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Author - Megan Meisse

Getting to the C-Suite and How to Stay There

By: Scott Carmichael, Prodigy Sports

CEO, COO, CMO, CRO, CTO, CFO…the list goes on.  Regardless of industry, for those who are career-oriented, have exceptionally lofty goals, and are ambitious, the C-Suite is the target.  In sports, those roles don’t come around often – but when they do, are you on the short list?  How do you get on that proverbial list to be contacted for available opportunities (keep in mind – these jobs rarely get posted or made available for public consumption)?  If you aren’t on that list, how do you break through and become part of the conversation?  Moreover, once you land that highly-coveted role, how do you stay there and not just survive but rather thrive?

Before starting Prodigy Sports in 2007, I was fortunate enough to have secured executive positions with the Los Angeles Kings and NHL League Office.  It wasn’t an easy road nor did I take any shortcuts.  Furthermore, I wasn’t your traditional revenue-generator working in the sales department, so my path to senior-level roles had other obstacles and challenges.  Sure, I was involved in critical business development efforts, but I was not quite your conventional “rainmaking” ticket or sponsorship seller.  Perhaps the first lesson is right there: the C-suite wants and needs exceptionally-talented operators, marketers, technologists, and otherwise strong financial, strategic, and big-picture thinkers and doers.  I’ve seen just as many strong legal and accounting minds succeed in C-level roles as I have your classically-trained branding executives or big-game hunters.  Whether your background is traditional or not, it is critical that you conduct thorough due diligence on the organizations you admire or otherwise are targeting in your pursuit of the C-suite.  Find those companies that are like-minded or have had prior success with paving a path to the top, regardless of who you are on paper, for someone like you.  However, some of those crucial skill sets and traits that are “color blind” to your résumé, current title, area of expertise and/or degree are –

  1. The ability to deliver business results on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that fit into long-term company-wide goals – balancing short-term wins while not losing sight of future goals. It is easy to accept a quick fix, a cash grab, a minor victory but if it impacts your detailed strategic plans down the road, is it really worth it?
  2. The confidence to create, maintain, communicate and sustain a comprehensive vision and mission.  This must be articulated clearly and consistently.
  3. The capacity to establish and advance a culture that takes into account the present environment and personality of the organization while considering the perspective of ownership, your board, staff and other vested stakeholders.  Is it “your” culture or “our” culture that you are building as a leader?
  4. An understanding of, respect for and openness to embrace the strengths and complementary skills of other C-suite executives to work towards a common goal.  When you are sitting around the table, it doesn’t matter what letter comes between the “C” and “O” in their job title.
  5. A tireless work ethic, a strong support system, an immeasurable level of determination and chameleon-like character and disposition.  These intangibles are sometimes more impactful than the hard skills you possess.

Getting to the top requires careful career road-mapping and strategic career planning.  You should draft a plan, put benchmarks in place, but do so in pencil; you may have to change course, develop a different proficiency, build a more diverse network and grow your portfolio with a different team, league, agency or sport.

Once there, continue to learn and develop.  Just because you have earned that C-level title, doesn’t mean you’ve reached the pinnacle and your work is done.  Stay on top of trends in your industry and other industries; learn from executives you admire; put yourself in uncomfortable positions; continue to work towards being a well-respected and fair leader.  Most of all, don’t become stagnant and simply collect the paycheck.  There are plenty of others waiting in the wings that would do anything to get that “Chief” notation on their business card.

An industry veteran with nearly 40 years experience in the sports business, Scott Carmichael founded Prodigy Sports in 2007.  Now entering his 11th year leading the agency, Carmichael has established Prodigy Sports into one of the nation’s premier boutique executive search firms. As Prodigy Sports has grown in national prominence, Carmichael has led successful placements with organizations such as the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers, AEG Worldwide, TD Garden/Boston Bruins, SeatGeek, Engine Shop, Gen.G esports, NBA 2K League, Monumental Sports/Team Liquid to name just a few.

Prodigy Sports Places Multiple Team Presidents

CONTACT: Megan Meisse, megan@prodigysports.net or 732.303.9950.

For Immediate Release

PRODIGY SPORTS ANNOUNCES MULTIPLE TEAM PRESIDENT PLACEMENTS FOR THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL

(Freehold, New Jersey, September 5, 2018) Prodigy Sports, one of the nation’s leading executive search and recruitment firms solely dedicated to the multibillion dollar business of sports, announced the placement of seven Team Presidents who will lead the business operations for The Alliance of American Football (AAF) in their respective markets.

