Having a career in marketing can mean much more than simply helping a company advertise. Anthony Barnett is a Louisiana native who has been working in the field of marketing for many years. Now the National Director of Cause Marketing for the Boy’s and Girls Club of America, traveling all over the country representing this non profit organization, he is able to give back to his community through his work.
“Knowing that what I do each and every day has an impact on the lives of kids around the country is absolutely incredible,” Barnett said.
Growing up on the outskirts of Baton Rouge in Denham Springs, Barnett decided to move and start his journey as a business major at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. For his junior year, he came back to Louisiana and finished his degree at LSU. Barnett said that he knew he wanted to go into business as a career, but his first marketing class helped him solidify his path into marketing.
A recurring theme in Barnett’s career had been the Walt Disney Company. He started with Disney back in the summer of 1996 by participating in their Disney College Program. His first summer he worked in attractions, and when he came back in the summer of 1997 he worked in guest relations. This experience inspired Barnett to want to work for Disney’s marketing department.
Before eventually realizing that goal, after graduation Barnett moved out to Los Angeles where he worked for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” through the NBC Page Program.
“It was a crazy and exciting transition,” Barnett said. “One week I’m trying to finish up my finals at LSU, wondering what life is going to be like next. Then literally a month later I’m working at ‘The Tonight Show.’”
After working there for about six months, someone let Barnett know about and opening in marketing at Disney. Through his experience with the Disney College Program, he was able to land the job at Disney’s Parks and Resorts West Coast office.
He worked at this office for a few years, and then began to wonder what his next move would be. Barnett then began working for Walt Disney Records. He worked for that part of the Disney company for several years, and at a very interesting time in the company’s history. He was there when Disney first began tapping into the “tween” demographic. He saw the beginnings of Hilary Duff’s career with “Lizzy McGuire,” and the rise of stars like The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato.
Barnett worked for Walt Disney Records for 11 years. After this time, he said that he wondered if he needed to move his career in a different direction. That’s when he decided he wanted to start giving back by working with a non-profit. He then began working with United Service Organizations, or USO, as a Marketing Director. He made the move from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., and through his work he was able to help members of the military and their families.
While working with USO, and opportunity was presented to Barnett out of Atlanta, Georgia. This opportunity was to be the National Director of Cause Marketing for The Boys and Girls Club of America. He accepted the opportunity, moved to Atlanta, and has been with the organization since 2014. Not only does Barnett love his job, but he likes being a bit closer to home as well.
“I really enjoyed that the move brought me closer to home,” Barnett said. “It’s not Louisiana home, but it’s still a win.”
Barnett’s job requires him to work closely with the Boys and Girls Club’s corporate sponsors. This means a lot of travel, which Barnett says is something he really enjoys.
“This affords me an opportunity to visit destinations that I probably wouldn’t get to otherwise,” said Barnett. “I also get to visit cities that I already really enjoy like L.A, New York, Orlando and Chicago. It gets you out and about seeing the sites of our country.”
Though he likes the travel aspect of his career, Barnett said that his favorite part of his work is knowing that he’s been given the opportunity to help people in some sort of way.