Q&A with Sport Management alumnus Jeff Petrino ’08

Jeff Petrino portrait
Jeff Petrino ’08 (left)

Hometown: Rochester, NY

Twitter Handle: @Trino5903

Number of years in current position: Almost 4 years with Turner

First job in sports business: Event Coordinator, working on Allstate’s soccer sponsorship business at Octagon

Most memorable moment on the job: Being courtside in Houston to cheer on Trevor Cooney, Malachi, and Gbinije during the Orange’s improbable run to the 2016 Final Four!

Favorite Book: No Easy Day by Mark Owen – can’t get enough stories of our men and women in the special forces!

Favorite Movie: Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy

Best lesson learned in the industry: Sports might be big business, but the industry itself is SMALL, and people move around a lot. So, take care to always prioritize your relationships, other people’s experience of working with you, and your overall reputation – you never know when an old colleague, client or business partner will suddenly become the new key (or obstacle) to you or your organization’s success!

What would your walk out song be? BTO – Let it ride

Words to live by: “It’s all good” – might be overly simplistic, but it’s important to always keep things in perspective and approach everything with a positive attitude.

What is something you have not done yet, however plan to do in the next few years? Buy a house, get a dog, have kids…you know, the whole “adult” thing. I just got married, so now we’re gonna do some more traveling first!

Best advice you have ever been given in the industry: This has been said several different ways to me (Ex: “we’re not saving lives here,” “This isn’t rocket science,” etc.) – this is first and foremost a relationship business, and the most effective and pleasant people to work with in sports, media and/or marketing are those who find the balance of not taking our industry too seriously, while still understanding the value that needs to be delivered to partners.

Share one funny moment or story on the job: I was with Octagon during my Capstone internship, and was in Los Angeles setting up for a celebrity soccer tournament. My boss and I were driving around in a rental car setting up directional spectator signage in the neighborhoods surrounding Griffith park, when she got a frantic call from our brand client, freaked out and promptly drove away to attend to an urgent issue – leaving me in on a random block in LA with no GPS! (Not to date myself too much, but I did not yet have a smartphone at the time…). Fortunately, I was able to find my way back to the event site using old fashioned means (asking for directions!).

Advice to current SPM students: Maintain a sense of urgency to the impression that you need to make on an employer in your first gig, and be ready to work harder than the person waiting in line behind you. And always be ready to capitalize on moments of opportunity!