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SEME 2021 – Get to Know a Keynote Speaker: Gary Gertzog, President, Fanatics

Advice for Career Seekers:


“My perspective and advice in obtaining a position in sports has been consistent. The demand to work in this coveted field far exceeds supply of available positions. Before you get too discouraged, the good news is sports continues to grow in terms of size, scope and complexity so a thoughtful approach can improve your chances of working in this field. First Job  — don’t try to break into sports directly out of college. Entry level positions are limited with thousands of applicants competing for those jobs. Spend your time looking for a position at the best company with a strong training program so you can gain valuable experience. It doesn’t matter which field you choose as sports organizations have needs in many functional areas — marketing, finance, operations, law, etc. After a few years, you have experience to add value and better differentiate yourself. Network — sports is heavily relationship based. Get to know as many people as possible and build a network of advocates who can help when positions become available. Use your personal network of family, friends and college alums to get you the right introductions. Ask to meet people for 15-20 minutes on an informational basis. Follow up with a thank you note and stay in touch on a periodic basis. Be Patient — life is not linear and your entry into the sports will likely come in a different way than you ever expected. Stay patient and avoid getting frustrated about what may seem like Mission Impossible.”


— Gary Gertzog, Fanatics


Weekend Plans With Fanatics Exec VP Gary Gertzog



By Mark Bulovas, SBJ Staff Writer


Fanatics President/Business Affairs GARY GERTZOG will be attending his first Kentucky Derby this weekend thanks to the company’s new multiyear deal with Churchill Downs to exclusively operate both online and on-site retail for the event. He said, “Our schedule for Saturday is still coming together, but I will get there as early as I am told to get there. We will definitely be touring the grounds with key execs from our company along with other people that worked on getting this deal done. I will spend a lot of time just strolling the property and seeing how everything sets up.”


BUSINESS PLANNING: I am flying out to Louisville on Friday morning and should arrive by midday. I will then head over to Churchill Downs to enjoy the Kentucky Oaks. I am going out that evening to have a good dinner in downtown. During the course of the day on Saturday, I will be part business person and part fan. A lot of people are saying good things about the assortment of our merchandise. Hopefully tons of people will be walking around with Fanatics gear on. I definitely plan to leave some time for leisure. I have never been to Louisville, so I did a little research. But I plan to just go with the flow. My wife already has her hat purchased.


MOMMA, I’M COMING HOME: We are flying back to N.Y. on Sunday morning. With it being Mother’s Day, we are going to go from there to a celebration at my sister’s house, which is about five miles from me. It will be a nice way to cap off the weekend with family.


EZ RIDER: I enjoy playing tennis in our weekly game. With the weather getting nicer, I also like to go for bike rides from my home in Scarsdale to Manor Park in Larchmont. When you take the ride, you feel like you are in a beautiful place in Maine. It is a great escape. Along the way there is a Farmers Market that has some interesting sweets like gelato and cupcakes. It justifies all of the exercise.


GOOD BURGER: My wife most definitely does the cooking in the household. The only thing that she lets me do is grilling, which I actually enjoy doing. We have a good division of labor. I love being outside grilling when the weather is nice. There is always that quest to cook the perfect burger. It can be too well done or too under cooked. It seems like an easy thing to do, but I am always up to the challenge.


POLITICAL ARENA: I am an old-school reader. I still like the feel of the newspaper and I always feel good about finishing the N.Y. Times over the weekend. From a TV standpoint, I do watch a lot of sports. I do not consider myself a political person, but with the dynamic of this year’s race, I have probably watched more CNN or Fox News than I ever have. It is like a year-long reality show which will obviously continue. I am a pretty active worker on weekends. I am definitely checking emails and taking phone calls. The head of our company, MICHAEL RUBIN, is not a five-day-a-week person.