The Alliance have named David Livingston (Atlanta), Tom Ward (Birmingham), Mike Waddell (Orlando), Scott Brubaker (Phoenix), Tyler Howell (Salt Lake City), Jeff Garner (San Diego), and Vic Gregovits (San Antonio) as Team Presidents in the new league, joining Kosha Irby (Memphis), who was announced as Team President in May.

In addition to the eight Team Presidents, Prodigy Sports recruited and placed Murray Cohn as Senior Vice President of Ticket Services for The Alliance. Cohn will oversee all aspects of ticket sales and team services, delivering his comprehensive league-wide strategies to help The Alliance achieve aggressive attendance and ticket sales goals for the new football league.

“As we look forward to the kickoff of our season in February, 2019, our Team Presidents are critical to the success of each market and to our league as a whole, as they will steer the leadership, engagement in the local community, and work within the framework we have put together for The Alliance to drive significant revenue and lead the team’s marketing efforts,” said Tom Veit, Head of Business Operations, The Alliance. “From the beginning, Prodigy Sports made every effort to ensure all qualifications for these hires were met, but they also fully understood the culture and importance of these positions of our organization, top to bottom.”

Founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, and announced on March 20th of this year, the AAF will begin its inaugural season the week following Super Bowl LIII. The Alliance will be comprised of eight teams with 50-men rosters. The AAF will play in the following markets: Orlando, Atlanta, Phoenix, Birmingham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, and Memphis. With the leadership of accomplished coaches like Steve Spurrier, Brad Childress, Tim Lewis, and many other dynamic NFL players and coaches, each Team President will have a well-equipped team of General Managers, Head Coaches, and additional Executive staff members to expand the team’s and league’s reach throughout the United States.

Scott Carmichael, Founder & CEO of Prodigy Sports said, “It was and continues to be a pleasure to partner with The Alliance of American Football for their hiring needs to help launch their league early next year. With extensive networking, hundreds of applications and subsequent candidate engagements, we have uncovered tremendous talent in the sports and entertainment space and are proud to have these positions filled by senior industry executives with vast experience.”

As the Team Presidents settle into their positions and fully immerse themselves in the eight respective markets, they will continue to build their individual executive teams, incorporating their successful track records of building winning sales and management cultures to drive and increase all team revenue streams and the overall profitability of the franchise.

To see further on The Alliance of American Football official announcements of these hires, visit:

https://aaf.com/news/2018/8/28/the-alliance-of-american-football-names-team-presidents

https://aaf.com/news/2018/8/23/sales-veteran-murray-cohn-joins-the-alliance-of-american-football

 

About the Alliance of American Football

Led by some of the most respected football minds in the game, The Alliance of American Football is a dynamic professional football league fueled by an unprecedented Alliance between players, fans and the game. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance will feature eight teams with 50-player rosters playing a 10-week regular season schedule in the spring beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS, followed by two playoff rounds and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.

About Prodigy Sports

With a staff that carries over 80 years of experience across multiple business segments, Prodigy Sports is a nationwide leader in senior-level executive search and recruitment, in which our distinction is Where the Best Brands Come for the Best Talent.

With thousands of deeply-rooted relationships with senior-level sports and entertainment executives and premier organizations, Prodigy Sports ensures our clients the most talented and accomplished candidates for their specific needs and corporate culture, resulting in a seamless, thorough and successful recruitment.

 

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NFL Combine: From the Field to the Office

By: Megan Meisse, Prodigy Sports

For a week in early March, college football players come from across the country to perform several physical and mental tests for their chance at a life-changing opportunity with the NFL. Showcasing their skills in front of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts from across the league, the NFL Scouting Combine has grown significance not only for the prospects but also for fans and media alike. With more than 300 prospects competing for their chance in the NFL, these prospects go through several tests and drills, from vertical jumps to offensive and defensive drills. These prospects also go through several rounds of interviews to test their mental strength, which could even be more important than their performance on the field or in the weight room.

