Feb. 20, 2016
SBC was thrilled to have current University of Wisconsin-Madison lecturer Doak Geiger come and speak to the club about both his decorated history in the world of corporate marketing and promotions and his upcoming sports marketing class here at the Wisconsin School of Business.
Geiger’s father named him after Heisman Trophy winner and Detroit Lions running back Doak Walker. Geiger attended Illinois State University and graduated with a B.S. in Organization and Management in 1977. At ISU, Geiger was part of the sports business club as well as a member of the swimming team.
Geiger began his professional career with a company called Borg Warner Automotive. During his five years with the company, Geiger was promoted to a position Investor Relations to handle grievance procedures, contractual negotiations and administration.
In 1982, Geiger took a marketing position with Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, where he specialized in sports marketing and promotions, event marketing, and new products with the Miller brand. He also returned to the classroom as a graduate student at Syracuse University (1982 – 1984), and earned an MBA in Organization and Management from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
During his experience with MillerCoors, Geiger worked with some of the biggest names in the entire sports industry, such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, NASCAR, USA Olympics, Special Olympics and countless more. After 12 years with Miller, Geiger left the brewing giant to found his own marketing company, Geiger & Associates Strategic Marketing, LLC in 1994, and continues to serve as the principal marketing consultant today.
In 1999, Geiger joined the world of academia as an adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, teaching various sales and marketing classes focused on sporting events and promotions. In the fall of 2016, Geiger became a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business as an adjunct lecturer for Marketing 415. He will also head one of UW-Madison’s first official sports marketing classes in school history, which will be introduced during the summer 2017 semester.
For SBC members actively seeking employment or internships in the sports industry, especially sports marketing opportunities, Geiger had this to say:
- “Sports is a really tight network. It’s a relationship business.”
- “If you want to succeed, you can’t be fan, and that’s not easy for a lot of people.”
- “You have to be able to get along with a lot of different people and different walks of life.”
- “Supply and demand in the sports industry means low number of jobs, but a ton of people chasing them. You’re not going to make as much money in sports business marketing (barring minimum exceptions at the corporate level) as you would in other fields. Although you may not make as much money, you may have more fun.”
- “Long hours, sometimes unwanted travel. For example, I was gone 35 straight weekends working on the Rusty Wallace farewell tour. We’d start at the track at 6 a.m., we’d leave at 7 p.m.”
- “Volunteer and network like crazy. Use resources such as TeamWorkOnline or Big Shoes Network. Introduce yourself to guest speakers in class who have experience in the sports industry.”
- “Do what you love. Life is too short to hate what you’re doing. Find what you love to do and do it. Sometimes you don’t get what you want straight out of the gate in sports, but if you can see a way to get where you want, you never know what’s going to happen.”
Thank you to Doak Geiger for making the time to share with our club and teach us about the ins and outs of the corporate marketing and sports marketing business!
Learn more about Doak Geiger
Learn more about Geiger & Associates, LLC
Follow Doak Geiger on Twitter @DoakGeiger