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.

Marc Schulman

Marc Schulman, Director of Marketing

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl


The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, held annually in sunny Tempe, Arizona, may have just concluded, but for Marc Schulman, the clock is already ticking to plan next year’s festivities.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl along with the Bowl, are the two primary focuses for Schulman, who is actually the Marketing Director of three non-profit corporations.

“One (corporation) is the Arizona Sports Foundation, which is the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game as you know it,” said Marc. “Another one is Fiesta Events Inc, which are the 60 or so events we do in and around the state of Arizona that are unassociated to the game itself. The third is the Valley of the Sun Bowl Foundation which is the Bowl.”

In the weeks leading up to the game, when all the plans are in place, Marc says the job consists of dotting the i’s crossing the t’s. “Being the director of marketing, I am in charge of all revenue streams to the bowls and to the events,” said Schulman. “By this time of the year, hopefully all the marketing and sponsorships have been sold. What we do on a day to day basis, like today for instance, is (handle) a lot of ticket requests from sponsors, a lot of ticket and VIP type delivery of information. It is all about execution at this point. Internal meetings to make sure signage and titles are properly done. Internal meetings to make sure television and television commercials are properly placed. It is a lot of that.”

Once the events are planned, the job takes on a different perspective. “The summer is really our selling season. We’re out beating the streets just like any other marketing person trying to discover the next great partner of the Fiesta Bowl.”

The 31-year old graduate of the University of Missouri never pictured himself “doing anything this fun.” While earning a degree in journalism, Schulman worked on event planning for the University. “At Missouri’s journalism school, you break out into sequences. My sequence was advertising and promotions. I actually wanted to be in advertising or promotions, which is essentially what I do now.”

How did Marc end up in Phoenix planning one of the years’ largest Valley events? “My brother actually lived in Phoenix, so I came out to Phoenix for a visit. During that visit, I met the director of operations of the Fiesta Bowl, and at the time I didn’t have anything else going on. He asked if I wanted to be an intern. I started as the duck race intern, actually I was the duck mascot, and never left. I went through four years of operations and the rest of the time (was) spent in marketing.”

The key word for landing his position was internship. To ‘Work in Sports’, Schulman says, “It is all about the internships. It is unfortunate, but the job market has almost solely been a word of mouth experience as to what jobs are available.” Until now. This is what makes such a valuable tool to find these great jobs.

Marc says there is a very good reason for that as well. “The Phoenix Suns don’t want to put a job in the paper, they’ll get 2000 applicants.” This is why professional teams are using They can target their search to serious career minded individuals.

Marc believes that job seekers need to use every resource available to get their foot in the door, “Unless you have first-hand knowledge of the individuals who make the decisions, its’ going to be a real hard fraternity to get in to.” He was speaking of the sports related job fraternity, and added, “it’s definitely a fraternity because once you’re in the door and you’re in sports, or events or promotions, you start to hear about everything job wise.”

His job is different than many others who are in the sports business. “I don’t work for a franchise, I work for a game. My experience in the sports world is probably 180 degrees different than individuals who work for the Coyotes or the Suns or the Diamondbacks because they’re a team.” The benefits of being in “the fraternity” however, those remain the same. “Either way, you still get to hear about everybody and what they’re doing, so you know people in almost every sport.”

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