Behind the Scenes: the Under Armour Ultimate Intern Project

My name is Kevin Gottlieb (@KevinJGottlieb) and I am a senior Business Administration major at Furman University. I am also a left-handed relief pitcher for the Furman Paladins. In 2011, I was selected to be one of the Under Armour Ultimate Interns.
The Under Armour Ultimate Intern position was a Facebook driven contest for two students to work with the digital media team at Under Armour. The internship consisted of working with the digital marketing team assisting in various aspects of the business with an emphasis on social media engagement. We served as a bridge to the inside world of Under Armour through the world of social media with daily Facebook posts, Tweets, and blog posts about our experiences.
We worked with some of Under Armour’s world class athletes and traveled to many Under Armour events. The events included: the U.S. Open, Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game, MLB All-Star Game, Great American Shoot-out in Dallas, IMG 7-on-7 Football event, fitness event in Los Angeles, and many other trips all in a span of five weeks. This experience gave me the knowledge and skills in social media that has allowed me to build a strong network and foundation for the start of my career.
The digital search for the Ultimate Interns began by students submitting a 140-character cover letter and resume via Under Armour’s Facebook page. The final 100 candidates were announced about a week later, expanding the 140-character cover letter to 100 words explaining why they should be chosen. From the final 100, ten students were selected to conduct a Skype interview to narrow it down to the two Ultimate Intern winners.

I started using social media as an everyday ritual in order to differentiate myself amongst the 5,000+ students applying for the internship. I posted on Facebook for family and friends to go “Like” the Under Armour Brand Facebook Page and then write on the Under Armour wall that I am the person for the job. By the end of the application period, I had over 100 of my friends, family, teammates, coaches, teachers telling Under Armour to select me for the position. Dan Mecchi (Director of Digital Media) and Colin Clark (Manager of Digital Media) told me during the process that this set me apart from the other students.  When my name kept popping up on the Facebook page they began asking themselves, “Who is this Kevin Gottlieb kid and why is everyone telling us to choose him on the Under Armour Facebook Page?” Many students started doing this as well, but I like to think I took it to the next level with over 100 posts.

It started getting very competitive and intense when the top 100 students were selected. I decided to separate myself even more by trying to get some of the Under Armour Athletes to endorse me on twitter. I was not sure if it would work or not, but tried it anyways. I would say it worked out:

Kevin Gottlieb @KevinJGottlieb20 May
@PhelpsTheFish can I get A retweet… made the finals for the#ultimateintern position for @Under_Armour. Out of 10, 2 students are selected”
Michael Phelps @MichaelPhelps@kevingottlieb35 good luck!!!”

Kevin Gottlieb @KevinJGottlieb21 May
@jenhudak jealous of your great weekend at the Preakness…Can I get a RT, Im in the finals for the @Under_Armour #ultimateintern need help!”
Jen Hudak @jenhudak@kevingottlieb35 good luck!!”

I made it through to the Top 10, which lead to a Skype interview with Kevin Wright, the college recruiting coordinator and Colin Clark. It was nerve-racking but extremely fun.  A few days later I saw one of the top 10 finalists say on Facebook that they did not win, then another, then another, then another. I was trying to figure out how they knew, so I checked my email and there was nothing there. A few seconds later, my phone rang and it was the Digital Media team telling me that I was one of the winners of the Ultimate Intern competition. The other winner was Christa Bagley, who was a cheerleader at Georgia Tech.  Throughout the five week internship, Christa and I shared our internship experience through the twitter handle @UAInternTeam.

The internship was an amazing experience. As a college baseball player and life-long baseball fan, my favorite part of the internship was traveling to Phoenix for the MLB All-Star Weekend. Colin had worked for the Chicago Cubs before coming to Under Armour so he knew a ton of baseball executives from around the league as well as from MLB Advanced Media. It was an incredible networking event for Christa and me. On top of working the Under Armour Fan-fest event in the morning, we attended the Futures Game, Homerun Derby, MLB All-star Game, pregame networking events, and post-game concert events. I was able to meet Under Armour All-Star’s Brandon Phillips, Jair Jurrjens, and Jose Reyes as well as Bryce Harper. To say the least, it was one of the best weeks of my life.

To give you an idea of the headquarters behind the powerful Under Armour brand, there is a dynamic, young, fun, fast-paced, and full of energy feel in the air. One thing that really stuck out to me was the company’s culture and overall love and passion for the Under Armour brand and products. The top-notch Combine Training Center, Humble and Hungry Café, and half-court basketball court were the employee’s favorite spots within the building.

To get more of a detailed outline of the day-to-day life, you can check out my Tumblr page where I wrote about my experience at kevingottlieb35.tumblr.com. For those of you interested, the Ultimate Intern 2.0 competition launched February 1st  on the Under Armour Facebook Page. If you are a college student and love sports, this is the greatest opportunity out there for you. Under Armour revamped the program to include a team of five ultimate interns. This team will consist of an intern representing Social Media, Writing, Film Production, Graphic Design, and Brand Marketing. Keep a look out if you are interested in applying.

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One thought on “Behind the Scenes: the Under Armour Ultimate Intern Project

  1. dan says:

    Great summary, KG. Keep after it. We will need you back in Baltimore soon enough…

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