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The Detroit Pistons are looking for an empathetic, innovative, creative, sales and service minded leader of our Partnership Engagement team. The Vice President of Partnership Engagement and Activation will direct the development and implementation of short and long-term strategies for the maximization of Partnership marketing, engagement, growth, and retention through outstanding customer service, renewal sales practices and incremental business development opportunities. As the leader of the Engagement team, the VP will demonstrate superior management qualities with an ability to mentor, train and professionally develop employees. In this leadership role, the VP will be expected to lead the management of fully integrated, strategic marketing campaigns, tailored to the objectives and priorities of each partner, for local, regional, and national brands. Other priorities include, achieving targeted renewal goals, total revenue goals, budget management and quantifiable feedback from customer service surveys. The VP will engrain themselves within the business community, developing meaningful and long-term relationships. Working in conjunction with the Pistons Brand Marketing and Creative teams and the Corporate Partnerships Strategy & Solutions team to manage, develop, and support multi-year, industry leading, corporate partnerships for the Detroit Pistons.

We are looking for a creative team member with a positive upbeat and empathetic attitude that can connect with a diverse population. You will also be responsible with working internally and externally on planning and activating partner events.

We are an organization that is committed to leadership in our community, diversity and inclusion, teamwork, our customers and personal character and accountability. We are seeking a driven addition to reflect our core values. We consider ourselves an extension of The Pistons brand, we are excited to engage with the Detroit community, and we want to meet you!

What you’ll be doing:

  • Leading a growing team across partnership engagement and strategy and solutions. A lead by example attitude with a hands-on approach and willingness to roll up your sleeves on key house accounts.

  • Successfully navigating through inter-departmental resources, external suppliers, venue operations and concessionaires to deliver outstanding results for corporate partners.

  • Build and maintain a high-level relationship with existing partners. Build lasting relationships by providing excellent customer service with the goal of enhancing both customer satisfaction and business revenue and retention.

  • Develop new and innovative programs to increase value to partners and generate maximum value for the organization.

  • Maintain and grow industry and marketplace knowledge, use research tools, partnering with data and analytics team - to understand market trends, fan affinity, etc, attending networking functions and using existing relationships to cultivate business development.

  • Find opportunities to incorporate other revenue streams for the organization (suites, tickets, special experiences).

  • Responsible for initiating renewal discussions with major partners prior to expiration of existing agreements. Lead team effort to maintain long-term relationship and provide a partnership package that meets the goals and objectives of the client.

  • Efficiently and effectively handle and facilitate the use of CRM tools (KORE) containing all partner details, contact info & perk history, contract info, and asset mix and schedules.

  • Direct the communications strategy to facilitate an integrated voice amongst all communication to partners, keeping clients advised and involved.

  • Work closely with the Vice President, Corporate Partnership Sales and Director, Partnership and Digital Marketing to build incremental traditional and non-traditional inventory for partners and support Partnership Engagement team in their incremental sales efforts (upsells).

  • Initiate and supervise quarterly check-ins with each partner to revue current state of partnership, share standard methodologies and identify areas for incremental opportunities.

  • Collect quantifiable feedback through surveys, conduct detailed analysis of results and produce action items to assist with achieving partner objectives.

  • Develop mid-season and end-of-season wrap up protocol, meeting strategy, and agendas for in depth conversations with partners to drive progress on development of effective and sustainable partnership packages.

  • Direct timelines and workflows for special projects as needs arise.

  • Work closely with Strategy and Solutions team to identify and implement inventory management systems to effectively and efficiently assign, prioritize, monitor, and report asset allocations. Enhance inventory by developing plan for profiting unused inventory.

  • Oversee ticket usage, processing, and reporting, identifying ways to create more efficiency and reduce department ticketing costs.

  • Handle sponsorship hard costs and expense budgets against partner accounts – ensuring fiscal responsibility to increase revenue.

  • Review, approve and process purchase requests from suppliers across all partner accounts.

  • Lead the facilitation of hospitality engagement programs for partners including sponsor trips, State of the Pistons, partner summits, fly-aways, golf tournament, etc.

What we’re looking for:

  • Demonstrated ability to lead by example as well as inspire, coach and mentor a diverse group of hard-working individuals.

  • Shown ability to lead employees and make decisions based upon organizational goals and standards.

  • Collaboration skills at all levels and across all departments are crucial.

  • Excellent communication, presentation, networking and writing skills required.

  • 8+ years of professional sports or similar experience managing, selling (including upsells and renewals), activation, and managing a team across sponsorship and premium inventory.

  • Bachelor’s Degree required with emphasis in Business, Sports Management, Marketing, or related field from an accredited university; Master’s degree preferred.

  • Strong knowledge of budget management and forecasting.

  • Solid understanding of contractual language and the ability to implement and explain the contents thereof.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and knowledge of client management and research software.

  • Adept in ticketing & database management systems.

  • Must be open to travel to develop and secure partnerships with key decision-makers.

  • Must be available to work weekends and evenings to accommodate Pistons home schedule and non-basketball events

Work Environment

  • Works primarily in an office environment but is expected to attend games and other events on evenings, weekends and holidays.

We are an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Employer. It has been and will continue to be a fundamental policy of the Company not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, gender identity, transgender status, pregnancy, marital status, partnership status, domestic violence victim status, sexual orientation, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, veteran or military status, disability, genetic information or any other characteristic prohibited by federal, state or local laws

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital or veteran status, or any other protected class.