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Masterclass Series Hosts NFL’s VP of Social and Influencer Marketing as Guest

Miabella Espaillat
Stillman News Editor

The marketing club of Seton Hall University and Career Center held a distinguished guest with the help of professor Javier Farfan. The distinguished guest was Ian Trombetta, the Senior Vice President of Social & Influence Marketing for the National Football League (NFL). He’s had a long history of working for famous companies and brands. A handful of companies and brands he’s worked for that are well known are Red Bull, Activision, and even a Taco Bell campaign once. He worked for Red Bull initially as a Field Marketing Manager from 2003 to 2007 year. Then Trombetta returned to Red Bull as their Head of Brand Marketing for 4 years, from 2010 to 2015 transferring to Activision soon after. In Activision, a gaming company, he was their Global Vice President of Consumer Marketing for 3 years until 2019. He was soon hired as what he is now, working vigorously for the NFL.

NFL logo (Photo courtesy of the NFL)

During the meeting, Ian Trombetta was introduced as being heavily involved, based, and activism in the community. His community-powered work ethic and focus have only encouraged and flourished his work. Ian Trombetta takes an analysis view and look towards the NFL’s next generation of fans. Ian Trombetta had recognized the NFL’s 8-year decline of engagement for people under 24 years old. The foundation of the way the fandom was built was changing. However, it didn’t mean that group couldn’t be fans. Ian Trombetta tackled these issues in his work and let fellow Seton Hall students on how.

Ian Trombetta tackled these issues for the NFL by humanizing the players for the fans’ level. He helped spread the players’ stories to make them more approachable and extended it to the legends. He created programs, stories, and utilized different social media platforms to connect players to the people. He went beyond simply the fans and reeled in people who could follow their stories. There is no lifestyle outside of the NFL being pushed besides wins and losses. The more the fans know a player as a person, actually leads people to buy products and engage.

Ian Trombetta emphasized the importance of social media and the team that’s behind the screens. He discussed how social media teams consisting of 1 or 2 people are over. There are fully staffed teams with experts and people dedicated to specific social media platforms everywhere. Within social media experts, brand building and storytelling emerge. The exponentially growing rates for fashion, music and gaming are the targeted influencers now to bring in people. One example of an influencer working incredibly well for the NFL was Emily Zugay. Her brand and story surrounding changing companies/brands logos into her own comedic creation. The NFL got her to create not only a new logo for them but also the Detroit Lions. She took the Detroit Lions to the Detroit Lines, selling out merch and marketing for the NFL effectively. He had figured out how to drive more revenue through the eyes of doing it sensibly without turning off young people. He creates seamless and authentic content.

Ian Trombetta at the Content Marketing Summit 2014 (Photo courtesy of Business2Community)

Ian Trombetta gave advice to aspiring business students towards the end. He advised students to follow their passion and go after the areas they feel connected to. Furthering, he advised working for companies a student loves and taking steps to advance your career without the focus on money at first. A student needs to put out their best work instead and show their hunger, their drive. He acknowledges there’s a difference between reality from today and when he grew up. Now, the working field has become more specialized yet he encouraged us to not forget discounting the need to understand the bigger picture. The need to build an internal network and create good relationships with other departments to improve one’s work. Another key component is being able to navigate LinkedIn and practice content creation.

The University’s coordinated effort with well-respected Professor Farfan, Marketing Club, and Career Center brought forth this amazing opportunity. The meeting only goes to represent the possibilities of learning and the care the staff has for its students to bring such a respected guest.


Contact Miabella at espailmi@shu.edu

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