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One of the coolest ecommerce jobs around!

We are working with Varsity Spirit in their search for a world-class Director, Digital Strategy & Ecommerce based in Memphis — “home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks!” (Sorry, that’s a Talking Heads reference I’ve been waiting for years to bust out.)

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Regular readers of these essays understand that all of my job postings are designed to help the candidate understand three things:

  1. What’s the job — all BS aside? What’s the client’s business about? How do they make money? And what’s really happening inside (and outside) the company?
  2. Is the job doable — realistically and affordably? And does everyone on the hiring committee agree on what a job well done looks like — and on what timetable?
  3. Is my reader the right candidate for the job given the answers to the first two questions?

Each essay takes 4-5 hours to pull together, but they do a great job of helping ensure that the right people apply for the right reasons.

Today’s client, Varsity Spirit, is the worldwide leader in cheerleading and dance team uniforms, instructional camps, and competitions. The firm is run by smart, likable, and transparent executives – many of whom I’ve gotten to know well. All told, I’ve spent nearly four hours on the phone with this hiring committee teasing out their needs for this position.

The ultimate goal for ecommerce within Varsity Spirit is to create an effective ecommerce strategy and product roadmap through collaboration with Marketing, Merchandising, and Technology. To accomplish its ecommerce goals, Varsity Spirit seeks a technologically experienced, financially literate, strategically savvy, business-oriented A-player who’s more of a marketing-oriented technologist than a technology-oriented marketer.

Everyone at Varsity Spirit is committed to the new hire’s success, and the firm has thoughtfully engaged all of its senior execs in its ecommerce planning to make sure that its ecom initiatives get traction — both internally and in the marketplace.

Varsity Spirit’s parent company is Varsity Brands, which is comprised of three business units:

  1. Varsity Spirit, which sells uniforms, hosts competitions, and runs instructional cheerleading and dance camps;
  2. Herff Jones, which is a provider of graduation and educations products such as class rings, jewelry, caps and gowns, yearbooks and recognition products; and
  3. BSN Sports, a distributor of sports uniforms and equipment.

With customizable products and programs, including yearbooks and graduation products, cheerleading uniforms, camps and competitions, and sports apparel and equipment, these three businesses serve the full spectrum of schools as well as sports teams and other organizations.

Varsity Brands. Built on a single premise.

Not many companies are based on a single premise, but Varsity Brands is. The firm believes in the connection between school spirit and student achievement, involvement, and confidence. Varsity Brands understands that school spirit is the glue that connects every high school community — from its students, to its parents, teachers, and the local society at large.

Through a heightened sense of school spirit, these communities enjoy a greater sense of …

  • Purpose: Through a shared goal or interest.
  • Identity: A knowledge of who’s who.
  • Communication: A platform to share information and ideas.
  • Trust: Members know with whom they’re dealing and that it’s safe to do so.
  • Reputation: Members recognize and build status based on their actions.
  • Groups: Members can relate to each other in smaller numbers.
  • Environment: Members interact in a shared space that is appropriate to their goals.
  • Boundaries: Members know who belongs and who doesn’t.
  • Governance: Leaders can regulate and moderate behavior according to shared or stated values.
  • Exchange: Members have a system of exchange or barter and can trade knowledge, support, goods, services, and ideas.
  • Expression: Members have a group identity and know what other members are doing.
  • History: Members can look back over their history and track their evolution.

Anyone who’s ever been to a high school reunion knows how important school spirit is — and how lasting its positive effects can be. Here you can see Varsity Brands’ mission in action. As the worldwide leader in spirit, Varsity Spirit has believed in this mission for 40 years.

Varsity Spirit’s Enthusiastic and Highly Experienced Sales Team will Help Drive Digital Strategy

With sales in excess of $380M Varsity Spirit’s 330 sales professionals are assigned to cheer and dance teams across the country. These reps sell all three segments – camps, competitions, and uniforms.

