Name: Stacie Nelson
Current Job Title: Assistant General Manager
Company Name: Sun Devil IMG Sports Marketing
First sports job: Marketing/Game Operations Intern at Arizona Diamondbacks
College education: Arizona State University
Executive most admired: Cullen Maxey – Senior Vice President, Business Operations at Arizona Diamondbacks
Brand most admired: Coca-Cola
Stacie is currently working with IMG College at Arizona State University Athletics. She has been at ASU for 6 years working with the multimedia rights holder selling and servicing corporate sponsorships for ASU football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball.
During college at ASU, Stacie did two internships with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns her final two years of school. After graduating, she went to work with the Phoenix Coyotes in a full-time position as their Corporate Sales Sponsor Services Representative for 3 years. Stacie changed direction from professional sports to collegiate sports and began working at ASU for CBS Collegiate Sports Properties as their Manager of Client Services. Advancing to Senior Director of Client Services while with CBS and as ISP Sports retained the rights, she continued on at ASU as their Assistant General Manager. Stacie has now been at ASU for 6 years working for IMG College, the current multimedia rights holder.
Tell us a little about your first job in the sports industry. How did you land it?
My first job in the sports industry was with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a marketing and game operations intern. I worked with a group of three interns in the game operations department handling the facilitation of the game giveaways, pre-game recognitions, national anthem, first pitches and in-game promotions.
The Director of Game Operations presented this internship opportunity at an American Marketing Association member meeting. I was interested in sports, so I applied for one of the positions. I was chosen to interview with two people on the staff and then was offered the job for the 2001 season.
What advice would you give to students looking to make sports their career?
The advice I would give students is to take on an internship in sports while studying at college. The experience they’ll receive in the sports industry will be instrumental in starting a career in sports. They need to learn as much as they can about the sports industry during their internship and then take this to pursue a full-time position.
What advice would you give to people in established careers trying to make the transition into sports?
The advice I would give someone is that transitioning into sports might mean taking a step back in compensation depending on your role within the new team or company. It will also include a full schedule with longer hours based on the number of events/games you have in the sport. Each team or property is run as a business, so this remains the same no matter what industry you are in. It can also be a very fun and exciting job and I believe this is the major benefit of working in sports and outweighs the others.
We all know that working in sports generally involves long hours. What are the perks that offset this?
Working in sports does constitute long hours, however there are many perks to help offset your full schedule. You are able to work in an entertainment field that is exciting and shows it will not go away as an industry in the future. You receive special access to tickets, merchandise and opportunities to bring your family and friends out to share in the experiences with you. You also become part of the team and feel invested in their success as much as you would your own alma mater or sports team you grew up with. This ties you even stronger to your job.