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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Newton native pursues passion for sports as a VP with Orlando Magic

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  • ?Roman Vega remembers his days on the court as a basketball player at Newton High School. Although he’s a long way from Newton now, he hasn’t strayed far from the sport he was so passionate about while growing up. Instead of playing on the court, he can be spotted on the sidelines at NBA games, managing the marketing for the Orlando Magic professional basketball team.?“Sports has played an integral role in my life,” said Vega, who is the vice president of brand management for the Orlando Magic and lives with his wife and two children in Maitland, Fla. “... I’m living a dream right now.”?After growing up in Newton, Vega earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Emporia State University, where he was a member of the men’s basketball team. He also earned a master’s of business administration from Wichita State University. He went on to serve as a global brand leader for Nike Basketball and as an advertising manager for the Coca-Cola Co.?He was named vice president of brand management for the Orlando Magic in 2009, a job he says allows him to marry his love for the game of basketball with business.?In his position, he oversees marketing and advertising for the Orlando Magic brand, including television, radio and billboard ads. He’s also in charge of making sure game nights go well, and building fan loyalty and making connections with the fans.?There always is something new and different going on, and it’s a position that requires a lot of flexibility.?“You never know what your day is going to be like,” he said.?He lists his family and the sport of basketball as two of his most important influences growing up. His father played basketball, and Vega said it was natural for him to pick up the sport, as well.?“It was in my blood,” he said.?He is grateful for the love and support from his family, and he said his parents encouraged him both to pursue his passion for basketball and to receive a good education.?He has good memories of his years in Newton, and he said it was a good place to grow up.?“It was the perfect place to be raised,” he said. “... As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to love it even more.”?Vega encourages other young athletes who want to pursue a career in sports and business to start networking now and also seek out internships. He said there are plenty of opportunities through teams in Kansas — such as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.?“There’s lots of different places you could go,” he said.

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