Chin looks to keep sales streak going with Fenway Sports Group
Jonathan Chin has been a playmaker in the sports sponsorship industry since he began working in sports 11 years ago. He generated $1 million in sponsorship business revenue with Madison Square Garden, and brought in $5 million in new sponsorship revenue for the Boston Bruins and TD Garden. Now Chin seeks to maximize Fenway Sports Group’s bottom line by selling integrated media, marketing and sponsorship programs across FSG’s diverse portfolio, which includes Boston College, MLBAM, the PGA Tour Deutsche Bank Championship, Athletes’ Performance and English Premier League club Fulham.
New title: Vice president of integrated sales, Fenway Sports Group
Previous title: Senior director of corporate partnerships, Boston Bruins and TD Garden
First job: Little League umpire
College education: B.A. in history, Dickinson College (1997); master’s of sports leadership, Northeastern University (2010)
Resides: Charlestown, Mass.
Grew up: Born in New Jersey. Lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Saratoga, Calif.
Executive most admired: Greg Jamison, San Jose Sharks president and chief executive officer
Brand most admired: Nike
Favorite vacation spot: Cape Cod, Mass.
Last book read: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” by Stieg Larsson
Last movie seen: “Invictus”
Favorite movie: “Hoosiers”
Favorite musician/band: Dave Matthews
What are the first three things on your agenda as you begin your new position?
My goals are to make an immediate impact, to become more familiar with the different properties we are involved with and generate some revenue.
Looking at all sports, what is your all-time favorite marketing and/or sponsorship program you have seen instituted?
AT&T’s partnership with the Boston Bruins and TD Garden is my favorite for a few reasons. It was a very exciting and thorough negotiation process, and we were able to be very creative and incorporate unique elements from the Bruins as well as the arena. The first year of the deal the Bruins and Celtics went from not qualifying for the playoffs the previous season to the Bruins making the postseason and the Celtics winning the NBA championship. … On a personal note, while we were in the final negotiations with AT&T, I was also planning my proposal to my wife, Mary. I received the most important “Yes” not long after finalizing the AT&T deal. It was an amazing time in my personal and professional life.
In your opinion, what will be the next new revenue stream teams and entities will look to capture in the coming months?
The digital aspect in sports has become very important. One example is the NHL transposing sponsors above the dasher boards on the glass. Social media has become very important as well.
What sector is not being used or pitched enough that would be a good spend in sports?
Health care and hospitals.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
I left a paying job to take an internship with the San Jose Sharks at the age of 24. I was excited to be doing anything in pro sports, especially for my hometown team. I was very fortunate to have a position that allowed me to work in different departments. I enjoyed my time in the sponsorship department the most, and I was lucky that an entry-level position opened up. It was certainly a risk worth taking.
What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
Get your foot in your door any way you can. Volunteer, intern or do game-night staff.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.