Rising Star

Eric Jaramillo, who was recently promoted to assistant general manager/director of marketing, talks about his new position, his passion for this business and the future of the marketing world at the American Bank Center.

By: Kristen Bily

The marketing department and the entire SMG-managed American Bank Center family recently came together to congratulate the promotion of Eric Jaramillo from the director of marketing to director of marketing/assistant general manager.

“Eric’s hardworking attitude, business knowledge and professionalism made this promotion an easy one for us to make,” explains Jim Salamenta, general manager of SMG-managed American Bank Center. “He is a rising star in our industry, and this promotion will only strengthen the overall service the American Bank Center is proud to provide.”

The future is looking so very bright not only for Jaramillo in his new position, but also in the positive direction that SMG-managed American Bank Center continues to head into. Sold-out shows such as Carlos Santana, Chris Tucker and Enrique & Pitbull, which ended up being the highest grossing show in American Bank Center history, are proof of that direction. These successful shows that come to the Coastal Bend are due in large part to the team here at the American Bank Center that make these shows come to life. Jaramillo continues to be a crucial part of that team, and he is ready for the next chapter.

Jaramillo joined SMG at American Bank Center in February 2009. He has more than 12 years of venue and live entertainment experience, starting in 2003 at the AT&T Center with Spurs Sports & Entertainment. While earning a marketing degree at University of Texas at San Antonio in 2003, he started his industry experience with the game operations department for the NBA San Antonio Spurs, WNBA Silver Stars and AHL Rampage. From there, he gained experience as an event marketing coordinator for Community Arena Management (C.A.M.), AT&T Center’s venue management group.

Jaramillo will continue to manage the marketing department as the director of marketing. In his new role, he will assist the general manager within all departments to include sales and operations by implementing and overseeing department heads in changes to facility programs and operations, establishing and maintaining contact with booking agents, professional managers, promoters and others within the industry to encourage continual and regular use of the facility. He will work closely with the general manager in the preparation and negotiation of service agreements and in reviewing contracts for compliance with events and/or government specifications and suitability for occupancy.
Recently, Jaramillo sat down to discuss his new position with SMG-managed American Bank Center and his goals that have been set in place for this new adventure.

When the announcement was made on your new position, what was the first thing you thought about that next morning?
The journey continues! Since joining SMG and American Bank Center in February 2009, I have always [fallen] into a position where I served as a resource for others. Being the director of marketing, it easily put me in a position to be a resource for my coworkers and community. My thoughts going into the AGM position continued that thought process of being more a resource to others. Overall, I felt humble that I am advancing in a career that I truly love. Not everyone gets to say that.

Describe a great lesson that you have learned from a failure.
Failure is not all-around a bad thing. There is always a silver lining when an event or plan fails. The trick is to learn from it. I love getting feedback, good or bad. Unfortunately, when it’s bad feedback, we have failed at some point in the process. However, if we truly love what we do, we should always want to get better at it. Sometimes it’s just an unfortunate point in the process that we can learn from.

What will define your career in the coming year, and what goals have you set for yourself?
Overall, I’m trying to immerse myself into the venue operations as much as possible. I have defined my career so far in the live entertainment industry as a marketer. Next is to take those skills and develop general management skills.

Learning in this business gives one the opportunity to learn from great people in this industry. Who is your most important mentor, and what was it that you learned?
I have numerous mentors in this industry. I couldn’t put one over the other, though. I was fortunate to have a mentor – early, when I was a sophomore in college – in a college professor. That led to a part-time position with the San Antonio Spurs in which I met a good number of mentors. Over time, all of my mentors have moved on to other positions in the industry, but we all keep in touch ‘til this day. It’s great to have that kind of support and advice.

The live entertainment business gives you the opportunity to see things that most never get to see behind the scenes of their favorite show. What is your most memorable moment from a concert you worked on?
My most memorable concert was the first one that I worked at. Initially, I got into this business working for a professional franchise sports team, Spurs Sports & Entertainment. Growing up as a Spurs and Cowboys fan, I thought naturally I would love to work for the Spurs. A couple of years into that sports franchise experience, I noticed the marketing manager for concerts and family shows struggling as her assistant manager and her interns all left the department. I offered her my help, and that turned into me helping her at the first concert I ever worked, The Lady’s First Tour featuring Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott and Jessica Simpson. That alone was a very enlightening experience, and from there, I knew I wanted to be in the concert/family show venue industry.

What advice would you give to people who have a passion for marketing and the live entertainment business?
Don’t be afraid of getting gray hair (or as I put it, silver highlights), as this business will do it to you! All kidding aside, we do what we do because we love the business. We don’t do it for the paycheck. We are very fortunate to have found something we love doing. I think that’s a big part of life – finding what you like doing and figure out how to do it well. Also, be sure to work with others in your industry. Relationships continue to go a long way in the industry.

SMG-managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center. Follow us online at www.americanbankcenter.com, www.facebook.com/americanbankcenter or www.twitter.com/americanbankctr, and on Instagram (@americanbankcenter), on Tumblr (@American Bank Center) and now on Periscope (@AmericanBankCenter).

Photo courtesy of American Bank Center

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