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

Forty Under 40: Renie Anderson

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ALLISON HARRELL / NFL

Renie 
Anderson

League: NFL
Title: SVP, sponsorship and
partnership management
Age: 39
Where born: Morganfield, Ky.
Education: Ole Miss (B.A., journalism)
Career background: Variety of positions, culminating in sales director, at the AFL, 1998-06; NFL: manager, business development, 2006; director, business development, 2007; VP, business development, 2011; SVP, since 2013
Family: Husband, Chris; daughters, Callie (6) and Kate (5)

Favorite app: NFL Mobile (I’m a company woman!).
Favorite way to unwind: Hot yoga.
Guilty pleasure: “The Mindy Project” on Fox.
Worst habit: I check my email every time my phone buzzes. I can’t turn it off. If I see a red light or hear an alarm, I’m on it.
Cause supported: Thumbs Up for Lane Goodwin Childhood Cancer Foundation.
I have a fear of … : Letting down my family and letting down the team; big balancing act.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Bungee jump a few times, but when I lived in New York City, I used to ride my bike everywhere, and that was scarier.
2014 will be a good year if … : We measurably grow our business and the businesses of our partners.

Renie Anderson is one of the most powerful women in sports sponsorship, but some of her sales skills were honed at the most fundamental of levels: selling Girl Scout Cookies in her native Kentucky. So perhaps that’s why among those endorsing Anderson’s sales skills on LinkedIn is one Callie Hamner, aka Granny.

“I could really move some boxes,” recalled Anderson in an interview seven floors above Broadway during the recent New York Super Bowl, where NFL sponsors were activating their rights along Super Bowl Boulevard.

These days, of course, the prices of what Anderson is selling are somewhat higher. The sales and service group she heads has more than 20 employees and, including the media sales group, she is guiding an in-house sales and marketing staff of about 60, serving 26 NFL corporate sponsors. “I love the chase, I love the process, and I love discovering the right business solutions,” Anderson said.

“[Renie] has an amazing ability to work collaboratively,” said Brian Rolapp, NFL Media chief operating officer. “Moving forward, our sponsorships are going to look a lot different, and she’s never stuck in the ‘This is the way we’ve always done it’ rut.”

Ask Anderson about being a woman in the boys club of sports sponsorship, and she quickly shrugs off the notion that it’s a handicap. “It’s tougher being a Southerner around here,” she said with a laugh.

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

And any woman or man would love to attack what’s on Anderson’s plate this NFL offseason. The list includes a push into sideline integration with Surface, selling a presenting sponsorship across the NFL’s opening week of games and complementary pushes into youth marketing, and selling more inventory on the NFL’s well-viewed sidelines.

In a few years, Anderson may get some additional “in-house” sales assistance. “When it comes to selling Girl Scout Cookies, my daughter’s a machine,” she said. “She doesn’t need any help from me.”

— Terry Lefton

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