posted on: Thursday February 27, 2020
by Joseph Quirk ’23
This past Wednesday, February 19 the Providence College American Marketing Association and the Providence College Sports Business Organization hosted a sports marketing panel featuring three PC alumni who have had remarkable success in the sports marketing field. The panel consisted of Matt Ryter ’07, an NFL Account Executive; Molly Giudice ’18, the New York Giants Suites and Premium Service Director; and Mike Hill ’07, the Mediahub Global Vice President and Group Director. The event ran for 45 minutes and began with an introduction of the panel, followed by a guided interview by a head speaker. Following the conclusion of the interview, the panel was opened to audience questions.
One of the first things the panel discussed was how they got to where they are right now. “Well, I’d say that everyone in this room is already very far ahead of where I was at this age,” joked Ryter. This was a common theme throughout the entire panel. All three guests stressed creating connections through networking and then aggressively following up with them.
Ryter talked about how he got his first job working for ESPN at a career fair in Gillette Stadium. After spending some time working for ESPN, Ryter used what he learned in a radio advertising class he took here at PC and took a media and advertising job with CBS. Networking led him to his NFL position today. His position entails many responsibilities, including negotiating sponsorship deals for the league.
Guidice met an executive for the Philadelphia 76ers on a trip and “badgered” him until she got an interview. She made calls for the 76ers and then used her experience working in ticketing to get an analytics internship with the Knicks and Rangers at Madison Square Garden. After realizing that was not for her, she took a job again with the Knicks and Rangers in ticketing. It was during this time she realized she wanted to work in service. She had options to do this with the Rangers and Giants, and she chose the Giants. Guidice has many responsibilities including managing premium partnerships, suites, and important events.
Hill works with clients who are purchasing sports sponsorships. He started by sending a ton of emails to different agencies, awhich is how he got an internship. He worked hard and was persistent and covered a wide area of internships. This allowed him to explore what he wanted to do and diversify his skillset and resume. He believes that this is very important. He got a marketing job right out of college, which he did not like, and this led to him bouncing around jobs before getting a low-level position in his agency and working his way up. He is working with Ryter now, as Ryter is trying to get Hill’s clients to sponsor the NFL.
The next segment was dedicated to any advice the alumni had for students trying to break into the sports marketing field. Hill followed his introduction with some good advice, saying, “Once you build up that foundation, you need to be persistent.” This was in reference to the competitiveness of the sports business field.
He continued: “Don’t be discouraged if it’s not working out because it is a competitive industry. If you are just persistent and network, you will find the job right for you.” He also mentioned the career fair, which is supported by his networking advice, as well as being informed on the responsibilities of these jobs, and being connected on platforms such as LinkedIn. Hill also wanted people to find what they want to do and understand what career path they want to follow.
“When you’re a freshman in college, you don’t really know what you want to do. You’re winding it down until you’re a senior,” he said. “When you’re first out of college, you’re a freshman in your career, you may not know what you want to do and that’s okay.”
These sentiments were echoed by the other two panelists. “Be the best at what you are doing now,” Guidice added. “If you want to get into sports, get your entry level job and be the best you can at it and the rest will fall into place.”
Hill advised students to keep an open mind, saying, “Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into one company or career path.”
The panelists provided more valuable advice when asked how students can start getting involved in the sports industry. One suggested website was Teamwork Online. Every team and league post their jobs and internships on that website. They also encouraged not staying in one city for these experiences but being willing to try new places. Ryter suggested internships at sports marketing agencies.
Guidice suggested that working for bad sports teams may be more valuable as well because you are expected to have more responsibility. “When I worked for the Sixers, and they sucked, you get to learn a lot about how to handle more. It’s very easy to work for a team that’s great.” All three panelists encouraged students to follow a passion and interest and let the sports aspect come to them.
When asked about how PC readied them for the sports field, Guidice said that you do not need sports marketing degrees to get these jobs. Everyone has these degrees, and teams may look for people with something else so they can contribute more unique opinions or skills. She also says a liberal arts background is invaluable in offering versatility to companies.
The final 10 minutes of the panel allowed for student questions. These questions varied on the topic of general interest in the industry itself. One question that led to a discussion is how the new forms of media and different ways to consume live games will affect the price and frequency of sponsorships and ads.
Overall, the entire panel was insightful and entertaining for the students. After the event was over, audience members had a chance to meet and network with the three alumni and grab a slice of pizza.