Jessica Burda- Director of Brand Communications
Adam Ahearn- Associate Director of Marketing and Promotions
Jackie Davenport- Director of Creative
Marques Tyler- Assistant Ticket Director
Beth Clouser- Event and Guest Services Manager
What roles can people pursue in your department?
BC: In guest services we have three tiers of student employees. Event staff -> Assistant -> Intern. As students move up the roles they garner more responsibility in their position.
MT: We are hiring customer service employees for the summer season and for the coming fall season.
JB: We have a lot of applicants for our brand communications intern position. Its a very competitive and challenging position but is also very rewarding.
AA: We have two roles available in the marketing arena. We're looking to hire a few marketing interns as well as gamely marketing staff.
What are some tips you can give for people to think about before an interview?
AA: The ability to communicate and talk with me.
BC: People who have good experience in existing in and navigating the chaos of the gamely experience.
MT: Know what your why is. Why do you want to work in sports? Knowing the answer to that job is one of the biggest things I look for.
A UW alum Chad Brown is the current CFO for Trek Bicycle. He started out of school at GE Healthcare and worked there for ~9 years before moving on to Trek Bicycle in 2011. Brown has been the CFO since 2015 as well as the VP of Retail since 2017.
-Trek was founded in a red barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin in 1976. About 27 miles from downtown Madison.
-Trek is a $1 Billion+ company with over 3,000 employees.
-Trek is privately held by family and employees.
-Trek takes pride in their research and development making the best products available for competitors.
-Trek is also invested in increasing the amount of people competing in high school mountain biking.
-Trek is also behind the B-Cycles you can find around Madison.
- Trek is now an owner of their own professional cycling teams in Europe. They have successfully influenced the organizing committee to have equal pay across mens and women's disciplines.
What advice to you have for students?
CB: Don't be afraid to make mistakes especially in college because no one will remember it when you graduate. Also read Jim Collins' books to prepare for the workplace.
Tim De Lay is an Alumnus of UW '97.
Worked for public television for experience as a student from 95-97 before moving to working for Channel 3, WISC-TV, in Madison from 1997-2002. Eventually he moved to KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs from 2002-2005 and KWGN-TV Denver from 2005-2008.
After KWGN was bought out in 2008 he moved to Peak Uplink operating a satellite truck for various network clients including ESPN, FOX, Ellen etc. A great job for a younger person but it was a straining job on personal life and work life balance.
Altitude Sports - Kroenke Sports and Entertainment.
Started first as a Broadcast Engineer from 2012 to 2016 before moving up to work as a Production Operations Manager.
KSE is owned by Stan Kroenke and their sports properties include:
Tim works traditionally works the most with the first three entities.
The future of broadcasting is the transition from copper cables and wiring to Ethernet and 4K technology. As well as utilizing more and more options for digital streaming including Facebook Live. This leads to a decrease in scripting and more control in the hands of talent.
What do you see the next five-ten years of your career looking like?
TD: I always try to stay learning and growing especially with how technology is changing so rapidly. As things continue to change and evolve so will my role. This continuing growth and change means it's going to be hard to predict where I am role wise but a willingness to change means I can always continue working within sports.
Why did you transition from news to sports?
TD: The ways that sports connects everyone and brings people together is really appealing. It is a happy place rather than the violence and division I found working in sports.
How is your job unique because the team, building and production are all owned by the same?
TD: It really allows us a lot of access other regional broadcasters might not have. Generally there are fewer steps between the production house and the team.
Nate Pokrass is currently the Director of Community Investment and Partnerships for American Family Insurance. As well as tournament director of the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wisconsin.
Three primary objectives of American Family's involvement in sports:
1. Increase Brand Health
2. New Customer Acquisition
3. Agent, Employee and Community Impact
American Family Insurance is looking to both grow and consolidate the market of Milwaukee.
American Family Insurance Championship:
-Building out all of the operations for the tournament takes roughly 6 weeks every year.
-Increase Fan Experience: Celebrity Group
-Tournament Week Concert
Tournament is a Non-Profit organization raising 7.1 Million dollars the past three tournaments.
How did the Miller Park to American Family Field rebrand come together?
NP: We have entered into a 15 year deal with the Brewers after Miller chose not to renew their deal. We're working on continuing to develop signage in the stadium as well as how we will be activating that space.
How much of the growth of American Family is related to sports?
NP: We have been steadily growing for a long time. We can't attribute that growth just to sports but the use of sports and entertainment marketing in the past 10 to 15 years is definitely a piece of the puzzle and our success.
Courtney Reukauf: Marketing Manager
Lauren Peterson: Marketing Facilitator / Internship Coordinator
What does a marketing facilitator do?
LP: Create and manage marketing campaigns as well as managing on site marketing events and activations.
What is Good Karma Brands?
CR: An affiliate of ESPN who owns the regional rights to activate the ESPN brand through digital and radio broadcasts. GKB is the umbrella company that runs ESPN offices in Madison, Milwaukee, West Palm Beach (FL) and Cleveland (OH).
How much collaboration is there with other ESPN stations that you own?
