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Volume 22 No. 18
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Forty Under 40: Michael Goldstein

Photo: mastercard

Over the past few years, Michael Goldstein’s work schedule has taken him overseas to the Rugby World Cup and the British Open, and to domestic events, including the World Series and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Not what you might have predicted if you’d visited his suburban Boston home three decades ago.

“My parents were always supportive, but they knew absolutely nothing about sports,” Goldstein said. 

Vice President, Head of Sponsorships, North America, Mastercard

Age: 40 (turned 40 this month)

Born: Boston

Education: University of Rochester, B.A. psychology; UMass, MBA and M.S. in sport management

Family: Wife, Lindsey; daughter, Zoe (7); son, Levi (5)

What gets you fired up? Watching a New England Patriots playoff game.

You wish you knew 10 years ago: That time management and building/maintaining relationships will always matter.

Profession you’d most like to attempt: Pro basketball player.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Calling them from my car on the commute home.

Could not go a day without: My family.

Causes supported: The ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

People in the industry you’d most like to meet: Michael Jordan and Adam Silver.

Most thrilling/adventurous thing you’ve done: When I was in high school, I went with some classmates to do community service in a very small village in Nicaragua.

Following his instincts, Goldstein was sports editor of his college newspaper and followed that with an ESPN production job. Looking to pursue the business side, Goldstein earned an MBA and a master’s in sport management at UMass. After competing in the Octagon Bowl, a competition judged by executives from that agency, Goldstein started at Octagon in 2007, working on Mastercard, one of the agency’s longest-tenured clients. 

A two-year stint at LG Electronics familiarized him further with brand marketing. He’d made enough of an impression working on that original account that Michael Robichaud, Mastercard senior vice president of global sponsorships, recruited him for offshore sponsorships, which included the UEFA Champions League, the British Open and the Rugby World Cup. 

Last summer, Goldstein moved to head of sponsorships in North America. His portfolio includes MLB, and four of its marquee teams — the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees; the PGA Tour; and League of Legends. 

“We’ll still play big in traditional sports,” Goldstein said, “but we’re looking to balance it out and cross-pollinate. In sponsorship now, you have to use every facet of marketing, so there’s a good view of how the marketing mix works together.”

As for Goldstein’s parents? “Let’s just say they’re much more into sports in their 60s than they were in their 20s and 30s,” he said with a laugh.