Mark Mayfield Interview With Mayfield Sports Intern James Kocen
Mark Mayfield grew up in north central Indiana as an only child. As a kid he was always around sports. He played everything including football, tennis, basketball, baseball, golf and he ran track.
After high school, Mark attended Indiana University where he majored in psychology and minored in both criminal justice and sociology.
Today Mark is married to his wife of almost 13 years Kara who he met while he was visiting friends after college, and dated long distance initially. They have two kids, Alec and Emily who are 9 and 6 respectively.
Work Before Mayfield Sports
Prior to starting his own sport marketing firm Mark worked doing social work and helping kids from Indiana and Wisconsin right after college. He then worked at a Wisconsin resort where he was the director of sales and marketing for several years.
Mayfield Sports Start Up
The story of how Mark began doing sport marketing starts around 2005. The resort he worked for had a partnership with the Milwaukee Mile where Gilbert Brown is a part owner. Gilbert stayed at the hotel where Mark worked and the two had breakfast together for a few days. Mark having a marketing background mentioned to Gilbert that if he ever needed assistance with anything that Mark would be glad to help. As it turns out Gilbert needed a website created. The morning after Gilbert had checked out, Mark had a letter in his mailbox which read “Mayfield” and had money from Gilbert to create the website. Mark did his first autograph session and charity event with Gilbert. Eventually Mark got a call from a client who wanted Gilbert, but since Gilbert was unavailable Mark asked Gilbert if he knew if any of the other guys would be interested and that’s when he met LeRoy Butler. That’s when he started meeting and working with guys like Santana Dotson, William Henderson, and current players. Keep in mind this whole time Mark did sport marketing as a part time job at night and on weekends on top of having his fulltime job and family commitments.
In December of 2011 Mark’s father was sick and passed away. Mark’s dad was very influential to him and told him to chase his dreams, so Mark decided to make 2012 “his year”. In September of 2012 he launched his business and got 5 inquiries on the first day. The next day he resigned from his job at the resort after 11 years. It is also important to note that up until this point it had been called M3 marketing (Mark M. Mayfield). His grandfather had always told him that if you are proud of something you put your name on it, so he changed it to the current name of Mayfield Sports.
Mark’s first season was 2012, and he met DuJuan Harris in the beginning of 2013. Through him he got introduced to other players and really started to grow. Mark has also met lots of people from around Wisconsin to partner with which have also helped him grow and expand his operation.
Important Business Information To Know About Mark
When asked about his favorite parts of his job, Mark said that it’s a great job. He gets to work with professional athletes and help out charities. He also said that he has been humbled to learn the different parts of the Green Bay organization inside out and just to meet sports figures in general, although he still puts business first and being a fan second.
As a pretty optimistic person Mark didn’t have any least favorite parts about his job, but did mention that he’s had to adjust to lots of traveling, tough hours, and being away from family at certain times.
Mark was also asked about some of the qualities he has that have helped him get to where his is today. Stating that people are the most important part of every business, Mark works hard to have good communication skills and to provide excellent customer service which entails being fair and building relationships and most of all having fun while doing so. He also learned from one of his mentors that you aren’t great at everything and that it is important to surround yourself with people who have different expertise's than yourself and to trust them to do what they do best. This is a lesson that Mark has also passed down.
Some of the things he said that set him apart are that he takes a lot of pride in matching the customer with the best athlete for their budget and event; just because a customer is willing to pay him for a certain player who might not be the best fit for their event, doesn’t mean he will solidify the deal. He said he puts himself in the person’s shoes and works with their budget to again pick the right player for their event. He wants the customer to walk away happy and to do his part to help make the event “awesome”. Mark also makes a big effort to respond to inquires and will call back within 24 hours every time. He wants to always be service oriented.
As a kid Mark’s favorite teams were Michigan, the Yankees, the Knicks, and the Bears. Today he is still a huge fan of Michigan and even has a tattoo! Mark is also a Packers fan now because of the history, family, and tradition of the organization and of course he works with a lot of current and former Packers.
His favorite athletes of all time include: Emmitt Smith, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, The Fab Five, Charles Woodson, Jeff Gordon, and Andre Agassi.
Some of the players he has worked with the most are Gilbert Brown, William Henderson, Santana Dotson, John Kuhn, DuJuan Harris, Don Barclay, Jarrett Boykin, and Ahman Green, but has worked with over 50 different athletes over the past 2 years and wants people to know that they aren’t just Packers.
Through his job Mark has met many famous people and said that the biggest “wow I just met him” moment he’s had came when he met Bart Starr at a golf outing 7 years ago.
In the free time that he has he spends a lot of time with his family especially traveling with them and playing sports with his kids. Mark is also an entrepreneur and is close to launching a second business called Honor Canvas.
Lastly if Mark Mayfield had to describe himself with 3 words, they would be energetic, loyal, and family.