SMQ PROFILE/INTERVIEW: Kevin Foley
Robinson, Matthew, Sport Marketing Quarterly
Name: Kevin Foley
Title: President and Founder, Position Sports
Education: University of Maryland, BA in Journalism with a concentration in public relations
Career: Executive Director of Operations at Sports America, Inc. University of Maryland Athletic Media Relations Department Edelman Worldwide in Washington, DC The ESPN Sports Almanac in Boston
What are all of the services your company provides?
Position Sports (www.PositionSports.com) is a full service sport marketing company that specializes in media relations, corporate sponsorships, athlete marketing, and event operations. Over the years, our staff has worked with many of the world's leading brands including Nike, Burger King, Jordan Brand, USA Basketball, Powerade, McDonald's, 2K Sports, Boost Mobile, Foot Locker, Coca-Cola, and Aflac. Our expertise-marketing, brand management, and media relations-is critical to building brand awareness.
What past experiences prepared you to embark on your own?
I served as the day-to-day liaison for Sports America with many of its partners including McDonald's, Nike, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Jordan Brand, ESPN, The Washington Post, The Rock Basketball, and Sports Illustrated. I developed the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic and managed the selection process for the McDonald's All American High School Basketball Game and produced events featuring sports figures such as Cal Ripken, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Jim Kelly, Morgan Wootten, Stan Musial, and Steve Spurrier.
What motivated you to embark on an entrepreneurial opportunity in sport marketing?
I was motivated by the opportunity to develop my own ideas and work with clients such as Nike, Jordan Brand, and Burger King. It is great to wake up each morning, read the latest sports stories, and see how our business can grow through the latest trends.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a small firm?
Name recognition is the toughest challenge because we cannot compete with large firms who have hundreds of employees. However, that is also where we surprise a lot of our clients by giving that personal touch and making the extra effort.
Is striking out on one's own for everyone? What is the key to success?
Not necessarily. It is very important to have a solid foundation with your business by securing dependable clients before launching anything. Once you have that in place, your company can grow off of new relationships.
You are involved in assisting others in marketing. What are your company's marketing strategies? How do you build your brand?
We do not advertise or promote Position Sports on a national level. Our business grows by being successful at what we do and reaching other potential clients through our existing relationships. There is no better way to market our company than to have one client refer us for another opportunity.
How important are relationship in building your business?
Relationships are everything. It is absolutely critical in business to know your target audience and who you are representing at all times. New business opportunities often come from word-of-mouth so it is important to always work hard and represent your own brand in every decision.
In sport marketing we talk of the five P's of sport marketing. How important is the PR component in the overall marketing of whether it be an athlete and or event?
I could not imagine an athlete or event without a public relations plan in place. …