Vice President, Partnership Marketing, Major League Soccer Born: Yonkers, N.Y. Education: B.A., philosophy/B.A., politics and law (double major); minor, sociology; Binghamton University
Jen Cramer knows that most of her childhood friends probably don’t believe that she’s working in sports today.
“I was the type of person that was picked last and that would hide when the ball came,” Cramer said with a laugh.
But while the Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing vice president of partnership marketing may not have had on-field skills growing up, her acumen off it has proved to be a boon for the league.
Since joining MLS in 2016 to oversee its partnership sponsorship efforts after nearly a decade at Turner Sports, Cramer has helped the league secure several multiyear, multimillion-dollar renewals with key partners such as Adidas, AT&T, Audi, Heineken and Wells Fargo.
Those deals have also come with significant increases in the activation around them, as Cramer has worked with her team of more than 20 to revamp the league’s approach to partnership servicing, including establishing new measurement and analytics protocols, and helping partners lean further into multimedia and digital content activations.
“Our goal is to help our partners amplify soccer 365/24/7, and make the sport come to life,” she said.
— Ian Thomas
Getting to know...
Networking works best when: I make time to do it. It allows you to meet people who can open your eyes to new opportunities, share best practices and industry knowledge, or become potential clients, employers or friends. It’s a key contributor to professional growth and success. Woman in sports business I’d like to meet: Tatyana McFadden. I saw her speak at a Coke event and I was humbled just being in the same room as her. She is the epitome of a strong, courageous and awe-inspiring woman who kicks butt and fights for what she believes in. I wish I’d known at my career’s start: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When I was young and just starting out, I was afraid to ask questions because I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t know what I was doing. In retrospect, asking questions would have saved me from a lot of mishaps. Role of sports in social issues: Sport should be used as a tool for social change. It has the power to bring people together, facilitate inclusion, encourage collaboration, and get young people active and engaged. It’s the perfect platform to elevate social issues.