Do you have a love of all things Basketball? Are you in tune with sports trends, styles and fashion? Would you like to work in an environment that encompasses all of the above? If YES is your answer, then meet Sam Asfahani, Senior Specialist in Merchandising at NBA. Sam tells Flavourmag, what its take to do his job.

Sam Asfahani 1Name: Sam Asfahani
Job title: Senior Specialist, Merchandising
Company: NBA EMEA

What does your job role entail?

Product management and marketing for lifestyle, fashion and gaming merchandise across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Describe your working day or week?

Every day brings new and exciting projects but at the core of my job is the management of key licensee relationships such as New Era and Take Two Interactive. With that comes the need to find exciting and innovative ways to present and market NBA merchandise in all its varieties here.

What key skills do you need to do your job?

The need to think innovatively and creatively is vital in this industry; but the most important skills (like any job) are team work and communication. It of course helps to have passion for sport as well as a deeper understanding and love for the world of fashion, and understand how our fans feel to connect with the NBA.

What made you decide to go for this job role?

Sport has always been a passion and I knew I wanted to work in professional sport during my latter university years. This role was the perfect way to combine my love for sports, fashion and gaming.

Best part of your job?

Working with so many people from so many industries is a positive, and always exciting. It is great to work in the sports business but still be able to be part of the interesting world of fashion, lifestyle and also gaming. But hands down it has to be seeing how much the NBA and sport of basketball mean to people all over Europe. It’s great to know you are a small part of delivering that ultimate NBA experience to fans.

Worst part of your job?

Working for a US league means your body clock takes a battering. The time difference always messes you up and makes watching mid-week games difficult.

Most memorable moment at work?

Has to be meeting my favourite NBA player as a kid – Gary Payton aka The Glove. He was over here to help us launch our partnership with Looney Tunes and is one of the funniest and coolest guys I’ve ever met. One of those moments I will never forget!

If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?

We have people with sports degrees and marketing degrees and all sorts. I personally studied Economics. But I think the course or degree does not matter as much as your application and commitment once studying. The ability to think creatively, solve problems and work in a team is what sets people apart.

Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?

Absolutely, and work experience doesn’t have to be paid. It always shows a lot of character when people take time out and volunteer, whether it’s charities, local sports clubs on new businesses.

Give us a tip on how to steal your job.

As if I would tell you – I’m not giving up this job anytime soon.