John Rood, senior vice president of marketing at Disney Channels Worldwide, spoke to University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration marketing students about working in entertainment marketing. He wants Nebraska students to know they possess a secret weapon not often found in the business world.
“The Nebraska vibe of humility and hard work is platinum,” said Rood. “In a lot of big cities they find it staggering to see Nebraska humility in action. It may be saying hello to the doorman, staying late to help someone else or doing something below your pay grade, but that is what Nebraskans do. It becomes a secret weapon when you have those qualities.”
Rood, a UNL speech and communications graduate, asked students interested in entertainment marketing to raise their hands. “Congratulations,” he told them, “you are entertainment marketers.”
“It is about declaration. You have to declare yourself an entertainment marketer. I’m not suggesting you do not need a plan, but I am saying you have to put yourself in the industry, and you can do it right here in Lincoln,” he said.
He emphasized students need to educate themselves on the industry by demonstrating interest. They cannot sit and wait for a call from Disney.
“Entertainment marketing is not the purview of Los Angeles,” said Rood. “Anyone who wants to be a successful entertainment marketer can start doing it in Lincoln today. There are student films, bands, touring acts and a lot of bars and restaurants that need to make connections with the entertainment industry. I wish I had been told to start entertainment marketing in Lincoln when I was younger.”
Rob Simon, associate professor of practice in marketing, believes Rood is the ideal Husker alumnus to speak to students interested in entertainment marketing. He also knows Rood is a champion for Nebraska students.
“Disney is one of the top marketers in the world, so to give our students access to that experience excites them,” said Simon. “John provides guidance and mentorship to CBA students, and in particular shows them they can work anywhere from coast to coast.”
Rood formerly worked in various capacities as a vice president at Disney from 2000-10 before moving on to DC Entertainment as executive vice president, sales marketing business development. He began his newest position with Disney in September. He also spoke at a luncheon of the Lincoln Chapter of the American Marketing Association while in town last month.