Outside of my innate interest in online gaming, it was the DraftKings work culture that acted as a gravitational pull for me in creating this entire campaign. Mirroring my own personality to a tee, I just knew deep down that I had to be a part of that culture, by any means necessary.
I first got a whiff of the culture while interviewing for a growth marketing role in July. I’ve gone through dozens upon dozens of job interviews over the past three years and I kid you not, the DraftKings one was the first that incorporated multiple culture-centric questions. Instantly, that signaled to me this organization takes its workplace environment seriously — a welcome change in a monotonous corporate world.
Which leads me to DraftKings’ core values. Let me tell you, I’m absolutely convinced I personify each value. Allow me to explain how:
Admittedly, this is a value I’ve grown into. In my most natural state, I’m a creative person that is at the whims of my ever-evolving emotions. But over time and with consistent practice, I’ve developed a mind for data and strategic thinking.
This shift started taking place in graduate school at the University of Central Florida. There, I was part of the DeVos Sport Business Management and MBA program. Coming from a journalism background, this was a complete 180-degree turn. Believe me, I was not at all prepared for MBA-level finance and strategy courses upon entering the program.
Fast-forward to today, I let metrics — not my own feelings — drive my marketing approach. I care more about generating results (e.g. sales, sign-ups, etc.) than proving my own preconceived notions right. Outcomes over egos, as I like to say.
For further reference, check out the metrics I organized after completing a Women’s World Cup campaign in 2019. Win or lose, I’m always self-analyzing myself and my work to see how I can take it up a notch next time out.
No one in the world is going to beat you at being you” — Naval Ravikant
Inject the above line into my veins. The 13-word quote is an absolute favorite of mine and one I take to heart seriously. Everything I do, I put my full personality into it. And I mean everything. That’s evident throughout this entire #HireEric marketing campaign, which is why I’ll keep this paragraph so short. Read this for a closer glimpse into me outside of work.
BIAS FOR ACTION
I’ve already been rejected multiple times by DraftKings — most in the initial application stage and another instance after two interviews. Did I sulk? Welp, for five minutes, I sure did. But after that? I picked myself up and took action. In fact, it’s that rejection that led to the creation of this very fine site you’re currently reading. I had to do dig deep down inside and find an unconventional method to grab your attention.
Honestly, even before DraftKings, you don’t have the trajectory I’ve had without a bias for action and appetite for risk-taking. My career journey has included stops in six different cities, polar-opposite educational degrees, and working in a multitude of different industries. A role with DraftKings would only continue that trend.
Throughout my life, my best teacher has been trial and error, bar none. Through pure action-taking, I’ve learned to adjust my inputs until I get the output I’m seeking. That approach has gotten me this far and there’s no way I’m going away from that now.
When I reflect on my short career up to this point, I get extremely prideful thinking about the teams I’ve not only been a part of but lead in many ways. Those groups are an incredibly diverse bunch — both in the group makeup and goals. Here’s a sample size:
- For back-to-back years, I served as the chapter president of my collegiate fraternity, Nu Alpha Kappa. When I took reigns of the chapter, we were dead last in GPA among Greeks on campus. After my first semester, we shot up to number one — a worst-to-first turnaround that’s one of my finer accomplishments as a leader.
- My first job out of undergrad thrust me into a project manager role for a start-up that developed websites and mobile apps. All this development was outsourced to teams in Pakistan and India. Despite a 12-hour-or-so time difference and language barrier, I worked hand-in-hand with these developers to execute projects on-time and on-budget.
- Upward Bound is a federally-funded college preparatory program for “at-risk” high schoolers. I had the distinct privilege of being the program’s residential director for a five-week summer academy. During this time, I oversaw 88 high school students (many of whom were living away from home for the first time ever) and 10 residential advisers during a five-week program. Not an easy endeavor as is, little less for someone that had ZERO residential managerial experience beforehand. Yep, that someone was me.
- In graduate school, my cohort organized a charity run honoring the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. We built the event from scratch, but it was on me to market the first-time event online and drive registration.
- My current role at Eastbay allows me to work cross-functionally with a slew of stakeholders. Of course, I’m working hand-in-hand with colleagues in every department — public relations, purchasing, marketing (CRM, print, social, etc.), and even legal. Not only that, but I’m also collabing with our partners from the likes of Nike, adidas, Puma, New Balance, and outside marketing agencies.
Between the five groups alone, you get a mish-mash of ages, ethnicities, personalities, and work styles. Regardless, I’ve had successes working and leading every team. Why? Because I don’t have just one leadership style. Instead, I adapt to each group or person I collaborate with.
Oh, you want commitment?
How about registering an aptly-named domain, building a website from scratch, having a custom logo made, pouring thousands of words of prose, building a three-person team of creatives, and setting up a toll-free phone number?
ALL THAT just to get a job. Oh, wait, scratch that, all that just to get THE job. Seriously. I wouldn’t have undertaken that hour-intensive workload (and a costly one, too) for just any organization — only the one I’m truly committed to being a part of.
Look, life is too short to settle. You absolutely have to go after the things you desperately want. I believe that down to my core and I hope this entire campaign is a reflection of that.
Understanding your customer in and out is at the crux of every successful marketing strategy — more so than any piece of creative or channel tactic.
As a bettor myself — with the battle scars to prove it — there’s a natural connection I already have with current and future DraftKings customers. Akin to them, I know the gut-punching agony of losing a parlay on the final leg and the absolute highs of hitting a royal flush on poker. Trust me when I say this, I’ll be channeling each of those first-hand experiences every single time I’m communicating with them.
I said it before, but it bears repeating once again: I embody each of DraftKings’ core values. Being a piece of an organization that overlaps so closely with my own core beliefs would be a win-win all around.