Prodigy
732-303-9950

PRODIGY SPORTS

NEWS

Author - Megan Meisse

PS10: Top 10 Tips for a Successful Corporate Culture

As Prodigy Sports celebrates our 10th Anniversary, each month leading up to our celebration, we will be highlighting our “Top 10’s” of Prodigy Sports’ first 10 years.

In August, we are recognizing our Top 10 Tips for a Successful Corporate Culture.  As Prodigy Sports was recently highlighted in the SportsBusiness Journal, our key executives discussed how critical putting together a cultural environment in the workplace. Aside from some suggestions from Prodigy Sports, below are thoughtful recommendations from sports industry leaders on how to establish a successful corporate environment in your organization, whether you are the CEO or an intern.

Respect – Create open discussion forums for employees to voice concerns or share new ideas. If employees get the chance to contribute to conversations, they generally feel more of a willingness to participate, collaborate and have more discussions that can help the company to grow. Value the opinions of your staff, even if they are not the same views as your own.

Transparency – Be able to have open communication with co-workers. Be aware that not everyone may have the same opinions, values, beliefs, or ideas as yourself. Even so, be aware of others and how they may react to certain situations and comments.

Balance – With work-life balance being an important value, offer employees the ability to disconnect. Encourage the usage of vacation time, especially after a season ends, and be flexible with hours if the employee has shown their work value. Mental health is critically important to a human so take that into account as work life can often impact someone’s time.

Empowerment – Providing opportunities to grow and take on new challenges keep employees engaged. Clearly define roles so people can excel to their fullest and have specific goals to be reached. Some ideas to encourage empowerment are offering employees the ability to break out of silos and explore other departments. Switch up who works together generally to gain new views from others who you may not work with prior. There is always room to learn something new.

Environment – Create work environments that people want to be in. The details of design from conference rooms to comfort of sitting areas to the art on the walls can play a role in how excited someone is to spend the day at the office. Be free to decorate your desk space to personalize it – within reason and abiding by corporate policies.

Celebration – Celebrate the wins of the team or individual, which can go a long way to boost morale. Encourage one another to be the best versions of themselves and motivate those who need help.

Learning – In an age where information is rapidly changing and new skills must constantly be learned, provide opportunities for continuing education through education reimbursement, on-site/off-site courses, conference attendance or just general networking opportunities. Break down the “how we have always done things” wall; however, one must be tactful in their approach to not disrupt “what got us here.”

Dress – Fashion has a significant impact on mindset. On the field, some teams require rookies to dress in suits while others allow a ‘dress to feel good’ mentality. While there are certain standards that should always be met, evaluate what your dress code says about your company. What type of culture are you trying to encourage? Take pride in looking your best and if you are starting a new job, it is always best to overdress than under dress until told otherwise.

Diversity – Embrace being unique. Diversity is a much emphasized buzzword in the talent space both in terms background, gender, and ethnicity. Create an environment that embraces unique and different ideas, because without them it will be difficult to retain great talent. Build a culture with different personalities but with the same values. Respect and value diverse opinions regardless of title, seniority, gender, ethnicity, etc. Support independent thought.

Adapt– Look at where there are currently problems and work backwards to find a solution. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for another, so take a closer look at where employees consistently are pointing out flaws and pick the most important issues to tackle. Embrace communication through various technologies both internally and externally. Be open for change because like the great Albert Einstein said: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

 

Stay tuned next month for more of our

Prodigy Sports Anniversary Countdown!

If you have any questions regarding our 10th Anniversary, please contact Megan Meisse at 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

Checking In With: Josh Brickman, Boston Bruins & TD Garden

Enhancement and Measurement through a World-Renowned Franchise: Advice from Placement Josh Brickman

By: Megan Meisse, Prodigy Sports

Candidate placed: October 2016

Home of the NHL’s Boston Bruins and the NBA’s Boston Celtics, TD Garden hosts over 3.5 million people a year, between its 19,600-seat arena, top-notch premium areas and award-winning technology. With two professional sports teams and a record breaking concert season the energy around the building has been buzzing.

Josh Brickman

Imagine, your first day of work at New England’s largest sports and entertainment arena happens to also be the home opener for the Boston Bruins. From his very first day of his new job with TD Garden, Josh Brickman experienced what it’s like to be a part of a 90+ year old franchise and become part of one of the most passionate fan bases in the country.

Prodigy Sports was pleased to place Brickman in his role as Vice President of Business Strategy for the Boston Bruins and TD Garden.  In this role, Brickman reports directly to Glen Thornborough, Chief Revenue Officer for TD Garden and Boston Bruins, and is responsible for the newly created digital team, which includes digital marketing, data solutions and analytics. As the Vice President of Business Strategy, Brickman works to streamline Boston Bruins and TD Garden research and strategy efforts in conjunction and collaboration with marketing, ticket sales, corporate partnerships, premium, retail, and other business lines.

