NY Islanders

New York Islanders’ Manager of Premium Sales Talks Career

Steven Romano, Manager of Premium Sales for the New York Islanders, joined the Sports Industry Club for their virtual speaker series on Wednesday. Mar. 31.

Romano graduated from Monmouth in 2015 as a marketing and management major. Between sophomore and junior year, he completed a marketing internship with the Camden Riversharks. “They’re now defunct and no longer a team, but it gave me a really good understanding of what the sports industry was like,” Romano said. “When you intern in minor league baseball, they have such small staffs that they don’t have one person handle a specific position.”

Every person on a minor league staff is given five or six different positional responsibilities, so it helped Romano gain a better understanding of the industry while he worked as a marketing intern, he explained.

Fall of his junior year, Romano did a similar internship with the Lakewood BlueClaws minor league team. “It was only about a 25-minute ride from Monmouth and they always have different positions available,” Romano said. “I would highly recommend that if you’re an underclassman looking to get an internship. They have a great program there.”

His senior year, Romano worked as a corporate sales intern with Monmouth Athletics. After graduating in May of 2015, he already accepted a job with the New Jersey Devils.

“I started in an entry-level sales associate program,” Romano said. “I was selling season tickets, partial plans, group outings, and suite rentals. It really helped me get an understanding of sales. I didn’t have a ton of sales experience going into this, but thankfully there’s a training program. I had the right characteristics that they were looking for that ultimately helped me to be successful in that role.”

Shortly after, he was promoted to the account executive team. ”In this role, I was more focused on our business clients. I had some success and became a senior account executive in which my entire focus was talking to CEOs, head of HRs, and marketing directors to help them bring clients out to games.”

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment is a conglomerate of brands in the sports industry, Romano explained, their two biggest being the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. The conglomerate also owns the Prudential Center, the Crystal Palace English Premier League team, and the Dignitas Esports franchise.

“Esports is the rapidly-growing in the sports industry,” Romano explained. “It’s taking over more and more market share each year. More people watched the League of Legends Finals than watched the Superbowl last year, and Esports continuously outpaced any major sporting event in terms of ratings. If that’s somewhere where you have a passion, there’s endless opportunities in Esports right now.”

When a college student hears sales, they normally think of films like The Wolf of Wall Street or the television show The Office, Romano said. “The fun you have in the office is just like what you see in The Office, with the pranks and messing with each other but just having a great time around friends everyday. What I love about sales is no two days are the same and you get to meet a lot of great people.”

Sales involves calling companies or individuals that have interest in the franchise you work for, Romano explained. “It’s a lot of social selling now on Linkedin. If you’re connected with anyone in the sports industry, you’ll see their posts. It’s a great tool to get in touch with business leaders and talk to them about how they can use the product. In a pre-covid world, it was tons of face-to-face, whether it was bringing clients out to the stadiums, going to their offices, or taking them to out golf. I’m excited for the warmer weather here to hopefully get back on the courses this summer and be able to bring clients out because that’s some of the best times you’ll have.”

IMAGE TAKEN from Empire Writes Back