Jamie Brandt had no intention of working in the sports industry when he entered Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jamie was a business management and economics major. His goals were to continue his education in the legal field and eventually become a lawyer. However, after accepting a part time job with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League in 1996, he has continued his career in the sports industry without looking back.
As Director of Ticket Sales for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League, Brandt manages an array of activities for the teams’ sales staff in the Tempe office as well as overseeing the operations in their new Glendale office, where the team will begin play very soon. “My immediate responsibilities are supervising the ticket sales staff, which includes implementing daily sales efforts to include telemarketing and mail efforts, coordinating direct mail campaigns, and assisting in advertising spots and production of collateral used throughout our department.”
Another important role that Jamie fills is servicing season ticket holders and all the duties that come with the task. The entire organization takes part in providing a pleasant experience for all those who attend games, but at the end of the day Jamie is ultimately responsible for filling the seats on a weekly and yearly basis. “We all understand that the lifeblood of the organization are the guests who attend games and support our team throughout the years. I make sure that everyone in my department shares responsibilities in servicing our customers on a daily basis.”
The Cardinals are scheduled to begin construction on a new stadium this year. Due to the experience that Jamie has had in the past, the team is very excited to have him on board as they embark on this task. “I was fortunate enough to be involved with the opening of the Ice Palace in 1996 for the Tampa Bay Lightning and I played an instrumental role in selling club seats when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened Raymond James Stadium the following year. I came out here with the sole purpose of coordinating our sales efforts and moving into the new stadium.”
Brandt stresses that to ‘Work in Sports’, you have to be flexible and take advantage of your opportunities. “If you want to get in the business bad enough, you are going to have to take some positions that may not be part of your long-term career plan. Job openings may not come up in your current geographic area, but if a team calls you up and says ‘we have a position available’, it is in your best interest to jump at that opportunity. Once you begin your position be sure to showcase the talents you posses and work hard everyday. In the end it will pay off.”
In the last seven years Jamie has seen sports industry hiring trends from the inside. “I cannot really speak for any other industry, but I know in the sports business the turnover rate in all departments, especially ticket sales, is incredibly high. There are ticket sales positions opening up in the sports industry every single day.” If you go to WorkInSports.com, you’ll see that ticket sales positions are posted more frequently than any other for professional teams.
Jamie says that ticket sales might not be what you are looking for, but if you want to get into the business, you should consider a wider variety of positions. “Ticket sales is a great place to start. Every company is looking for someone to generate revenue. If you can come in and show the organization that you can fill the seats, it will open doors to other positions within the organization.”
He also added that many of the top executives in the industry started in ticket sales. “I can name five or six Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents in the sports industry that I know started out as ticket sales representatives. Again, if you can show a company that you can generate revenue and that you’re going to be a money-maker for them, they are going to want to have you around.” As you can see it is very important for job seekers to take advantage of any position extended to them and make the most of it.