Marketer with Atlanta teams, lottery on résumé joins Players Inc.
New title: Vice president of player
marketing, Players Inc.
Previous title: Chief marketing officer, Florida Lottery
First job: Working for Comets Community Organization helping inner-city kids in Chicago
College education: Bachelor of science, psychology, Eastern Kentucky University
Resides: Arlington, Va.
Grew up: Chicago
Brands most admired: The Home Depot and Starbucks
Last book read: “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell
Last movie seen: “Over the Hedge” with 8-year-old son David
Favorite movie: The “Godfather” trilogy
Favorite musician: Any female jazz vocalist
Dexter Santos considers himself an optimist. It’s a quality that served him well when he left the Atlanta Braves in 1998 during their long string of divisional titles and went to work for the Atlanta Hawks, a struggling franchise that was on the cusp of the NBA lockout. After a short hiatus from sports, Santos returns as vice president of player marketing for Players Inc., where he will oversee marketing opportunities for 1,800 active and 3,500 retired NFL players.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
I left the Braves during their apex and accepted a position with the Hawks right before the NBA lockout. I looked at it as an opportunity to really be engaged with the organization and bring that organization back, along with the NBA, in terms of getting fans back.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
One of the greatest things I have done in terms of my baseball career was an event implemented back in 1997 while with the Braves. We flew in 110 former Negro League players, along with civil and community leaders and all three former black mayors of Atlanta, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking into the major leagues. That was a really a special occasion that would be difficult to duplicate.
What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
Take a look at teams that are struggling because they are always looking for new ideas and people usually won’t stay around a struggling franchise. Also take advantage of any opportunity that allows you to take an internship because it is very important to get some sort of hands-on experience.
What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
I’m always looking to see how various sports are branded, how they are positioned from an entertainment perspective to the public and what are some of the cutting-edge concepts that build affinity for what we are trying to do. Now that I am back in sports I look at how the NFL is branded, how we fit within that brand and how our brand is going to resonate with what the league is trying to do.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.