Bringing together current and future leaders of the sports industry

The CSM Mentoring Challenge, in partnership with Sports Business Journal (SBJ) is back for the eighth year. The program brings together ambitious women at the start of their careers in the sports industry with SBJ Game Changers to provide mentorship and guidance throughout this pivotal stage of their careers. The Mentoring Challenge provides both mentors and mentees with the opportunity to build relationships with leaders in the industry, access a range of bespoke events and webinars, plus a complimentary ticket to this year’s SBJ Game Changers conference.

The 2022-2023 instalment has now come to a close; a year spent connecting with industry peers, knowledge sharing and plenty of learning and development opportunities. Check out what we got up to throughout the year.

SBJ Game Changers Conference 

We kicked off with a networking event, followed by an invitation to the SBJ Game Changers conference. It was a fantastic opportunity for mentors and mentees to connect with each other face-to-face, and meet inspirational leaders, including the 2022 class of SBJ Game Changers. Attendees were also able to hear insights from key influencers and decision-makers within the industry, including representatives from global brands and rights holders.

Virtual networking for National Mentoring Month

To shine a light on National Mentoring Month, we hosted a virtual networking event with mentor, Vanessa Taveras – Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at IMG Academy and previous mentee, Johnna Hayward – Head of Strategy and Partnership Marketing at New York Liberty. We began with a short Q&A to hear their perspectives on the program and how to create a meaningful mentorship, followed by a guided networking discussion, giving attendees an opportunity to connect with other mentors and mentees and share their insights and experiences from their careers so far.



“This industry in particular is relationship based. The ability to have some organized opportunities to build relationships, learn by trial how to develop a relationship with someone and how to leverage the resources someone can bring you, having that in this stage of your career is super valuable.”

Vanessa Taveras – Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, IMG Academy
Mentor, Class of 2021-2022 and 2022-2023

The Breakfast Club

In February, we hosted a mentee-only breakfast to give our aspiring leaders the opportunity to get to know each other better, candidly discuss any challenges they were facing in the workplace and get to know some of the CSM team.

Turning seminal moments into sustainable change  

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we hosted a webinar featuring one of our mentors, Crystal Fisher – VP, Strategy & Business Development at NBCUniversal, alongside Fred Bolza – MD, New Soil, Suzy Levy – MD, The Red Plate, and Jon Patricof – CEO & Co-Founder, Athletes Unlimited. The panel discussed engendering equality, creating an inclusive culture, and how driving sustainable change requires a willingness to act. To watch it back, please click here.

A personalized path to progress

We were then joined by Executive Coach Ali Levin, who gave us an insightful virtual keynote session, where she shared a model for how to progress your career, build a career strategy, avoid falling into the perfection trap, and be able to set clear boundaries so you can focus on jobs that progress your career.

And finally, to wrap the program, we hosted a succulent making workshop, giving our mentors and mentees a chance to connect as a group in a fun, relaxed setting.

If you’re a woman pursuing your career in the sports industry, would like to be mentored by a leading industry executive and the program sounds like something you’d love to be a part of, head to to learn more.