When Erin DeLong took her first marketing class in college, she was hooked. After getting her B.S. in Marketing and Public Relations from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, she ultimately found her place as marketing manager for Rocky Brands’ Durango Boots.
DeLong took part in making Durango Boots the presenting sponsor of RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo, her proudest professional moment. This sponsorship means a great deal to DeLong, the Durango team, and the Durango brand as a whole. “Not only is it the richest weekend in western sports, but it is a life-changing rodeo for so many individuals,” says Erin. “I’m incredibly proud for our brand to be associated with such a highly regarded event.”
Working with household-name Western brands like RFD-TV, top-notch communication skills are a must. Erin’s got them down to a science, though she insists she was not always as well-spoken as she is today. “I’ve always enjoyed talking, but would get apprehensive speaking in front of large crowds,” says Erin. “Over the last few years as a marketing manager, I’ve had to overcome this by speaking to large groups and audiences, which in turn has sharpened my communication skills.”
When asked for her best career advice, DeLong responded: “Have a vision for your career,” and she takes her own advice. Though she adores her current position, she plans to continue to add to her skillset and someday earn the title of chief marketing officer.
“To succeed, you need to take that gut feeling in what you believe and act on it with all of your heart,” she continues. “In order to grow, you have to step out of your comfort zone.”