Director, Sponsorship Sales representing WPLN News 90.3 FM and 91Classical
This is an exciting opportunity for a high-impact media sales executive to do work that matters by leading the media sponsorship sales effort representing WPLN.
The Director, Sponsorship Sales provides hands-on leadership to the team responsible for selling and creatively packaging corporate sponsorship programs across the station’s radio, digital, and events platforms.
WPLN entrusts its sponsorship sales department to Market Enginuity, the leading media sales representation firm in the country exclusively serving public media organizations. The Director, Sponsorship Sales, and the sponsorship sales department, will be employed by Market Enginuity and supported by its infrastructure and resources.
With internal management and external market-facing responsibilities, the Director, Sponsorship Sales plays a critical role in helping WPLN and 91Classical realize immediate revenue growth targets through existing platforms, while advancing the sales team’s ability to deliver broader digital and integrated media programs to corporate sponsors.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Overall accountability for the WPLN |91Classical sponsorship department and performance against revenue goals. Direct local sales effort and go-to-market activity.
- Communicate and implement near and longer-term strategies for revenue growth, leading the sales team to ‘believe and achieve’ higher personal and group performance. Set a high bar and lead by example.
- Identify and support the development of new customer relationships and target categories while building deeper marketing partnerships with existing sponsors. Foster areas for group collaboration and ‘big idea’ sponsorships.
- Develop the department’s readiness and capability to deliver creative, customer-focused sponsorship programs for regional and local clients that combine radio, digital audio, multimedia, mobile, and events platforms.
- Bring sound sales management expertise and rigor when applying Market Enginuity tools and management approaches in the Nashville & media market. Monitor the competitive environment. Be proactive in addressing market opportunity.
- Manage an account list of existing corporate sponsors and develop new business.
- Enhance high-level client and ad agency relationships. Support strong partner relationships with NPR and PRX.
- Boost the quality and / or quantity of team sales efforts throughout the cycle.
- Bring knowledge and expertise to growing the digital business. Promote the value of new digital and mobile initiatives, including podcasts, internally and externally.
- Oversee sales-related marketing efforts and positioning strategy. Work with Market Enginuity Creative Services on critical sales initiatives and marketing collateral.
- Forecast, monitor and report on revenue and budget performance vs. goals.
- Ensure the staff and account assignments are organized for maximum success. Work with the Chief People Officer and People Operations team on workforce planning, training and development, performance management, high-level employment issues and compensation practices.
- Maintain collaborative working relationships with key WPLN stakeholders including those in Development and Membership, the Newsroom, Finance and Marketing.
- Represent the Media Sales perspective in the planning and budgeting process, working with senior leadership at Market Enginuity and WPLN.
IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE
Experience - Candidates should demonstrate most, if not all, of the following:
- Success in managing one or more media sales teams to achieve revenue growth through goal setting, measurement, and consultative sales approaches. A track record in breaking new categories and key accounts through creative and strategic selling.
- Career progression that includes success in selling media to metro and regional marketers, at client and agency levels. Experience can come from quality print or niche broadcast outlets, digital media, event sponsorship sales or a combination. Public media experience is not required.
- Successful collaboration on cross-functional initiatives with editorial, programming, finance and digital product teams.
- Fluency in using conceptual selling techniques and research data to persuade marketing sponsors and agencies of WPLN audience value and programming compared to competitors. Willingness to be hands-on daily in working with Sponsorship Sales staff to troubleshoot problems, identify and close business opportunities, and manage key client relationships.
- Capable of supervising internal media processes including inventory management; copy compliance with FCC guidelines; ad analytics and data reporting; and the department’s use of CRM software.
- College degree plus a minimum of 8 years’ relevant business experience is expected, with at least 3 years coaching / managing account executives.
Style, Culture Fit, and Capabilities:
- Professionalism, emotional maturity and tact managing a role with dual accountabilities to Market Enginuity (remotely) and to WPLN | 91Classical.
- The ability to blend prior commercial training and instincts with Market Enginuity sales process and strategies to achieve success within a mission-oriented, non-commercial public media culture.
- A collaborative player-coach style, demonstrating the ability to inspire positive change as a member of the station’s management team.
- Flexibility and the ability and instinct to pivot, challenge assumptions, and adapt the game plan based on market and client feedback and the input of others.
- Excellent written and oral communication and sales presentation skills; executive command; shares information in an insightful manner with a clear plan of action.
- A problem solver who takes ownership; maximizes resources; can create a proactive strategy; is optimistic; applies a consultative sales approach to sustain client relationships rather transact business.
- Uncompromising honesty and integrity, an accessible low-ego personal management style.
Serious candidates should be a fan of public media, and an active, well-informed consumer of news and entertainment across platforms.
This position reports to: Donna Fuhrman, VP, Regional Sales Manager at Market Enginuity (based in St Louis)
Reporting to this position: 5 account executives
WPLN - BACKGROUND
Nashville Public Radio serves over 800,000 monthly listeners by providing trusted in-depth news, engaging music, and unique cultural programs on WPLN News, 90.3 FM and 1430 AM, 91Classical, WFCL and NashvillePublicRadio.org.
For more than 50 years, listeners have turned to this community-supported service for programming that inspires conversation and curiosity, educates, and entertains. Serving as Middle Tennessee’s source for NPR News and Classical Music and home of the most award-winning radio journalism in the region, Nashville Public Radio is a forum for the breadth of topics that reflect the rhythms of Music City and beyond.
MARKET ENGINUITY - BACKGROUND
Market Enginuity (www.marketenginuity.com), founded in 1999, is the trusted sponsorships sales partner to public media broadcast organizations nationwide. Its 150+ employees in nearly 20 metro markets include experienced managers and account executives working across the country and a collaborative Market Services team headquartered in Phoenix. Market Enginuity provides its station clients and managers with analytically based performance benchmarking tools and indices, and proven consultative sales guidance that reflect best practices in commercial and public media. The privately held company and its employees are committed to fueling mission-driven, educational and inspiring independent media with increased revenue and capability.
This management position carries a competitive compensation package comprised of a base salary with performance-based bonus opportunity and a comprehensive benefits package.
Market Enginuity and WPLN | 91Classical are proud to be equal opportunity employers that operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Candidates are expected to provide a complete and accurate resume including work history and educational background. Finalist candidates will be subject to a professional referencing process, background check and drug screen as a condition of a formal offer.
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