Brickman and his team provide direction on consumer marketing, customer analytics, retention and sales strategy, retail operations, CRM and sales planning, in addition to, general market research to keep TD Garden as an industry leader in digital trends and maximization.

nhl.com/bruins

“It’s been a really incredible experience getting familiar with everything. The transition worked well and I was able to bring in some of my own flavor to the organization,” Brickman stated.

Many of the projects he is currently working on started before he came in, but Brickman’s role helped to get them these initiatives off the ground. One major task is the launch of SAS, which uses data collection from a variety of sources to help better serve fans in the future. Brickman explained that his responsibility is to lead the SAS project from start to finish, including TD Garden website and mobile application integration.

When asked what one of the most essential elements in using customer relationship management information systems is, Brickman stated, “it’s really two things; have a clear understanding of your goal and be able to clearly communicate the process.” He mentioned how important it is to be good at communicating what he and his staff are trying to achieve, both internally and externally.

In his prior experience at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Brickman served as Vice President, Strategy & Research, which was a very similar role to his now with the Bruins and TD Garden. One of the biggest differences in his current role is being more involved with the day to day operations with the arena. Brickman attributes much of his knowledge and understanding of certain processes from his education and earliest experience at his first job, where he could apply his economics background to his role.

Although many strategies have changed since his first job, Brickman is excited for emerging trends in the industry. Brickman states, “the opportunity to get away from ‘all to one is possible’. The ability to target an email campaign based on a fans actual behaviors and past interactions with the arena and team is a significant opportunity for us and a great benefit for fans. However, he also shared how it takes time and dedication to get to those next steps. “Anyone can do this work manually but once it is built in the system or in SAS, these tools allow you to build on that process,” stated Brickman.

Having grown up in Connecticut, he always enjoyed that market but admitted it is not easy to move a family. However, there is great benefit in utilizing your resources like family, friends and colleagues for someone looking for a career change. Brickman believes there is incredible value in sports management programs. Though it is not an easy industry to get into, if you leverage your early relationships and build you network, you are quickly reminded of why it is one of the best industries to be in.

For those looking for a career move or to get into the sports industry, Brickman emphasized the importance of understanding the pace of the game and the industry as a whole, something that someone with a sports background may understand at a higher level. However, he went on to state that there is room for every type of background in this industry, especially if you are willing to start in any role to get your foot in the door. “As companies try to keep up with their counterparts, there is deeper need for an individual with a mixed background. Sometimes those backgrounds see it from an outside view and do it better than us!” stated Brickman.

As the evolution of technology emerges, there are exciting new projects to come and look forward to the continued success of Brickman, TD Garden, and the Boston Bruins.

 

RECENT PLACEMENT: Jesse Gilmer – On Location Experiences

 

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Jesse Gilmer as Vice President, On Location Experiences.

Gilmer spent the last twelve years with IMG in various capacities, most recently as Vice President, Strategic Partnerships after serving as Director, Strategic Partnerships and Manager, US Business Development.

In his new role with On Location Experiences, Gilmer will be responsible for generating significant revenue through the development of sponsorship opportunities for all of On Location Experiences assets, including but not limited to hospitality packages, game-day tailgating, unique, stand alone and customized travel places (Club Nomadic, Stadium Club), as well as other exclusive shows centered around the Super Bowl and other exclusive, global marquee events.

About On Location Experiences

 On Location Experiences is a premium experiential hospitality business owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity (the entity that oversees the NFL’s private equity efforts) and Jon Bon Jovi. On Location Experiences specializes in custom domestic and international event and hospitality experiences in the worlds of sports and entertainment. On Location is the official hospitality provider of the NFL, providing proprietary fan access to marquee NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, and International Series Games in London. On Location is expanding its offerings through new partnerships, including the acquisitions of Anthony Travel, the nation’s largest provider of sports and travel management services, and Runaway Tours, the VIP hospitality business for premier music acts that was founded by Bon Jovi.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Jesse Gilmer to On Location Experiences!

 

RECENT PLACEMENT: Brian Basloe – On Location Experiences


Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Brian Basloe as Senior Vice President, Premium Sales for On Location Experiences.

Basloe most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Suite and Ticket Sales for Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets. He joined the Nets in 2005, holding various positions during his tenure including Vice President of Ticket Sales, Senior Director of Ticket Sales and Director of Ticket Sales.

