When you first start to think about a job in sponsorship there can appear to be an overwhelming array of terms, jargon and specialist language that is used. And one of the areas that cause a lot of confusion are the roles and responsibilities within a specialist sponsorship agency.
If you’ve always wondered what an AE does, and how the SAD and AD work together in order to maintain the strategic direction of the account, then this ESA guide will shed some light on how the account team works together in order to deliver great results back to the client.
Account Executive: The Account Executive (AE) supports all aspects of the account, working closely with the AM. The AE’s tasks often include research, social and traditional media monitoring and reporting, as well as finance administration and event support, where they’ll be working alongside the account team in the planning and execution of client events. This gives the AE a well rounded view of everything that goes on in the day-to-day activities and helps build their knowledge and confidence so that they can progress their career accordingly.
Account Manager: The Account Manager (AM) is responsible for the day-to-day running of the account, executing tasks and ensuring that the account runs smoothly. The AM works closely with the AD in the project briefing process, before taking on responsibility for projects and working directly with the client and / or partner to ensure targets are met. In addition, the AM is expected to put forward new ideas, think creatively and be both proactive and reactive when it comes to strategy and delivering against objectives.
The AM is responsible for event budgeting and cost tracking and is expected to delegate tasks as necessary to the Account Executive.
Account Director: The Account Director (AD) works closely with the client at a senior level, and as the “go to person” for the account team on a day-to-day basis. The AD leads the agency team to provide high levels of client service, and remains fully aware of all account activities that all members of the team are carrying out. The AD is responsible for pushing clients creatively and strategically, and they work hard at establishing themselves as a trusted advisor.
Together with the SAD, the AD is responsible for defining final budgets, and ensuring all costs and expenses associated with the work carried out for the client are reconciled in a timely manner.
Senior Account Director: The Senior Account Director (SAD) is ultimately responsible for the success (or otherwise!) of the account, and for the running of the account team. The SAD generally holds a more strategic position and, while they have an overview of all activities carried out by the account teams, they are largely ‘hands off’ in their role, which will focus more on the financial aspect of the account, the resource management (the account team, and when to hire new people as needed etc.) and the management of the agency / client relationship. The SAD works closely with the Account Director to agree budgets and scopes of work for the client, and plays an important role in managing the client and / or partner to ensure that objectives are met and that the ongoing strategy for the account is defined and delivered.
Special thanks go to ESA Future Leaders Board (FLB) member Lizzie Isherwood from JMI for her invaluable contribution to this overview.