NextGen Collective:
Eduardo Guerios

Meet the NBA’s manager of merchandising partnerships, whose worldly upbringing instilled in him the adaptability and people skills to navigate the fast-growing, ever-changing video game industry

Before Eduardo Gueiros had graduated high school, Eduardo Gueiros had lived in five countries on three continents. “I was born in Brazil, where my parents and family are from,” he says. “Growing up, I moved around a lot, spending substantial portions of my childhood in the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, the Bahamas, and, of course, Brazil.”

Eduardo Gueiros, NBA, portrait
Eduardo Gueiros, Manager, Merchandising Partnerships, NBAPhoto courtesy of the NBA

So when it came time to choose a college, Gueiros wasn’t afraid to consider options in multiple countries. “I quickly realized that the educational structure in the US, and the freedom to explore various interests it provides, was better suited to me,” he says.

He attended Georgetown University, and the summer after his junior year, he was accepted into the NBA’s internship program to work in the Media Distribution business. During that internship, he worked on a special assignment centered around the global video game landscape. A few years later—after working for a reverse logistics startup, then for the NBA in London—he returned to New York and to the video game industry. He currently manages a team in the NBA’s Global Partnerships department, handling the organization’s video game partnerships.

We caught up with Gueiros to learn about what inspires, motivates, and fulfills him as he navigates his career.

Who inspired you the most in your life growing up?

As cliché as it seems, I would have to say my parents. Moving to so many different countries throughout my childhood, our immediate family was incredibly close—since we were often the only consistent element in each other’s lives. Through these experiences, my parents inspired me in distinct, but equally important ways. My father taught me about hard work and how important it is to understand and respect cultural differences, especially when living in a new country. Traveling often so early on in my life helped shed light on how different people and their customs can be, and the need to make friends in different countries at an early age helped me understand that respect and open-mindedness can go a long way. On the other hand, my mother instilled in me a sense of general good. She always has a smile on her face and thinks of others ahead of herself. Her selflessness, positivity, and kindness were paramount to our closeness as a family, and our ability to move around and feel “at home” so seamlessly.

What behavior or personality traits do you attribute to your success?

As I just touched on, I had to immerse myself in a lot of new environments, and making friends in different countries—with different customs, who spoke different languages—forced me to become adaptable at an early age. I find that this adaptability has been especially helpful professionally, as it has enabled me to feel comfortable and excited when being introduced to new people and situations. During my time with the NBA, this has been a key factor to my success as I’ve had the opportunity to manage partnerships in the US, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Korea, and other countries.

In addition to adaptability, a key factor for me has been my drive to improve. I consistently evaluate myself, my methods, and my work to ensure that I pinpoint what I can be doing better. This internal questioning can be challenging at times, but ultimately has helped me become a better employee over the years.

“Striving to improve is important, but striving to be perfect—as young professionals often do—is fruitless.”

What do you wish you had known at the start of your career?

I wish I had known early on that mistakes are not only OK, they’re part of the learning process as you enter the professional world. Striving to improve is important, but striving to be perfect—as young professionals often do—is fruitless. As with most people, I still struggle with this today and try my best to avoid mistakes, but with the help of a great team around me I’m reminded that these are opportunities we can learn from.

One aspect of my job has been producing live video game content for the NBA’s Twitch channel. As someone who was initially concerned about things not going as planned and about making mistakes, this was both a stressful and rewarding experience. When it comes to live content of this nature, I quickly learned that there are plenty of times where things won’t go as planned, and no amount of preparation can prevent that. As a result, you have to embrace the unexpected, and work to improve how you react under pressure.

Another key lesson I’ve learned is that you shouldn’t avoid leaning on others for help—you should, in fact, embrace it. Our team works on a wide array of partnerships in the video game space and beyond, and while we all have individual focus areas and project ownership, we also collaborate extensively. This collaboration means we can all work on areas of the partnerships that interest us and that we’re individually suited for, but it also allows us to learn new skills from one another.

When it comes to live content, I quickly learned that you have to embrace the unexpected, and work to improve how you react under pressure.”

Whose career inspires you?

Believe it or not, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is someone who really inspires me. He had to endure a number of roadblocks in his childhood and adolescence before he was able to become “The Rock” in the WWE, let alone the entertainment juggernaut he is today. I truly admire the work ethic he brings through his “be the hardest working person in the room” mentality, especially now that he has already achieved more than what most people could ever hope to achieve. As a superstar actor, executive producer, entrepreneur, and family man, he could understandably become complacent, comfortable, or even retire to live his days out reaping the benefits of his success. However, what you see instead is someone who continues to work to improve himself, his craft, and his businesses (which he keeps adding to) with the same determination and effort you would expect from someone who has nothing.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is the fact that I work on a part of our business that impacts millions of people through our video game partners. As someone who grew up being passionate about both sports and video games, I never expected—in my wildest dreams—that I would be working in a role that combined the two. As a result, being involved in projects and products that will be seen and/or played by people who share those same interests is very fulfilling.

Working at the intersection of sports and video games has also been fascinating because of the continued rise of video games within the mainstream media landscape. Interest in the video game industry is at an all-time high, and being able to talk to people—whether they’re fans, coworkers, or even NBA players—about the many opportunities to work in or with the industry to further professional aspirations, personal or public brands, or even just hobbies is something I’m incredibly grateful for.

 


Connect with Eduardo Gueiros here.

 

Related Links

NextGen Collective: Sheena Morales Weinstein

NextGen Collective: Migrate Into Discomfort

NextGen Collective: Natalie Arribeno