As recruiters, we look at potential job candidates just as the NFL coaches and staff look at these combine prospects. To use some key NFL phrases throughout the week-long event, the prospects must show their value with their statistics and their measurables after their college playing career has ended. Similarly, the job candidate must show their value with their resume to highlight revenue generating, their experience, hard skills and soft skills. Blatantly showcase hard skills on a resume – technological, languages spoken; weave soft skills throughout. Prospects highlight their statistics including their numbers of sacks or games played so do not be afraid to also highlight your individual numbers. For sales, be confident in your comfort level with high-dollar amounts and explain your deep “rolodex” with examples. For more marketing/digital roles, promote your creativity and establish your own brand. Tell your story, use detail and examples.

Like NFL Combine prospects, interviews take place when seeking a new job opportunity and they can be just as important, and nerve-racking, as those that the athletes go through. Just like the active job seeker, athletes prepare for any question that can be asked of them but for some questions, there is just not enough preparation to answer the tough ones. Showcase your ability to think quick on your feet.

Aside from the skills behind a potential NFL prospect or a job candidate, one of the most important aspects of a person is their personality, which is highlighted in their interview. There have been several articles throughout the media coming straight from the Combine listing some of these unique questions. In a job search, be prepared for the tough questions. Aside from explaining your background, be prepared for questions like: Tell me about your greatest accomplishment? What do you know about our company/this role? What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome? The biggest mistake any candidate can make is not being prepared for their interview, simply because you are selling one of the most important brands – yourself.

A key phase in the NFL world is also viewing tape/film, which is seen any place from the NFL Combine to the locker room to the Super Bowl. It is critical for teams to review certain players and plays to see what they are truly made of or what to improve on. Hours are spent reviewing film for prospects and players and the same goes for the active job seeker in a similar fashion. Think of having good tape or film as your professional references. Of course, it is easy to pick the references who will say all the general “fluff” that you are a great person and hard worker but think outside the box when submitting references for a job. Think of clients you went above and beyond for. Think of a former co-worker you may have had to overcome something with.

With the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine nearing an end, think of yourself as one of these young college students who is about to fight for potentially the biggest moment in their life. Never give up on that fight, no matter the difficult interview question or the other candidates interviewing in the process or the resume you submitted. Be your best self and be able to sell it. To the 2018 Combine Prospects, the best of luck to achieving your NFL dream.

As Senior Recruiting Associate, Megan Meisse works across Prodigy Sports’ executive search division, handling various clients across the sports and entertainment industries. Aside from her executive search role at Prodigy, Meisse also handles digital initiatives and content creation for Prodigy Sports.

Contact: megan@prodigysports.net

 

 

 

Lessons Learned on Corporate Culture

Workplace fit is critical in putting together ‘culture puzzle’

The following was published in SportsBusiness Journal on July 31, 2017, Vol. 20 — No. 15.

Prodigy Sports had the privilege of attending the 2017 National Sports Forum in Minnesota in February. This year, while at NSF, Prodigy’s very own Mark Gress Jr. hosted a roundtable discussion that carefully delved into the topic of corporate culture. In the following, Mark shares his results, conclusions, and lessons learned about corporate culture throughout the sports and entertainment industry.

If you have been on the conference circuit in the last few years, some of the buzzwords I’m sure you have heard ad nauseam are “millennial,” “content” and perhaps most of all, “culture.” Culture, like the other two, is an admittedly tricky topic and one that we at Prodigy Sports had a great deal of consternation about before presenting the idea to Ron Seaver for the National Sports Forum. The reason: Culture, unless discussed with specific, defined direction and purpose, can be too robust of a theme or too abstract of a concept to have value for those involved in the conversation.

You have seen and read in these pages about the specific focus on culture with respect to Bill Sutton’s examination of space, office setup, and how teams are investing in the environments that they are creating for their employees (yes, some of whom are millennials). I assume, unless you haven’t been paying attention, that you have heard Scott O’Neil talk about the Philadelphia 76ers corporate culture and how “trusting the process” on the court oozes into the magic that they have created across sales, marketing, and their other business functions.

As indicated by the title of our recent session at the National Sports Forum, the approach was to focus on “Insights on Building and Maintaining a Winning Corporate Culture.” In daily communication with our clients (employers) and candidates (both active and passive job seekers), we focus intently on culture and we do so with both parties in mind. With our clients, we put aside the job description, the required skills, credentials and education, and we delve into what is most important and paramount. We want to know what type of candidate will thrive at an organization long-term. With our candidates, we listen to what they perceive to be the ideal ownership, organization structure, and core mission and values for them to succeed in their career. Putting the “culture puzzle” together is not easy but when done correctly can yield incredible results.

