2018 Forty Under 40 Awards
Matt Hill joins SBJ's class of 2018
By Terry Lefton, as published 4/9/2018 in SportsBusiness Journal.
Some like the NFL and some love it.
Matt Hill, GMR’s senior vice president of global sports and entertainment consulting, enjoyed working at the league so much that he did it twice.
Early in his career, Hill landed a PR position with the NFL and eventually transitioned to doing off-field PR, learning from fellow Forty Under 40 honoree Brendan Moynihan, who preceded him in a corporate communications role.
Hill developed enough of a fondness for sports marketing that he returned to his alma mater, Columbia, for an MBA. He joined Major League Soccer as a manager of business development, where he learned how to package and sell sports assets. “Selling soccer then definitely was an educational process,” he said.
Still, as a soccer goalie who captained the Columbia team during his senior year, Hill found “there was something very fulfilling even in completing a small deal, because you were advancing the sport.”
After three years at MLS, Hill returned to the NFL as director of business development and helped land nontraditional sponsors like data management company NetApp, the league’s first business-to-business focused sponsorship, and Dannon, its first yogurt sponsor.
“Matt’s just a quality person,” said Brian McCarthy, vice president of communications at the NFL, who supervised Hill during his first job there. “His character’s infectious, he’s always optimistic, he absorbed the industry quickly and became passionate about it.”
In 2014, he joined GMR as it looked to increase its New York City presence. He now directs an office of around 15 people whose triumphs have included working on Olympic business for Intel and Procter & Gamble, and helping launch an esports practice, which led to business from Xfinity and others.
“Everything I learned selling I’m now applying to help clients maximize their assets,” Hill said. “It just feels like the right place.”