Miss alumnus Chris Marciani's fast track to success has led him
to a place where speed is the name of the game.
29, a 1995 graduate, recently went to work in NASCAR's corporate
marketing department. His focus is on selling the sport to corporate
America, something he is able to accomplish by conveying his own
excitement about the high-octane product.
hard not to get up and go when your product races at 200 miles per
hour, is the largest spectator sport in America and has TV ratings
second only to the NFL," Marciani said.
Hattiesburg native's rise through the sports marketing ranks has
been almost as impressive as the rapid and widespread growth NASCAR
itself has enjoyed. Right after graduation, Marciani took a position
with The Collegiate Licensing Company, which manages the licensing
programs of more than 100 colleges and universities.
first job," Marciani said. "I learned the unique business
of licensing, and also got to catch a Final Four or two and a couple
of major bowl games."
came a stint with a company called SME, where Marciani worked on
projects helping sports entities "re-brand" themselves.
Among his clients were Conference USA, DePaul University, the Nokia
Sugar Bowl, Tulane University and Elon College. He eventually became
a director with the company and moved on to work with more professional
of these was the Arena Football League, which soon offered Marciani
his third job.
spent two years with the AFL office," Marciani said, "and
got to watch an emerging sports property grow into a network TV
sport from behind the scenes."
there Marciani went to NASCAR, where he now finds himself calling
on Fortune 500 companies to tout the benefits of tapping into racing's
loyal and passionate fan base.
we get a company interested in partnering with our sport, we help
them build a strategy that meets their marketing objectives,"
Marciani said. "That could include an official status with
the sport, a team-driver relationship or other possibilities.
role is to bring a company through the sales process and get them
integrated into the sport. After that, I'm off to catch the next
catching those fish, Marciani has some alluring bait at his disposal,
as NASCAR fans can be found everywhere.
out of every three Americans is a fan," Marciani said.
out of NASCAR's corporate office in New York, Marciani is doing
his part to make that ratio ever more favorable. As with all aspects
of racing, it's all about drive. But Marciani differs from NASCAR's
on-the-track representatives in at least one crucial way. On a career
path built for speed, he's yet to find himself running in circles.