Qiava Martinez, Las Vegas Raiders

Qiava Martinez

Creating Valuable
and Memorable Moments

Editors’ Note

Qiava Martinez is in her 15th year with the Raiders (raiders.com). Prior to being named Senior Vice President, Chief Sales Officer, Martinez was Vice President of Premium Sales and Service. She began her career with the Raiders in 2008 as an Inside Sales Ticket Representative, then was elevated to Director of Group Sales and Fundraising for three years. Shortly after, she was promoted to the Director of Premium Seating and Service. Prior to pursuing a career in the sports industry, Martinez was the publisher and owner of Culture Magazine, an outlet used by teenage writers to express their life experiences. Martinez was also the Executive Director for the nonprofit Youth Achieving Destiny. She sits on the youth and sports focused boards of Teach For America Las Vegas Chapter, and the Icy Baby Foundation founded by her mother, Roxane, and niece, rap artist Saweetie. Martinez earned her BA degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and received an MBA from the University of Phoenix, Bay Area Chapter.

Allegiant Stadium

Allegiant Stadium

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

Entering my 15th year with the Raiders, I am responsible for leading and managing all sales and customer retention efforts for the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium events through monetizing corporate partnerships, suites, premium and season ticket sales. To maintain success, I take pride in providing excellent customer service to our corporate partners, suite owners, and season ticket members. In my role, I must ensure our strategy of having an effective sales plan is in tight alignment with our marketing team.

Prior to being named SVP, Chief Sales Officer, I was the Vice President of Premium Service & Guest Experience for the Las Vegas Raiders. During the Las Vegas relocation period, my duties included assisting with the sales strategy for PSL, Suite, and Loge Seat sales as well as closing out the final season in Oakland, California.

Did you know at an early age that you had a passion to pursue a career in sports?

Although I grew up in a football family, I never thought that I would pursue a career in sports. I come from a big family of go-getters – seven brothers and one sister – and all of us have the entrepreneurial spirit. My siblings are the force that drives me along with my parents, Willie and Roxane Harper. My father, Willie, played for the San Francisco 49ers for 11 years and was a part of the team that won the organization’s first Super Bowl (XVI).

In fact, I thought that I was on my way to being the next Oprah Winfrey. My passion was journalism and after graduating with my master’s in business, I decided to start a teen magazine entitled, Culture. After two years, the magazine took a dive and so did my confidence. Thankfully, I come from a family that understands perseverance. In 2008, my brother, Johnny, invited me to attend a career fair that the Sacramento Kings were hosting. I am so thankful to him for making me get up that day and because of that moment, I joined the Oakland Raiders as an Inside Sales Ticket Representative, then was elevated to Director of Group Sales and Fundraising for three years. Shortly after, I was promoted to the Vice President of Premium Seating and Service.

“Las Vegas is packed with fans who come to watch the Super Bowl every year, so the energy all around the stadium will be like nothing we have ever seen. If fans have never attended a Super Bowl, this will be the one not to miss.”

How do you describe the Las Vegas Raiders’ culture and how critical is culture to the success of the organization?

The culture of an organization is the thread that binds everyone together and helps to create a unity of purpose. Culture is vital to the success of any organization, and that is no different with the Raiders. On the field and throughout the organization, we believe in teamwork and know that by working together behind a common purpose, we can win and have an impact. We also have a culture that celebrates and supports the community, and we are proud to show our support where it is needed most.

What can fans expect from the 2024 Super Bowl which will be held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas?

As one of the most viewed sporting events around the world, we also expect Super Bowl LVIII to be one of the best-attended games in NFL history, with fans enjoying both the big game and the excitement Las Vegas brings up and down the Strip with an event of this magnitude. No one can top Las Vegas in sports and entertainment, and Allegiant Stadium is the perfect venue for this event. Las Vegas is packed with fans who come to watch the Super Bowl every year, so the energy all around the stadium will be like nothing we have ever seen. If fans have never attended a Super Bowl, this will be the one not to miss.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

For me, effective leadership comes down to communication through feedback, coaching, fostering a positive work environment, expectation setting, and recognition. Communication is the number one key to a successful workplace. It allows employees to feel engaged and valued. This is the core of my management style.

Allegiant Stadium

Modelo Cantina Club at Allegiant Stadium

How important is it for the Las Vegas Raiders to build a diverse and inclusive workforce to mirror the diversity of its fans and the community it serves?

Diversity is at the very core of the Raiders organization. Our founder, Al Davis, was a trailblazer in diversity in the NFL. He was the first owner to hire a Latino as head coach with Tom Flores back in the late 1970s. He was the first owner to hire a female CEO, Amy Trask, in 1997, and the first African American head coach, Art Shell, in 1989.

That spirit of celebrating diversity is part of the fabric of the Raiders organization, both on and off the field. Our executive team is the most diverse it has ever been, helmed by the first female African American team president, Sandra Douglass Morgan. Our diverse backgrounds afford us a unique perspective on not only the needs within the organization, but ways we can use our resources to best serve our community.

What do you see as the Las Vegas Raiders responsibility to be engaged in the community and to be a force for good in society?

With great success comes great responsibility, and our Raiders organization lives and breathes that ethos every day. We have been hard at work since arriving in Las Vegas, supporting youth sports, veterans’ organizations, health and wellness, and countless other important local efforts. Since relocating to Las Vegas, we have given over $7 million in support to local causes.

Our players have taken an active role in appearances in the community, especially with young students and athletes. They want to inspire the next generation, and they know the importance of the role they play in showing our kids what’s possible. The ability to inspire youth in our community to maximize their potential is one of the most vital roles we play. Since 2018, our players have volunteered nearly 1,300 hours in the community – and that includes many months when COVID limited those efforts. We are committed to giving local youth a concrete image of what they can be and bringing up the next generation.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the sports industry?

I believe this more today than I did 15 years ago. Today, we have more women leading sports teams such as Sandra Douglass Morgan, Nikki Fargas (Las Vegas Aces), Cynthia Marshall (Dallas Mavericks), Kristi Coleman (Carolina Panthers), and many more. Because of that, young girls now have visibility with women in sports leading teams. A couple of weeks ago, my six-year-old daughter had to turn in an assignment stating what she wanted to be when she grows up. To my surprise she wrote, “I want to be a Chief Sales Officer like my mommy.” Representation matters. The more women we have representing in a leadership role, the more young girls like my daughter will be able to see their future.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry?

I often give the same advice: First, nothing is beneath you. Second, be who you are and do it to the fullest. And third, make business personal. You always hear it is just business, it’s not personal. I never bought into that because it is personal. It’s personal to see the next Qiava in this position, the next Sandra. It’s very personal. I’m very passionate about what I do because I want to make sure that whoever’s taking my spot next sees what it takes to be a leader. Relationships should be personal, right? Business is – and should be – personal.

You have been with the Raiders for more than 15 years. What has made the experience so special for you?

The relationships that I have been able to build throughout my career have made every experience worth it. The good and the bad. I love what I do and enjoy working with my colleagues, partners, and season ticket members.

I also met my husband at the organization which was a life-changing moment for me. How can you top that?

You have accomplished much during your time with the Raiders. Are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

Yes, I can enjoy the process and celebrate wins. Having a great team also helps the journey, as does a supportive family as family is very important to me and I make it my priority. I also have a job to do, and my focus is to remain a leader in revenue within the NFL as well as elevating the satisfaction of our season ticket, suite owners, and partners. Being able to create valuable and memorable moments for our client base is always top of mind for the organization.