seems like an odd way to enter the world of marketing…but I wonder if it isn’t quite an asset being able to get into the minds of the audience, but also to connect with your athletes – am I giving this too much thought, or does that educational background help you still to this day?
2: You are another in a long line of top level sports executives I’ve interviewed who started their career in sales – what would you say was your approach to your early career, and what stands out from your “getting started days” in sales?
3: Next move NBA entertainment in licensing and then on to a major Washington DC law firm Williams and Connelly. Williams and Connelly is well known for representing clients on the business side of sports – leases, arbitration, litigation – but you were on the creative side in marketing…how did that role function and operate?
4: Then, Octagon. I don’t think most people getting started in the industry realize how big and powerful of an organization Octagon is – take a moment and tell everyone about the breadth and reach of the Octagon empire. You guys are in everything sports!
5: Your official title is Vice President of Athlete and Property Marketing – which I’m not going to lie sounds like a lot of fun – take us through your role and responsibilities.
6: You’ve worked with numerous top athletes and celebrities on their marketing opportunities – Emmitt Smith, Steph Curry, David Robinson, Hannah Storm – what’s the process of onboarding a new client like? You sign a deal with a guy like Emmitt Smith…where does the road go from there?
7: Forgetting the nuts and bolts of the job for a second – let’s get back to the basics, how do you gain trust with these top athletes who have probably been pitched all of their lives? How do you connect and build a strong foundation?hhh
8: I hear many people talk about wanting to work in Sales…or wanting to work in Marketing…as if they were different silos. But isn’t the line between each pretty blurry? Aren’t most sales jobs also involved in marketing and vice versa?
9: As VP you have a much different set of responsibilities than when you were a sales associate at People Magazine in the late 1990’s. Looking back what were the major challenges you faced going from bright eyed new employee embarking on a career, to being a VP and having to manage so much more?
10: Which part do you enjoy the most – the creative process of coming up with an idea or concept? Or the actual activation of the ideas? Why?
11: So many people in our audience are interested in sports marketing careers – what parting advice would you give someone with a deep desire to someday end up near your shoes?