In his new role with On Location Experiences, Basloe will be responsible for leading, creating, directing and managing OLE’s hospitality and premium sales processes and strategies by leveraging innovative ideas, technology and resources to maximize aggressive sales and revenue targets. He will also be responsible for overseeing a premium sales team and driving revenue for all On Location Experiences assets, including hospitality packages, hotel accommodations, Super Bowl packages as well as future marquee assets brought into OLE’s portfolio.

About On Location Experiences

On Location Experiences is a premium experiential hospitality business owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity (the entity that oversees the NFL’s private equity efforts) and Jon Bon Jovi. On Location Experiences specializes in custom domestic and international event and hospitality experiences in the worlds of sports and entertainment. On Location is the official hospitality provider of the NFL, providing proprietary fan access to marquee NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, and International Series Games in London. On Location is expanding its offerings through new partnerships, including the acquisitions of Anthony Travel, the nation’s largest provider of sports and travel management services, and Runaway Tours, the VIP hospitality business for premier music acts that was founded by Bon Jovi.

Prodigy Sports Welcomes Brian Basloe to On Location Experiences!

RECENT PLACEMENT: David Mulhall – Sacramento Kings

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of David Mulhall as Director, Corporate Partnerships for the Sacramento Kings.

Mulhall recently served as Vice President of Business Development for Hawke Media. Previously, he was General Manager, Corporate of West Tigers Rugby League Football Club and held sponsorship sales roles with V8 Supercars, Canterbury Bankstown Rugby League Football Club and Harris Partners.

In his new role with the Sacramento Kings, Mulhall will be responsible for creating and maintaining integrated corporate partnerships for the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center.

About the Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division. The Kings are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The Kings are the oldest franchise in the NBA, and one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation.

The team played its home games at the Sleep Train Arena from 1988 to 2016; beginning with the 2016–17 season, the Kings now play home games at the Golden 1 Center. The 17,500-seat arena is the first professional sports venue powered completely by solar energy, will save about a million gallons of water a year compared to a typical venue of its size, was built with recycled material from the mall that stood at the site before construction began and will get 90 percent of its food and beverages from within 150 miles. It became the first indoor venue to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition for environmentally conscious buildings. Among the most unique features are the airplane hangar doors that can be opened to turn the venue into an indoor-outdoor arena.

Prodigy Sports welcomes David Mulhall to the Sacramento Kings!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Melissa Vierling – Sacramento Kings

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Melissa Vierling as Corporate Sales Director for the Sacramento Kings.

Before taking on this role, Vierling was in New Business Development and Group Sales for FOX Television Station Sales. Prior to this position she served as National Sales Manager for WTHR-TV (local NBC affiliate in Indianapolis) and National Sales Manager for WHAS-TV (local ABC affiliate in Louisville).

In her new role with the Sacramento Kings, Vierling will be responsible for creating and maintaining integrated corporate partnerships for the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center.

About the Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division. The Kings are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The Kings are the oldest franchise in the NBA, and one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation.

The team played its home games at the Sleep Train Arena from 1988 to 2016; beginning with the 2016–17 season, the Kings now play home games at the Golden 1 Center. The 17,500-seat arena is the first professional sports venue powered completely by solar energy, will save about a million gallons of water a year compared to a typical venue of its size, was built with recycled material from the mall that stood at the site before construction began and will get 90 percent of its food and beverages from within 150 miles. It became the first indoor venue to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition for environmentally conscious buildings. Among the most unique features are the airplane hangar doors that can be opened to turn the venue into an indoor-outdoor arena.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Melissa Vierling to the Sacramento Kings!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Eric Staufer – TD Garden

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Eric Staufer as Vice President, Events for TD Garden.

Staufer most recently served as Division Manager, Event Services at Amway Center & Camping World Stadium. He joined the former Amway Arena in 2006, holding various positions such as Event Coordinator II and Event Supervisor. In 2010 he was named Assistant Event Manger, Booking at Amway Center & Camping World Stadium.

In his new role with TD Garden, Staufer will lead the overall strategy on event organization, which includes scheduling home games of the NHL’s Boston Bruins and the NBA’s Boston Celtics along with more than 200 other concerts, family shows and special events each year at TD Garden.

Reporting directly to the Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Staufer will focus on maximizing TD Garden’s calendar by negotiating, contracting, booking and scheduling high quality sports and entertainment events.  In this role, Staufer is responsible for generating new business lines and assembling bids and proposals for up and coming special event opportunities. He will be the primary relationship manager for all new and pre-existing accounts, including the NHL and NBA. In support of the arena’s overarching business strategy, Staufer will collaborate and partner with departments across the company to ensure the maximization of revenue opportunities while increasing healthy brand awareness for TD Garden.

