SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers

Game Changers: Kit Geis

CHRIS MANN
The game ball proves Geis’ MVP status at Genesco Sports Enterprises.
Kit Geis
Genesco Sports Enterprises
Senior Vice President

Kit Geis loves negotiating, perhaps never as much as when in 2000 she went from marketing director at the New York Mets to Genesco and had to finish buying a sponsorship for Pepsi she began selling for the team. Of course, she completed it without incident, a testament to the boundless zeal and dedication she brings to any assignment. “She’s the most important woman in my life I’m not related to,” jokes Genesco CEO John Tatum. “Seriously, she’s my MVP: most valuable and most versatile.’’ After the Mets, Geis established Genesco’s East Coast office, “starting in my basement,” she said, and helped make it one of the country’s top sports agencies through a heady mixture of guts, guile and marketing acumen. “An agency has to make itself indispensable,’’ Geis said. “That means finding what allows a brand to work best with a property and executing supporting retail promotions. For Pepsi, [it’s] viewing occasions that are reasons to stock up. For Verizon, it’s all information-based. The secret is finding that link.”

— Terry Lefton
  • First job: Ad sales for Golf magazine.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: Not winning that certain piece of new business and just knowing we could have done the best job.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: Never say “We’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work.”
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Mark Bingham hired me at the Mets and away from the publishing world. That solidified my career path in sports.
  • Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: Billie Jean King. A real pioneer.
  • The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Keeping up with clients’ businesses, inside and outside the company.
  • One attribute I look for when hiring is …: Office experience, writing skills and a get-it-done attitude.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“She’s just got this incredible energy and passion that never wavers. She’s just always working hard and with great purpose. As a result, all the clients she worked with loved her.”

  • Mark Bingham, executive vice president, sales, New York/New Jersey 2014 Super Bowl Host Committee; was senior vice president, marketing and broadcasting, at the New York Mets when he hired Geis there as director of marketing.
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