With that in mind, our session aimed to guide discussions with participants surrounding their individual philosophies and company’s efforts to maintain an environment that focuses on employing, training, and retaining the people who make it successful. The three key areas of focus were: 1) hiring and recruiting; 2) talent management, retention, and workplace performance; and 3) the daily/day-to-day cultural mindset, influence, and impact.

Some of the common themes from more than 50+ roundtable attendees were:

1. Respect and value diverse opinions regardless of title, seniority, gender, ethnicity, etc. Support independent thought.
2. Let employees own specific ideas and plans — it is theirs, let them run with it. Offer to aid but do not meddle.
3. Break down the “how we have always done things” wall; however, one must be tactful in their approach to disrupt “what got us here.”
4. Utilize and embrace various technologies to better communicate internally and externally; remember, it is 2017!
5. When hiring, paint an accurate picture and set clear, defined expectations; do not oversell a job or “over recruit” to land a name or close a vacancy.
6. Balance the “revolving door” and “no one ever leaves” reputation as a company; encourage exploration while maintaining stability — seek a middle ground.
7. Encourage “radical candor” from the top down and vice versa. Open and honest regular dialogue is not a “nice to have,” it is a “must have.”
8. Build a culture with different personalities but with the same values.
9. Bridge the gap, when possible, between millennials and baby boomers; find the connector internally and lean on them.
10. It is normal, and expected, for the culture of a specific department to vary somewhat from the overall company culture. Appreciate the differences between the two.

Shauna Gilhooly, Vice President of Human Resources for the Boston Bruins and TD Garden, broadly discussed her take on culture and eloquently stated:

“Culture is something that exists in every department and every organization without any effort. To shape and influence culture, on the other hand, takes tremendous focus, effort and time. Progress can easily be disrupted with something as innocuous and frequent as a new hire. That is why ‘fit’ is so critical in the recruiting process, because people are the real drivers and keepers of culture.”

Below are the results of a nationwide survey Prodigy Sports conducted with more than 100 sports industry executives prior to our session at the National Sports Forum –

Written text and graphic courtesy of Liz Spangler/SportsBusiness Journal. The above was published in SportsBusiness Journal on July 31, 2017.

SportsBusiness Journal July 31-August 6, 2017

Q&A: University of Central Florida: Got Gig? Career Boot Camp

Q&A: University of Central Florida: Got Gig? Career Boot Camp

By: Mark Gress Jr. & Megan Meisse, Prodigy Sports

Having recently returned from Orlando, Prodigy Sports’ Vice President, Recruiting, Mark Gress Jr. was invited to speak with the UCF DeVos Sport Business Management MBA cohorts and participate in their Got Gig? Career Boot Camp. The day included resumes reviews, three mock interviews, LinkedIn preparation, values discussion, networking and job searching overviews. Utilizing the skills and tips taught from Mark, below are questions and answers about his time at UCF and his insight on incredibly crucial skills and education for career development.

What is the biggest concern of students entering the job space, specially to break into the sports industry?

Alex Vergara and Mike Redlick invited me to speak and participate in their Got Gig? Career Boot Camp. Given these were MBA students, perhaps their concern was breaking in at the appropriate level.  Ego aside, most of them simply want to know where they slot in and how they can get there.  For those currently in or who have recently completed their MBA, it comes down to how that degree is sold, marketed, and positioned as part of a candidate’s “experience” and skill set.

If there were one or two major errors as an interviewee to stay away from within an interview process, what would they be?

Not answering the specific question that was asked OR lacking details, telling a story, giving examples – turn the abstract into something concrete.

Not having questions prepared to ask the interviewer and not just any questions; questions that show the depth of your research and the sincerity behind your curiosity.

For those who are frustrated in the job search, either not finding the right roles or getting interviews scheduled, what would be the biggest piece of advice to handle the job process?

We say it a lot but it is true – the job search is a full-time job.  It is also a stressful one and one that involves and incorporates the “human element” regardless of whether you are working with a recruiter or not.  Be patient, be creative, adapt and adjust, change up your methods, build long-term relationships, and go outside of your comfort zone.

