A Chat with Indy Eleven’s Marketing Manager Katie Donnar

The Indy Eleven hosted their third annual “Inside the Front Office” on Saturday, Oct. 15. The seminar was created for the benefit of current, and recent graduate students seeking a career path in the sports industry. The two-hour seminar included a $25 fee per participant, however, it included the ticket, a food voucher, a parking pass, and the chance to talk with the top sports leaders in Indianapolis.

The Campus Citizen sat down with recent journalism student and IUPUI graduate, Katie Donnar to talk about the “Inside the Front Office” seminar and the development of her own career.

What can you tell me about this event that you guys are throwing today?

We have facilitated a networking event for college night to introduce leaders of the Indianapolis sports industry to college students in central Indiana. We reached out to universities, and invited their best and brightest and hopefully they’ll be able to get an internship through this channel. We actually hired two interns last year, and one of them is full time now. It’s a nice way to introduce new friends to our old friends in sports, because we were all there once and having that first interaction is so key to starting a career.

So what is the Indy Eleven doing?

Katie Donnar

Katie Donnar

I love the what a sports team can do for the value of a city, so that’s what we’re doing here. It’s fun, because it’s getting a new demographic of sports fans engaged in our city. We’re doing all that we can to justify that Indianapolis is a soccer city, and we’re doing just that. It’s the largest sport in the world, and it’s exciting that it’s finally here.It’s a really exciting time for the Indy Eleven, we’re about to have a stadium of our own, we’re lobbying for it in January.

How long have you been with the Indy Eleven?

I’ve been with the Indy Eleven since June of this year. I worked in Motorsports starting in 2011, I began working in motorsports for IndyCar, and then I worked on the road for about five years with the series. I just recently decided to settle down, and make Indianapolis my home, and this is the best way to transition into that.

How did you get to work with the Indy Eleven?

The Indy Eleven was looking for someone in marketing, just around the same time I was looking for somewhere to settle. I started working here in June, I saw the job posting on teamworkonline.com, it’s a great resource.

Where did you work before heading to Indy Eleven?

I was PR intern for a marketing agency called Grand Solutions, and they took on clients early in their motorsports career to help them find sponsorships, the right team for them to take on, and then helped that driver or team build their brand or story. It was based in Speedway, and I started in 2011. I had worked in radio before that in a promotion team, but I think when I really started getting into PR, and understand what I wanted to do with my career, marketing is actually where I really wanted to go and that was in that internship.

Is that how you transitioned into IndyCar?

Yeah, I had an internship with them for two years, it was four of us total so it was like a part-time job, really. I learned in that job how important relationships are, and shortly after that I graduated.

Donnar hopes to stay with the Indy Eleven for a few more years, and in January 2017 the Indy Eleven plans to lobby for a stadium to call their own.

After the two-hour seminar, the Indy Eleven played against the Carolina RailHawks, in which they took home a win with a score of 3-0. The Indy Eleven will play their next game on Oct. 19, against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m.