CR: We collaborate frequently with Milwaukee especially. We do a lot with them under ESPN Wisconsin as whole when we run cross-city wide promotion campaigns.
Can you tell us a little more about the internship program?
LP: The first portion of the internship program is similar to a rotational program where you try a lot of different things and portions of the business. In the second half you work a lot more in one certain area of the program that you find interesting. The internship program also helps ESPN Madison to activate on game days and events out of the typical office day.
CR: Applications are due by April 10th for the summer internship with ESPN Madison.
What is something that you don't like about your job?
CR: The hours of your job are all over the place.
LP: The job takes a lot of flexibility which is challenging for a lot of people.
Can you touch on some the events you guys plan and how your role is impacted by that?
LP: We do a lot with golf events over the summer. We also do a lot of tailgates for the Wisconsin Football games and prep sports activation.
CR: We're also involved with producing and activating the Wisconsin Sports Awards highlighting all the good stuff that happens in Wisconsin sports over the course of the past year.
The annual Winter trip continued for the club this year with stops at Detroit and Chicago. We had great networking opportunities with a diverse set of sports organizations and industry professionals. The full recap is below:
With the last event of the fall semester, we decided to hold our first ever SBC Upperclassmen Panel to give younger members the opportunity to hear from six members of the executive board on their sports experiences in the club and outside of it with jobs/internships. Speaking on behalf of the board were:
Remember that you are more than welcome to reach out to any of these six panelists to ask further questions about their sports experiences. That goes for any other member of the leadership group, as well. We hope that you enjoyed all of our events this semester and we look forward to seeing you at our Spring Kickoff & Trivia on January 29!
Andy Baggot: Insider Writer for UWBadgers.com and Varsity Magazine
Jay Wilson: Sports Director for Channel 3000/News 3 Now
Jim Polzin: Wisconsin Men's Basketball Writer for the Wisconsin State Journal
How has social media changed your career and the way a reporter operates?
JP: In today's age, it's important to be multifaceted. To be able to not just write, but podcast and use Twitter. I don't know where this industry will go in the future, but there will always be a market for storytellers and people will always care about Wisconsin sports.
What's the biggest challenge you currently face in your role? What are some of the biggest misconceptions of the sports industry?
AB: Redefining my role and what I'm writing about for the magazine. The biggest misconception about sports is the glamour of it. It's hard work and I've always done it because I loved it, not because of the glamour.
JW: At the news station, we're working on doing more with less people. That has gotten more challenging especially as you get older and have less time for work as you try to balance a family with your career.
What is some advice you would offer to students?
JW: Follow your heart. Only do what you really want to do. Listen for the voice inside you that tells you what you really want to do and then follow it.
AB: Find a mentor and someone you trust who you can bounce ideas off of and talk about your future with.
Chellee Siewert is the founder and owner of Capture Sports Marketing. Her background was in non-profits including working at the Rogers Hospital as well as the national MS foundation. She later transitioned into working for an indoor soccer team and doing a successful jersey drive to help raise money for unique charities.
Since then, she has worked with athletes such as Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz and JJ Watt with Capture Sports Marketing. She helped to organize Watt's assistance for Hurricane Harvey. She also worked with NASCAR driver Sam Mayer as he works to increase his visibility in the professional racing sphere to generate sponsors and funds. Other figures in professional football that she has worked with include Tyrann Mathieu and Anthony Lynn.
"When you started this what did you see it becoming and how has it lived up to expectations?"
CS: "I expected to keep it ultra small with a few team members and a few clients. It started pretty small but we've worked to grow more aggressively especially diversifying into different sports."
Chellee's Contact Info:
Jakub Kryzostaniak- Director of Fan Engagement and Digital Media at Forward Madison FC
Liz Kern- Vice President of Big Top Sports and Entertainment
Tyler Isham- General Manager at Madison Mallards Baseball Club
Why have you spent your whole career at Big Top?
LK: Excellent benefits, flexibility and they do a great job in helping to sustain people at their current position.
TI: I'm still learning everyday about my position and how to put my own spin on the organization. It was appealing to be able to have my own control as opposed to the control I would have at a larger team.
During the offseason what are you typically working on?
LK: Planning for the next season. Selling, budgeting and preparing for the next season. Especially planning and producing what are sales plan is going to look like for our next season.
TI: Ticket sales are the lifeblood of our business, the offseason is focused on segmenting for different consumers and figuring how to get them to the park. My personal responsibility is to sell corporate advertising with the team.
JK: Working on thirty different things rather than a paced out schedule of one or two games a week.
How do you collaborate with other baseball teams in the organization?
LK: There is a very open dialogue with a lot of sharing ideas to help all of the teams within the organization to succeed.
TI: It helps us to leverage costing and keep prices lower because of all the teams that we have.
What opportunities would you suggest for people wanting to get into the business?
LK: Volunteering and working with as many teams I could at school and then eventually working with the Mallards. I got my hands involved in as many different things as I could to see what I was interested in.
JK: Learning the skills necessary to be useful on the digital side. Including social media and photoshop. Having those skills make you useful and unique.
My name is Paul Leeder and on behalf of the entire board, we hope you find this information valuable