Career success can be measured in a variety of different ways – money, title, awards, reputation – the list goes on. As one of the most difficult industries to not only break into, but remain successful in, the sports industry has created awards to recognize those individuals whose hard work has paid off. Today, popular sports periodical, theSports Business Journal, will be honoring this year’s Forty Under 40 class in Los Angeles, CA. For those not familiar with this highly respected award, here is a little more background.
As the industry leader in evaluating and measuring marketing investments, Navigate has a wealth of knowledge in the sponsorship and marketing space. This blog shares our knowledge and insights on current events in the sports business, marketing and sponsorship worlds.
Forty Under 40: AJ Maestas
Published March 30, 2015, Page 30A of the SportsBusiness Journal
SANDRA TENUTO PHOTOGRAPHY
“We filled a critical need at exactly the right time,” said Maestas, whose Chicago-based firm
has grown since 2006 to around 20 people, with clients including the NBA, MLS, ESPN, NBC, Fox, TNT, Anheuser-Busch/InBev, Farmers Insurance and Southwest Airlines.
Maestas grew up in the Fairbanks suburb of Moose Creek, Alaska, (population: 747) without electricity or a telephone but with sled dogs. A “burning desire” to get out impelled him to the University of Washington. There, he fell in love with collegiate athletics, and a meeting with Gary Barta, then UW’s senior associate athletic director and now AD at the University of Iowa, set him on the path of working in sports.
An MBA at Arizona State and some experience working a NASCAR sponsorship for freight company YRC Worldwide showed Maestas the need for better measurement. Navigate was born shortly thereafter.
An early client was the Sacramento River Cats, who needed an independent valuation of their naming rights. “AJ has this ability to break down the raw data and show how they really demonstrate value,” said former River Cats senior vice president of business development Darrin Gross, now senior director of partnership marketing and business development at the Sacramento Kings.
An assignment from the NFL helped establish credibility for Navigate, and in recent years, the firm’s annual growth rate has exceeded 25 percent. Last year, the agency did 140 studies for 100 entities, and the next move for Navigate (and for Maestas) is to Australia, where the firm already has clients.
— Terry Lefton
Written by Jackie Schetter
Earlier this week Mark Cuban brought attention to the announcement that Sweet Briar College would be closing its doors when he tweeted, "This is just the beginning of the college implosion." ESPN, Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, NPR and multiple other news outlets have also picked up the story or chimed in on the unfortunate situation. Cuban has expressed his concern for funding in the higher education space for a few years, as evidenced by his creation of www.collegedebt.com, a site that tracks student loan debt.
One key area that is being underutilized by most schools is the purchasing and procurement process. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over $450 billion are being spent annually by post-secondary institutions on a wide array of products and services. By nature, the RFP (Request for Proposal) process is very stiff and transactional.
Navigate Research is working to reinvent the RFP and transform it into more of a "Request for Partnership," which would create a two-way, living and breathing partnership opportunity. Between a dozen or so key procurement categories, universities can raise millions of extra dollars per year by harnessing the power of their loyal communities (faculty, staff, students, alums, etc.) and delivering the full package to their vendors.