“Don’t be afraid of sales.”
Wednesday, the night of our third speaker series, we had the pleasure of hearing from Jennifer Keene from Octagon. Ms. Keene is the Senior Director of Personality and Property Marketing where she works with some of the top athletes in the world like Stephen Curry, and retired athletes as well like Emmitt Smith. Ms. Keene’s series was especially interesting because she was the first speaker we were able to hear from who works directly with athletes in marketing, something many participants in this year’s MSBA class wish to pursue.
All of us have seen the commercials and advertisements that athletes are in but do not think about the amount of work and coordinating between different parties that must take place. Ms. Keene was able to give the group her valuable insight into the process and explain how creativity is a key when working in athlete marketing. Many people think of business as an uncreative line of work but Ms. Keene showed the group how creativity has helped her get where she is today.
“Don’t be afraid of sales.” This is the best advice Ms. Keene gave all night. Sales is a line of work that scares many people and, in today’s time, many people prefer email to actually picking up a phone for a direct call. Ms. Keene explained how sales is an important part in various aspects of business and how picking up the phone to call people will give you more leverage in the long run.
At my internship with the National Lacrosse League, I have already learned a tremendous amount. Coming from New Mexico, I did not know very much about lacrosse and wondered how this may affect my ability to perform well in my internship with the NLL. After completing my first week there, I was able to see how coming from a place where lacrosse is not popular allowed me to look at the sport from a different perspective compared to my colleagues. My first week also made me realize the truth in what many of our speakers have been saying: sports is still a business and when working with sports businesses, having business skills will allow you to succeed even if you know nothing about the sport.
On Wednesday I was given the ongoing task of gathering information from all the teams about their 2014 season and compiling all the information for the league office. This task has allowed me to have direct contact with the teams on a very personal level. This has allowed me to see much of the behind-the-scenes and off-season work that goes into league operations. I am greatly looking forward to my future experiences this summer.