UWO journalism alumni talk careers in sports

Shane Arman talks PR campaign, Discover’s ‘Day With the Cup’


Shane Arman

How do you affect the sports world without being blessed with a 6’7”, 280 lbs body? Ask Shane Arman.

Arman is the senior director at Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing firm in Chicago. Arman graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2010 with a degree in journalism and an emphasis in public relations.

“I’ve always loved to write,” Arman said. “Creatively, as an outlet to get my thoughts on paper, there was something that I found therapeutic in a way.”

While at UWO, Arman participated in student organizations including the Advance-Titan, Reeve Union Board and Public Relations Society of America.

Growing up, Arman was very involved with sports. Becoming a major sports reporter for a broadcast company was something he originally thought he was born to be.

Arman said he became less enthusiastic about that dream after seeing declining opportunity in the field.

“I saw traditional media outlets closing left and right when I was in college,” Arman said. “That’s what turned me away from it. So I decided to pursue a career where I could still use my passion and writing skills.”

He pursued a career in public relations with a focus on sports. Arman said he’s always viewed sports through the lens of the fan.

“The fan is really at the core of everything that is great about sports,” Arman said. “It’s that passion, it’s very nostalgic. It’s something that you grew up with that you have so many personal connections with family and friends through competition.”

At his job, Arman said he truly gets to see the nuts and bolts behind sports fandom.

“I’ve seen a little more ‘under the hood’ in terms how fans interact with different aspects of not just the actual game of sports, but everything around it that creates the unique culture,” Arman said. “I find that really interesting.”

Arman said at Burns, the majority of his day-to-day life is spent reaching out to prospective and current clients – PR, advertising and marketing agencies – to discuss their current campaigns and pair celebrities, influencers or popular music with their campaigns.

Arman said he and his team are often trying to match up the right celebrity or athlete(s) with the right campaign.

“At Burns we keep in touch with celebrities and their representation, including athletes, to figure out what campaigns they are willing to work on and then proactively recommend them to agencies and brands that would fit well,” Arman said.

Another big aspect of his job is client management. Arman said they are constantly working with different clients; they can be working on an old project with a familiar client while negotiating a contract with a new client at the same time.

“We always have ongoing projects that are happening in real time,” Arman said. “If something happens out of the ordinary or there is an issue, I work with my team and/or step in to help rectify the issue with the client.”

Arman said a strong relationship between his firm and its clients is at the core of their business plan.

“As is the case in most business, people want to work with people that they like,” Arman said.

Arman said his goal is to get his name as well as the company’s name out to the public.

“The more people I know and the more people that know Burns, the more likely they’re going to call us with potential business,” Arman said.

Arman said the most fulfilling part of his job comes from the finished product of heartwarming stories that he encounters. Arman said one of his proudest moments came from directing a campaign he helped orchestrate with Discover Card in his time at Burson-Marsteller.

Discover was an NHL sponsor that, at the time, had a program every year called, ‘Day With the Cup,’ it’s a program in which individuals are surprised with a chance to see the Stanley Cup in person. Discover is one of the few that get full access to the Stanley Cup for a full day.

Arman said a boy named Logan was selected this year, who had just been diagnosed with cancer and was an avid hockey fan.
“One of his last wishes was to spend a day with the Stanley Cup,” Arman said.

Burns partnered with Make-A-Wish to bring the Stanley Cup to Logan. Not only did Logan get to see the most glorified trophy in hockey, but he was completely shocked when it happened, Arman said.

“We surprised Logan at the doctor’s office with an NHL player and the Stanley Cup,” Arman said. “He took the Stanley Cup to the rink; He was able to skate around with it and his teammates.”

Arman said living in that moment watching the joy on Logan’s face reminded him of his love for his job.

“You can’t explain it,” Arman said. “To see how happy Logan and his family were in that moment. That will probably be one of the best moments of his life.”