By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Sergio Xiques, Manager of Brand Impact and Promotions for the Miami Dolphins. He is an alumnus of the University of Miami where he received his Bachelor's degree in Sports Administration. He was gracious enough to offer up his insight on how to succeed working for an NFL franchise and why you must treat everyday as an interview.
What previous positions did you hold prior to your current position and how did they help you get to where you are today?
My first position was as a support staff member for the Super Bowl host committee and then I moved over to Volunteer Coordinator for the Super Bowl host committee, which kind of built into everything. Working in that position allowed me to network and see what goes into sports. The person I worked with at the time who is still my mentor today was with me as we went from event management to game days, Pro Bowls and it gave me a chance to see everything that goes into sports from every level from Marketing to management and everything in between.
The Dolphins saw what we were doing with the Super Bowl host committee and liked what they saw. We were doing a lot of things that, at the time, other teams weren’t doing. They reached out to my boss and mentor about starting the first ever volunteer program in the NFL and she, in turn, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be a part of it.
She and I went to work for the Dolphins on the volunteer side of things and did that for a year and a half.
After building a rapport with our senior Vice President, he asked me to get into marketing so I became the Marketing Coordinator for about a year.
I was challenged to see what we were doing wrong. We didn’t have a good grass roots marketing plan so I got involved with the promotions and events side of things.
About 6 months ago, I became the Manager of Brand Impact and Promotions which is basically everything I have done wrapped into one.
What is a normal day like for you as the Manager of Brand Impact and Promotion for the Miami Dolphins? What do you handle and what are some day-to-day challenges?
There is no average day, which is exciting. Every email I receive can change my day drastically. I have a procedure where I have 48 hours to respond to emails, it was something that I developed for myself and it has stuck with me ever since. Because of that, my days normally start off with me responding to emails. From there, every day is different. I can go from handling merchandise all day to planning the next event, to planning game day. I basically touch every aspect.
What is your favorite part about working in the promotions side of sports?
I love that I’m always doing something different. It never gets old. It never gets stale. It is challenging in the sense that there’s always a new task coming tomorrow because everyday I wake up not knowing what to expect and that’s exciting.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Staying humble and working hard and take every opportunity that is given to you. Everyday is an interview and you have to work hard. It’s all about what have you done for me lately and what can you bring to the table. Stay motivated because you never know what day may actually be an interview.
If you were going to hire someone today, what would the ideal candidate possess to be able to succeed in the field of promotions?
I want someone who is hardworking and someone I can trust. We are all understaffed so I want someone who will have my back when things get tough. I want somebody who I don’t have to micromanage who I can tell them what to do and they will go do it. If all of us work as one team, we are all going to be successful. I can train anyone to do something, but I want someone who will work hard when no one is watching and that’s the person I want. You have to have a passion for sports, a passion for wanting to work and wanting to move up.
When looking at a resume for potential candidates for an internship or paid position, what is one thing that in your eyes would make someone stick out from the rest?
I want to see what they are doing and if there is anytime where they weren’t doing anything. There’s no excuse for your resume to say that you’re just going to school. Everybody brings something different to the table. I want to see someone who is willing to do more. Everybody has time, you just have to find a way to use it in a positive manner.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
There’s a few “pinch me” moments. Growing up a Dolphins fan I was so proud to be part of putting together the first ever Dan Marino Autism Walk. At one point, Dan Marino turned to me and recognized me for my hard work and introduced me to his wife and we took a picture. It was a great feeling knowing my idol was recognizing me for my hard work. It was definitely rewarding.
Early on did you ever envision yourself being where you are today? Why or why not?
I did not. I knew I wanted to work in sports and I knew I had a passion for sports but I didn’t know where I wanted to be. I took the approach of going through doors as they opened and seeing where it took me. Along the way, I found a stronger passion for certain things. I didn’t have a passion for just one single thing. It took me some time and experiences to find what I was really passionate about. If I would have focused on one thing from the get go and closed doors, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. As long as you’re moving forward in a positive way, you’ll be fine. Why say no?