Here is the latest stop-by done by Columbia alum Tanner Simkins. This one os with a fellow program alum, Jim McCloud at MLB Advanced Media. Tanner take a few minutes with Jim to talk about the biz of BAM.
Jim McCloud serves as the Vice President of Sponsorship Sales MLB Advanced Media. We sat down with Jim for a discussion on digital, landscape trends, and more. (A detailed biography of Jim McCloud is provided after the Q&A)
Full Court Press: For those who may be unfamiliar, tell us about you and your work with MLBAM?
Jim McCloud: I’m the Vice President, Sponsorship Sales at MLB.com. I oversee the Midwest region selling nationally across MLB.com and all 30 club sites. I also manage the relationships with the following clubs from a digital sales perspective the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, and Houston Astros.
FCP: What’s the largest obstacle when it comes to digital sales?
JM: The largest obstacle is the changing landscape of digital media. The product we sell is a compelling product and we’re an innovative company which certainly makes my job easier. However, with the shift in eye balls to mobile and people consuming our content in so many places we need to make sure that we are wherever the fan is whether that be on MLB.com, in our At Bat App, on social media, etc. So we constantly need to monitor where the eyeballs are and make sure our strategy aligns with the consumption patterns of our fans. What works today might not work tomorrow.
FCP: Describe your leadership style
JM: I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great mentors who have taught me a lot about leadership and grew up playing sports through college. So for me it’s important to have a team environment, where everyone trusts one another and pushes each other to get better. Good thing is I’ve been at MLB.com for five years and have held numerous positions so while I’m hands on, I also give my team the ability and freedom to make decisions and am there to support them as they work through certain situations and obstacles that arise. Since I’ve faced many of their challenges during my time at BAM I’m able to help work through certain issues.
FCP: What are some industry trends or developments that you are closely following?
JM: Mobile continues to dominate the digital landscape as it’s become the first screen for users. However, no one has truly figured out the best way to monetize the medium given the limited amount of space, so we’ve been working to develop different ways to create value for our partners. It will also be interesting to follow the launch of iBeacons in MLB stadiums this year as it’s another new technology that we will be experimenting with.
FCP: Who is someone you learned the most from? What did they teach you?
JM: Bob Bowman is someone who has been a great mentor to me. He’s been instrumental in my development and someone who has led by example. He’s truly an innovator and what he’s been able to build at MLB.com speaks for itself. Bob has challenged me since the day I stepped foot into BAM and has pushed me to think outside the box and has taught me to always move forward and innovate. I’ll forever be grateful to him for the amount of time he’s invested in me and the opportunities he’s provided me.
FCP: What is your biggest regret?
JM: There are no real regrets thus far in my career as I’ve worked for two great companies in CBS Sports and MLB.com. The mistakes I’ve made have all contributed to the progression of my career and for that I don’t regret anything.
FCP: If you go back, what would you tell you?
JM: If I could go back, I would tell myself to enjoy the moments from college and the time I spent with my teammates playing baseball. Those are moments you take for granted and as you move on into the professional world and you have more personal and professional commitments, you think back to some of those days. You don’t realize how much fun those days were and how valuable they were to shaping who you are.
FCP: What was the last book you read?
JM: Seal Team 6
FCP: Any tips for aspiring sports professionals who may be reading this?
JM: The biggest question is how do you plan to differentiate yourself from others? Sports is a competitive field that many people want to work in and it’s those individuals that create their own luck that are the ones that break in and succeed. Networking, internships, and putting yourself in positions to display your skills, in my opinion are keys to getting an opportunity, then once your foot is in the door the rest is up to you. The hardest part is breaking in so it’s those individuals that are resourceful and strategic that find a way in and succeed.
MLBAM (MLB Advanced Media) is a full service solutions provider delivering world-class digital experiences for over ten years and distributing content through all forms of interactive media. Our digital leadership and capabilities are a direct result of an appreciation for designing dynamic functionality for web, mobile applications, and connected devices while integrating live and on-demand multimedia, providing valuable products for millions of fans around the globe.