Sports Career Spotlight

We've been featuring executives from the sports industry since 2001. Naturally, some of these executives have moved onward and upward in their sports careers. We believe these profiles remain relevant and valuable because they highlight the hard work, dedication, brilliant successes, and lessons learned in a variety of career paths through the sports industry.

John Stamatis

John Stamatis , Vice President, Director of Account Services

Team Epic


Stamatis brings seasoned ‘pitching’ talents to Team Epic

After six years as a property executive and nine years as a brand executive at Pepsi, John Stamatis recently decided to transition into the consulting business by joining Team Epic. The newly created agency, which resulted from Velocity Sports & Entertainment’s union with Vivid Marketing, specializes in strategy and campaign development, experiential marketing, digital marketing, and measurement/analytics. As the agency’s first executive hire, Stamatis is charged with helping find new clients and develop strategies that meet their business objectives.

Age: 44
New title: Vice president, director of account services, Team Epic
Previous job: Vice president, marketing and partnerships, Alliance of Action Sports
First job in sports: Internship at Western Kentucky University athletic department
College education: B.A. in English, Columbia University, 1988; M.S. in sports management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1993
Resides: Ridgefield, Conn.
Grew up: Bayside, Queens, N.Y.
Executive most admired: Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane
Favorite vacation spot: Watch Hill, R.I.
Brand most admired: Mountain Dew
Last two books read: “Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell, and “Yankee for Life,” by Bobby Murcer
Favorite Movie: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Favorite Band: Bee Gees, “Saturday Night Fever”

What responsibilities will you have in this role that you haven’t had in previous jobs?
To help lead Team Epic’s new positioning in the marketplace and to help lead our clients into the convergence of online and offline experiences in sports, lifestyle and brand marketing. It’s not just one core offering any more. We’re trying to be responsible to the needs of clients in the future. It’s more than just consulting. It’s more than just digital. It’s more than just experiential marketing. It’s all of those things.

What’s the biggest change for you in this job?
Pitching business will be somewhat new. However, having sat across the table from Dale Jr. pitching him on why Mountain Dew and Amp [would work for him] in his post-Budweiser era or pitching from a property perspective on why Target should carry NBA merchandise or pitching Toyota to continue with the Dew Tour, I’ve done a lot of pitching.

You’ve tried every area of the sports business. What differentiates the brand, property and agency sides of the business?
It was always about brands for me. I’m not just a property guy or an agency guy or a brand guy. From the client side, it’s nice to hold the keys and having buying power, targeting investments that meet your goals. That’s exciting. Building the property portfolio with partner solutions in mind was always exciting. Now being able to be on the cutting edge on the agency side, helping or enabling brands to sift through their choices and make wise, strategic investments will be equally exciting and brings it full circle.

This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.

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