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PRODIGY SPORTS

NEWS

Author - Megan Meisse

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.

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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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Prodigy Sports Places Multiple Team Presidents

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

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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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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

RECENT PLACEMENT: Glenn Merry – Disabled Sports USA

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Glenn Merry as Executive Director with Disabled Sports USA.

Prior to joining DSUSA, Merry had been Managing Partner of JaClarre Consulting where had worked with non-profit and sports management organizations. Merry spent a large part of his earlier career with USRowing, serving as their Chief Executive Officer for just under 12 years. Other titles Merry held during his tenure include National Team Programs Director and National Team Manager.

With DSUSA, Merry will have full operational authority of Disabled Sports USA and will provide management and leadership to DSUSA staff in a cooperative, unified and open environment. Merry will collaborate with the Board to set the strategic plan and vision of the organization and develop tactics for achieving DSUSA’s mission, goals and objectives, and to carry out the same.

 About Disabled Sports USA

Disabled Sports USA (a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization) is a national leader in adaptive sports.  We have been at the forefront of adaptive sports and recreation in the U.S. for more than fifty years. Through sports, we help individuals with disabilities prosper and thrive.

Today, our industry-leading expertise and expanding network of 125 chapters in 40 states reach more than 60,000 youth and adults with disabilities annually.  Our commitment is for every person, regardless of ability, to have an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their community.

DSUSA has a 50-year track record for accomplishing ambitious goals by managing programs efficiently. This year, DSUSA achieved an overall, combined administrative and fundraising expense rate of 11.7%, a fraction of the amount deemed outstanding by Charity Navigator. DSUSA undergoes multiple financial and compliance audits each year and consistently receives unqualified reports.

At Disabled Sports USA, we create the environment and opportunities that each year lead to tens of thousands of life-changing, transformative experiences expressed in our motto: “If I can do this, I can do anything!”

Prodigy Sports welcomes Glenn Merry to Disabled Sports USA!

Best of luck in your new role!

Finding Reasons NOT to Hire (or NOT to Accept a Job Offer) is a Recipe for Failure

By: Mark Gress Jr., Prodigy Sports

Employers are fastidious and they have every right to be.  They are in a position of leverage and we all know that – they have the jobs and a collective “we” want the jobs.  Executive search firms are picky as well, if we’re being honest.  That’s our job and we get paid to be particular and selective, whether it is following our clients needs, guidelines, or our own personal candidate interviews, conversations, and vetting.  What we sometimes wrestle with and try to balance is the notion of finding the “perfect candidate” with realizing what proverbial boxes don’t need to be checked off for the imperfect, yet immensely-talented candidate.

Assuming you have specific criteria from a job description that must be met, add in how the candidate fits with your company culture, and factor in feedback you have received from multiple rounds of phone, Skype, and in-person interviews; consider the additional reference checks, assessments, and/or projects/assignments you might have asked the candidate to complete.  After all of that vetting, why second guess?  Why go against your gut?  Why search for skeletons and dig for negativity ad nauseam?

Whether it is a Director of Ticket Sales, Vice President of Marketing, or Chief Revenue Officer, the importance of making the right hire cannot be understated.  But there is a BIG difference between doing your homework and research and trying to locate and land a unicorn.  This isn’t quite a paralysis by analysis situation…it is worse…it is paralysis by “over-analysis”.  Stop trying to find reasons NOT to hire and instead push for reasons TO make a hire.  Look at all of the positives that the new hire will bring the organization and focus on ways to aid where there are shortcomings. Think about the reasons why you were looking to hire in the first place and why you were initially intrigued by or sold on this specific candidate.  Trust that instinct!

