Alumnus Shares with Students Digital Marketing Experience at Nike on Webinar
Story by Megan Wee from The Hoya. Condensed for length.
Fashion, sports and business intersect in incredibly dynamic and interesting ways, according to Nike marketing executive Ricky Schramm (COL‘07, MBA ’12), who participated in a Zoom conference webinar held October 29th.
Hosted by the Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association and the GBI, and moderated by Professor Jimmy Lynn, “Nike in the Digital World” offered business and fashion-inclined students the opportunity to learn firsthand from a marketing representative at one of the nation’s most powerful companies.
The culture of cultivating and empowering athletes signed to Nike is something that is notable to Schramm, as the partnerships the brand has with its athletes is not just sponsorship but also access to coaching, mentoring and networking.
“Back in the day, and still today, Nike was founded on being in service to athletes, positioning them to be better,” said Schramm.
The prominence of power and influence within their athletes impacts their business decision-making, according to Schramm.
“We’re working with local influencers on a day-to-day basis,” Schramm said. “We also have about 20 athletes, such as Lebron James or Serena Williams, that have truly global influence. The meaning of celebrity is changing.”
Nowadays, marketing tends to operate on a more micro level, showing the evolution of marketing in terms of what it means to be a social influencer, according to Schramm.
Nike also makes a point to target high school athletes across social media platforms, namely the video sharing app TikTok, which sees immense popularity among teenagers.
Schramm studied English in his undergraduate years at Georgetown, serving as the captain of the men’s soccer team, and was drafted by D.C. United of Major League Soccer after graduation. He ultimately decided to go back to Georgetown to get his MBA at the McDonough School of Business, to concentrate on marketing, citing that this gut instinct told him to enter the field.
“I’m from New York, so everyone that I was born and raised around went into finance or law,” Schramm said. “I thought maybe eventually Wall Street would have me in sales and trade.”
Schramm talked about the paths that can be taken to work at Nike. He emphasized the importance of securing a 10-week internship at Nike’s campus in Oregon, even though it’s not a prerequisite.
Professor Lynn also stressed leveraging LinkedIn to students’ advantage, especially given the strong Georgetown alumni.
Schramm encouraged every Georgetown student who aspires to a job like his, the conjunction of sports culture and fashion, to have a specific passion and pursue it.
“There is no typical day working at Nike,” said Schramm.