SBJ/March 10-16, 2014/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40: Jeremy Carey

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OMNICOM MEDIA GROUP 2014

Jeremy
Carey

Company: Optimum Sports
Title: Managing director
Age: 38
Where born: Huntington, N.Y.
Education: University of North Carolina (B.A., economics)
Career background: With Omnicom Media Group since 2000 and Optimum Sports since 2005
Family: Wife, Aimee; son, Jack (7); daughters Scarlet (5) and Tess (3)

Favorite apps: iBooks, Sonos, Pandora, SportsCenter, Surfline, Houzz.
Favorite way to unwind: The beach.
Guilty pleasure: No one will believe me outside of work, but I don’t really eat much in the way of sweets when not in the office. Put it in front of me in the office, and it will be gone — quickly.
Worst habit: Overbooking myself.
Causes supported: Cancer research, troop support.
Person in the industry I’d most like to meet: There are a ton of smart people out there that I’d like the opportunity to get to know better.
I have a fear of … : Spiders.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Ride motorcycles around Bali with a couple friends.
2014 will be a good year if … : My family is happier at the end than at the start.

It was no surprise to see Jeremy Carey in Sochi for the first week of the Winter Olympics. As managing director for Optimum Sports, Carey had six big-name clients who invested in the Olympics: Chobani, Visa, McDonald’s, GE, Eli Lilly and Warner Bros.

But Carey’s presence in Sochi underscores his growing influence in the sports industry. He was there as more than just a media buyer for those companies. Optimum Sports sells itself as a company that can cut traditional sports marketing deals in addition to media buys, and Carey was on the ground to monitor the overall event.

“I was there to get a feel for it,” he said. “I wanted to at least get a small taste of what it means to be at the Games and further the communication process between our clients that we’re representing and the athletes at the Games.”

An example of that approach is what Optimum Sports has done with State Farm, which is invested heavily in the NBA. In addition to a media buy, State Farm has a presenting sponsorship for ESPN’s games on Wednesdays and Fridays, TNT’s games on Thursdays, and NBA TV’s games on Saturdays, along with occupying the stanchions around the court.

“You can’t turn on the television without seeing State Farm as part of the NBA,” Carey said. “We’re looking at this as one piece and saying, ‘How do we build out our State Farm NBA platform?’ not ‘How do we build out an NBA

SBJ Podcast:
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.

media buy?’ or ‘How do we build out an activation scenario or a digital strategy?’ All of that is included in what we’re doing.”

Carey started out as a buyer in 2000, believing he would wind up on the sales side of the business. Eventually, Tom McGovern convinced him to move over to Optimum Sports in 2005, where he has developed some of the deepest relationships in the business.

“I’ve known Jeremy for many years, and I’ve enjoyed watching him grow up in the business,” said Neil Mulcahy, executive vice president of sales for Fox Sports Media Group. “He’s always been an incredible partner, someone able to clearly communicate what he’s trying to achieve. … He’s the quintessential partner in every sense of the word.”

— John Ourand

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