Selling the NFL

Monday, August 31, 2015

If there is one thing synonymous with the beginning of fall, it’s football season. And for two Robert Morris graduates of the sport management program, that means business.

Downs_Brad mdBradley Downs ’99 and Nathan DiLorenzo ’07 have both taken on careers working for teams in the NFL. Downs was promoted this past April to vice president of marketing for the Baltimore Ravens.  DiLorenzo also made a big move in April.  After eight years in the Bay Area working for the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco 49ers, he is now the premium sales manager for the Detroit Lions.

“It has taken some adjusting to as the pace is slower in Detroit,” said DiLorenzo.  “But the transition hasn’t been as difficult as I originally thought. Detroit is coming back.”

DiLorenzo_NathanDowns, who grew up an hour from Baltimore, didn’t have much adjusting to do. “Being in Pittsburgh for school and moving back to Baltimore was not much of a change.  Both are big cities, both love their sports teams, and both are your typical blue-collar towns.”

Downs enjoys working to get fans involved with the team, not just on game day, but in everything the organization does. “It’s not about getting the team name out there or making ourselves look good,” he said.  “It’s about being a community and getting everyone excited to be a part of the organization.”

Both Downs and DiLorenzo can recall important words from their RMU professors that helped them in their success.

“In my first sports management class, Dr. Clark told us that we had to be willing to relocate and have an open mind,” said DiLorenzo. He has definitely taken those words to heart.  He graduated with a degree in marketing but now has taken on the world of sales.

 “Sales means helping people,” said DiLorenzo.  “Making them see and believe that the value you’re offering will ultimately help them and their company – something I learned at RMU and I still remember every day when doing my job.”

“I can still remember Scott Branvold telling my class that you have to be okay with working long hours, weekends, and holidays" said Downs.

As with any job, there will be obstacles that make the work more challenging.  With technology and social media expanding so quickly, it’s difficult for organizations to keep up with changes. “One of our biggest challenges is effectively marketing to our fans with all the different media options available today,” Downs said.  “It used to be a heavy focus on print, TV, and radio.  It can be difficult to keep  up with where people are getting their information as new technologies emerge.”

 “Success makes you yearn for more, which embodies sales and my personality, as I’m always trying to grow and improve,” DiLorenzo said.  “RMU instilled those principles into my life at a young age and I’m extremely thankful and proud to be an alum.”

“RMU is a big help in finding an internship and getting your foot in the door for a career,” said Downs. “But a lot of my best memories, and my best friendships, are because of my time at Robert Morris.”


Written by Ashley Domachowski

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