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Words of WISdom from Jessie Giordano (MSA '10)

Saturday, January 27 2018 12:00am

Jessie Giordano (MSA '10), VP of global sports & entertainment consulting at GMR Marketing, shares her experience working at Super Bowl 50, the Rio Olympics, 2010 FIFA World Cup and more

                                                                   Jessie Giordano

Jessie Giordano (MSA '10)
VP, Global Sports & Entertainment Consulting at GMR Marketing

How do you approach developing a strategy for major events, such as Super Bowl 50 and the Rio Olympics?

Regardless of the event, it starts with knowing the audience. Are we talking to consumers or business guests? Is the audience global or domestic? These nuances are really important as we start to develop and design the program strategy. We use data to understand the audience and their mindset (i.e., What do they need? What do they want?). Based on that, we start to form some actionable insights. Next, we start to look at the client's unique objectives. What are the things they're trying to achieve for the pre-program, onsite, and post-program? What's the story they're trying to tell? Once we have those two building blocks, the audience and the client, then our work really begins. For major events, such as the World Cup, Olympics, or the Super Bowl, we start planning at least two years out to ensure we have a command for the local market and how to pair it with global expertise. This is critical to the execution of the event. 

How have your previous work experiences helped you get to where you are today?

The key for me is, over the course of my 11-year career with the agency, I've really continued to build upon my foundation at every stage. I started in event management, and then moved to business development followed by property sales. Now, my focus is consulting and account leadership. What makes me really proud to look back on it is every step has informed the next. I'm better at consulting because I've lived on the operations side. I know what the teams on the ground are experiencing, so when I'm putting forth recommendations for our clients I know I'm setting my teammates up to execute a successful program. At each stage of my career, the experience I gained has expanded my perspective of the industry. The other benefit from my previous experience is I've gotten to work on a lot of teams and with a lot of different types of clients. I'm a huge believer in diversity of thought leading to better output. All of the exposure I've had has allowed me to think and act differently and bring better output to our team.

What did you learn from your experience on the NSF Case Cup Team?

During Case Cup, there's a finite amount of time to understand a complex problem, come up with an idea, and sell it. The things I learned were the ability to critically look at a problem and unpack not just the surface, but all of the other layers beneath it. I think a good idea can come from anyone and anywhere. We went through multiple rounds of ideation; it was a culmination of everyone layering on. Lastly, I learned about the importance of selling an idea. That's probably where we came up short. We solved the problem with a good idea, but didn't sell it as much as we could have. The ability to think through how to present and sell it is such a critical step. If you fall short on that, you've missed the boat completely.

What has been the highlight of your professional career?

I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to experience some amazing things. But, the 2010 FIFA World Cup stands out for two reasons. First, it's where I met my husband. Because of this, it will always be an important highlight of my career. Second, it was incredible to see the cultures come together over the course of the event. More so than a singular event would be because of all the people I've met along the way. You don't work in such a fast-paced environment day in and day out if you don't love the people you work with. Both those friends and colleagues I've fostered relationships with over the years and those I've met while working events have impacted who I am and how I think about all aspects of my life.

How has the OHIO network affected your career after graduation?

The power of the network is second to none. It’s reassuring to know that if I need intel on a particular industry or company, there's someone from OHIO that I can start with and have no qualms about reaching out. More broadly, the people that have come out of OHIO are really passionate for the industry. That's something you can't teach. Not only did it reinvigorate that passion in me, but when I’m looking to grow my team it's something I think about. If I'm not hiring an OHIO alumni, I try to replicate that passion on my team because I think it's really important.