Courtney Perdiue ‘14 grew up bleeding Orange as a Syracuse University basketball fan. “My grandparents went to Syracuse, and my sister also went to Syracuse – talk about a die-hard fan,” says Perdiue.

But while many Syracuse fans bleed Orange, not everyone is able to combine passions for sports, health, and technology into one job. Perdiue did.

Perdiue’s passion for sports is contagious. That passion lead her to her current role: manager in the Sponsorship Management and Strategy division at the National Football League (NFL).

While working in sports is exhilarating, so is returning to campus after six years to speak to iSchool students. “The excitement and the energy hasn’t changed at all. When you’re back you feel like you could stay another four years.”

Major League Interships

As an Information Management & Technology major, Perdiue looked for experiences that would set her apart. She minored in sports management with Newhouse and held IT internships with both the MLB and the NFL.

As a project management intern for the MLB, she developed wireframes for the World Baseball Classic. She tested and organized their volunteer management system and even troubleshot errors in website and database development.

When Perdiue came across the NFL’s junior rotational program, she knew it was perfect for her.  “The rotational program is two years, and you spend six to eight months in each rotation. You get to understand not only how the league operates, but what you do and don’t like, and most importantly how to narrow down your path.” Perdiue started working in the NFL’s marketing department before moving into her current role.

Using Data in Sports

Perdiue’s iSchool experience gave her the confidence to use her skills at the NFL. With her technical background, she was able to gain better insights to some of the NFL’s largest partners.

“Through the lens of technology, I’ve been able to leverage what I’ve learned from the iSchool and better understand how some of our tech partners operate and activate their shields.”

Part of Perdiue’s job involves fostering relationships between the NFL and their partners.

“Our partners not only benefit us, but we also benefit them. They can only leverage our relationship if we know what’s important to them, and we’re able to provide them the tools and pieces that allow them to make the game better for us.”

Perdiue works with technology that improves the game as well as the health and safety of the athletes.

“I work primarily on Microsoft tablets on the sideline. We also have chips in mouth pieces and players’ chest pads which are constantly tracking data.”

Sports and health-related technology and products are always evolving. Perdue feels she’s able to keep up with the fast pace thanks in part to her iSchool training.

“Health and safety is totally rooted in technology. The technological landscape has changed so much over the past six years and the NFL has really been able to benefit from that,” said Perdiue.

Shifting Perspectives

Perdiue’s passion for football extends beyond her day-to-day job. Besides college basketball, she grew up a dedicated Chicago Bears fan.

But even that has changed following her professional experience in the sports industry. These days, she likes to see a good fighting game and the product that is the result of her hard work.

“The longer I’ve worked with the NFL, I’m more a fan of a really good game rather than rooting for my favorite team.”