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Office Doors: Jose Moreno
By Jamie Killin
“I will literally pick up trash for free until 2 a.m. if it gets my foot in the door.”
That’s the pitch that launched Jose Moreno’s career in sports.
Moreno, who now serves as the senior director of marketing and community relations for the Fiesta Bowl, was always passionate about sports — and his willingness to do anything to break into the industry was what eventually landed him an internship with the Denver Nuggets.
After hearing an executive director for the team speak his freshman year of college, that’s the pitch he made to her, but he didn’t reap the benefits of his tenacity immediately.
It was a few months later when she called and offered him a volunteer opportunity with the Colorado Rapids. That opportunity led to a year and a half internship with the Denver Nuggets and a career in sports community relations.
“If it’s a goal, if it’s a dream just keep pushing and pushing and it might not happen in your time frame but if you want it bad enough it can be there,” said Moreno of the advice he gives others hoping to break into the sports industry.
Moreno began playing sports while growing up in Tucson and recognized early on its positive impact in his life.
“Sports has always been a big passion for me,” he said. “Growing up in Tucson I played baseball all year round, all the time, played football and it was kind of my outlet. I was raised as a kid by a single mom and so for me that was my way that I kind of stayed out of trouble.”
From there, he went on to go to school and play baseball in Colorado, during which time he completed his internship and got his start working with nonprofits at the YMCA.
“I grew up attending the YMCA myself as a kid and getting involved in programs after school and I knew that when it came down to college that I wanted to work for an organization that was flexible — I was playing baseball and going to school at the same time — and I liked working with kids. I loved the sports side of it so I started off as a camp counselor and I worked my way up, I was the sports coordinator and team coordinator and then I became the youth and family director outside of college.”
A little over a year later he returned to Arizona to work for the Phoenix Suns for 3 1/2 seasons before starting the community relations department at Grand Canyon University.
Now, at Fiesta Bowl Charities — which recently announced its plan to donate $2.5 million to the community this year — he’s applying his experience in nonprofits and sports to make a difference in the community.
“I love what I do every single day, it never feels like a job to me,” he said. “I’m just so thankful every day for what I get to do and I want to stay in this world, I want to stay in community relations. I wish I had $2.5 million of my own to give out but I’m fortunate that I work for an organization that believes in philanthropy and I’m able to be a small piece of that puzzle to serve and I want to continue doing that and hopefully just make an impact every single day.”
From building fields to providing half a million dollars in grants to teachers across the state through its Wishes for Teachers program — the Fiesta Bowl’s impact on the community is clear.
Moreno recalls a time when Fiesta Bowl Charities was building a field at a school and one of the facilities employees observed that the field could produce the next Heisman Trophy-winner who may have otherwise not had the opportunity to practice.
“We always remember that we’re making a big impact, but we don’t see it half the time and the reality is we could,” Moreno said. “One of these kids could be playing
in one of our bowl games, could be in the NFL because they have a field now that they can practice on, so for me obviously it brings a lot of joy.”