Catching Up with Two Sport Management Alumni

February 20, 2024

Tia Buttino ’26, a sport management major and recruiting and administrative assistant in the Sport Management Department, chatted with two alumni to learn more about life in the world of sports.

Andy Giambroni
Andy Giambroni ’07
Director, CRM and Consumer Strategy, Pittsburgh Pirates

In what ways did the Fisher Sport Management program prepare you for life after graduation?

My time at Fisher prepared me for many professional and personal aspects of life. The Sport Management Department encouraged me to put myself out there by trying new experiences, which allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone. I owe this encouragement to the professors who were involved with the program when I was receiving my degree. The professors constantly challenged my viewpoints and expanded my knowledge regarding the sports industry. Finally, I learned the importance of networking and how to build genuine connections.

What are your daily responsibilities with your organization?

Overall, I’m responsible for impacting the success of the Pittsburgh Pirates marketing and sales team. I sit at a crossroads between both departments’ efforts to plan, develop, and execute effective sales and marketing campaigns. I oversee fan data from an activation standpoint, including creating targeted fan audiences that align with specific messaging that can increase our outreach efficiency. For example, using fan data, my team determines a group of fans that would be best to be served ads via paid social media. I work toward figuring out the most effective way to use our outreach and analyze the behavior, impact, and motivation of the fans. My team and I continually evaluate the impact and how we can improve and ultimately automate outreach processes that work.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The aspect that I enjoy most about my job is the freedom and flexibility I’m constantly striving to improve myself as a leader and person. I want to lead by example and set the tone for what I expect out of my fellow employees daily. Similarly,  I’m always looking for modern ways to enhance the technology we use at our organization. Over the past couple of years, we’ve incorporated artificial intelligence into our organization’s system, and I am excited to learn new technology capabilities that are going to greatly impact sales and marketing outreach efficiency industry-wide.

What advice would you give to students within the sport management program?

First and foremost, start networking now as it’s one of the most beneficial ways you round out what you’re learning while at Fisher. It’s important to be intentional with these networking opportunities; most industry professionals can determine when you are reaching out to get a job versus taking a willingness to learn and grow. Take hold of opportunities because you want to—not just because it’s mandatory. Go above and beyond; trying new things will allow you to figure out what you like and dislike while improving your résumé and gaining invaluable experience.  

Andrew Symans

Andrew Symans ’23
Partnership Marketing Coordinator, Rhode Island FC

In what ways did the Fisher Sport Management program prepare you for life after graduation?

The well-rounded curriculum introduced me to a diverse range of career fields and helped me narrow down what part of the sports industry I was interested in. I was also taught how to make professional connections, which was vital in helping me reach where I am today.

How did your time at Fisher help you secure your current role?

My time at Fisher helped me secure my current role by introducing me to many potential paths within the industry. For my practicum, I worked for the Albany Dutchmen, who are located in my hometown. I worked in many different departments, including ticketing, social media, graphic design, and game day operations. After that, I interned with the United Soccer League as a club service intern. This taught me more about ticketing and introduced me to corporate  partnerships, ultimately leading to my current position as the partnership marketing coordinator at Rhode Island FC.

What are your daily responsibilities with your organization?

My daily responsibilities consist of managing all partnership activations, actively tracking the progress of fulfillment, communicating with partners, and making sure the standards and expectations of our organization are being met. The most enjoyable parts of my job include when partners communicate how happy they are with the activations we have carried out for them, and experiencing the milestone events associated with our club’s upcoming inaugural season.

What advice would you give to students within the sport management program?

Gaining as much industry experience as you can during your college years is essential, so say yes to as many opportunities as you can. Remember that it’s just as important to figure out what you don’t like within the sports industry, as well as figuring out what you do like and see yourself doing in the future. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask  questions in class, ask questions at your practicums and internships, and ask questions of  people currently working in the industry.