What is the best way to ‘tell your story’ on an interview? How much is too much or how little is too little detail to be left out?

It depends.  If I am asking to give me your elevator pitch and your 30 second commercial – keep it short and sweet; follow the direction of the interviewer.  If I am asking to walk me through your background, help me understand your career transitions, and let me hear your verbal version of your resume, it is OK to be a little verbose; let your energy and passion come through.  If you can’t do that when you are telling your own story, we’re in trouble.

With new sectors breaking out in the sports industry in the last 12-24 months, like the growth of esports and more digital roles being created, where do you see these roles going and what other disciplines are promising to break out in the coming months?

Aside from esports, digital, gambling, and all of the ones people talk about at conferences and onsocial media, it is also exciting to follow and potentially land a role in new, upstart leagues.  Beyond The Alliance of American Football, you have the XFL and other emerging football leagues.  You have a potential new lacrosse league coming down the road.  Look for teams and sports that are expanding, relocating, and/or otherwise evolving and position yourself in a way to be part of that growth.

To address those active job seekers, how can they diversify their skill sets to be more versatile in the industry? How do they know the right job opportunities to go after if still new to the industry?

Sometimes it is hard.  If you are an active job seeker who is employed, try to chip in with other departments.  If you have relationships in the sports industry, ask around, learn, visit other organizations, ask questions, seek out best practices.  If the advanced degree, a certificate, a formal training are options, consider and pursue them.  If you are an active job seeker who is unemployed, volunteer, take on research projects, do pro bono work, and otherwise stay current and fresh.

As for the “right” job opportunities, let’s not forget the most basic step.  Read and review job descriptions.  Digest them, understand what they are asking for and take a true, hard look in the mirror and see if you meet even the bare minimum requirements.  Then, what I would do is to research and look around, perhaps via LinkedIn, for who is doing that same or a similar role at the moment and see what their background and skills are and match that against yourself; use that as a barometer.

What is the most powerful resource someone can use in their career to network?

Hard question to answer.  What I told the MBA students at UCF was to leverage, utilize, and simply bang down the doors of your UCF alumni network.  What MBA programs like UCF do well is they integrate their alumni, professors, advisory board, and other key industry leaders into the curriculum.  Now it is on the MBA student or alumni who is seeking help in their career to ASK, follow-up, be persistent, and build a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

As Vice President, Recruiting, Mark Gress Jr. brings more than 10 years of experience in the sports industry. He initially joined Prodigy Sports in early 2015 as Director, Recruiting before being promoted in 2016. Gress’ experience in the industry has brought him success in filling positions for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, World Rowing Championships, USA Curling, USA Table Tennis, USA Taekwondo, and many more.

Contact: mark@prodigysports.net

As Senior Recruiting Associate, Megan Meisse works across Prodigy Sports’ executive search division, handling various clients across the sports and entertainment industries. Aside from her executive search role at Prodigy, Meisse also handles digital initiatives and content creation for Prodigy Sports.

Contact: megan@prodigysports.net

RECENT PLACEMENT: Alex Rodrigo – Golden 1 Center

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Alex Rodrigo as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Golden 1 Center with the Sacramento Kings.

Rodrigo joins the Kings after serving as Group Vice President & Arena General Manager with St. Louis Blues Sports and Entertainment Operations, where he oversaw the Enterprise Center and Peabody Opera House. Earlier, Rodrigo co-founded Colliers Internationals Las Vegas Mixed Use Development and Resort Properties Division in 2004, where he and his team were a pioneering influence in advancing Southern Nevada’s transition to a more urban lifestyle.

In his new role with the Sacramento Kings, Rodrigo will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Golden 1 Center in addition to developing and achieving all aspects the Arena business plan to support the overall business strategy of the Company.

About Golden 1 Center

Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings, has an exciting opportunity for an Arena General Manager to join our dynamic leadership team to run the most technologically advanced arena in the world.

Golden 1 Center sits proudly in the heart of downtown Sacramento, less than a mile from California’s first thriving business district. It’s here that you’ll find one of the Nation’s most diverse communities coming together around their favorite things: Music, sports, entertainment, culture, food, and beverage. A homage to the city’s legacy and a marvel of its bright future, Golden 1 Center represents everything that makes Sacramento the next Great American City. From design to sustainability to connectivity to cuisine, it’s a celebration of what Sacramento does best.

