'Women in Sports' Profile: Nike's Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson manages Nike marketing for all digital banners in the Foot Locker family.
Lauren Anderson manages Nike marketing for all digital banners in the Foot Locker family.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fourth in a series 

The second annual “Women in Sports” career seminar, presented by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, will be held Saturday, Jan. 24 in Portland, Ore.

Designed for college and high school females interested in pursuing sports-related careers, the seminar will take place in the Georgia Pacific Room at Memorial Coliseum.

The event will feature panelists from a broad cross-section of occupational paths, including coaching, administration, business, marketing, media, media relations, NCAA compliance, sports medicine, ticket sales, and officiating. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with -- and seek career advice from -- a slate of experienced sports professionals in a round-table format. 

Below is a profile on a panelist who will be featured at this year's event.

Lauren Anderson
Nike Digital Brand Director Foot Locker, Inc.

Colleges attended:

  • Dartmouth College '93 (played DI lacrosse)
  • Michigan State University '95 MA
  • University of Oregon ’99 (Warsaw Sports Business program)

College majors:

  • Geography with government minor (Dartmouth)
  • MA in geography (cartography & GIS) from Michigan State
  • MBA from University of Oregon

Current position: Nike Digital Brand Director, Footlocker, Inc,

Years in current position: 1

Primary job responsibilities: Manage Nike marketing for all digital banners in the Foot Locker, Inc., family. This includes all digital strategy for categories and concepts for Foot Locker/House of Hoops (and Foot Locker Canada); Footaction (concept to be released at end of January); Kids Foot Locker/Nike Flyzone; Lady Foot Locker; six:02 Champs Sports/Nike Yardline. In my spare time, I coach lacrosse at Lake Oswego High School.

Things I enjoy most about my job: It’s dynamic and ever-changing. I get to work with great people in a fast moving environment, and I’m surrounded by people who are smart, driven and passionate about what they do.

First job in the sports industry: Sales and marketing for a minor league hockey team in Madison, Wis. I was one of five on staff. Yup, game day functions, community outreach and, yes, mascot duties, too!

Previous jobs in the sports industry:

  • Sports Marketing for General Motors (2 years) with GMR*Works
  • Adidas -- 13 years in various positions (product marketing, ran events group, responsible for partner marketing and NA B2B sales)

A key mentor who helped me on my career path: Cindy Trames, who was head of kids footwear when I interned at Nike during my MBA.

Most influential person in my early professional development (and why): Jim Warsaw. He was the reason I came to U of O. His vision and passion for sports business helped me better understand what I wanted from my career, and what I needed to do to get there. Jim stressed that networking, knowing people for who they are (vs. what they can do for you) and honesty will help lead you to success. He was able build a program where the foundation was his passion for sports.

How I got involved in my professional career: Always loved sports but working for the minor league team was really supposed to be a stop gap while looking for a "real job" with my geography degree. I realized that I was a lot more passionate about working in the business of sports -- where the industry was really just about to take off -- than making maps!

Biggest hurdle I overcame breaking into the sports industry: There are always a lot of applicants for positions, so breaking out of the clutter for entry level jobs was tough, but the toughest thing was coming out with an MBA in sports business and having to overcome the perception from employers that I wasn't willing to work hard and work my way up, and that they thought I thought I was smarter than them. The MBA wasn’t a big help to hiring as it is in most industries.

Key attributes that have helped shape my career path: Hard work, passion, honesty, being direct, not wasting others’ time, and multitasking.

Knowing what I know now, the one thing I would do differently in college to help me on my career path: More internships.

Best advice I’d give to a young female wanting to work in sports: Know it all, but don't be a know it all. (same advice I would give everyone). And find strong mentors.

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)? I' d love another day with Jim Warsaw [founder of the University of Oregon's sports marketing center]. His time was too short, and I could have learned a ton more from him . Plus, I have some classic stories I know he would LOVE!

Favorite sports teams

  • Pros: New England Patriots, Boston Bruins,  Boston Red Sox
  • College: Michigan State (football, basketball and hockey) and Ducks football

Favorite athlete: Cam Neely, Boston Bruins (#8)

Most memorable sports-related moment: Michigan State winning the Final Four in Indy in 2000. Not only was I an alum, but they were on of my schools so I had been a part of the season as a sponsor the whole journey.