Gallagher, the global insurance and risk management company that sponsors Penske Racing, the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and AMB Sports + Entertainment properties in the U.S. posted a job opening last week for an assistant vice president, partnership activation and business development.
On its own, that news doesn’t carry too much importance beyond the company, it’s rights holder and agency partners, and job seekers applying for the suburban-Chicago-based position.
What is noteworthy is the role’s dual focus on marketing and sales, as reflected not only in the title but in its reporting line to the U.S. head of sales operations & strategic growth with a “strong dotted line reporting relationship” to the senior vice president, global marketing operations.
This is not common practice in my experience, but it should be.
Marketing and sales functions are too often siloed on org charts and in practice, especially as they relate to sponsorship. That situation has long been one of the primary reasons why sponsorship departments—typically housed within marketing—have been satisfied with soft measures of “success” such as media equivalencies without having to connect the dots to real business outcomes.
Kudos to Gallagher for recognizing the importance of integrating the two, making the role directly responsible to sales operations and codifying it as part of the position’s duties. In addition to managing activation, consider the other five responsibilities listed in the job description:
- Work hand in hand with local sales leaders and their teams to develop targeted business development plans in order to ensure maximum ROI for each of Gallagher’s sports and entertainment partnerships
- Work closely with local sales leaders, as well as regional and national finance colleagues, to capture attributable revenue across the partnership portfolio
- Liaise with agency resources, local sales and integrated marketing teams, and partner organizations to activate and track partnership assets and manage project plans
- Develop comprehensive asset activation plans in collaboration with integrated marketing, local sales leaders, and agency partners in order to proactively maximize impact
- Track and analyze asset utilization and campaign effectiveness in Gallagher WIN (Salesforce) to determine ROI and go-forward plans
Progress most often comes in incremental steps, not leaps and bounds, so while a single job description does not mark a monumental shift in sports and entertainment marketing, it is a sign—among many other positive recent developments—that marketers are getting things right and steadily moving forward.