Jennifer Carper, partner and chief client officer, Engine Shop
A veteran of the agency business with more than a decade of experience, Jennifer Carper joins experiential sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing agency Engine Shop as a partner and chief client officer. In addition to her work with marketing companies, Carper worked for the PGA Tour in the marketing department. She spoke with staff writer Brandon McClung.
■ New title: Partner and chief client officer, Engine Shop
■ Previous title: Owner, Eclipse Marketing
■ First job: Working at an ice cream shop on the beach in Rye, N.H.
■ Education: Bachelor of arts in Chinese, University of Arizona (1990)
■ Resides: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with my husband and two kids
■ Grew up: Amherst, N.H.
■ Executive most admired: My mother, a principal at public middle school
■ Brand most admired: Louis Vuitton
■ Favorite vacation spot: South Island, New Zealand
■ Last book read: “Alex Cross, Run” by James Patterson
■ Last movie seen: “Argo”
■ Favorite movie: The Bourne trilogy of movies
■ Favorite musician/band: Miguel
■ What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
We have been very fortunate; the company has only been open just over 12 months and has had a tremendous amount of growth, and you need to balance that with ensuring that you are still delivering at 150 percent to your clients.
■ What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
I am huge advocate of people volunteering at events. I have done a lot of hiring in this business and when I go to events to work with different properties, I am always on the lookout for people that are all with it. Just getting yourself out there and getting the experience. People do take notice, and I certainly take notice.
■ What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
My most recent one. Prior to me forming Eclipse, I decided to step out my comfort zone and leave a very stable and successful position with an agency to jump into the unknown to build a new business.
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Becoming a partner in an agency and being able to affect the culture and direction of the business.
■ What is your biggest professional disappointment?
That I don’t have as glamorous of a headshot as Greg Luckman!
■ What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
Oscar Pistorius. It is a complete circus. It’s tragic and a bit hard to watch, but it’s quite captivating and makes no sense what happened. It’s so tragic but it is kind of like watching a train wreck to a certain degree. You keeping looking at it over and over and can’t believe what is happening.
■ What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
Seeing more consistency related to the high-level customer experience at events. The definition of what is suitable and appropriate for certain brands is very different than for other brands. I think these leagues and events and organizations need to recognize the difference. I can boil it down to: Are you going to have plastic knives and forks in your hospitality or you going to have real ones?