Winter Break Facts & Figures
Fall Semester Recap
311 Fall Members
13 Total Events
- 8 Speakers/Panels -
- 4 Socials -
- 1 Professional Development -
Alumni Feature Spotlight
Q & A
Please describe your journey up to your current position at Monumental Sports & Entertainment?
It's a journey defined by mentorship from the people above me, recommendations, and extreme luck.
I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to do in high school. At the time, I was very adamant to become a VP of Marketing for an NHL organization. So when I went started at Wisconsin in 2010, I understood I needed to get involved ASAP. That's when I sought out and connected with Ryan Schulman, Class of '12 and SBC LEGEND. He shared insights on a lot of his experiences, but one of them was about the University of Wisconsin Athletics sports marketing internship, led by the great Adam Ahearn. I applied and thankfully, I was accepted and spent my sophomore through senior year in the athletic marketing department gaining real business skills.
Both Ryan and Adam were extremely influential mentors and helped get me into the Ohio University's dual MBA/MSA program (2014-16). I went from walking at UW graduation straight back to the classroom within two weeks. During my second year at Ohio, my passion for corporate partnerships flourished with the help from another mentor of mine, John Nowicki (Senior Manager of Partnerships, Oakland A's), as well as getting the OU IMG Graduate Assistantship. I fell in love with the fast pace, relationship building, and solutions-based mindset needed to succeed.
As I was approaching the Spring of 2016, my executive director at OU was chatting with a former colleague of his and uncovered the Penguins were hiring. He went out on a limb and recommended me to the hiring manager, and four weeks later, I signed my offer letter to begin my career at the Pittsburgh Penguins in corporate partnerships. I was at the Penguins up until this past October of 2019, where I was able to be a part of a team that won two Stanley cups, had sold out every single game when I was there, grew partnership revenue by over 25%, and had an incredibly talented executive leader in SVP Terry Kalna.
Currently, I am in month four at Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) as a VP of Global Partnerships selling across all of our platforms - NHL Capitals, NBA Wizards, WNBA Mystics, 2K Wizards DG, Caps Gaming, Monumental Sports Net (OTT network), Out-of-Home, and three venues. It's a great group of people driven by innovation, technology, and being the best in sports!
How has the transition to Monumental Sports and Entertainment been and what was the process like in getting that particular position?
It all happened really fast. I had done a partnership deal at the Penguins with a common partner of MSE. The contact at this common partner mentioned there was a senior sales position open, and that he could recommend me. I didn't think much of it, but later I connected with the SVP of MSE about the position and began talking. Within four weeks, I had accepted my offer to begin at MSE.
You have accomplished a lot in the short time that you have been out of school; where do you see yourself down the line in 5-10 years and/or what is your end goal?
It may look like I have accomplished a lot, but it's really been the product of so many people who have mentored me, coached me, and helped me along the way. So to all of them, I am extremely thankful.
Professionally, my ultimate end goal is to be at the C level (CRO/COO) at a professional sports organization, ideally NHL, but that's a less important goal. I love working in the team space and developing revenue generating opportunities with an intimate group of people who are extremely invested in ups and downs of a team.
Personally, one of my end goals is to sit in a suite, watching a Badgers football game, with no socks Barry Alvarez.
What are some things you did while at UW to get involved and gain experience; whether it be volunteering, internships or even course content?
I mentioned my internship with UW Athletics. I was also a member of SBC and a number of other student organizations. In addition to this, I got an internship with Red Frog Events between my junior and senior year where I got to understand the entertainment industry through Warrior Dash, The Great Urban Race, and Firefly.
But more so then anything, I was able to hone my skills as a marketer. Sports business executives look for experts in a given field or someone who has mastered a craft. I then layered sports on top of my marketing and human resource courses, continually picking projects or papers that related to my course but with a sports lens. I think that was something that helped me experience sports on my own terms.
Is there a moment you can point to that pulled you toward sponsorship in particular?
Yes and it involves cheesy calzones.
I joined the sponsorship committee at Ohio University my 1st year because everyone was preaching sales experience to make it into sports. So I joined the committee and was responsible for generating revenue for the program. I approached this local calzone place, DP Dough, famous for late night eateries (think Ian's Pizza but a calzone with WAY more dough, cheese, and meat). I secured a meeting with the owner, talked through what we are trying to accomplish, developed a program that would drive students back to their location on non-peak hours, and walked away with a $500 check towards our program. I couldn't believe I convinced someone to give me money for a marketing idea. I had a seller's high and I was hooked!
You attended graduate school; what advice would you give to members toying with the possibility of going to graduate school and what are the potential benefits and/or disadvantages to attending?
Graduate school turned sport business peers into friends. And when you have a lot of friends, the industry becomes much smaller and easier to navigate.
I've had the graduate school conversation with many students, and I can honestly say, you have to make your own decision. For me, it 100% was the correct decision and I owe a lot of my career accomplishments to the OU program.
