Director of Partnership Development - Chicago Fire Football Club (Chicago · IL)
Chicago Fire Football Club jobs
Sports Jobs in Chicago · IL
Sponsorship Sales & Activation: Corporate Sponsor
Chicago Fire FC was founded in 1997 on the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire and is playing its 24th season in Major League Soccer this year. The Fire are one of the most successful teams in MLS history having won six major domestic trophies, including the 1998 MLS Cup, the 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as well as the 2003 Supporters’ Shield. The Club's charitable arm, the Chicago Fire Foundation, was recognized as ESPN’s 2019 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year.
The Fire, led by owner Joe Mansueto, returned to Soldier Field last year and opened new 50,000 sq ft offices in the heart of the city. With numerous new hires throughout the technical and front office staff, the Club is laying the foundation for an audacious and ambitious vision that will transform both the brand and organization in the coming years.
Chicago Fire FC is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. Our diversity initiatives start with the recruitment and selection process; therefore, we’d like to welcome all diverse candidates to apply to opportunities within our Club.
Chicago Fire FC is seeking a Senior Manager/Director of Partnership Development to join our team and grow the club’s corporate partnerships.
The Club’s partnerships team is responsible for creating dynamic and comprehensive marketing platforms to reach the objectives of and drive ROI for our corporate partners. The partnership development team is responsible identifying, prospecting, proposing, and acquiring new partnerships and driving business development for the Club.
The individual hired for this role will be responsible for leading marketing efforts, sales, and development of new corporate partnerships, as well as the buildout of a commercial strategy. The Senior Manager/Director of Partnership Development will identify emerging sponsorship categories, build relationships across a variety of industries, generate sales leads through networking and research, conduct client presentations, and negotiate high-value contracts to meet and exceed annual revenue goals.
- Collaborate with colleagues across the Club to develop dynamic and innovative marketing platforms geared towards securing new corporate partnerships
- Identify emerging sponsorship categories with focus on identifying forward-thinking companies who will push the envelope on creative activations and programming
- Regularly identify and pursue opportunities that deliver mutual growth for the prospective partner and the Club
- Develop a strong understanding of industry trends and competitive landscapes to enable effective positioning of partnership opportunities
- Generate sales leads through networking and research
- Interpret data for sales presentations; leverage this information for partner proposals and pitches
- Regularly conduct cold calls to secure appointments, creating opportunities to sell to new prospects among local and national companies
- Assist with development of storytelling materials and client presentations
- Collaborate with colleagues to identify specific activation concepts for each prospect to align with brand objectives
- Negotiate high-value contracts to meet and exceed annual revenue goals
- Build strategic plan around engaging corporate communities in Chicago.
- Conduct necessary in-market research
- Build and expand network around this community—brands and agencies
- Facilitate discussions cross-functionally to create alignment internally
- Present strategic plan to the department’s Commercial Director and Chicago Fire’s senior leadership team
- Align with other department directors to maximize all corporate revenue streams (e.g. special projects, strategy, categories, partnership marketing)
- Engage other corporate communities in Chicago with varied backgrounds
- Coordinate any sponsor-related projects as assigned by the department’s Commercial Director
- 4-year degree with an emphasis in sports marketing preferred
- Minimum eight (8) years relevant work, industry, and partnership development experience
- Proven track record of securing new business and selling multi-year, million-dollar partnerships
- Experience collaborating with colleagues to develop innovative marketing platforms for potential corporate partners
- Strong presentation skills, excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Willingness to learn in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to work flexible hours, including but not limited to evenings, weekends and holidays
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively to problem-solve, prioritize, and meet deadlines
- Ability to give candid feedback with good intentions to help get the best out of colleagues
- Detail-oriented and able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment
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