SBJ/July 17 - 23, 2006/Careerspeople

Kamer takes digital-media experience from NFL to Octagon

Evan Kamer recently joined Octagon after seven years with the NFL. While at the league, Kamer managed the league’s digital-media business, brokering landmark deals with AOL, Sirius Satellite Radio and Sprint. Kamer, a founding member of About.com, has more than 12 years of digital-media experience. He spoke recently to staff writer Scott Voelker.

Age: 35
New title: Managing director of digital media, Octagon
Previous job: Senior director of new media, NFL
First job: Cabana boy at El Dorado Beach Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.
College education: Bachelor of science, management information systems, SUNY-Albany; MBA in marketing and international business, NYU Stern School of Business
Resides: Rye, N.Y., with wife Gail and children Michael, Cameron, and Sophie
Grew up: New Rochelle
Brand most admired: Apple — they stay true to the brand and to their customers
Favorite vacation spot: Tuscany, Italy
Last book read: “The Tortilla Curtain,” by T.C. Boyle
Last movie seen: “Cars,” with my children
Favorite musical act: Phish

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?

I think it’s going to be helping our corporate clients think differently and more confidently about their digital marketing.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

The biggest risk, definitely, was when I left my job for an Internet startup back in 1996. This was sort of pre-Internet boom — ’96 was really early — but I left Prodigy, where I was working, and with a couple of my friends, we started About.com.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

Building the value of the digital-media assets for the NFL was a big accomplishment, and that was everything through Internet and broadband — the AOL deal, the Sirius Satellite Radio deal … and then ultimately the Sprint deal we did last summer. They’d never been done before, and it was sort of defining a value on something that had no value before it.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?

What I would say is, “Practice what you preach.” Don’t discount the fact that you are also, if you’re in the digital-media area, a consumer — you are a user. Take your experience and knowledge to your job.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?

The new commissionership — that’s a big one. I’m also watching closely the satellite radio space with all the discussion about XM and Sirius possibly merging or buying each other — that would be very interesting. The other thing is the evolution of fantasy sports.

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