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. Call it love at first sight but instantly, that signaled to me this organization takes its workplace environment seriously — a welcome change in a monotonous corporate world.
Moreover, if there’s one lesson I’ve learned the hard way over my professional career, it’s that cultural fit matters. Big time. When you feel at odds with your work place’s attitudes and beliefs, personal engagement suffers. Perhaps not consciously, but definitely subconsciously.
Which leads me to DraftKings’ core values. Let me tell you, I’m absolutely convinced I personify each one. 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.
Show World Cup shit
Everything I do, I put my full personality into it. And I mean everything.
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.
Honestly, 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 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, there’s nothing that I’m more proud of than the teams I’ve not only been a part of, but lead in many ways. It’s an incredibly diverse bunch — both in the group make up 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.
- 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.
- 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 students (most of which 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 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 — customer service, 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 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, hiring a designer to custom-make a logo and graphics, pouring thousands of words of prose, shooting and editing a video, and hiding “Easter egg” QR codes throughout the site for bonus content? And did I mention that “DraftKings and Chill” sweater?
All THAT just to get a job. Oh, wait, scratch that, just to get THE job. Seriously. I wouldn’t have undertaken that hour-intensive workload for 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 (link to blog) — 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 time I market to them.