Director, Strategic Partnerships

  New York Road Runners
  New York City, NY
  Sports Services
  Posted/Updated: 10/11/22

Job Summary

About NYRR

New York Road Runners (NYRR) was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people and has grown from a local running club into the world’s premier community running organization.  NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire through running, aiming to empower people of all ages and abilities to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.

NYRR’s year-round offerings of races, community events, programs, and training resources provide hundreds of thousands of people with the motivation, know-how, and opportunities to start running and keep running for life. NYRR’s premier event, the famed TCS New York City Marathon, attracts the world’s top professional runners and committed amateurs alike, while also raising millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for New York City.  NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire children in underserved communities in New York City, nationwide, and around the world.

Headquartered in New York City, NYRR is a 501(c)(3) organization.  To learn more, please visit

New York Road Runners is an Equal Opportunity Employer

About the Team

The Strategic Partnerships team, part of the Strategic Partnerships and Runner Products Department, is responsible for generating and garnering corporate revenue, value and promotion for NYRR in exchange for marketing and advertising benefits to its partners. The team seeks to match the needs of NYRR with that of partners’ and their various objectives.  NYRR’s needs include monetary investments, as well as value-in-kind products and services, which help to reduce NYRR’s expenses, and partner marketing/promotional support, which helps to build the NYRR brand and expand the audience.  In addition to bringing in revenue, the team ensures that NYRR delivers on its obligations to its partners.  The partner portfolio is comprised of more than 20 brands including TCS, New Balance, United Airlines, Mastercard, Gatorade Endurance and Michelob Ultra.

About the Position

The Director of Strategic Partnerships reports into the Head of Strategic Partnerships.  This is a highly visible leadership position within the organization which requires multi-tasking, good and decisive judgment, patience, a high level of professionalism and collaboration. Key responsibilities are built upon the intersection of client strategy, NYRR brand strategy and top-notch client service in a high-paced, fluid environment.  The Director of Strategic Partnerships will play an essential role leading a partner portfolio, and serve as a thought leader, driving innovative, integrated, ideas to solve our partner’s business challenges.

The Director of Strategic Partnerships is responsible for of all areas of sponsorship delivery and overall relationship health. Candidates must be prepared for a fast-paced environment and be comfortable making decisions.  This person must be team-oriented and possess excellent problem solving, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.  A key function of the role is leading internal and external cross-functional teams to deliver work that meets partner objectives and goals, including effectively managing a team of direct reports and delegating responsibilities with a growth mindset.

The Directors work together to foster a culture of growth and development with the team. They regularly demonstrate initiative in all areas of improving the management and growth of all partnerships, demonstrating a sense of ownership and the ability to manage independently.  They also lead and manage business development efforts.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the day-to-day management and long-term strategic development of assigned accounts and projects, adding value and ensuring the partner is getting best results from the sponsorship
  • Build trusted partner relationships and articulate organizational point of view
  • Serve as the “thought leader” between NYRR partners and NYRR’s internal teams, and lead cross-functional planning to achieve partner goals
  • Prioritize and goal-set effectively
  • Collaborate to offer innovative solutions to challenges and opportunities and drive alignment
  • Plan and conduct high-level meetings effectively showcasing presentation skills
  • Create strategic documents leveraging insights and innovative approach to growth
  • Manage financial aspects of partner relationships, including assisting Department Head with budgeting process, tracking sponsorship payments and conducting financial analysis of current corporate and community partnerships
  • Build partner deals and manage renewals
  • Attend partner events and sponsored races, oversee execution and represent NYRR with partners
  • Effectively multi-task and handle wide-variety of responsibilities, both client-facing and administrative
  • Oversee competitive intelligence and KPIs related to portfolio
  • Contribute to other business development opportunities, internal and external
  • Regularly inform Senior Director on status of business, including escalation as needed
  • Proactively lead departmental and organizational initiatives that align with NYRR growth plan
  • Represent organization at external events
  • Additional duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Mentor, motivate and develop team members through coaching, training and identifying areas for growth
  • Effectively manage employee performance through communication of expectations and standards
  • Prepare goals and performance appraisals. Work with next level management (directors or department head as applicable) when employee performance does not meet standards
  • Encourage an environment of transparency, support, creativity, development, and growth
  • Showcase effective listening for impact
  • Delegate and distribute tasks and responsibilities appropriately
  • Ensure employees and staff adhere to company policies and procedures
  • Serve as a role model within the department and organization, providing leadership and creative problem solving

Job Requirements:

Skills and Attributes

  • Demonstrated track record of success in providing strategic thinking to clients, including identifying, analyzing, problem-solving, and responding to opportunities and challenges with the ability to translate into practical plans of action
  • Ability to manage complex relationships and handle difficult situations in calm and professional manner
  • Ability to establish effective interdepartmental relationships, manage multiple contacts and projects, and drive business
  • Collaborative and solutions-oriented
  • Detailed-oriented and articulate; highly developed communication skills, both verbal and written, to communicate effectively and persuasively
  • Strong project management skills focused on organization, time management and planning
  • Ability to think strategically across multiple relationships and balance organizational and partner objectives
  • Passion for understanding partners’ business and being a trusted advisor in their day-to-day challenges
  • Calm under pressure
  • Ability to craft presentations and present and pitch effectively
  • Excellent problem solving, decision-making and interpersonal skills
  • Confident leadership presence and professional demeanor
  • Can operate autonomously without guidance
  • Proactive approach to business development
  • Availability to work weekends and extended hours as needed
  • High-level Microsoft office skills (Excel, PowerPoint) required, Salesforce experience a plus
  • Passion for NYRR’s mission


  • Experience managing a robust portfolio of brands
  • 5+  years of account management, or sponsorship experience, which may include agency (integrated marketing) or brand-side marketing experience
  • Experience successfully managing and developing multiple direct reports
  • Experience executing special/live events
  • Proven experience negotiating contract agreement
  • Sales and sponsorship valuation experience preferred
  • Licensing and merchandising experience is preferred but not required
  • Previous exposure to quantitative and qualitative research - not in leading, but knows what they are, and how they work
  • CRM experience preferred


  • Bachelors Degree preferred

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