Job Description

Head of Special Projects, Partnership Development - Chicago Fire FC; Chicago, IL


Background:

Chicago Fire FC is Chicago’s ambassador to the global sport of football. Founded in 1997, and competing in Major League Soccer, Chicago Fire won its first championship in its debut season, and was foundational in the careers of several current MLS coaches and players, as well as International and UEFA Champions League coaches. Named for the resilience the people of Chicago showed in building a great modern metropolis after the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, Chicago Fire FC proudly carries the identity of modern Chicago in bold fashion, and with a strong commitment to service to the communities of the city.
 
Under new ownership, the Club recently returned to Soldier Field for the 2020 season, as well as opening up new 50,000 sq ft offices in the heart of the city. With the addition of talented personnel throughout the technical and front office staff, the Club is laying the foundation for an audacious and ambitious vision that will transform the brand and the company in the coming years. 
 
This is a special opportunity to join a fast-moving, strategically-driven organization that rewards and incentivizes creative thinking and talent, and take your place driving one of the most exciting and fastest-growing sports in the world.

Summary:

The Club’s Partnerships Team is responsible for creating comprehensive soccer marketing platforms to reach the objectives and drive ROI for corporate partners. The Partnership Development team is responsible identifying, prospecting, proposing, and acquiring new partnerships and driving business development for the Club.  

The individual hired for this role will be expected to build and manage the strategic plan, development and sale of all special commercial projects. These projects may include, but are not limited to all facets of the jersey (First Team, Training Kit, Youth, Patch), training facility commercial plans and naming rights, etc. He/she will identify emerging sponsorship categories, build longstanding relationships across a variety of industries, generate sales leads through networking and research, conduct client presentations, and negotiate contracts to meet and exceed annual revenue goals.

Core Job Responsibilities: 

  • Commercial strategy of club special projects
    • Build strategic go-to-market plan for all jersey assets
      • Includes First Team Jersey, Training Kit, Youth Jersey, Patch
    • Build commercial plan for future training facility 
      • Includes complete commercial buildout and naming rights
    • See through special projects from ideation, plan, execution to final sale
      • Leverage targeted category support from larger Partnership Development team
    • Conduct necessary research in-market
    • Build and expand network amongst identified target brands and agencies
    • Oversee the development of all sales materials (decks, valuations, etc.) in alignment with Senior Director, Strategy and Partnership Intelligence team
    • Facilitate discussions cross-functionally to create alignment internally surrounding assets for special projects
    • Align with other department directors to maximize all corporate revenue streams (e.g. special projects, multicultural strategy, categories, Partnership Marketing)
    • Present strategic plan to Senior Director, Partnerships and Chicago Fire’s senior leadership team
  • Sell and develop new corporate partnerships
    • Identify emerging sponsorship categories, build longstanding relationships across a variety of industries
      • Regularly identify and pursue opportunities that deliver mutual growth for the prospective partner and the Fire organization
      • Exhibit a strong understanding of industry trends and competitive landscapes to enable effective position of partnership opportunities
    • Focus on assigned partnership categories 
    • Generate sales leads through networking and research
      • Oversight of the club’s agency relationships and continued relationship management in support of special project initiatives
      • Interpret data analytics for sales presentations; leverage this information for partner proposals and pitches
      • Regularly conduct cold calls to secure appointments, creating opportunities to sell to new prospects among local and national companies
    • Conduct client presentations
      • Build and develop specific activation concepts for each prospect to align with brand objectives 
    • Negotiate contracts to meet and exceed annual revenue goals 
  • Coordinate any sponsor-related projects as assigned by Senior Director, Partnerships 
Qualifications: 
  • Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred 
  • Minimum 7-10 years relevant work, industry, and partnership development experience
  • Sales experience and proven ability to develop new business
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Willingness to learn in a fast-paced environment 
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including but not limited to evenings, weekends and holidays 
  • Strong computer proficiency – MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) 

To apply for this job, send an email to info@marqueesearch.com. Please include the job title in your cover letter.