Subject: Deanna Barnes
Job Title: Email Marketing Coordinator
Barney Stanner, JobsInSports.com: We are here with Deanna Barnes of ESPN. She is the Email Marketing Coordinator and we are going to talk to her about life in the sports industry. What is your role at ESPN and what do you do on a daily basis?
Deanna Barnes: My role at ESPN is to manage all of our email marketing communication and what that involves is, I work with two teams. I work with all the sports marketing teams including SportsCenter.com and those who work with MLB, NBA and NFL and what kind of email communications they want to get out. This also includes Insider and ESPN The Magazine. I also work with our technical department to actually deploy those emails and to the right fans and getting you the content that you want and need about ESPN.
JobsInSports.com: Is it more exciting to do that job because it is in the sports industry rather than if you doing it for a company that sold a product like coffee filters?
Barnes: I would definitely say yes. You do get an excitement when you see an alert about Vick almost being MVP. It makes it a little more exciting every day.
JobsInSports.com: What is the environment like being based out of the New York office? Everybody pictures working for ESPN and you think you will be running around behind the set but your role in New York, where the business gets done, how does that go?
Barnes: I would say the atmosphere in New York is very much the “media atmosphere” because yes we are ESPN and we work in the sports industry but we are ultimately a media company. Therefore, in New York, you get feel of working with the major agencies that are based in New York or the major advertisers who advertise on our networks and sites. So it is that media, “go-get-em” kind of attitude and atmosphere in New York.
JobsInSports.com: You mentioned that you have done some recruiting for ESPN. Can you tell us your thoughts on that? How ESPN goes about recruiting and what is the best way to get in with a great company like ESPN?
Barnes: In my past, I had actually had been an intern with ESPN. I was on that side of being in college and wondering how I get my foot in the door at ESPN. What I would suggest is that if you are a student or are in a city with a local team and ESPN is coming to broadcast a basketball or football game, work with your sports director or your sports department and see what you can do. Maybe you can be a runner or just make copies for the producer who is going to be there because ultimately you are going to make those connections and when you see a job online you can say “I worked with a producer who came down here”. Maybe you can tap into them and get a better opportunity because it is very competitive. I would say get involved. You have to be persistent and professional and you can make things happen for yourself.
JobsInSports.com: Coming out of school, you went on to get extensive degrees including a master’s degree and you went on to get internships. Is that how you wedged your way into the sports industry?
Barnes: Yes. My first sports internship was with the Cincinnati Reds in the marketing department. What you will find is that they may pay you only peanuts however, the experience is invaluable. So, I would say to look for the opportunities, not just the pay check. From there you can take what you learned and use them inside or outside the sports industry but it is key to get those internships.
JobsInSports.com: One thing that we encourage people to do when they get into an organization is that it is great to have the organization on your resume but while there, find the person that you are going to learn the most from and suck as much information out of them as you can. Would you agree that this is a good strategy?
Barnes: I would definitely agree. Those people become your advocates and whenever you are moving up, you will need an advocate, someone who will think of your name in the room when you are not there.
JobsInSports.com: So do you look around at ESPN and find interns for whom you can become an advocate?
Barnes: Of course. I love to mentor. As part of recruiting, you get those students who even long after I was out of recruiting send me an email saying hello. I love to cultivate that because that is how I was and I remember being on the other side.
JobsInSports.com: Great. So, recommendations? What methods had you used to find the internships and find your jobs? Did you beat the pavement a little bit?
Barnes: You can’t just stop at the internet. You have got to go a bit deeper. Starting with the Internet, look for different sports organizations such as the National Sports Marketing Association. See what companies they work with and go directly to them. LinkedIn is great. It is professional, not social. I have made a lot of contacts there and they do post jobs as well. Also, like I said, the sports departments at your college or university are great resources because they have connections. It is who you know and you have to be competitive.
JobsInSports.com: Great. We appreciate your time. You have a great success story and we know that you will do even better. We will keep an eye out for you.