SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers

Game Changers: Michelle Berg

GREG BERG
Berg has mementos from achieving a major
out-of-the-office goal, finishing a half marathon.
Michelle Berg
Team Epic
Executive Vice President


Michelle Berg calls herself the “eclectic marketer,” given all the experiences she has had in her 20-plus years in the sports industry. She has covered everything from media planning to promotions, sponsorship marketing to brand management.

Berg currently is executive vice president at Team Epic and has been with the company for the past 10 years. Her biggest accounts are also the company’s biggest accounts: AT&T and JPMorgan Chase. AT&T signed on with Team Epic in 2001 when it was still known as Cingular Wireless, and Berg has been the lead for the company since day one, working directly on its relationship with the NCAA, Major League Soccer, and both the SEC and ACC in college sports. As for JPMorgan Chase, Berg’s primary charge with that company comes from its $30 million annual deal with Madison Square Garden, announced last year.

— Molly Hogan
  • First job: Assistant media planner, Ketchum Advertising, New York.
  • Crowning professional achievement: My promotion to a new position within Team Epic as executive vice president.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: I haven’t yet been to an Olympic Games.
  • What was the best advice you've ever received?: As a career person, wife and mother, that I have to be satisfied doing the best I can at work and home, and accepting that neither is going to be perfect.
  • What keeps you awake at night?: Knowing that I have a 6 a.m. flight and have to get up at 3 a.m. in order to make it.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Professionally, it would be Monty Kiernan. He was an early mentor in my career and is a close friend and guide even today. Like my parents, he encouraged me to stretch beyond job labels or titles and show those in my organizations that I can do more.
  • One attribute I look for when hiring is …: Personality fit. Would I like to hang out with this person?
  • Ten years from now, I hope to be …: Planning a trip to an Olympic Games.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“As a client, you want an agency partner who’s going to deliver on the immediate needs of the business but also challenge you to stretch into new areas. Michelle knows how to achieve that balance. … It’s the right combination of working ‘in’ the business and ‘on building’ the business.”

  • Eric Fernandez, MediaLink senior partner; former sports marketing executive at AT&T
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