As Sarah Myer ’06 learned early in her career, the sports industry isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. It’s filled with odd hours and behind-the-scenes work. As the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications for Indiana Sports Corp, Myer helps the organization bid on sporting events and then market those events when they are in the city. From traditional advertising to grassroots marketing, Myer aims to find ways for the events to include and impact the entire community.
Now, as the NCAA prepares to host this year’s March Madness® Tournament entirely in Indiana, Myer is up for the challenge. As part of her role, she has been working alongside the NCAA to plan and promote the Tournament and the events that come along with it.
In addition to her usual responsibilities, Myer is now leading a variety of community engagement initiatives for the month of March. The Fan Jam, a promotional event on wheels that executes various pop-up events for the Indiana community, was introduced to Indy this year. Myer also helped the NCAA distribute 100,000 masks statewide for the “Mask Madness” campaign. And she was able to help secure a grant from the Lilly Endowment to support arts, culture, beautification, and hospitality efforts throughout the city to prepare for the arrival of teams, visitors, and media.
Myer is also helping the NCAA execute their “Do Your Dance” campaign, which encourages fans, visitors, and residents to celebrate The Big Dance® coming to Indy and all the Hoosiers that helped make it happen.
“I think it’s just going to be nice to celebrate and be in this positive space again,” says Myer. “There is this uniqueness about Indianapolis, where you can just get involved very easily, and you can make an impact.”
This, along with Indiana’s Hoosier Hospitality, is why Myer found herself wanting to stay in the city after her time at Butler. Though it was Butler that brought her to Indiana in the first place, it was her experiences in the city that kept her here.
During her time at Butler, Myer experienced the city through her internships and classes. She got her start in sports by doing camera work for Butler games on campus, filming live footage of sporting events. From there, she was asked by one of her professors to help with camera work for the Indianapolis Indians the following summer. Myer also completed internships with the WTTS radio station and the Indiana Pacers.
“I think the great thing about internships is that they force you out of Butler and into organizations or environments that you might not typically be used to,” Myer says. “It helps you get to know the city.”
When Myer graduated in 2006 with a degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor Media Arts, she noticed the growth of local businesses and a distinct Indianapolis culture. After graduation, she landed her first job at NUVO, a local news outlet, where she received a promotion after a few months. She then moved to a role as Vice President of Marketing for the Indianapolis Symphony before starting in her current position at Indiana Sports Corp in 2019.
“My time at NUVO taught me about how important it was to support the local community, while my time at the Symphony taught me a lot about non-profit management,” Myer says. “Both of those experiences, in addition to what I learned during my time at Butler, led me to where I am today—impacting my community through the platform of sports.”
Although March Madness® is the main priority for now, Myer has been busy since her time at Indiana Sports Corp, even during the pandemic. Over the summer, she worked on a major bid for the Big Ten Conference to host numerous basketball and football championships through 2030. The organization is also waiting to hear back about a bid it made to host the 2024 U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials, with the proposal to turn Lucas Oil Stadium into a pool. And in the near future, planning has already started for the 2022 College Football Playoff Championship Game in January.
“The impact of sports and conventions was felt throughout our city when many of those were lost during the pandemic,” Myer says. “Indiana Sports Corp was created back in the late ’70s to build up the city. I now feel, more than 40 years later, we’re going to be a large part of the rebuild. And if I think about it, I wouldn’t be here if Butler didn’t bring me here in the first place.”