Photo Credit :http://iowahawkeyedecals.com/item_405/Iowa-Hawkeyes–Multicolored-Tigerhawk-vinyl-decal.htm
Michael Murtagh and I connected in December of 2016 through the #YPSportsChat. I was extremely happy last week when I saw he accepted the offer of becoming the Assistant Director of Marketing for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Nike said it best, “Greatness is earned, never awarded.” I know how hard Mike works, and he deserves this opportunity.
I played high school football with Ricky Stanzi. Ricky was a 3 year starter (Quarterback) for the Iowa football team. He helped them win the Orange Bowl in 2010, so I am somewhat familiar with Iowa Athletics. There are no professional sports teams in the state, which creates a fun atmosphere. The fans are passionate, supporting all of the school’s teams.
Back in January, Mike was the Assistant Director of Marketing at Arkansas State University. He and I spoke about his plans for 2017, including his motto, “Do, Fail, Repeat.” It was a great conversation, and we have stayed in touch.
My goal in re-connecting with Mike, was to provide value and insight regarding job transition for those who work in college athletics and sports business. Change is never easy, but if you learn from those who have gone before you, it can be a positive experience.
In volume 2 with Mike we discuss. . .
- Why Iowa?
- Things he will take with him to his next job
- First step in a new job
Nick Cipkus: What made the Iowa job appealing?
Michael Murtagh: I fell in love with college sports during my time at IU. Once I started working in college athletics, I knew my goal was to work in the B1G. As I started to research the University of Iowa, I became more and more fascinated about the possibility of working there. Once I met with the staff, toured campus and drove around the city, the University of Iowa was a perfect fit. The college checked all my boxes and the city is very family oriented. Family is everything to me so this played a huge part in my decision.
Nick Cipkus: What are 2 things You learned from my previous job you will use in your new role?
Michael Murtagh: In marketing, part of our job is to tell a story. My boss, Dani Smith, has been instrumental is showing me proper staging when it comes to on court/field presentations. Another valuable lesson I learned is to pay attention to every detail when it comes to photoshoots. Again, we are telling a story about our brand so we must make sure we are paying attention to every detail. It is our job to make sure our student athletes look the part when they are being photographed. For example, making sure earrings are out, bracelets are off and making sure the student-athletes are smiling if that is a requirement.
Nick Cipkus: What is the first thing you feel you need to do as you enter a new company or organization?
Michael Murtagh: The most important thing to me when coming to a new company or organization is to meet the people you will be working with. In my case, it’s important to meet the leaders of the Student Activities Board, Student Government Association, Student Fan Group, Rec Department, Residence Life Coordinator and any other department I will be working closely with. To be successful in providing an entertaining and engaging in-game atmosphere, it takes teamwork. Building great relationships with departments across campus helps make this a reality.
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