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A good sport

Sarah Miller MBA ’13 leads the way on logistics, operations for annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
Sarah Miller, MBA '13
Sarah Miller, MBA '13
Photo: Sarah Foote

Sarah Miller MBA ’13 has been a sports enthusiast her entire life. Growing up in Needham, MA, she played soccer and basketball, swam in high school and college, and now competes in triathlons. After working in IT consulting, she decided to pursue a marketing career in the athletic or wine industries. Miller opted to attend the MIT Sloan School of Management to achieve this career change.

“MIT Sloan is very community driven and I like that,” she says. “It’s ingrained in the school. Everyone here is so welcoming and collaborative. People are always willing to help each other. I knew MIT Sloan would be the right fit for me.”

Last year, as a member of the Entertainment, Media, and Sports Club, she worked on the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. She enjoyed the logistics of organizing the conference with her classmates. This year, Miller is the logistics/operations lead for the conference, which will be held March 1-2, 2013, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

“The conference is a mix of the sports world, with an understanding and appreciation of the role that analytics plays. As an athlete I like to look at things from that perspective, and discover how people are viewing performance through an analytical lens,” Miller says.

Last spring Miller landed a coveted internship at New Balance, maker of athletic footwear and apparel, located in Brighton, Mass. At New Balance, Miller worked with the Wellness Team on product marketing. Her group had recently acquired a line of footwear, and Miller developed a strategy to grow and promote the athletic shoes.

“One goal for the project was to help the team and company become more familiar with the consumer, retail outlets, partners and the competition. I looked into new templates, processes and share mechanisms that New Balance could implement. It was a unique, rewarding and fun experience for me,” Miller says.

During her internship, Miller visited New Balance’s Lawrence facility, and met with the design team. She also had the opportunity to see running shoes assembled in the factory while there.

“New Balance encourages you to wear their product to work. It helps you test it, and helps get you into the mindset of the consumer. You can express yourself through the brand and that is important when you are working for a brand,” she says.

At the end of her internship, Miller gave a final presentation to the Product Manager, Strategic Business Unit Manager and General Manager. “It was inspiring to work with such bright women,” she notes.

Miller says that the cases she studied in her marketing classes were very helpful when it came to determining New Balance’s consumer, what to look for in the competition, and how to build strategies around these ideas.

When she completes her MBA next spring, Miller plans to work in product and brand management.

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