When Mike Malo, Director of Marketing Communications and Promotions for the World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, looks upon a full stadium, it is then that he is happiest about the job he does. “When I see a sellout, I feel pretty good about all our hard work.”
The Columbus, Ohio area native and graduate of Ohio State University went to school to become an architect. Creating promotions and campaigns that fill a baseball stadium with fans was not the sort of architecture he had in mind, but he is happy with what he is doing. “I’ve got one of those jobs where I am tied into a lot of different parts of the organization,” said Malo.
“One of my main responsibilities is prioritizing what we promote to the public. That involves various avenues of promotion both internally and externally. I oversee the teams diverse advertising campaign, doing a lot of trade and promotional partnerships. It is pretty multi-faceted.”
Because he works with so many departments within the Organization, there is always a new challenge presenting itself and there are never two days that are the same. “I have days where I am meeting with sponsors talking about market-wide promotions, meeting with our advertising agency to develop concepts and executions and media buys, and trying to work out trade deals with all kinds of different mediums.”
From corporate sales to charity work, Mike has his hands in everything. “I’ll meet with our corporate sales department to help them develop proposals from a creativity and promotion execution standpoint; at times I’ll work with the community affairs department on special events and how to promote some of their causes, including our Diamondbacks Charities events.”
The bottom line, Mike adds, is that “there is no typical day.” With so many things going on, it would seem there would not be enough hours in the day to finish all the work, and then there is more. “I am always on the phone working with the media too, because I serve in sort of a corporate PR way for the company. Every time we have a new product, or a ticket product launching, I am out there doing the PR thing with the media.”
So how have the Diamondbacks winning the 2001 World Series affected his job? In some cases, it has made his job a bit easier. However, Malo adds that there was already a very good base in place before the October classic. “I definitely think it (winning the World Series) helps if somebody is on the fence of whether to do something with the Diamondbacks or do something with someone else in town. Phoenix is a pretty saturated sports market, so it certainly helps having a World Championship on your belt.”
So what advice could Mike offer for someone looking to ‘Work in Sports’, aside from the total dedication he has, and the idea of changing your original career path?
“I would say start early. Get experience any way you can. Volunteer on the smallest level for sports based community activity, those kinds of things. To get to the professional level, obviously there are a lot more opportunities working in the minor league levels. I see a lot of people work their way up through the minor leagues, even on the office side. So, I think if they have an inkling to get into sports, try to start modestly. Don’t always expect that you are going to get a job with a major league team in town, but so to speak, pay your dues and get the skills that you need to move to the next level.”