LA Clippers Joe Legaz: Straight Talk About Jobs in Sports Marketing

Do you want to work in sports marketing? Joe Legaz Director of marketing for the LA Clippers joins the show to discuss openly and honestly what you need to make it in sports marketing.

Hi everybody I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports Podcast…

In pro sports we’ve entered a world of exacting specialization.

Take the NBA for example – three and D players. I want you to hit open threes and play tough defense. That’s it, that is your exact role. Don’t worry about the other stuff, just focus on being the best at this piece in the game.

 a guy like Trevor Ariza, you won’t see his name on any top 20 lists, or even top 75, but he’s carved out a specific role that is in high demand…and he’s turned it into about 84 million in lifetime earnings.

Not too shabby.

Same thing in baseball – guys who can get on base are still all the rage. Or how often have you heard about guys with the right launch angle?

Football --- guys who can set the edge in the run, or clog up the middle, or receiving backs. Coaches and general managers have figured out they need to lower their expectations and focus intently on the things they do well. Putting players in a position to thrive, now that is the art of leadership.

BUT, the true superstars… the Kawhi Leonards, the Kevin Durants, the Mike Trouts, the JJ Watt’s – they do it all. Put them in any role and they will destroy the competition.

Harder to find, but pure gold when you do.

The same holds true for the sports industry.

Say someone wants to work in marketing, well there are a whole list of skills they could lean in to --

Digital. Branding. Social Media. Promotions. Sponsorship. Design. SEO.

Most people nowadays are specializing – and there is nothing wrong with that – but someone who works in promotions may have no idea what it means to work in branding. And someone who wants to work in content strategy may not know anything about design or working with media buyers.

But, the true superstars are dangerous everywhere. Versatility rules. Being the person your boss knows can do just about anything has power and puts you in line for growth and promotion.

So while there is nothing wrong with being specialized, oftentimes the quality you want to aim for is resourceful.

Today’s guest knows this better than most – Joe Legaz is the Director of Marketing for the LA Clippers, and has also worked in sports marketing for the San Francisco Giants, adidas, the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Mariners.  

He knows what it takes to make it in this business, and how to stand out from the crowd – listen in and learn from this leader of the sports industry…

But first… the Work in Sports podcast is brought to you by.. well, – I’m promoting our own event! We have a Sports Career Accelerator 2-day event coming up September 13th-14th in Atlanta. 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.

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 the leaders of the sports industry.

For more information and to be added to our interest list – visit

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

Now here’s LA Clippers Director of Marketing Joe Legaz…


Questions for LA Clippers Director of Marketing, Joe Legaz


1: Sports Marketing is one of the more popular fields in the industry – over 25% of the available sports jobs we have on our website are related to marketing -- but it’s an extremely broad term, marketing covers a lot – we’ll get into your high-level experience soon, but to start I want to understand what someone graduating college and trying to break into the industry should expect – if you were hiring marketing staff with the Clippers what are the entry level jobs and what kind of role and responsibilities do these roles entail?

2: You’ve been in the marketing game for well over a decade with multiple sports organizations -- If you were crafting a sports marketing curriculum, knowing what you know now – what do you think are the most important things a young person should focus on in order to thrive in today’s marketing world?

3: You’ve worked in marketing in Major League Baseball, the NFL, in the NBA with the Clippers and even on the product side with adidas – how different are approaches, and cultures and expectations as you change through leagues? 

4: You were with the San Francisco Giants during their dynastic run -- is it different coming to work each day and being creative, activating new campaigns and coming up with new concepts when the team is performing on the field, or do you have to stay steady and consistent no matter what the team does?

5: When you first broke in to the sports biz social media and apps were just entering society -- how dramatically have things changed in marketing approach and delivery from when you started to today?

6: You’ve been up and down the western seaboard over your career, and now you are in Los Angeles as the director of marketing with the Clippers -- take us through your current role and your day to day responsibilities…

7: LA is the entertainment hub of the world, not just in sports, in everything! How hard is it to get the Clippers brand and your events to stand out in such a competitive region?

8: Does that challenge of standing out in such a competitive market drive you? And if so, is that competitive nature a vital part of succeeding in sports and in marketing?

9: You’ve managed many people over your career – how would you describe your style and approach as a leader and how has that changed from when you first started as a manager?

10: What about when you are hiring – what type of attributes or skills are you looking for?


Finishing Up With Joe Legaz, LA Clippers Director of Marketing 


I meant what I said – Joe seems like a great boss!

One of the things that really stood out to me was Joe describing the different cultures in the pro team and product world.

Fascinating the teams within adidas mirrored their sport – that the team that supported running was more individual and the team that supported soccer was more team oriented.

And the fact baseball was more laid back… like oh well we’ll get em tomorrow we’ve got 81 home games…while the NFL with only 8 home games you had to be on the money each time and there was a different level of intensity.

So important to know these things and see where your personality fits best.

Tahnsk so much for listening and don’t forget about our sports career accelerator – September 13-14th in Atlanta – visit for more info and to be added to our interest list!

Talk to you all soon.

By Brian Clapp | July 25, 2018
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