We spent 5 minutes getting to know our Senior Vice President of Brand Experiences, Stephanie Smilowitz. Stephanie looks back on why she chose this career path, moments to remember, and where we can find her outside of work.
Describe your career in five words
Unexpected, Evolving, Action Packed, Challenging, Creative.
When you look back to when you started out, what made you pursue a career in this industry, and can you tell us about some of your highlights along the way?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve only ever wanted to work in sports. I wish I could identify what initially drew me to the industry – but from as early on as high school, I knew that this was something that I would be passionate about and from the beginning it never actually felt like work.
While I am most proud of being a part of the explosive growth of the agency over the last decade, some account/event highlights that really stand out to me are:
- Hitting balls on Arthur Ashe to “rehearse” the Emirates Airline US Open Ball Flight
- Launching a new statistic in Major League Soccer, The Audi Player Index
- Revamping the NCAA’s “Salute” – the opening ceremony to the men’s basketball Final Four competition
- Traveling the US with Oprah Winfrey on an 8-market arena tour
You have a successful track record, is there a project you are particularly proud of? What were some unforeseen hurdles you came across?
Most recently, CSM has worked alongside the founders of Athletes Unlimited – a new disruptive women’s sports property. Launching the league in the early stage of the pandemic was an incredible accomplishment, and something our entire agency is very proud of.
You are a huge champion of women- from a long history of working in female leagues, planning new leagues with Athletes Unlimited to being a mentor for the CSM Mentoring Challenge. What advice would you give women who are trying to break into the industry?
Be yourself! Too often I find myself the only female in a meeting, and it can be super intimidating. I’ve found that it’s best to be yourself and let your authentic personality shine through, as opposed to trying to hide to try and blend in with the group. Work is always better when there are different voices contributing.
When not at work, what would we find you doing?
Hanging out with my family – husband, Stuart, daughter Zoey (1) and son Lucas (3.5), watching the Bachelor, riding my Peloton or doing virtual barre classes, brainstorming my hypothetical YouTube channel, playing and/or watching tennis, cooking and baking, and talking to my mom.