All of that being said, we cannot let candidates off the hook.  We often talk about the “human element” of recruiting, which has many definitions and explanations, but it essentially points to the uncontrollable.  Clearly we are not selling a season ticket or pitching a marketing plan…but the idea of trying to convince someone to take a new job, relocate their family, report to a new boss, adjust their career goals, and shift their earning potential is easier said than done.  We know the grass isn’t always greener but candidates, like their hiring organizations, have to take a step back and look at what is most important to them and what is secondary, if not tertiary.  The perfect job/company/employer/location simply does not exist – try not to seek out reasons to TURN DOWN that offer…find reasons to ACCEPT that offer.  You have invested too much time, energy, money, and effort into the hiring process to say no when you are at the finish line.

As Big Tom Callahan (Brian Dennehy) once said – “Why say ‘no’ when it feels so good to say ‘yes’?

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

Checking In With: Zoe Wilson, PGA TOUR

Adapting to the digital age: Advice from Zoe Wilson

By: Megan Meisse, Prodigy Sports

Candidate placed: July 2015

When you are working with the largest golf organization in the world, growing and maintaining various digital platforms can be one of the most difficult jobs. HeadshotIn looking to expand their greater New York City media sales efforts, the PGA TOUR sought the assistance of Prodigy Sports, in order to find a creative, interactive sales professional, responsible for working with their clients to develop PGA TOUR media partnerships and campaigns.

In July of 2015, a Texas native found her new home in New York with the PGA TOUR. Zoe Wilson now holds the title of Director of Media Sales for the TOUR. Having moved to New York in 2007 not knowing a single person, she quickly got involved with her alma mater, the University of Texas, with their New York chapter. Currently sitting on three boards for the Alumni Association with Texas, Wilson built her network and now pays it forward to her university by volunteering with undergrads, sharing her experiences in New York and offering career advice.

After graduating from the University of Texas with a Sports Management degree, Wilson began her internship with the Paralympics in Colorado, being tasked with hosting the Paralympics Charity Golf Tournament. Ironically enough, this was her first time around golf and being on a golf course. Shortly after her internship with the United States Olympic Committee, Wilson made the move to New York, with the United States Golf Association. After an interesting industry transition to work for Vogue and TIME in publishing, both in marketing and sales, Wilson reconnected with her USGA network and felt the desire to get back into sports.

After stepping off the plane her first night in December of 2007, there was snow falling, her possessions were on a truck from Colorado, and that is when she realized, “this is thpgatoure rest of my life.”

In her first year with the PGA TOUR, Wilson focused her efforts on business development; however during the summer of 2016, she transitioned into a new role, to run sales for a sub-media brand called Skratch. Skratch is owned by the PGA and engages a younger demographic through digital content that covers the world of golf beyond the PGA TOUR and their competitions. Wilson describes Skratch as “social first media branding towards millennial golf fans.”

“Skratch covers the fun side and now with so many younger participants in the sport and active on social media, we are able to grow the PGA footprint” says Wilson. In her role, she focuses about 70% of her time with Skratch and 30% on the PGA TOUR, selling across different portfolios and sharing resources between the two.  When asked about her greatest challenge she has worked on so far with the TOUR, Wilson explains “it’s about creating good content at the end of the day and figuring out their brand into Skratch content.” Having a small office in New York, with the PGA TOUR headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, there is a strong sense of family within the department. “Culture is so important to the life and DNA of the PGA TOUR. There aren’t a lot of jobs in digital media, in New York, in golf, but I have it.”

WSkratchilson explains there are a lot of great initiatives coming down the pike for the PGA TOUR and she is excited for all the opportunities coming in 2017 and beyond for her, as well as golf in general in a good place.

“One thing about the sports industry, it is very difficult to break in, but once you do, you are family,” says Wilson. Now that she has broken in, she offers two key pieces of advice: “talk to everyone you possibly can because the opportunities are communicated within the sports circle” and “do as much research as you can and get into sports for the right reasons.”

Prodigy Sports is proud to have placed Zoe Wilson into her role with the PGA TOUR and look forward to continued growth for Zoe, the PGA TOUR, and Skratch.