The senior manager of partnerships at Penske Entertainment set her sights on a career in the motorsports industry as a child and leveraged what she learned at Elon to find professional success.
Alivia Mattioli-Hodge ’15 has been racing toward a career in the motorsports industry since childhood.
“I was exposed to the business behind the motorsport industry from a young age – transitioning from a race attendee as a child to working at Pocono Raceway to learn the ropes from my family that shaped much of my professional journey,” Mattioli-Hodge says.
At Pocono Raceway a young Mattioli-Hodge learned about Elon University. Cousins, co-workers and family friends had attended Elon and spoke highly of the institution. She also met the former Elon Registrar Mark Albertson through their shared love of races. “Elon has deep roots within my family, so when I think of Elon it makes me reflect on family,” she says.
While all these network connections inspired her to investigate Elon as an undergraduate option, the campus sold her on attending.
“It only took one visit to Elon’s beautiful campus during the Northeast’s winter to send Elon to the top of my college list,” she says. “Pairing the beautiful campus with its strong sport management department and close proximity to the sports industry in Charlotte was a no-brainer to jumpstart my career.”
As a sport and event management major with minors in marketing and business administration, Mattioli-Hodge facilitated a Burst the Bubble course titled “No Speed Limit: The In’s & Outs of NASCAR.” During the three years she hosted this course, Mattioli-Hodge brought industry professionals to campus to educate students and offer a platform for networking.
“By the time I landed on Elon’s campus, I had a strong passion and interest for the motorsport industry and took advantage of opportunities during my undergraduate studies to shadow, volunteer and intern within the industry to better understand specific areas of interest,” she says. Mattioli-Hodge interned at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. She also supported race weekend operations at Pocono’s sister track in South Boston, Virginia.
With this continued involvement with the sister track, Mattioli-Hodge resumed her job as special project liaison to the board chairman at Pocono Raceway. “The role offered exposure to many arms of the business: sales, hospitality and entertainment, concessions, licensing, etc.,” she says.
After learning of a position at Penske Entertainment on the partnership team, Mattioli-Hodge took a leap of faith and relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana. Her time at Penske has been one of growth, with Mattioli-Hodge moving up in the ranks to senior manager of partnerships. When the green flag drops on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Season opener in March 2024, Mattioli-Hodge will begin her ninth racing season with Penske Entertainment.
As senior manager, Mattioli-Hodge travels to more than half of the Series 18 events across North America to carry out tactical responsibilities from the league side of the business and host clients. Her job also requires her to complete advanced planning and strategic programming for the Indianapolis 500.
“I’d have to say the most rewarding part of my journey has been contributing to the Indianapolis 500,” she says.
Being invited to speak as a guest lecturer and panelist at Elon Charlotte this fall is another highlight of Mattioli-Hodge’s career. “It was wonderful to be welcomed to the center, engage with former professors and current students, and continue to spread knowledge on the motorsport industry similar to the Burst the Bubble course that I facilitated during my time on campus as an undergraduate student,” she says.
She adds, “My goal is to continue to find rewarding opportunities in and around professional development, continue to contribute to the business at Penske Entertainment and deliver on my client’s objectives for partnering with us, and remain an engaged Elon alum.”
In March 2023, Mattioli-Hodge was named an Elon Top 10 Under 10 recipient — a recognition that honors young alumni for their professional success, continuous work to better their communities and loyal service to Elon.
She credits Elon’s student-professor ratio in the classroom, the university’s commitment to engaged learning and the Department of Sport Management with providing the curriculum she needed to succeed in her field. Speaking at Elon Charlotte provided her with a full circle moment, allowing her to repay the impact her Elon experience had on her career.
“The sport management department had a combination of textbook-based work and experiential learning that allowed me to network and seek internship opportunities that I believe set me apart from other candidates when applying for jobs after graduating,” she says. “I can honestly say I reflect on my time at Elon as I approach certain projects or presentations and remember the feedback from professors within my department.”
Mattioli-Hodge stresses that her time at Elon was a fruitful pit stop in her career. She advises that current students take full advantage of the resources that eased her transition to the workforce.
“I would recommend for current students to not only take advantage of in-classroom experiences but also … extracurriculars and internship opportunities,” she says. “My time at Elon served as a great opportunity to better understand areas of interest and begin securing the qualifications required for desired jobs after graduation.”