SBD/October 16, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With MLS Real Salt Lake VP/Corporate Sponsorships Andy Carroll

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Carroll (l) says Salt Lake City's tight-knit
business community helps make RSL relevant
MLS Real Salt Lake VP/Corporate Sponsorships ANDY CARROLL has had to hit the ground running since taking the position this year, as the club's jersey sponsorship deal with juice brand Xango expires after this season. Carroll, who previously worked as CMO for the ECHL Utah Grizzlies and Maverik Center, recently discussed the ups and downs of big-time sports in a small market, the impact of potential MLS expansion, and how to find fresh seafood in a landlocked city. 

Trends in sponsorship...
Partners continue to want to see more return on investment and they want us to be able to demonstrate more return on investment, so buyers are continuing to scrutinize partnerships at heightened levels. We spend a lot of time on research and looking at the various criteria that they’re looking for. How do they penetrate the clutter and how we’re different.

Life in a small market...
It’s not like we have national consumer-goods companies dying to resonate in the Utah market like you would on the East Coast or West Coast, or Dallas, Chicago. That’s a challenge for us. But conversely, it’s a very tight-knit business community; as one of two major-league teams in this market, we’re very relevant. We’re highly relevant in the marketplace to the businesses that are out here, but we don’t have as broad a pool because a lot of the consumer-good companies have made a deal on the coast or bigger markets. This isn't really a market that they’re focused on because companies are reevaluating their sponsorship investments. 

Growing all the time...
MLS expansion is a benefit to us. Obviously, the more relevant that the league becomes, the rising tide lifts all boats. And I think it gives us the opportunity to offer penetration to other markets with our jersey front partners and other partners. So expansion offers considerable value for all of our partners.

Negotiations go awry when...
A lot of times people will be more concerned with what they need out of the negotiations as opposed to what the other party needs, so you’re not as dynamic of a listener. But if you have two parties that are willing, you can come up with solutions.

Best advice I've ever received...
Life is about attitude. How successful you are and how you look at situations is about your attitude. If your attitude is, “I’m going to figure out a way regardless of how big the challenge is. I’m going to figure out a way to be successful and come up with a solution,” then I don’t care what it is. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.

Smartphone of choice...
The iPhone 4S, because of convenience. It does everything. It’s not the biggest screen, but it’s adequate. It does everything very well, and it doesn't give me reason to look someplace else.

Best business lunch in the SLC...
Marketstreet Oyster Bar. They fly their fish in fresh every day.

How I unwind...
Mobile skiing and tennis.
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