The Dallas Mavericks held their first ever Pride Night on March 26, welcoming LGBT fans to the American Airlines Center for a community reception before the game, and offering special ticket sales that included special Mavs Pride t-shirts. A portion of the sale price all tickets purchased through the Pride Night link were donated to Resource Center. See photos here.
Dallas Mavs employee Carlos Monge said he loves working in a supportive and inclusive environment
Carlos Monge was born in Los Angeles to Salvadoran parents, but has lived about half his life here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A 2017 graduate of the University of North Texas, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in merchandising and in digital retailing, Monge worked at Nordstrom as a designer apparel specialist and social media coordinator before joining the Dallas Mavericks organization. He is now the e-commerce web manager for DallasMavs.shop.
Monge said he is passionate about fashion industry news and history, about retail and e-commerce innovations and about advocating for inclusivity in all environments, both work and life.
As part of the first Mavs Pride Night held earlier this week, Dallas Voice talked to Monge about his work with Dallas’ NBA team.
— Tammye Nash
Dallas Voice: How long have you been with the Dallas Mavericks? Carlos Monge: Eight months.
Tell me about your job with the Mavs. What does the e-commerce web manager do? I work in the merchandising department. As an e-commerce web manager, it is my job to run and manage DallasMavs.Shop, the official merchandise site for the team. I’m responsible for uploading product pages, controlling site layout, managing inventory levels and creating item promotions through our email marketing and DallasMavs.Shop social media accounts. I also oversee our web fulfillment and customer service team.
On top of that, I get to be at every home game to help work The Hangar stores and help customers with any product questions.
You worked for Nordstrom before. What does a designer apparel specialist do, and how did that prepare you for your job now with the Mavs? I loved being a designer apparel specialist at Nordstrom It taught me a lot in terms of “high-touch” selling, or what I describe as an “elevated approach to customer service.” We sold gorgeous garments that, to most, were investment pieces. So we made sure to create an exceptional experience for our customers — from the moment they walked into the department, to following up with a phone call, even offering a follow-up appointment.
I worked in the Collector’s Department (women’s designer apparel) because of my love for fashion. I loved researching designers and their history, their collection inspirations and the overall romance of the wearable art they created. On top of that, I enjoyed following runway trends and finding how to translate them to my clients.
I also liked doing things outside of my position roles, most of them involving social media. With that, I worked closely with the social media manager to develop a promotional calendar for what we were going to put out on our social channels.
Just like I did with the department managers at Nordstrom, I communicate now with different people in the Mavs marketing team to make sure that we are promoting the appropriate items through our social media channels. I think the one thing that made me want to get more into the field of e-commerce was my love for creating digital content, and thankfully, I get to do it now on a daily basis.
You said you are passionate about fashion industry news and retail and e-commerce innovations. How do those two things fit together?
What are some retail/e-commerce innovations that have helped you in your job? They totally go hand-in-hand! Fashion ALWAYS changes, and so does e-commerce, and it is important for me to keep up with both industries as they constantly evolve. Both ultimately deal with how a consumer behaves with their surroundings. It’s totally up to people and how they respond and learning from what works and what doesn’t.
Designers are quick to respond to the demand of their items as soon as they hit runways. Nowadays, you see brands doing live streams and instantly making their collections available online to anyone in the world, literally minutes after they present! The consumer is changing every day, and the best way for the fashion industry to keep up is through e-commerce.
The Mavs Fan? They see an image of Luka Dončić on Instagram with the new City Edition Jersey, and they immediately want to purchase it. Now, they can seamlessly tap the Instagram image and instantly add it to their shopping cart. It is my job to make that happen.
Tell me about what it’s like working for the Dallas Mavericks? How does the organization support its employees, especially its LGBT employees? Working for the Dallas Mavericks is such enjoyable experience! There’s definitely a sense of excitement to work for a sports organization. Every day calls for new projects and different tasks for me to do. My team and I work hard, and it is incredibly rewarding to see the end results of our efforts.
However, to be completely honest, I was a little skeptical to work for a sports organization when I first interviewed for my current position. You watch the news, and you see players being bashed by fans of their respective teams, and even being downgraded by people in their leagues, all just for being LGBTQ. Even after I got hired, I was a little nervous to see how I would fit in as a gay man in an industry with a culture that I am not familiar with.
But the Dallas Mavericks have proven to stand out in the sports world. Within my first month, I participated in a “Respect in the Workplace” training, required of all new hires in the company. In one part of the training, we were all asked to work in small groups to discuss a list of work scenarios in provided hand-outs, and how we would – and should — react to them.
The scenarios brought out moments in the work environment that a lot of people might not see as problematic or might not take action against. These include the derogative treatment of women and minorities, PDA, disrespect of others’ religious practices and — what stood out to me — homophobia.
It was then that I realized that The Mavs as an organization, and the NBA as a whole, finds it meaningful to shine light on these issues, and it showed why it is important to make them a part of our everyday conversations.
On top of that, The Mavs have Employee Resource Groups, and theme and celebration nights dedicated to minorities (Pride Night, Los Mavs, African-American Heritage) and make efforts to bring all communities together for their love of sports.
All these qualities make working for The Mavs a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Oh! And did I mention that we are the only professional sports organization in Dallas to participate in the Pride Parade? You can’t get any more supportive than that!
How do you advocate for inclusivity? What are some of the organizations/events you are involved in? I think the biggest way that you can advocate on inclusivity is through your everyday life and the people who you interact with every single day, even expressing it through the work that you do. One way that I do is through our DallasMavs.Shop social media. We did a couple of photoshoots in the beginning of the season to create content to use throughout the year. Under the direction of my boss, Alison Panasik, vice president of Brand Identity and Merchandising for the Mavs, the merch team plans and merchandises what items we are going to shoot as well as where it takes place and who will wear them.
One thing that instantly made me gain more respect for Alison was seeing her effort in booking a diverse group of models for the shoots. We wanted our audience — Mavs fans — to be reflected on what we advertised, and I couldn’t be prouder of the outcome. Our social media is on fire, and we are inspired to cast an even broader group of people for our future shoots!
On top of that, when working with local vendors, the merchandising team puts a heavy focus on business owners in one of our five protected categories, including owners with disabilities, women-owned, minority-owned, veterans, and LGBTQ. That alone gives me motivation for the organization that I work for; they hold these values that I deem incredibly important.
What else do you want people to know — about you or about the Dallas Mavericks? To me, it is incredibly important and meaningful to work for an organization that holds the same morals and values that I do, and to be in a place where I can be my genuine self while feeling safe and appreciated. The Dallas Mavericks are just that, and I couldn’t be happier to work here. I know my future here looks very bright, and I’m very excited to see what is to come. I am a proud member of the LGBTQ community and a proud Mavs Fan For Life! (#MFFL)