I’ll stop here, but if you’re the right person for this role — you can already see where this is going.

The job is based in Memphis, Tennessee. Make no mistake: Tennessee rocks. I used to live there, and I’ve been to Memphis. Four seasons. No state income tax. Low cost of living. Smart, very down to earth people. Pro business. Amazing food. Like, off the chain. Yada yada yada.

Plus, this is a fantastic opportunity with a well run company in a growing market. And these folks WANT you to succeed. Indeed, your fingerprints will be ALL OVER this thing when it’s running as well as it’s going to. Talk about “reputation-enhancing!”

Anyway.

Candidates, rest assured that I’m sitting on a ridiculous amount of proprietary information about this role, the company, its industry and the size / scope of the market opportunity. For competitive reasons, I painted a fairly broad picture here.

However, I’m happy to share everything I’ve heard, seen, and researched about this opportunity with qualified candidates. You definitely don’t want to apply without this intel, so let me hook you up!

Simply TEXT [your name + “VARSITY”] to me at (404) 281-2025. Or simply apply online below. Either way, I look forward to chatting with you!

View Harry Joiner's LinkedIn profileView Harry Joiner’s profile

Responsibilities:

Leadership

  • Develop and execute Varsity Spirit’s digital and ecommerce strategy to support the company’s strategic and financial targets.
  • Lead the overall ecommerce business including development of short and long-term business plans, as well as day-to-day operations management delivering top line sales, operating metrics, key performance indices, marketing budget and maintaining bottom line targets
  • Implement an omnichannel digital strategy that creates a personal conversation with customers, ultimately driving to increase sales
  • Build a track record of delivering products that customers love and that drive value for the business.
  • Oversee deliverables to ensure that schedule, functionality and quality requirements are met.
  • Own projects over all phases of the product lifecycle, including opportunity assessment, discovery, requirements definition, implementation, and launch.

Collaboration

  • Collaborate with Marketing, Merchandising and Technology to drive an effective site strategy and product roadmap for Varsity Spirit.
  • Build and maintain close relationships with technology, business analysts and project management to ensure that all requirements are clearly understood, adjusting details/scope as necessary.
  • Communicate to ensure key stakeholders are informed on prioritization and progress.
  • Partner with User Experience and Creative to create specifications and interaction models that best suit user needs, and to create a compelling visual experience.
  • Identify and evaluate third-party vendors to support the eCommerce roadmap and vision, when appropriate.

Expertise

  1. Provide expertise on industry best practices and identify new opportunities, staying abreast of market trends, consumer behavior, and the competitive landscape.
  2. Leverage all available data and insights including market analysis, customer feedback, web data, A/B testing and usability findings to form actionable insights that guide project decisions.

Requirements:

  • Have 5+ years of product management experience with web or mobile consumer ecommerce experiences.
  • Demonstrate experience bringing web and mobile products from conception to implementation, including gathering and synthesizing requirements, managing resources, and leading cross-functional teams.
  • Pride yourself on strong quantitative data analysis and critical thinking skills.
  • Boast superb communication skills, verbal and written, and are persuasive.
  • Thrive in an unstructured environment and have an ability to multi-task and manage multiple priorities and projects.
  • Focus on delivering results and making an impact on an organization.
  • Are a master of collaboration, influencing and building consensus; work well with many groups/personalities/levels in the organization.
  • Are referred to by friends as an entrepreneurial, out-of-the-box thinker who is intellectually curious with a strong work ethic.
  • Are an exceptional team builder and developer of direct, indirect, and non-reports.
  • Have experience with web analytic tools such as Coremetrics, Omniture, Google Analytics
  • Experience in other Online Marketing disciplines, such as Email Marketing, SEO, Social Media, etc.
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in a Marketing, Sales or related field or equivalent working experience

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. You can now TEXT Harry for more info at (404) 281-2025. Or to apply on your desktop, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Harry for a packet of market research and company / competitive intel that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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Harry Joiner

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