In its inaugural season, Golden 1 Center played host to over 1 Million guests who attended: 41 Kings Games, 20 Sporting Events, 26 Family Shows, and 18 Concerts. Boasting 16 sell out events and anticipating a half dozen more through the end of year one Golden 1 Center has transformed the entertainment scene in Northern California. Recently ranked #1 as Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Sports, the building has been nominated by Pollstar as one of the Best New Venues of the Year and is a finalist for the Sports Business Journal’s Sports Facility of the Year award.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Alex Rodrigo to the Sacramento Kings!

Best of luck in your new role!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Todd Yunker – Greenville Triumph SC

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Todd Yunker as Chief Revenue Officer with Greenville Triumph SC.

Yunker comes to Greenville following a five-year tenure with Leavine Racing as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, where he led the teams overseeing business development, sponsorship and marketing activation. Yunker previously held the same title with Infinitre Energy Solutions after serving as Senior Account Executive, Corporate Sponsorship and Suites with the Detroit Lions and Director, Corporate Partnership Development with the Toledo Mud Hens & Toledo Walleye.

In his new role, Yunker will be responsible for developing and implementing an integrated sponsorship and ticket sales strategy that maximizes revenue while maintaining strategic alignment with overall revenue goals for the organization.

 About Greenville Triumph SC

Founded in 2018, Greenville Triumph SC, a member of the newly formed USL DIII league, is led by Chairman Joe Erwin, Vice Chairman Doug Erwin, Erwin Creates Managing Partner Shannon Wilbanks and Club President Chris Lewis. The ownership group is committed to creating a first-class soccer stadium by building or renovating an existing site and is scouting temporary locations to play its first season, which kicks off in March 2019. Announcement of a permanent site is expected to follow later this year, along with the team’s name, colors and logo.

Greenville Triumph SC joins the United Soccer League’s Charleston Battery as the only professional soccer teams in South Carolina and becomes the fourth men’s professional team based in the Carolinas.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Todd Yunker to Greenville Triumph SC!

Best of luck in your new role!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Jerry Gigante – PGA TOUR

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Jerry Gigante as Sales Manager, The Northern Trust with the PGA TOUR.

Gigante comes to the PGA TOUR after six years with the New York Mets, where he joined the team as Ticket Sales Representative before being promoted to Account Executive, Season Ticket Sales and then his most recent role of Manager, Premium Sales. Gigante began his career in sports with the Washington Nationals as Inside Sales Representative.

In his role with the PGA TOUR, Gigante will directly contribute to sales efforts for The Northern Trust by generating revenue through hospitality package and sponsorship sales.

 

Prodigy Sports welcomes Jerry Gigante to the PGA TOUR!

Best of luck in your new role!

Assessing Assessments as Part of the Hiring Process

By: Mark Gress Jr., Prodigy Sports

Every Spring when it comes time to evaluate future NFL stars in the draft, there is plenty of discussion surrounding the Wonderlic Test.  Many think there is value, hence it is still administered.  Others give it no credence.  Dan Marino and Terry Bradshaw scored a 16; Ryan Fitzpatrick and Greg McElroy scored 48 (out of 50).  The scouts, coaches, general managers, and owners use this test in addition to many other assessments, interviews, and film to evaluate their talent.  Sometimes it works, other times it is an abject failure.

On the business side of sports, when it comes to talent acquisition, we have seen our past and present clients utilize everything from Myers-Briggs to TriMetrix to the Predictive Index to the Caliper Test.  Some have used these tools at the beginning of the process, before interviews take place; others have used these tools after the entire process is complete and right before an offer is extended (or depending on the results, not extended).  The beauty of where we are positioned allows us to be Switzerland in not suggesting nor discouraging the use of these assessments.  However, one thing is for sure – employers are often using these and other tests to better understand the candidate they intend to hire not as an exclusionary tool in eliminating someone from contention.

I’ll admit, many years ago I had a client that always utilized the Caliper Test to present the client with a profile on the candidate’s key traits, personality, style, motivation, and leadership potential – and, I wasn’t too fond of it.  In theory, I thought it was a worthwhile tool.  But for one particular search, we had an executive whom we recommended to our client after we conducted multiple interviews and did adequate checking of their credentials. That person went in for a full-day, 8-hour set of formal and informal interviews; reference and background checks were clear.  Everyone was on board with this candidate.  That person checked every box.  Then it came time for the Caliper Test – everything prior, all of the work done to vet this candidate was for naught and an offer was not made because the results from that test were not to the client’s liking.  For that same client, several years later, I had a candidate who randomly filled out the answers to the test without reading the questions, and finished the test in record time, because that person thought it was a waste of their time.

