Day 7: The Winners Circle

Aly Gill 2015

On Thursday of my first week of MSBA, we celebrated a triumph of MSBA’s co-founder and CEO of Leverage Agency, Ben Sturner. The MSBA Staff, alumni and mentors joined the class of 2015 as we found out that Leverage Agency successfully secured a partnership between American Pharaoh and Monster Energy. Naturally, the excitement us sports fanatics had for American Pharaoh’s potential to make history in just a few short days was multiplied when this business tie was shared with us.

On Saturday, a group of us headed to Belmont. We arrived much later then we should have, being the horse race amateurs that we are. Surrounded by raised pinkies, high heels and big money, we were ready to witness history. After a couple of us made some bets at the betting and cashing offices – I will be the first to admit I was clueless in the odds and ends of the betting process – we proceeded to nudge our way through the best of the worst placements that general admission had to offer. As the jockeys came into view, Belmont Stakes vibrated from the cheers of the people that occupied it. The celebrations increased and we found ourselves amidst a sea of high-fives and hugs as American Pharaoh crossed the finish line to secure the first Triple Crown since 1978.

When I found out I would be a member of MSBA class of 2015, I began building a plethora of expectations. I anticipated working long hours, meeting some incredible people and networking with leaders of today’s industry of sports business – all of which have been fulfilled or surpassed. What I didn’t expect was to witness history, and I especially never expected to know people personally connected to a partnership involving a record-breaking racehorse. Thank you MSBA for meeting and exceeding all expectations I had for this program in just week one. Thank you American Pharaoh for allowing me to witness history, and for making me $1.50 richer. I now know that my betting ticket would have been worth much more if I didn’t cash it in, but like I mentioned before… amateur.