October Facts & Figures
SBC remains Virtual!
Combined Attendance at October events
UW in the News
Student-athletes raising their voices for unity
UW-Madison study shows High School sports not linked to COVID-19 spread
Happy Election Week !!
Alumni Feature Spotlight
Q & A
Could you run through your career to date? What led up to landing your current role with the Pacers?
Like many others in the sports industry, I started off with a lot internships while I was in school, including The Mallards, Rotowire, UW Athletics, and iHeartRadio. My first job after graduation was actually in ticket sales with MKE Sports & Entertainment (now called ROC Ventures). My time there was relatively short, as I was offered the opportunity of a full time internship with the Packers in their Milwaukee office. I grew up in WI, so of course working for the Packers was a dream come true. After my time with the Packers, I was fortunate enough to get hired on with Learfield, and I moved out to State College, PA to work at Penn State Sports Properties as a Partnership Services Coordinator. After about 2 years with PSSP, I was itching to get back closer to home. For my next move I knew I either wanted to be in Milwaukee to be near my family, or Indianapolis, to be near my boyfriend, now husband. Wanting very specifically to work for a team and in partnership activation, and with both my choice cities having relatively small markets, I knew odds of an opening would be slim. However, low and behold, I opened up TeamWorkOnline, and there it was. A posting for an Activation Coordinator for the Indiana Pacers. The stars seemed to align, and here I now am, 3 years in with the Pacers.
How about your internship with the Packers? Would you recommend a similar experience shortly after coming out of school?
My internship with the Packers was one of the best experiences I ever had. I learned so much during my time there, which prepared me for my future roles. It was the connections I made while I was with the Packers that led me to a recruiter at Learfield, and my experience and accomplishments with the Packers that helped me land the job. When I applied for my current role with the Pacers, before they even talked to me, they called the Packers. Then they called their Learfield contact. The sports industry is a very small world, so make sure you’re always doing your best. Chances are someone knows someone who knows your boss.
When and how did you know you wanted to go into partnerships?
I honestly wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to go into partnerships until my internship with the Packers. Once I started with them, I was completely sold. I struggled with trying to figure out what I wanted to do, because I genuinely enjoyed doing so many things. Well the great thing about partnerships, is that you get work with virtually every department. Community relations, marketing, game operations, you name it. No day is the same, and I absolutely love it.
What is your favorite memory from your time at the University of Wisconsin? What about SBCUW?
My favorite memory from my time at UW is watching Super Bowl XLV with my roommates as the Packers beat the Steelers. That was by far one of the best nights of my life. With SBCUW, it was our Winter Trip to Indianapolis. I was so impressed with all the organizations we talked to, and realized what a great sports city Indy is. I had no idea at the time I would end up working at one of the teams we visited with!
What advice do you have for students looking to break into the industry?
The importance of internships and networking is often stressed, and for good reason. The industry is so competitive, and whatever you can do to give yourself any sort of edge will be beneficial. But I also thinks it’s important to emphasize that if you don’t get that internship, or the dream job you applied for, it’s okay! There will be other opportunities. The first time I applied for the Packers internship, I didn’t get it, and I was devastated. But they reached out to me and encouraged me to apply for the “in-season” activation internship, because they felt I would be better suited for that role. Turns out they were 100% right. The internship I didn’t get was much more sales focused, and I without a doubt, enjoy the activation side of partnerships. Disappointment comes with the territory of such a competitive industry, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dreams.
Do you have a favorite partner to work with? Why?
My favorite partners to work with are the beer partners. That may seem like a typical Wisconsin girl response, but our beer partners do a lot of really fun activations. They like to go big, know how to activate, and are great with co-branding. We have a local craft beer sponsor that even creates a special Pacers playoff beer every year.
What is the most challenging part about working in partnerships?
I don’t think I have ever been as challenged professionally, as I, and the rest of the industry is right now. There are so many unknowns. When will the season start? Will there be fans in the building? If so, how many? You really just need to be ready for constant changes and adapt or pivot as quickly as possible. Information in the morning can be old news by the afternoon.
If Camp Randall sold its naming rights, what company would you pick as the ideal sponsor?
Hmm…that’s a tough one! A lot of times naming rights are a play for a company that has local ties. While I hope it will always be called Camp Randall, with Epic Systems being headquartered in Verona, maybe Epic Stadium?
October Events Recap
October 7th - Building a Brand from Scratch w/ Forward Madison FC
October 14th - Jackson Dargan: Intro to Sports Analytics and Sports Agencies
October 20th - Gender Equity in Sports with Kayla Gross
October 27th - Social Impact & Sports Panel