Hiring a Sales Manager for Sportswear Apparel!

Posted on June 29th, 2015

Hunters only please!

We are leading the search for a Sales Manager to aggressively develop and grow new business within the sportswear apparel market.  We need a hunter who can effectively identify key decision makers within brands and nurture long term relationships as well as:

  • Create and execute sales plans that win new opportunities and increase customer and market share
  • Educate and promote the value proposition and advantages of working with their proprietary applications and products
  • Collaborate with global marketing, sales, design and product teams to assess and define market trends that ultimately drive sales
  • Provide regular reporting via CRM and CMS tools to identify new sales opportunities and product development needs

Interested?  Check out our LinkedIn posting.


Three PR Lessons We Can Learn from Tom Brady vs. The NFL

Posted on June 23rd, 2015

Deflategate, the subject of hundreds of hot takes from the media, is reaching its final resolution as Tom Brady’s appeal hearing begins today. Despite all of the nonsensical ink and airwaves committed to this ‘scandal,’ Brady and his people have provided brands with lessons in messaging and crisis communications.


Lesson #1: Don’t Speak Out if Others Are Willing to Speak on Your Behalf

Aside from an awkward press conference before the Super Bowl, Brady has largely abstained from commenting on the issue publicly. The New England Patriots’ organization, however, has not. In a huge show of support for their star quarterback, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft came out swinging and issued a scathing rebuttal to the NFL’s Wells Report that found it “more likely than not” that Brady was involved in tampering with the AFC Championship game balls. While it must be difficult for Brady to take the abuse the national press have heaped so generously on him during this time, it is the right move.

Players like Adrian Peterson and Dez Bryant quickly turn public sentiment against themselves when they went off on unscripted rants on social media. The overwhelming majority of fans should be behind them – who would root for a tyrannical billionaire lording a hugely one-sided contract against an athlete who overcame huge odds to succeed at the highest levels of the NFL? – but their ill-timed meltdowns were quickly flipped into damaging stories about their “immaturity,” “selfishness” and for “not fulfilling their contract.” Peterson is now at training camp laboring under a contract he hates while Bryant will likely be doing the same. If both of these guys had kept quiet, they wouldn’t have ceded what little leverage they had. Brady staying mum while his owner waged a public war on his behalf avoided ostracizing himself from his own fans and avoided creating new enemies.

Lesson #2: Understand Your Part in the Story Arc

First things first: there isn’t a rational person alive that thinks that Tom Brady didn’t have anything to do with the tampered game balls. When Deflategate was first reported, the league had everyone on their side. The NFL was going to administer justice to a team that had cheated during the AFC Championship game. That is the story that should have been told. The NFL then made its biggest PR mistake: it handed down a punishment that didn’t match the crime which changed the entire narrative.

If the league had come out and smacked Brady with a one-game suspension and fined the Patriots a first round pick, they would have been loudly cheered. It would have been an aggressive sentence –the San Diego Chargers were penalized just $20,000 for the same infraction – but the context would have justified the punishment. Instead, the NFL doled out a ham-fisted sentence that was so far beyond reason that the punishment – rather than the crime – was now the focal point of the story. By punishing Brady well beyond precedent and giving him a tougher sentence than other players who had been arrested for violent crimes, the NFL undercut their position as a fair and impartial judge. Brady went from being the cheating villain to an unfairly persecuted martyr. Public sentiment continues to build for him and it’s all because of the league’s bungling.

Lesson #3: How to Move Past a Crisis

Make no mistake, Brady is going to be punished. The NFL cannot lose this case completely despite their best efforts. The Patriots quarterback, however, can move past Deflategate if he adheres to a few simple PR tactics:

  • Accept the punishment. No matter how wronged he feels, he needs to accept his punishment and try not to stir the pot any further with inflammatory comments to the press. Reporters cannot write a news story in perpetuity about Deflategate if the central character refuses to participate.
  • Manage the news cycle. No matter whether Brady talks to the press about the issue or not, there are several key dates where Deflategate will be a major media story. They are the opening of training camp, the opening day of the Patriots’ season and then – potentially – the first game he is back in the lineup. There will always be reporters looking to rile up Brady throughout the season but these weeks will be particularly loud. He should have a few standard responses and shouldn’t veer away from those to any reporter. Again, the media needs to be fed news, story angles and quotes to stay focused on a story. Reporters need to write interesting stories that get them clicks; if they’re not getting anything their rivals aren’t, the story goes away.
  • Brady isn’t his only spokesperson. His team should work with the Patriots PR person to make sure that Brady’s teammates are also on the same page in terms of addressing Deflategate with the media. They will be barraged – particularly Brady’s backup Jimmy Garoppolo who will start in his place or media darling Rob Gronkowski – for their perspectives on the matter and could be the difference between the story fizzling out or gaining legs.

