Working for a Pro Team on the Rise - Work in Sports podcast e50

By Brian Clapp | February 14, 2018

Working for a Pro Team on the Rise - Sam Doerr VP of Marketing and Sales for Phoenix Rising FC Joins the Show

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

Today on the show I have Sam Doerr who is the VP of Marketing and Sales for Phoenix Rising FC a USL soccer team looking to jump up a level to the MLS.

I’m going to make this intro short because Sam and I covered an incredible amount of ground in this interview and I know I say this almost every time but, there is a ton of good content in here.

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We talk about the differences working in pro and college sports. He’s done both and he breaks down the right type of person to work in each field.

We talk about hiring and how long it takes him to decide is someone is worth bringing on staff.

We talk about competition and creativity – helping Phoenix Rising carve out a niche in a huge city with four other major sports teams.phoenix rising fc

We talk about why Sam thinks starting his career in sales was his best move yet.

I’ve listened to this interview twice so far and Sam nails it.

He’s young, having just graduated college in 2012, and he’s already escalated to VP of a major sports franchise running marketing and sales.

If you aren’t inspired by this conversation – if you don’t walk out with pages of notes on how to get ahead in the sports industry…well, I’m concerned for you, because this is it…this is the type of knowledge you need to put yourself out there and ahead of the crowd.

So let’s get to it already.

Questions for Sam Doerr, VP of Marketing and Sales for Phoenix Rising FC

Sam Doerr is the VP of Marketing and Sales for Phoenix Rising FC a USL team looking to make the leap into the MLS.

1: You graduated college in 2012 and in just a few short years you have grown into the role of VP of Sales and Marketing at a major sports team – take us back to the beginning, what was your first job out of college and how did you get it?working in sports sales

2: You went to a small liberal arts college in Sioux City Iowa, Morningside College, which no offense I had never heard of until researching this interview. How did you get connected with the Spurs?

2a:What was your approach to college, did you do a lot of internships, go to conferences, play sports – what was your angle to grow into your sports career?

3:  There are so many options in the sports industry, how did you settle on a career in marketing and sales?

4: Would you consider yourself a competitive person, and if so do you think that is an essential quality for the sports industry?

5: Take us through your role with Phoenix Rising – how do you draw attention? Because isn’t that what this is all about – expanding your brand, your attention in the community and at large?sports marketing jobs

6: We have a private Facebook group for fans of the podcast, and before each interview I ask that group if they have any questions that want to ask – Alan Bloom had a good one – In a city with 4 major sports teams, how do you carve out, and better still grow, an audience and compete for ticket dollars and merchandise sales?

7: Jacob Himmelman comes in with another really good question – he wants to know, how do you define success in your current role -  what does it look like, and how are you measured by your superiors?

8: Another really good one from the fans – this time from Kaylah Jackson – Kaylah did some research and found out early in your career you worked for the Spurs Sports and Entertainment group creating marketing campaigns and social media efforts for the NBA, WNBA and AHL franchises --  She wants to know how marketing strategies for a soccer league compare to other leagues? What are things you are considering now when creating campaigns that you might not have before?

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9: How important was it for you to find a niche in soccer and stay in that sport you love? I have people ask all the time should I take any job in sports, or should I wait for the opportunity in the sport I feel most passionate about – what do you say?

10: Sales is really the lifeblood of most sports organizations – in your experience, what makes someone good at sales?

11: Creativity plays such a major role in marketing – what about sales, does it pay to be creative?

Lightning Round

1: For one year you were an Assistant Athletic Director at South Dakota State University – tell me two things about South Dakota that would be a pleasant surprise to most people.

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2: Most stadiums have a theme for the food they offer at the park – At Chase Field where the diamondbacks play they have a funnel cake chicken sandwich – anything interesting on the menu at Rising games?

3: What is your favorite part of your job?

4: I’m actually coming to Phoenix next week for our WorkinSports business retreat – what is your favorite thing to do in town that you recommend I try out?


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