The second week began as I boarded the C train to Columbus Circle, which is a few blocks away from my internship at World TeamTennis (WTT). WTT is an innovative co-ed professional tennis league that was co-founded by Billie Jean King in the mid-1970’s. I aid the media relations director, Rosie Crews, in her every day operations. Simply put, I do a good amount of writing.
I have had the opportunity to chat with King on a few occasions and noticed right away her determination, competitive nature, and huge personality, a few things I admire about the former tennis star. Her active participation in women’s rights in sport and the fight against HIV/AIDS, just to name a few, have made a major impact in communities all over the world.
In the past few weekdays, I have been doing write-ups about WTT Smash Hits, an annual celebrity tennis event hosted by Billie Jean King and Elton John, with proceeds donated to Elton John AIDS Foundation. This year happens to be the 20th annual Smash Hits event. A couple of other interns and I have been working on a page to commemorate the history of the charity tennis match, with my responsibility being to cover the highlights from each of the previous 19 years. Thus, I have compiled about a paragraph describing each year from recordings, programs, and press releases. Elton John, Billie Jean King, and all of EJAF have done a tremendous job in the past couple of decades in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I am honored to help produce content that will be going toward celebrating the event’s history. Once work concluded, I spent an hour or so working out before IMG’s Carlos Fleming presented at the Leverage Agency.
We are about four weeks away from the beginning of the WTT season opener, which only means that the work will begin to mount as the first match draws closer.
Carlos Fleming, Vice President of IMG Talent Management, has been in the sports industry for over 15 years. In his time at IMG, he has represented the Williams’ sisters, Cam Newton, and Victor Cruz, along with many other professional athletes. As successful as Fleming has been in his tenure with the company, I was most impressed with his genuine attitude towards his craft in the sports marketing industry. Ultimately, our speakers thus far have been very upfront with us in terms of the obstacles it takes in permeating into this industry, which is something I would rather hear than an executive who blows smoke. I do not think that I am alone in that opinion.
Fleming told us, as budding sports industry professionals, that we should never be expendable to our company. That was the most valuable advice he offered during his presentation. He emphasized that if you work hard and make your company money, you will never be easily expendable. Fleming’s anecdotes about the industry displayed that he made sure he was never expendable to IMG, which is why he has been a mainstay in the company since the late 1990’s.