In the end, Deflategate will be an unfortunate blip on Brady’s career. His reputation has not been tarnished in any meaningful way so it’s critical that Brady and his team continue to play the long game and let this story blow over as soon as possible.

It Takes One to Know One: Humans and the Art of Recruiting

Posted on June 19th, 2015

Recruiting isn’t something most people think about. At least not as much as I do. People generally accept that the person sitting next to them was hired for a reason, but generally give little thought to the reasons why. Those reasons are what I think about day in and day out. They are why I take lots of lunches and drink too much coffee. In order to accurately evaluate people’s skill sets and match them to positions and company cultures at businesses around the country, I need to know them. Plain and simple.

Recently, two built-in-Boston apps launched with an objective of disrupting the talent and recruiting industry. Both Drafted and ReferralMob use incentives to change how people network. All the users have to do is download one of the apps, scan the posted job opportunities, and forward them to people in their network who might be a fit. If someone you refer gets hired, you get paid – and so does the candidate who got hired. Easy as pie.

I love the concept. Both apps deliver a streamlined, mobile-friendly experience. Both get more people thinking about potential candidates. Throw in the potential for a sweet payout (some jobs offer a $15,000 referral bonus) and it makes sense that they’ve generated some buzz.

In this context, technology should enable, not replace. No doubt Drafted and ReferralMob will make recruiters better in the same way LinkedIn did when it launched. It will increase the candidate pipeline for all of us. However, when the process gets beyond early vetting, there’s no replacing the human element. Unless you’re working with all robots (or are a robot yourself), it takes a human to know one. And that means everything when it comes to how people work.


There is an art to what great recruiters do. More than just checking off boxes on a job description and resume, we can identify cultural fit. You can’t assess a person via text. And you shouldn’t necessarily vouch for someone by swiping right. Placing people in roles that will strengthen a company culture and further a business objective requires an intimate knowledge of their working style, personal values, and habits. If an app comes around that can do that, or if I meet my robot match, it will be time for me to switch careers.

Oh, and by the way, we’re hiring. #shamelessplug

We’re hiring a Marketing Director in Chicago!

Posted on June 17th, 2015


Our client is a global leader in the consumer packaged goods space with more than 50 years of history.  With a focus on using only the highest quality ingredients and applying sustainable operations, they have consistently developed innovative products.  We are leading the search for a hands-on Marketing Director in the Chicago area that will responsible for executing marketing strategies to grow their U.S. business as well as:

  • Developing the annual marketing budget to ensure all areas of spend are optimized for growth
  • Creating promotional campaigns that grow the company’s position within various retail and food service categories throughout the U.S.
  • Collaborating with a global marketing team to drive strategic growth across the company’s portfolio of brands
  • Managing, mentoring and coaching a small marketing team of two direct reports

The ideal candidate will have 7-10 years of relevant marketing experience in the CPG space.  For more information and to apply please click here.

We’re hiring a contract Director of Marketing & Communications!

Posted on May 12th, 2015

We are pumped to be partnering up with HUBweek to lead a search for their Director of Marketing & Communications!  If you haven’t heard, HUBweek is the place where art, science and technology will collide in Boston.  In October 2015,  there will be a week long celebration of the big ideas and bold solutions that emerge from the people and intellectual energy found in Greater Boston.  We are looking to hire a contract Director of Marketing that will help build the HUBweek brand and messaging.  You will own and drive their voice and the execution of all communications as well as:

  • Creating and implementing marketing and communications campaigns that will promote HUBweek to local and national audiences
  • Establishing and driving brand messaging guidelines for partners, sponsors and collaborators to use for the HUBweek brand and vice versa.
  • Managing outside agencies and overseeing website development
  • Coordinating and optimizing communication channels from HUBweek partners, sponsors and collaborators

Interested in hearing more?  You can apply here.


We’re hiring a Director of Email Marketing!

Posted on April 17th, 2015

Email back Our client is a global leader at the crossroads of sports, health & fitness.  They are on a mission to change people’s lives through amazing events & experiences, compelling content, nutrition, training and innovative products.  We are looking to hire an experienced Director of Email Marketing that will drive global email contact strategy.  You will be pulling, manipulating and modeling data to make actionable recommendations as well as;

  • Creating and optimizing email campaigns and providing data insights through A/B tests, statistical measurements and deep-dive analysis;
  • Driving database growth and email acquisition through CTR, ESP, MAP and CRM;
  • Developing segmentation, targeting for email campaigns and tracking conversion;
  • Building email data infrastructure and ensure data integrity;
  • Collaborating with business intelligence team to drive business requirements;


  • Bachelor’s degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering or other relevant quantitative discipline;
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in email marketing, database analytics, data mining and modeling;
  • Must be data-driven and have an analytics mindset;
  • Advanced experience with SQL, Excel, Teradata warehousing, SAS and marketing analytics tools (Tableau is a plus);
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment is a must;

Interested?  You can apply here via LinkedIn.

