Employee Tuesday – What does a Lead in International Partnerships do?

by Marie Terhechte

What does a typical working day as Lead in International Partnerships look like?

This role is located in between business development, sales, marketing and PR, so there’s a little bit of everything – and that’s what makes Partnerships so interesting.

My aim is to reach new audiences, increase sales, raise brand awareness and add value for customers with strategic collaborations. I work a lot with other brands and companies in Europe that share our goals, ambitions and values, whether B2C, B2B or both. 

Partnerships often start with open discussions to identify mutual needs and possibilities and align on plans of action. Analytics is a big part of my role as it helps identify and evaluate the potential of a cooperation, measure the development of a project and optimize the results. My role entails a lot of internal and external stakeholder management and project management, all the while maintaining an overview of the projects.

You joined Urban Sports Club three years ago as Team Lead Brand Marketing. How did you move over to Partnerships? 

When I started working at Urban Sports Club three years ago, I was given the opportunity to build a team of experts in social media, events, campaigns, content and brand partnerships. We recognized a lot of potential in partnerships even at an early stage. Our product is really diverse, with 50+ different types of sports available, so there’s something for everyone. 

During the pandemic we optimized our strategy and the structure within Urban Sports Club. This gave me the opportunity to focus on strategic partnerships on an international level. It’s so much fun to bring my expertise from several positions to this role and to learn from so many stakeholders.

I like to create projects from scratch and I enjoy the diversity of our partnerships. Every project comes with different aspects, opportunities and challenges. I get to interact with experts from different companies and branches which makes my role social, creative and analytical at the same time.

How do you keep smiling during challenging times? 

I learned to accept that some things (like a pandemic) simply can’t be changed and it’s important to focus on things that we can positively influence. When I feel stressed, under pressure, am finding a project challenging, or am simply having a bad day, I take a short break, have a coffee with a colleague, call my family or friends or go for a walk. It’s important to get a change of scenery and perspective and then come back with renewed energy. I try to focus on the good things in life and believe a good work/life balance is crucial to my overall wellbeing. Like a lot of people at Urban Sports Club, I love sports and I practice martial arts at one of our partner studios – “Fenriz” in Berlin. Furthermore, I try to reduce my screen time after work by spending time in nature.

Your colleagues say you’re very funny. Why is humor important to you?

That’s good to hear! Humor is very important to me because it’s a good ice breaker, you get to know a lot of people and it means I don’t take things too seriously. I really love to make people laugh as this shows their true nature – there’s nothing more authentic than humor.

What’s your interpretation of “embrace vulnerability” and how do you use it in your personal life?

Embracing vulnerability is very important in business and in private life. When you’re happy, angry or sad about something, just say it. Don’t let emotions drag you down and grow unnecessarily. It’s totally normal to feel good or bad about something and it’s even better if you talk about it. Let people know how you feel – it helps you grow personally and professionally and helps us understand each other. 

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