John Vidalin, a Vice President with the Houston Texans, had breakfast with the Rice University Sport Business Alliance (RUSBA) this morning where he shared background about his job in these tough economic times.
Vidalin oversees the team’s corporate partnerships and sales of all related properties, team promotional rights and media. Vidalin is also responsible for directing the Texans gameday experience, HoustonTexans.com, advertising, in-game productions, TORO, the Houston Texans Cheerleaders and team merchandise.
“We work in a high-profile business and there is an emotional connection and passion with our fans that makes our industry so much different than others,” Vidalin said. “You can’t control what people think of the product on the field but you can help control their overall experience.”
The Texans are one of the top five revenue-producing sports franchises in the world and have sold out every home game in the team’s seven-year existence. However, even a franchise this successful can have roadblocks in its way. Within the past year, beer companies have merged, existing sponsors have gone bankrupt, and Hurricane Ike literally took part of the roof off of Reliant Stadium. With all of these hurdles, it would be easy for Vidalin to hang his head.
“Your attitude will define your results,” Vidalin told the group.
In an era when blue-chip companies like Nike, Disney, the NFL, and the United States Olympic Committee and laying off employees, landing a job in the sports industry is tough, but not impossible.
“To work in sports, it used to be who you know,” Vidalin said. “Now it is not who you know but who have you impressed.”