MEET OUR SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PROPERTIES
Describe your career in 5 words
Doing good business with great people (six words – oops!)
Last year, you were listed in SBJ’s 2020 Game Changers list which recognizes women in sports business who contribute to the success of the industry in many important ways – congratulations on a fantastic achievement. 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?
Thank you, Game Changers was a huge honor! I grew up with several family members working in the advertising & marketing business, so I was familiar with agency life and drawn to it myself. When I was finishing up school and thinking about what I was going to do in “real life” my cousin – who was working on the brand side at the time – told me about a new/growing sports marketing business that he thought would be a good fit for me, as I was always an athlete and a big sports fan. That was how I found Octagon, which is where I got my start.
A year later combination of luck and timing found me assigned to Harlan Stone and Jeff Jonas’s team as they launched a new property representation business unit at Velocity Sports & Entertainment. I was frankly very intimidated by the idea of working on the “sales” team, but I took the opportunity to support two senior leaders and ended up spending the next 20 years learning from and growing up with them. Over the course of three different agencies and representing several world class clients across sports, entertainment and arts there have been tons of highlights, but the absolute best part of it all has just been working with so many genuinely great people.
As Senior Vice President in the Properties team at CSM, how do you approach finding the right brand for the properties you work with and what factors do you think make a perfect partnership?
In those early days of my career, I learned to be less intimidated by the idea of sales by approaching it more like matchmaking. The absolute best deals are never force-fit, they are the ones that offer great value for both the rightsholder and the brand. Our team spends a lot of time working to understand brands and what they need in order to drive success. Sure, we see their ad campaigns and we know what other sponsorships they have, but we also read their annual reports and dig into what makes their business tick.
Listening is such a critical part of selling that I think goes underrecognized. We build opportunities that we truly believe will help accomplish their objectives and address their challenges and that’s what leads to success.
You are a member of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Council as well as sitting on the U.S. Regional Council – what made you put yourself forwards and could you tell us what’s been planned for Black History Month U.S.?
Over the course of my career I’ve long felt frustrated by the broad lack of diversity across the sports marketing & sponsorship industry. As a woman I’ve been encouraged over recent years to see some meaningful change in representation of females at the highest levels and in different/new roles (though there’s always more progress to be made). So, I joined a group of colleagues in North America determined to help address the barriers to making change.
BHM is a really important month on our calendar in North America. As we continue to strive for a more open and inclusive workplace we are marking it with a series of internal conversations around Representation, Diversity and Identity, and sharing a series of resources to Read, Listen, Watch and Shop along with testimonials from our Black colleagues to educate our employees on the Black experience.
When not at work, what would we find you doing?
Well, in pandemic life the answer is — a whole lot of the same! Spending A LOT of time with my husband and two young kids (Mateo will soon turn 6 and Camila just turned 4) reading, coloring & playing games and exploring the parks & playgrounds of NYC.
In “real life” travel is a passion and you can always find me planning the next adventure. As much as we all miss live sports professionally, I miss them personally as well. Early in the morning you’ll find me with my gym friends (on zoom for the time being) and late at night you’ll find me enjoying the quiet (maybe re-watching Schitt’s Creek for the 100th time) while my household sleeps. In 2021 I aspire to read more books and send more letters (I think getting mail is one of the most underrated joys).