These tools do, in fact, have a tremendous amount of value.  Both parties should take them seriously but keep in mind their place in the evaluation process.  For employers, there is danger in using them as the sole determining factor in making a hire (remember, there are good test-takers and bad test-takers).  If there is too much emphasis placed on a single test to evaluate whether a candidate is right for your organization, you are letting it trump the initial opinion of a candidate you have spoken with or met.  A bar graph, scale, grade, or any other purely quantitative assessment should not be used as a true judgement of someone’s talent. For candidates, take these assessments when you have adequate, quiet time and while it is recommended to not take these too lightly, do not overthink your answers or simply answer based on what you believe the employer is looking for.

As Vice President, Recruiting, Mark Gress Jr. brings more than 10 years of experience in the sports industry. He initially joined Prodigy Sports in early 2015 as Director, Recruiting before being promoted in 2016. Gress’ experience in the industry has brought him success in filling positions for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, World Rowing Championships, USA Curling, USA Table Tennis, USA Taekwondo, and many more.

Contact: mark@prodigysports.net

PRODIGY SPORTS & ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL

CONTACT: Allie Koeck, allie@prodigysports.net or 732.303.9950.

For Immediate Release

PRODIGY SPORTS AND ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP

(Freehold, New Jersey, May 14, 2018)   Prodigy Sports, one of the nation’s leading search and recruitment firms solely dedicated to the multibillion dollar business of sports, today announced that they have been exclusively retained by the Alliance of American Football (AAF) to lead multiple executive level searches in preparation for their forthcoming, and much anticipated, launch.

“As we build out all aspects of The Alliance, we needed a trusted partner with the bandwidth and resources to quickly source several key positions within business operations, sales and marketing for our member teams as well as our League Office. We could not ask for a better firm than Prodigy Sports, whose integrity and proven ability to fully understand the culture of a start-up league like the Alliance of American Football makes them an invaluable asset,” said Tom Veit, Head of Business Operations, The Alliance.

Founded by brilliant media mind and entrepreneur, Charlie Ebersol, and NFL Hall of Famer, Bill Polian, the AAF will begin its inaugural season in February of 2019. The Alliance will be comprised of eight teams, each with 50-men rosters. The AAF recently announced that their first city will be Orlando, and the team will be led by legendary Head Coach Steve Spurrier. They announced their second city to be Atlanta, with veteran Coach Brad Childress at the helm, and their third city is Memphis, coached by Super Bowl Champion Mike Singletary.

Scott Carmichael, Founder & CEO of Prodigy Sports said, “We are thrilled and honored to be working with true trailblazers, Mr. Ebersol, and Mr. Polian, on this exciting new venture.  We are grateful for Tom Veit’s trust and confidence in Prodigy Sports.  Tom is a respected industry veteran whom we have known for many years and consider to be one of the most talented executives in sports and live entertainment.”

About the Alliance of American Football

Led by some of the most respected football minds in the game, The Alliance of American Football is high-quality professional football fueled by a dynamic Alliance between players, fans and the game. Fans will be able to stream Alliance matchups live via the free Alliance app while accessing integrated fantasy options with real rewards — for themselves and the players they are cheering on. Players will have state-of-the-art protection on the field and ample opportunities off it. The Alliance will provide players a comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning as well as counseling and scholarship support for post-secondary education. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance features eight teams, under a single entity structure, playing a 12-week season kicking-off February 9, 2019 on CBS and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.

Be sure to connect with the AAF on Twitter at @TheAAF and visit their website at AAF.com.

 About Prodigy Sports

With a staff that carries over 80 years of experience across multiple business segments, Prodigy Sports is a nationwide leader in senior-level executive search and recruitment, in which our distinction is Where the Best Brands Come for the Best Talent.

With thousands of deeply-rooted relationships with senior-level sports and entertainment executives and premier organizations, Prodigy Sports ensures our clients the most talented and accomplished candidates for their specific needs and corporate culture, resulting in a seamless, thorough and successful recruitment.

 

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