Headline Internships Sports Business

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

Hello everyone. I am glad to see the interest that my last post drew. It has been over three weeks since my last post and it is safe to say that I have been working on and updating this post during that entire time. Every day I have worked since then, I have had a conference call, email, or some other communication to look forward to that I knew would progress the deal. After waiting for over three weeks for this deal to unravel, I finally decided I would stop updating and get a post out there.

I have been working very closely with my mentor, C.J. Laboy, on finishing a deal for two clients to endorse a small snack food company. My first marketing deal has been very unique in that the CMO of the company and I were faced with a difficult challenge. He was interested in partnering with our clients, but the company is too small and cannot afford the endorsement package that we were discussing.

I thought back to the negotiations class I am enrolled in and the best lesson I have received (among many) from my professor, Earl Hill (who was a former tight end for Wisconsin), is that one has to create value by adding issues and “expanding the pie.” Negotiating is more of a team effort between those who sit on opposite ends of the negotiating table than most people realize; both sides have the same goal of reaching an agreement and there are many ways to accomplish that. I thought back to the revolutionary endorsement deal involving David Wright and Glaceau, the company that makes VitaminWater.

I inquired with the company about making a deal that would involve part cash and part ownership. The CMO was open to the idea and conversations about the endorsement resumed. C.J. and I have been doing our due diligence on the value and growth opportunities of the company in order to put a value on the company’s offer. When that happens, we will continue with negotiations and hopefully finish up my first endorsement deal.

I will be taking the summer off from blogging (unless I can report finalizing this deal before my internship ends for the semester), but during that time, be sure to follow me on Twitter @marc_h_miller, where I regularly tweet news and articles related to agents and sports business in general. Also, be sure to add me to your LinkedIn network.

I wish all of my fellow college students and young professionals the best of luck with your summer internships and leave you with two of the best lessons I learned from my very first internship with the Single-A Hudson Valley Renegades:

  • No task is below you.
    • I was remembered as the intern who got poison ivy all over myself while trimming the ivy around the outer stadium fencing and gained respect from everyone for putting my own comfort behind the comfort of the most important people: the fans.
    • Be remembered as the intern who did anything and everything and you will be surprised how willing those above you are to open their network to you, teach you about the business, or let you get different experiences.
  • Your title is not binding.
    • Going back to that internship with the Renegades, I was hired to put on the in-game promotions. By the end of the summer, I was selling tickets over the phone and was fully-versed in ticket operations software.
    • If your internship is part-time, go approach people in a different department and offer to volunteer the time you are not spending on your primary task(s). Everyone can use help and what is help to them is experience to you.

23 replies on “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”

Marc, sounds like you’ve taken the bull by the horns in your internship and really made the most of it. Can you describe a little more about the nature of the deal you discussed here and what the connection between the snack food company is with your client?

Thank you for your question. We are still narrowing in on the terms, but the endorsement package would involve a 5-hour block of video/photo production, 3 convention or store appearances on the company’s behalf, announcements about the company of the players’ Twitter and Facebook profiles, and product placement at the players’ youth camp this summer. That is the jist of the clients’ involvement, but much of that is still to be negotiated on.

Great article, Marc! I really enjoyed your comment on negotiations…very true about “expanding the pie” to get the most out of a deal.

I have another lesson to add to your internship advice: always participate. Even if you’re at a meeting with all executives and you think you have nothing to contribute. They wouldn’t have invited you if they didn’t want you to participate and provide your perspective. It’s not trivial even as an intern!! This is advice given to me at GE.

Keep up the blogging 🙂

“No task is below you,” is interesting, especially since it can be difficult to take that to heart since some of us go to very expensive universities, but important nonetheless.

Great advice on internships. Completely agree with the “your title is not binding” statement. If you can go above and beyond your title, that’s when you’re really bringing value to the company.

Excellent advice on making the most of internships! Your excellent insights are also true for beginning a “real” job. Many of my former students report feeling discouraged in their entry-level positions. What they need to recognize is the value in performing even seemingly-menial tasks. Making copies, or in your case, trimming ivy, is an ideal way to show a positive, team-oriented attitude. Nice work, Marc! As always, you impress me.

What a great perspective to have on negotiations, working on the same team. I wish my employer and union thought more like you.

Great advice regarding summer internships–you never know the connections you will make when you show up and are willing to help! Hope you have some time to blog over the summer. All the best to you! Keep writing!

Great Blog! I look forward to hearing about the finalization of your deal. Have a great summer!

Hey Marc, awesome post. I see a lot of potential in you. keep up the good work and the blogging.

Encouraging to see the connection between college educational experiences and the “real-world”.

I find this article very inspiring. I will keep it in the back of my mind when I am struggling to continue to put in the grunt work at my internship. I’m amazed at how much you do… really are an asset to any organization, especially in sports because you understand the nuances of the industry. Keep it coming, we all can learn something from you. Good luck.

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