Pacific League Marketing (PLM) and The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management in the Isenberg School of Management have entered into a global partnership focused on delivering consulting and education services to Japanese sports stakeholders since 2020.
The McCormack Department of Sport Management is the second oldest sports management program in the world and has been ranked #1 in the world for five of the last six years. As a part of the partnership, McCormack interviewed notable alumni of the school who are involved in the front lines of sports business around the world, to gather insights regarding their careers and their business.
Greg previously spent over six years with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN and holds an undergraduate degree in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. He also holds a master’s degree in Sports Management from Columbia University, where he’s remained as an adjunct professor for the last six years. Greg speaks English, Russian and Spanish and currently working out of Kiswe’s New York City office.
At Disney, he was responsible for all aspects of the post-sale digital advertising process. Managing an annual campaign budget in excess of $50MM. Stewarding campaigns from creative strategic discussions with agency counterparts to implementing 3rd party tags and trackers, monitoring delivery and pacing, reporting, through billing and collections.
As Sr. Manager, Business Development at Kiswe, my responsibilities include prospecting and identifying potential partners, leading partners through technical demonstrations of our solution, and negotiating agreements with key stakeholders in the sports and entertainment industry.
My career has not been linear. I started off working in the restaurant industry in New York City, transitioned to advertising sales with two different startups and landed my first role within the sports business as an advertising account manager at ESPN. I then spent time in the affiliate sales group at Disney, working on content distribution agreements, until landing in my current role at Kiswe.
Having a passion for sports and growing up playing multiple sports led me to an interest in the business side of the industry while completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I knew early on that I would never play any sport professionally, so instead, I knew I had to build a career around the business of the sports industry.
You have to love what you do. The time you are working exceeds time spent with family, friends and loved ones, so find an organization, a brand, a product that you truly believe in and then work will be that much more enjoyable and worthwhile. Keep in mind, your first few roles in the business may not be ones you love, but eventually, you will have that Aha! moment and know you are in the right place, doing exactly what you were meant to be doing and hopefully having FUN doing it.
If you want it badly enough, you will get it. Stay patient, always be networking and sharpening your skills and the right opportunity will come about. Build the skills necessary for the sports business (e.g. finance, legal, sales, marketing) elsewhere if sports business opportunities do not present themselves at first and know that your abilities are transferable.
interviewed by Takehiko Nakamura