Nikki Powell: Learning to Promote the L.A. Galaxy
As a communications undergrad with a concentration in film and video at Georgia State University, Nikki Powell learned how her favorite movies were developed and made to appeal to the viewer’s humanity.
“[We learned] how to break down a movie,” she recalls, "and how they get emotion out of certain shots to convey a feeling.”
Now an MBA student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, Powell is learning to tell the world a compelling story about soccer as a marketing intern for the L.A. Galaxy, the Major League Soccer team whose home field is the Home Depot Center on the CSUDH campus. Her internship comes at an exciting time in the team's 12-year history.
“The goal of the [team] is to become known worldwide,” she says. “When they used to have games, the stadium wasn’t half full. The last game was sold out, with nearly 30,000 people. The acquisition of [David] Beckham was really helpful. It’s an international brand now versus being only locally known.”
The Washington D.C. native says that Los Angeles, with its diversity, is a great market for the global face of the sport. She says that the Galaxy is “not specifically marketed to one particular background or culture. They’re trying to market to the mass audiences, so you see . . . Hispanics, Filipinos, Asians, African Americans, people from all over, even people from overseas coming over to go to the games.”
In addition to pursuing her master’s degree, Powell works full-time as the work control coordinator for the CSUDH Physical Plant department, and is responsible for generating work orders for maintenance and repairs for the entire university.
Equally encompassing is the nuts and bolts education that Powell is getting from her internship. The Galaxy 101 program introduces the interns to every level of the organization from the team’s general manager to ticket sales. Other duties of the marketing interns include working with a “street team,” doing outreach at area venues and events, introducing the Galaxy to the public. She describes the success that can be achieved simply by following up with contacts made.
“The internship has shown the importance of following up with customers as far as getting the team’s name out there to the public to gain more exposure, even with something as simple as going to a local soccer league game to promote the team,” she says. “When we collect data at these events, [the Galaxy] always follows up with a phone call. I went out on a street team event and a week later, I saw two of the people from the same event. They actually got tickets that day and came out to the game.”
- Joanie Harmon