Tiffin grad now working for the Steelers

Joseph Lofton '14
Marketing Intern, Pittsburgh Steelers

Joseph LoftonQ: Tell us about your job?
A: I am a marketing intern with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Currently we are working on game-day events and promotion for the Steelers games. Whenever there aren't games going on, we do have plenty of events throughout the year that help generate revenue for the Steelers. Some events to name a few include: the Steelers Fashion Show, Pep Rally's, Steeler Alumni Dinner, Punt Pass and Kick, the Gatorade 5k Marathon at Heinz Field and many more!

Q: How did you get your foot in the door with the Steelers?
A: It started with an email as an opportunity to work the Steelers training camp.  At training camp, I networked with my current boss as a connection from coaching youth football, and playing high school football in Pittsburgh. I got an offer to work some game days, and from there I networked my way to a marketing intern position that I currently have.

Q: How did your education at TU help you in your current career? 
A: I grew up with sports and it was everything to me. Coming to Tiffin and majoring in sports management gave me the opportunity for my passion to line up with a career. I did two Internships at TU with the basketball and football teams. My job duties were working in the areas of scouting, player management, video coordination, equipment inventory, amateurism and the NCAA clearinghouse.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in sports, and all of this got me prepared for my career.

Q: Tell us about your experience specifically related to your academic program.
A: The sports management program teamed up with the Sports Management Club which gave me the chance to network and get advice. TU alum working for professional teams like the Cleveland Indians shared how to get your foot in the door with a team. I was part of the Sports Management Club for all four years at TU and recommend to all sports management students to get involved with that club. 

Q: What was your relationship like with faculty at TU? 
A: My professor Bonnie Tiell was instrumental in preparing me for success in the Sports Management field.  She told me to network, network and network. By the time I got out of Tiffin I knew I was a professional, my resume was good, I knew how to network, I could dress for success and I had already interview prepped. 

Q: If a prospective student was thinking about coming to TU for the same major as you, what would you tell them about the program? 
A: Take full advantage of the program and the Sports Management Club. It is a great way to learn about the industry. The Club helped me build up my confidence. I got my current position when I was working in game- day operations, I networked with the marketing director and asked him for a marketing internship, and he gave it to me.

Q: What is it like to work in the NFL? 
A: It is an amazing experience. To be from Pittsburgh and work for the best team in the NFL is truly a blessing. Coming to work and seeing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell is awesome. Part of my job is working with the youth football program which gives me the opportunity to come on the field during each game. I work with two of our sponsored programs – The Gatorade Co-Captains and Aquafina Kickoff Kids, which gives youth a chance to do a coin toss, and get the tee after a kickoff. 

Q: Has your job changed since the Steelers are making a playoff run?
A:   Yes, the playoff games like the holiday games get a lot more attention. We recently had a game on Christmas day and we had more giveaways, a bigger halftime and post-game entertainment.

Q: Is there anything you would like to share with current or prospective students at TU?
A: Take full advantage of all the activities and programs at TU. I am currently competing with 30-40 marketing intern so I have to do things to stick out! Get involved and get as much as you can on your resume.

Ok Joe, we are going to end with a couple fun questions.

Q: Could you tell us a fun fact about you?
A: At my first Steelers interview my boss, Mike, called me “Tiffin” as I entered the room, and to this day all my co-workers call me Tiffin instead of Joe.

Q: What brought you to Tiffin? 
A: I came to Tiffin on an academic and football scholarship. 

Q: What’s your favorite color? 
A: Red

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: Interstellar

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Q: Who is your favorite Steeler?
A: Antonio Brown

Q: What is your dream job?
A: Sport marketing manager for a NBA team