The best graduate school programs have a very active alumni base and make it more practical then theoretical. At OU, we had opportunities to connect with alumni, gain industry insight, and work on real projects. As an OU alumni, you are expected to give your time, talent, and resources back to the program. It allows everyone in the program to create real connections with peer classmates and to alumni, which at the end of the day, will become the best mentors and friends you could have.
If anyone would like to connect, I would encourage you to reach out to me through LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Wisconsin!
Want to hear more from Brett? Check out this blog post he did on the topic of relationships.
Winter Trip Recap
This past month, we hit the road to Detroit and Chicago on our annual Winter Trip to meet and network with a wide range of sports business professionals. Check out the full recap below.
Office / Stadium Visits
SBC & UW Alums on the Trip
To what extent, if at all, were your expectations of the trip fulfilled?
"My expectations were blown away. Everything was done and executed well. I didn't think all this could be possible to fit in the time period of the trip."
"My expectations were filled on this trip as I made a lot of new friends after coming in knowing nobody! The different speakers gave me a better idea on the careers I am definitely not looking into and on those that I can see myself diving deeper into in the future."
" Even though my major doesn't correlate to business it opened my eyes to possibly seek out future employment in the sports field and that its a grind each and every day."
"110%" - "Almost as fully as possible" - "Above and beyond" - "They all were"
Leadership Committee Semester Recap
Danny Tabaska and the Events Committee have been tasked with supporting club events and creating additional opportunities to diversify the events provided. Early in the semester, they managed an SBC fantasy football league and started fantasy basketball as well. QDOBA gift cards were awarded to winners Josh Smith and Sam Giesen. The events committee was utilized during the Upperclassmen Panel and Trivia Night in order to provide additional hands for those events. They also worked to find Buffalo Wings and Rings in Chicago and helped in organizing the pre-winter trip social at Union South. We are grateful for all the contributions and hours put in by members: Justin Kakuska, Alex Shaw, Jonathan House, and Amelia Holland.
This upcoming semester, the committee's efforts will be primarily focused on designing a clubwide case competition and looking to take a trip to attend a sports business conference. This could possibly be the Illinois Sports Business Conference, but nothing is confirmed at the moment. They will also be helping the F&D Committee in order to organize the March Madness Basketball/Dodgeball Tournament.
The main goals of the marketing committee are to develop underutilized areas of the club that can be used to create a strong, consistent brand for SBC and to increase the number of interactions between the club and the general public. This past semester, the committee spent much of their efforts in digital media and apparel. In digital media, they primarily took turns creating Snapchat content at events and added to Instagram stories. For apparel, led by Madeline's creativity, they successfully designed three different colorways of new t-shirts inspired by the ESPN logo. They also brainstormed items to be sold in our collaborative store with BSN Apparel. Additionally, they interviewed Nathan Bay and Nia Fredrich, our first members of the month, and designed flyers promoting the Women in Sports Panel. Breana Carlino, Madeline Friedman, Drew Kocken and Liam Dolan under the leadership of Committee Chair, Ethan Splan have worked incredibly hard this past semester and we are appreciative of every minute of it.
Going forward they are looking to expand the use of Facebook and they are also looking for suggestions on ways to use t-shirts to create greater involvement within the club and/or create additional capital for the club. Also, at the committee presentations, they suggested creating a Girls Night, a Game Night and an Internship Speed Dating Night!
Fundraising & Development Committee
The fundraising and development committee is tasked with creating additional revenue channels to help fund events and trips. They are also working to find ways to improve the effectiveness of the club in providing information and job opportunities to those looking to work in sports. They most visibly started the peer mentorship program which successfully kicked off this past December. In addition to that, they have been creating surveys to gain feedback on certain events to adjust the frequency in order to please members. They specifically looked at the professional development workshop and the Women in Sports Panel. They have also been applying for ASM grants to raise more money, but have yet to find any success in these applications. They also organized the headshot and underclassman panel, finding the photographer and keeping track of the members who got their pictures taken.
This semester they are looking to work with the events committee to design and plan a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in March. The entry fee would go into a prize fund and also a cut would go directly back to the club for events and trips. They are also looking at working with McTaggart's on Langdon to run a fundraiser and gain 3% of sales for a day. Chaired by Henry Primack, the committee consists of Trevin Kroichick, Dan Romero, Nathan Evers and John Ventura. These boys have done a wonderful job and we look forward to their continued success.
Worth a Read
In Sports Careers, Business Badgers Lead the Field
Conor Caloia found passion for Sports Communication at UW-Madison SJMC
UW-Madison's claim to fame on Super Bowl Sunday
What will define sports marketing in 2020 + 2021?
2020 Alumni Weekend
Attention all Alumni, just another friendly reminder that will be having our 4th Annual SBC Alumni Weekend on February 28th and 29th here in Madison. Similar to past years, we'll be having our nightly activities on Friday and then the panel and networking sessions occurring on Saturday morning through the early afternoon. The link to the RSVP form is below, please have this filled out by Friday, February 7th if you plan to attend.
December / January Club Events Recap
December 2nd - Professional Headshots & Upperclassmen Panel
January 13th to January 16th - Annual Winter Trip
January 29th - Spring Kickoff & Trivia Night