We’re hiring a Director of Social Media!

Posted on April 17th, 2015

Do you want to work for a global leader at the intersection of sports and health & fitness.  Our client is on a mission to change lives of people through amazing events & experiences, compelling content, nutrition, training and innovative products.  We are looking to hire an experienced Director of Social Media that is comfortable working in a strategic and hands-on role.   You will develop and execute strategic global social media initiatives that support ongoing marketing campaigns as well as:

  • Analyze and optimize social media channels to maximize their impact;
  • Evolve social media metrics to provide a clear sense of value across all social initiatives;
  • Create engaging content for a community of millions of passionate fans;
  • Act as a subject matter expert on key social channels including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, blogs and discussion forums;

Interested in learning more or applying?  Check out our posting on LinkedIn.


We are hiring a PR Manager!

Posted on April 8th, 2015

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Breakaway is currently looking to hire a PR Manager to join our Brand Activation team.  This is an integrated practice within the company that harnesses PR, social, content + SEO to drive growth for our clients.  This is an opportunity to work closely with a major global brand.  We’re looking for someone with 3-5 years of experience to develop and nurture relationships with press in key local, trade and business publications as well as:

  • Manage day-to-day client relations;
  • Create press releases, blog posts, social posts and contributed content;
  • Contribute to the recruitment of customers to aid in our clients’ content creation programs;
  • Proactively manage awards and speaking programs;
  • Manage daily Breakaway newsletter to help keep employees informed and engaged;

Interested?  Please apply via LinkedIn


We’re hiring a Brand Strategy Intern

Posted on April 6th, 2015

Breakaway is currently seeking a Brand Strategy intern to support our Boston based Strategy team. The internship is a flexible, unpaid position for graduate students looking to gain experience in a brand development firm that works with companies of all sizes and growth stages across different verticals.

This role requires a unique blend of professional experience, creativity and entrepreneurial zeal. You will work with Breakaway’s interdisciplinary teams to develop strategic initiatives, research industry trends and assist in thought leadership development. We believe that brand is where value is created and growth is accelerated. This means we need someone who can develop unique insights, define new opportunities and help clients go to market with a refreshed strategy.

Successful candidates will be strategic thinkers with superior verbal and written communication skills and have a first hand knowledge and experience in the innovation economy. Applicants should be completing MBA or similar graduate-level studies and must have relevant professional experience in brand / product / marketing management and a basic awareness of innovation trends to be considered.

Interested?  Please apply via LinkedIn.

The Gender Gap in Venture Capital

Posted on March 24th, 2015

A gender gap in venture capital? In all honesty, this is not something I ever thought of before this past fall when I was invited to be a panelist at an event hosted by Babson College. The event was held to discuss the findings of a new study on venture capital funding and women entrepreneurs. The study, Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital, was conducted by the same Babson professors who started the Diana Project, a program focused on women entrepreneurs and their continued growth. Two stats from that study caught my eye:

  • Over the course of 3 years (2011-2013), only 2.7% of the companies receiving venture capital funding had female CEO’s
  • If women entrepreneurs started with the same capital as their male counterparts, they would add 6 million jobs to the economy in 5 years and 2 million in the first year alone.

2015-03-24_1029The report shocked me. But then I thought about how many women have come to pitch me for funding for their companies over the past 10 years … how many women entrepreneurs have come through our doors? I realized that in fact, this percentage isn’t all that dissimilar to the 2.7% cited.

Once you see how large the gender gap is, it’s pretty hard to ignore not just the problem, but also the profound impact, both economically and culturally, that we’d all see from bridging it.

A number of challenges are cited for this disparity including lack of role models, few mentors and unconscious bias. And while there absolutely are merits to all of these, where do we start?

In my opinion, a big part of the problem and the best place to start is at the top of the funnel. The truth is, there are disproportionately fewer female entrepreneurs seeking funding to begin with. We need to get more women pitching for capital.

Even if you are more economically motivated than values-driven, doesn’t it make sense to become part of the solution? Venture capital will chase success, but it also has to breed it. There is far too much upside to continue looking the other way. This is why we’ll be kicking off a business challenge for women entrepreneurs in partnership with Babson College later this year.

Generating an open and honest conversation about the gender gap is critically important. I’m certain that many of my male counterparts are, like I was, simply unaware of the problem, as well as the opportunity. This is something we can change, and I invite you to join in on the conversation.

Read more from John Burns in The Boston Globe here