About TD Garden

TD Garden, owned and operated by Delaware North, first opened its doors to the public on September 30, 1995.  In the 20 plus years since, the venue has generated more than $365 million in direct economic impact to the Greater Boston region from its major national events alone, not including its high-profile Bruins and Celtics tenants.  The arena has played host to countless marquee events, including the Democratic National Convention, NHL All-Star Game, NCAA Frozen Fours, NCAA Women’s Final Four, U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials, U.S. Figure Skating Championships and ISU World Figure Skating Championships among others.

Delaware North, owner and operator of TD Garden, is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for more than 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Eric Staufer to TD Garden!

 

RECENT PLACEMENT: Dana Mariotti – Tiger Woods Foundation

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Dana Mariotti as Director of Marketing for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Mariotti comes to the Tiger Woods Foundation after spending four years as Senior Manager of Social Media for NHRA. Prior to that position, she served as Marketing Manager for NHRA for seven years.

In her new role with the Tiger Woods Foundation, Mariotti will primarily focus on executing a variety of strategic initiatives to further the worldwide exposure of the Foundation’s youth-education programs and fundraising events.

About the Tiger Woods Foundation

The Tiger Woods Foundation (“TWF”) was established in 1996 as a nonprofit organization with emphasis on providing educational enrichment opportunities to underserved youth. To support our mission, the TWF operates three PGA TOUR golf tournaments annually: the Genesis Open, the Quicken Loans National, and the Hero World Challenge, a PGA TOUR sanctioned golf tournament featuring an exclusive 18-player field held at Albany, Bahamas in early December.

In addition, the TWF produces annual Signature Events including Tiger Jam, an annual spring benefit concert in Las Vegas; and the Tiger Woods Invitational, a three-day golf experience on the Monterey Peninsula.

These events are critical to our mission and collectively, they have raised millions of dollars for the college access programs supported by the Tiger Woods Foundation. For more information, visit www.TigerWoodsFoundation.org.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Dana Mariotti to the Tiger Woods Foundation!

Prodigy Sports Announces First esports Executive Search

Prodigy Sports launches their first executive search within the esports industry on behalf of Monumental Sports & Entertainment

(Freehold, New Jersey, April 26, 2017)  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 retained by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) to lead its search for a new Director of esports Business & Team Operations. For Prodigy Sports, this search will be its first esports industry project following their announcement earlier in the year of a dedicated practice focused on esports.

MSE’s Director of esports Business & Team Operations will be based out of Washington, DC. The primary responsibility of this position is to direct the strategy and business initiatives for MSE’s overall esports business operations.

Reporting to the Vice President & General Manager, Monumental Sports Network, this position will also lead the business operations, revenue and marketing for all MSE’s esports’ properties. In working with other MSE staff, this role must have experience in working with competitive gaming products and integrating them into a larger brand marketing strategy and gaming experience as a player, coach or team manager.

“We are honored to be one of the first global firms to devote time, effort and manpower to matching opportunities and personnel in the esports industry and sincerely appreciate the trust that MSE has shown in our agency,” said Scott Carmichael, Founder & CEO at Prodigy Sports.

Qualified candidates should apply online via Prodigy’s website at www.prodigysports.net.  For any additional questions, please email arin@prodigysports.net

About Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Monumental Sports & Entertainment (“MSE”) is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in North America with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports.   MSE owns and operates four professional sports teams: the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, AFL’s Washington Valor and the AFL’s Baltimore Brigade, to start operations in the 2017 season and the anticipated acquisition of a D-League NBA Basketball team before the 2018-19 season.

Additionally, MSE owns Team Liquid, one of the leading e-sports teams in the industry. The company also owns and operates the Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in the mid-Atlantic, based in the center of Washington, D.C. The company oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena. The company has partnered with Washington D.C. and Events DC to build a new state-of-the-art Entertainment and Sports Arena at the St. Elizabeth’s campus in Ward 8 in Washington, D.C. which will become the practice facility for the Washington Wizards and home court of the Washington Mystics.

Monumental Sports Network, a digital platform that covers the region’s sports and entertainment news across mobile and OTT streaming devices, is also owned by MSE.

About Prodigy Sports

With a staff that carries nearly 60 years of experience across multiple business segments, Prodigy Sports is a nationwide leader in senior-level executive search and recruitment. Prodigy Sports brings a personal touch to each search by adapting to the unique personality and culture of the client, knowing successful executive recruiting comes from thoroughly understanding the team culture, the intricacies of the sports business and the extensive professional qualifications and skills needed to fill a role. Founded in 2008, Prodigy Sports has grown into a nation-wide leader through the sports and entertainment industries.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Qualified candidates should apply online via our website at www.prodigysports.net.  For any additional questions, please contact Arin Segal at arin@prodigysports.net or 732-303-9950.

Prodigy_Star_fullclr

By: Megan Meisse, Prodigy Sports