Employee Tuesday – What does a Partner Marketing Manager do?

by Marie Terhechte

Hey Katharina, what exactly is Partner Marketing and how is it different from other marketing fields?

We have three different target groups at Urban Sports Club: B2B, B2C and B2P (B2Partner), and we approach each of them differently. Our partners are essential to our business model as they are the foundation of our offer. That’s why our Slack channel is called #nopartnersnoparty and I was given a matching sticker for my laptop on my first day!

I work in the Partner Competence Centre (PCC). We support local Partner Management teams with partner marketing and acquisition. We consider ourselves “the enablers” and “the consultants” as we identify local needs and challenges and come up with solutions. For example, we develop and optimize marketing tools, channels and processes and provide local teams with a toolbox that they can implement.

I spend a lot of time aligning with different stakeholders inside and outside the organization. My area of responsibility is very diverse and project-based and I never get bored developing ways to acquire new partners and make ours and our partners’ lives easier – so stay tuned for what’s next!

You lived in Hong Kong for a while. What did you learn there? 

I had a semester abroad in Hong Kong. I spent a total of 7 months in Asia and visited 13 countries. Diving into a completely different culture was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I shared a 10 sqm room on campus with a local student and sanitary facilities with about 10 other female students. This was normal for the locals as they’re used to living with lots of people in a small space, but it was a big challenge for me – especially in the beginning. In certain parts of the city hygiene was not a priority and food was often prepared on the streets. 

What shocked me most was the gap between rich and poor, which – as we unfortunately also see in Europe – is getting bigger and bigger. Some students simply couldn’t afford to go to student parties while others on the same campus were showing off their expensive bags. Eating in restaurants was very rare for some of them and was considered something very special. 

How did you end up working at Urban Sports Club and why the sports industry?

I love working for companies that add value to people’s lives. Being able to inspire people to live healthy and active lives makes me happy. I personally identify strongly with Urban Sports Club’s brand identity. The sports industry is in a constant state of change and so are the interests and behaviors of our target groups. That’s what makes my role so exciting – there’s always new adaptations or product launches. It’s important for me to work at a company where I myself am the target group. I can put myself in the shoes of the respective groups of people which helps me work more creatively.

Do you have a morning routine to wake up and start the day? 

Oof, wrong question. I’m a real “Morgenmuffel” and always need a little longer in the morning to wake up properly – even though I wish it were the other way around. I really don’t like early morning stress.

I drink my coffee in bed every morning and listen to the podcast “Handelsblatt Morning Briefing” (unpaid ad). Then I usually clean because I hate coming home to a messy apartment in the evening. Once a week I try to go to the gym before work, which feels damn good, but is also a big challenge for me. 

Which Urban Sports Club value is your favourite?

I connect most with “Surf on the wave of change” both professionally and personally. In the last few years I’ve learned that things can turn out very differently than planned or expected, and it’s important to adapt quickly and get involved in new projects under new circumstances. 

Life is constantly changing and so are people’s interests. Covid19 turned everything upside down and our priorities at work (and personally) fundamentally changed from one day to the next. I think it’s essential to be open and flexible, even if we don’t like it at first. Because that’s what makes life an adventure, don’t you think?

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