Name: Marissa Blueweiss Ruskin
Job: Director, Social Media Sponsorship
Company: Major League Baseball
LinkedIn: Marissa Blueweiss Ruskin
In 140 characters or less, tell us who you are and how you got to where you are today.
Sales-minded marketer and branded content enthusiast. Ability to hit the curve. Champion for the success of my team. Head of lunch strategy.
What’s one trend in media or marketing that you’re buying or selling?
Instagram Stories. Users are tapping through their IG story feeds at increasing rates and we’re developing a ton of creative ways to integrate brands into these stories while maintaining content integrity. They truly provide a rare “ownable” opportunity on social. As I often tell our sales team, they’re the social answer to a homepage roadblock.
How do you define engagement?
Intentional user interaction inspired by content that resonates.
What’s the project or campaign that you’re proudest of? Why?
I’m especially proud of the Social Sponsorship archive we’ve built up internally. A few of my favorite socially-led campaigns from last season are the Samsung Note postseason campaign and Wendy’s ‘Tender Moments’—a series of bromance highlights set to cheesy music to promote the re-launched chicken tenders.
One of the most rewarding parts of this role is reading fan comments about how effectively we integrate our sponsors—of course, there’s always a healthy mix of trolling to balance things out.
What are you working on right now? Any exciting future plans that you’re able to share?
A little over a year ago we launched a team dedicated solely to social media sponsorships. This unique group works with our official, national and Club partners to ideate and execute best-in-class social programs. We’re extremely excited going into the 2019 season with a year under our belts and are ready to break through the clutter to create impactful campaigns for our partners.
For Nicole Bersani, Digital Content Manager at the Chicago Cubs involves creating authentic storytelling, sharing her passion with family...and a lot of caffeine
As a connected fan, what’s the most engaging piece of sports content that you have recently consumed?
The Nike ‘Dream Crazier’ ad. Chills.
What’s been the biggest high and low of working in sports?
High: Seeing content and programs I’ve helped shape be brought to life on MLB platforms. It’s also an amazing feeling to step foot in a ballpark that already carries a lot of nostalgia from your childhood and see it in a whole new light when you’re on the inside of the organization.
Low: A personal low for me is that my father, who was a die-hard baseball fan, passed away before I started at MLB, so not being able to share my experiences with him is something that weighs on me. A more general low of working in sports can be the extremely high expectations, tight turnarounds and small margin for error. We’re fortunate on the social side to be able to edit quickly, but mistakes happen and are seen by the masses.
What’s one element of the sports industry that you’d like to see change?
I’d probably reword this to an element of the industry I’d like to see continue to change. Women in my organization have been elevated into more senior leadership roles than when I first broke into sports three years ago, so things are definitely trending in the right direction!
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Hear more from leaders and creators across the sports industry this June at Hashtag Sports, an annual conference designed for media and marketing professionals.