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Volume 21 No. 1
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Forty Under 40

When a new class of interns starts at CSE in Atlanta, they get an inspiring speech from one of the company’s senior vice presidents.

“I love speaking with them,” said Doug Manning, “because many years ago, I was one of them.”

Nine months after earning a management degree at Georgia Tech in 1996, Manning realized that he wanted to work in sports. So he took a step back, leaving his entry-level technology job for an internship at CSE. By 2011, he had advanced up the company directory to senior vice president of marketing.

Manning now oversees work with all of the agency’s corporate clients, a field that includes Kellogg’s, Anheuser-Busch and Regions Bank. In the last two years, Manning secured and managed Pantech Wireless’s sponsorship of the Dew Tour and Aflac’s sponsorships of the Heisman Trophy and PGA Tour, the latter including the Aflac Invitational business-to-business event in September at TPC Sawgrass.

For client AT&T’s platforms with SEC football last fall, Manning was behind the creation of “Make the Call,” an on-screen prompt on game telecasts where fans could use their second screens to predict the outcome of each team’s possessions.

“Sometimes companies just put logos on events or teams, and it makes very little sense,” Manning said. “We told AT&T, the second screen is here to stay. That second screen is your product. We’re going to give you engagement over the course of an entire football game.”

The client was pleased.

“Doug ensured that our consumer-facing strategies evolved with the constant flux of digital marketing,” said Daryl Evans, vice president of consumer advertising and marketing communications for AT&T.

It’s the possibility of ideas like “Make the Call” that energize Manning more than 15 years after that internship at CSE.

“With social media, mobile and digital, the brands get to be part of the overall consumption of the games and events people love,” Manning said. “Making that more and more organic is really exciting to me.”

— Christopher Botta

Age: 39
TITLE: Senior vice president, marketing
EDUCATION: B.S., management, Georgia Tech
FAMILY: Wife, Erica; daughters Ava (3) and Emily (1)
CAREER: Worked in technology out of college; joined CSE in 1997

FIRST JOB: Summers working the warehouse at my dad’s restaurant supplies company
WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?: Wondering how much college will cost in 2027

WORST ADVICE RECEIVED: Don’t give up your paying job in technology for an unpaid internship in sports.
FAVORITE IPAD APPS: Pocket, WatchESPN, Next Issue
PERSONALITY, IN A TWEET: Serious with a splash of sarcasm. Genuine and honest with high integrity. Straight-forward and confident. And a little OCD.
GUILTY PLEASURE: A Fuente Short Story and a glass of Woodford
FANTASY JOB: Winery proprietor
FAVORITE MOVIE LINE: “Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them.” (“Wall Street”)