Assistant Director, Guest Experience with Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena jobs
Sports Jobs in Atlanta, GA
Facility Operations/Event Staff: Event Guest Relations
At the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena, our team is changing the game when it comes to creating a memorable fan experience. As an organization, we rock a bold attitude that focuses on teamwork, authenticity, & innovation. The fans are our passion, and their positive experiences are what propel us to create a world class sports & live entertainment environment. We recognize that to create a great experience for our fans, it starts with creating a great culture for our employees. We work hard and run fast, yet we take the time to appreciate the details in the work we do and celebrate our successes. At the end of the day, we are a sports & live entertainment group that strives to do things a little differently and do them well. It also doesn’t hurt that we hold the keys to a brand-new world-class arena (State Farm Arena), an amazing brand, an exciting basketball organization and a wide variety of live events.

Over the last few years, the leadership of the Hawks and State Farm Arena have led a dynamic turnaround of the franchise, on and off the court. The ownership group led by Tony Ressler and Grant Hill set the focus on four key real estate development initiatives:  build a new practice facility; acquire a G-League franchise; renovate and open State Farm Arena; and redevelop downtown surrounding the Arena.  The Atlanta Hawks have made real progress on each of these four initiatives – entitling, breaking ground or completing each one.  The franchise now has the physical assets to grow over the next several years and pivot from being a developer to an operator of these expanded enterprises. 
As an operator, the team and arena encompass a broad range of individual businesses that need to work together to create an unparalleled guest experience – property manager, hospitality group, restaurateur, event promoter, parking operator, traffic coordinator, security provider, marketing partner, ticket seller, etc.  Every year, the Arena hosts 1.5 million visitors, serves enough food and drink to be one of the biggest restaurants in Atlanta, manages five separate parking lots across downtown, and produces a range of events from basketball, concerts, family shows to corporate conferences.    
At the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, our purpose is to serve our guests by creating memorable experiences. To achieve this purpose, we believe we must treat our employees the way we treat our guests. This role will play a significant part in bringing this to life, as we work to build a holistic world class experience and hospitality brand on par with some of the best in the world.

Key Responsibilities 

Reporting to the Sr. Director of Guest & Employee Experience, the AD will be a strategic/critical thinking leader, serve as a people-first advocate while providing professional development and training aimed at motivating and equipping employees and partners to consistently provide a world class, Fan First guest experience. The AD will assist in leading efforts focused on welcoming fans, continually improving processes that improve the guest experience, creating opportunities to exceed their expectations and empowering employees to fulfill our collective service philosophy. The AD will exemplify the highest levels of our SMILE culture all while building, coaching and developing direct reports into exceptional leaders. This will include working collaboratively and strategically with arena partners (Levy, Pritchard, Security, Box Office, Event mgmt.] ensuring all Smile Makers are serving our guests by providing exceptional Southern Hospitality.
Specifically, the Assistant Director will be responsible for the following: 
  • Embody and live the core elements of SMILE in service to our Team Members and Guests (Southern Hospitality, Make a Moment, Individuals Matter, Listen & Learn, Empowerment)
  • Passionately inspire and lead the team via demonstration of our cultural values and exemplifying authentic leadership principles 
  • Create an environment of genuine care in order to empower employees to bring all of their skills, talents and abilities to their work
  • Lead the guest experience operations for Hawks games and State Farm Arena events
  • Provide evaluations, continuous feedback, and coaching to part time team members. This individual will coach first but also manage disciplinary actions when necessary
  • Assist with the development of Guest Experience policies and procedures that foster a culture of trust and empowerment
  • Champion and execute the rewards & recognition efforts to foster a fun, engaging and successful work environment  
  • Serve as a core member of the SMILE and leadership training team helping to facilitate training and developing hourly trainers
  • Develop and implement strategies that demonstrate that each individual team member matters and are valued by the organization
  • Be a curious, creative, dynamic leader helping to drive innovation in the guest experience space, transforming State Farm Arena into a model for other organizations to follow
  • Identify pain points in the guest experience and develop plans and/or processes to improve the guest experience
  • Partner with teams throughout the organization to standardize the team member experience for all departments (Guest Experience, Security, Food & Beverage, Environmental, etc.)
  • Regularly review and analyze guest service data to generate action plans that address service deficiencies/goals, help to develop process improvements and/or training plans to enhance team member performance 


Professional Experience, Qualifications and Education

  • A Bachelor’s degree with a preference for work experience in hospitality or service industries
  • 5-10 years of hospitality experience at industry leading brands or sports organizations with experience leading high performing teams (direct reports)
  • A visionary, servant leader, with a passion for serving others and creating exceptional guest experiences
  • A customer obsessed individual, that works vigorously to understand guest needs and earn their trust
  • A bias for action, with the ability to work in ambiguous and changing environments with little direction
  • A performance driven individual, with a focus on delivering results and on maintaining the highest standards
  • Effectively communicate business strategy organization-wide and ensure buy-in and execution from all levels. Excellent communication skills and the ability to influence others to drive change
  • A creative thinker, with the ability to think big and work backwards to implement a vision
  • Must be able to work non-traditional hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

Job Questions:

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