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  • Writer's pictureDan Rossetti


Updated: Sep 26, 2023


The city of Detroit welcomed the Lions in 1934. Since then, the organization has become one of the most recognizable and stable franchises in sports. The Lions dominated the NFL in the 1950s with four division titles and three league championships. Under head coach Buddy Parker, the team won back‐to‐back world crowns in 1952 and 1953, defeating Cleveland on both occasions. Under the guidance of William Clay Ford and the Ford Family, the Lions have produced their fair share of Notable Hall of Famers including: Doak Walker, Dutch Clark, Bill Dudley, Alex Wojciechowicz, Dick "Night Train" Lane, Charlie Sanders, and Lem Barney. In the decade of the 90’s, the Lions caught lightning in a bottle with the drafting of running back Barry Sanders. Sanders became arguably one of the best running backs to ever play the game. Since their inception, the Lions play host to one of the best traditions in sports, the Annual Thanksgiving Day game. The Lions are currently led by Sheila Ford Hamp.

On April 1 2002, Detroit opened the team's $35.5 million headquarters and training facility in Allen Park. That move was followed by the Lions' first game ever at Ford Field, the $500 million downtown stadium. The home of the Detroit Lions is comprised of approximately 1.85 million square feet with four levels of suites, a level of club seating, and a ground level designated for restaurants, concessions and retail. The unique design incorporates the old Hudson’s warehouse (established in the 1920’s) as part of the industry‐leading sports and entertainment development which includes banquet facilities, restaurants, office space, retail services, food courts, lounge areas and all private suites. Ford Field plays host to over 120 event days and holds over 65,000 in attendance.


The Sr. Director of Corporate Partnership Sales will be responsible for sales interactions and strategies to acquire, develop, and retain corporate sponsors, advertisers, and partners to generate new and sustain existing revenue streams that support the Detroit Lions’ business objectives. The candidate will work with various departments to build assets and programs with an analytical approach to demonstrate the value proposition of a partnership. This role will implement sales presentations to prospects to foster new business acquisition, and revenue optimization objectives. The position will identify new opportunities to strengthen and ensure sustainable growth opportunities. The position will work with the Vice President of Corporate Partnerships.


The Sr. Director of Corporate Partnerships position will have daily responsibilities including, without limitation, the following:

  • Responsible for creating, developing and selling fully integrated partnerships with local, regional and national clients/markets and establishing effective pursuit strategies to secure partnerships.

  • Identify and collaboratively assess partnership opportunities while establishing new client relationships utilizing various sales strategies, including but not limited to, research, cold calls, site visits, and outside sales calls.

  • Initiate contracts, develop and nurture strategic/mutually beneficial relationships with partners to drive additional revenue generation.

  • Manage the sustained development and management of partner relationships with a focus on the creation of plans which accomplish strategic objectives and a measurable return on investment.

  • Work with internal departments to develop and execute programs that support partnership programs and elements.

  • Execute meetings, calls, and presentations with high-level corporate executives.

  • Develop staff by providing mentoring, direction, support, and continual coaching.

  • Identify team goals and evaluate team progress

  • Proactively ensure the corporate partnership group successfully drives new profitable business opportunities and maximizes client retention.  

  • Assist sales team in a hands-on manner in closing business, as needed.

  • Train, evaluate performance, and foster growth and development of Team Members, encouraging personal and professional development. Mentor corporate partnerships team on creative, proven strategies for business development, optimizing sales and growing partnerships and related revenue.


  • Work in conjunction with Business Strategy & Analytics, Marketing, and all critical departments to develop presentations that include measurable elements

  • Research prospect brands and their competitors to identify opportunities and solution-based programs.

  • Create and manage high-value, fully-integrated advertising and sponsorship packages that are in line with the partner’s marketing objectives.

  • Participate in the development, ideation, evolution, implementation, and fulfillment of service and activation platform.

  • Sell NFL Corporate Sponsors and work with NFL Business Development colleagues to maximize partner investment levels.

  • Fiscal responsibility with departmental budget expenses

  • Develop, write and present corporate sponsorship sales proposals to key clients.

  • In coordination with the Vice President of Corporate Partnership, create new sales collateral or modify existing collateral as required for both the Detroit Lions and Ford Field.

  • Work cross-departmentally to develop new sellable marketing, community, NFL initiatives and digital platforms our sales team can use to monetize business opportunities.

  • Manage client programs as they relate to billing/accounting, promotions/marketing, ticket office, broadcasting, community outreach, etc.

  • Collaboration with the Vice President of Corporate Partnership with the identification of prospect opportunities

  • Maintain weekly reports for personal sale pipeline, revenue achievements, and prospecting

  • Incorporate appropriate market research into sponsorship proposals and sales presentations.

  • Utilize NFL SABR data to maximize category opportunities for the Detroit Lions.

  • Effectively communicate client expectations and contractual obligations to appropriate internal departments.

  • Work as a team with partnership service coordinators to provide excellent customer service and to ensure fulfillment of client deliverables with account base.

  • Work in partnership with assigned partnership marketing team to form 1:1 team responsible for revenue generation consistent with expectations for new business, renewals and contracted accounts.

  • Ability to develop strong, long-term relationships with both clients and co-workers.

  • Business aptitude to understand and manage client needs and organizational goals to create unique and innovative revenue generating programs.

  • Gameday responsibilities include managing staff, activation setup, entertaining clients and fulfilling sponsorship contract obligations.

  • Conducts business during non-traditional hours, taking advantage of opportunities to interact with clients and prospects during games, events and away game trips.

  • Event planning and execution for partner-sponsored events or meetings.

  • Work with NFL sponsorship colleagues to grow and develop partnerships.


  • Bachelor's degree with an emphasis in Business, Communications, Marketing or Management required.

  • Minimum seven (7) years of sponsorship sales experience with a major league professional sports team or high-profile entertainment entity, while working in a competitive sales environment.

  • Experience leading and coaching a team of sales professionals

  • Exceptional organizational skills with an ability to handle multiple assignments in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines.

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with proven interpersonal skills.

  • Ability to exercise sound business judgment generating effective solutions quickly and raising issues to management as necessary.

  • Team player spirit with an exceptional customer service attitude.

  • Strong working knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)

  • Must be able to work flexible hours including some weekends and evenings.

  • May require work out of both the Ford Field Management Office and the Allen Park Training Facility

  • Willingness to travel, including weekends


Physical Requirements:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Intellectual/Social Demands:

While performing the essential functions of this job, the employee is continuously asked to multi-task under time limits. Position requires constant attention to precise details and accuracy of specified standards including: following simple to complex (more than 3 steps) instructions, and concentration which frequently extends beyond 30 minutes at a time.

This position also requires constant use of interpersonal skills including: ability to communicate with others in person, via telephone, email, and via written correspondence and to accurately and professionally convey information.

Physical Demands:

While performing duties of job, the employee constantly operates a computer and other office devices such telephones, copy machines, fax machines, regularly move about inside the office to access storage areas, cabinets and office machinery; constantly communicate via telephone, email and in-person with others and exchange accurate information. This position requires the employee to have the ability to reach, bend, sit and/or stand, climb or balance, kneel, crouch or crawl. This position requires the employee to occasionally lift objects of 20 pounds.

Work Environment:

The duties of this position are performed in a variety of environments. Work may take place indoors in an office environment where the noise level in the work environment is usually minimal-to-moderate. Work may also take place outdoors in a variety of weather conditions, such as during pre-game events, and also at football stadiums where the noise level can be very loud.

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