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PRODIGY SPORTS

NEWS

Author - Megan Meisse

RECENT PLACEMENT: Kyle Draper – IRONMAN

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Kyle Draper as Senior Director, National Sales & Global Partnerships with IRONMAN.

Draper most recently spent almost three years with Palace Sports & Entertainment as Vice President, Corporate Partnerships. Prior, he was with IMG College as General Manager, University of South Carolina. Before that, Draper was with the Tampa Bay Lightning/Tampa Bay Times Forum for just under seven years as Vice President, Corporate Partnerships. Earlier in his career, Draper held positions with various professional sports entities including the Golden State Warriors, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers.

In his role with IRONMAN, Draper will assist in the sponsorship sales efforts for all IRONMAN events in the United States and Canada.

About IRONMAN

 On February 18, 1978, 15 competitors came to the shores of Waikiki, Hawaii to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge. It was an idea hatched by John Collins, a Naval Officer stationed in Hawai`i, and his wife Judy during a swim club gathering. Collins’ proposal was a friendly test of fitness combining the three toughest endurance races on the island into one race: The 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 112-miles Around-Oahu Bike Race, followed by a 26.2-mile run on the Honolulu Marathon course. That very first race would go on to set the stage for what IRONMAN would become: not only the most challenging single-day sporting event in the world, but a brand symbolizing the belief that “Anything is Possible.”

Prodigy Sports welcomes Kyle Draper to IRONMAN!

Best of luck in your new role!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Vince Cicero – IRONMAN

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Vince Cicero as Head of Sales, Global Partnerships with IRONMAN.

Most recently, Cicero was with Feld Entertainment as Vice President, Global Partnerships where he had direct oversight for the revenue generating team which was charged with crafting marketing partnerships across corporate America. Cicero also spent time with the Western & Southern Open as COO & Tournament Director after a 13-year tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals as Director of Corporate Sales, Marketing & Broadcasting.

In his role with IRONMAN, Cicero will drive the acquisition of Series wide partnerships, Title Sponsorships and overall Marketing Partnerships and contribute to the financial success of the organization. He will also oversee the sponsorship sales efforts for events in the United States and Canada with a combination of personal sales efforts as well as leadership role for the North American sales team. 

About IRONMAN

 On February 18, 1978, 15 competitors came to the shores of Waikiki, Hawaii to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge. It was an idea hatched by John Collins, a Naval Officer stationed in Hawai`i, and his wife Judy during a swim club gathering. Collins’ proposal was a friendly test of fitness combining the three toughest endurance races on the island into one race: The 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 112-miles Around-Oahu Bike Race, followed by a 26.2-mile run on the Honolulu Marathon course. That very first race would go on to set the stage for what IRONMAN would become: not only the most challenging single-day sporting event in the world, but a brand symbolizing the belief that “Anything is Possible.”

Prodigy Sports welcomes Vince Cicero to IRONMAN!

Best of luck in your new role!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Hugh Lombardi – Target Center

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Hugh Lombardi as General Manager, Target Center with AEG Facilities. Lombardi will also assume the role of Regional Vice President of AEG Facilities.

Prior to joining AEG Facilities, Lombardi spent almost two years with SMG as General Manager, Chesapeake Energy Arena/Cox Convention Center. Before his time in Oklahoma City, Lombardi served as Senior Vice President/General Manager of the TD Garden with Delaware North after serving as COO, Senior Vice President and General Manager with Powers Management/Sommet Center, now Bridgestone Arena. Lombardi began his career with a ten-year tenure with Palace Sports & Entertainment.

 About AEG Facilities

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment companies in the world with a network of over 120 owned, operated and programmed venues on five continents. AEG Facilities is a stand-alone division of AEG that owns, operates and consults with more than 100 of the industry’s preeminent venues worldwide. It has, at its fingertips, AEG’s vast network of resources and services, from live event producer – AEG Presents, to AEG Global Partnerships.

AEG Facilities is an elite collection of world-class venues with an unmatched level of resources, experience and talent. The Target Center Arena is a 19,000-seat arena in the heart of downtown Minneapolis is home to the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, as well as concerts, family shows and special events.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Hugh Lombardi to AEG Facilities!

Best of luck in your new role!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Everett Coleman- H1Z1 Pro League

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Everett Coleman as General Manager, H1Z1 Pro League.

Prior to Twin Galaxies, Everett worked as an Executive Product Manager in Las Vegas with Millennial Esports. His primary focus was on developing a team and building out the standardized documents. Before Millennial, Everett held a Project Management position with ESL where he developed financial reporting structures for projects and worked closely with product managers to discuss and evaluate their projects. One of his biggest accomplishments was pitching a prize money platform that he scoped from scratch.

Coleman’s job with H1Z1 is to Lead the global execution of high profile esports competitions and collaborate with internal stakeholders to design and iterate formats and systems that meet key game objectives, while also aligning with esports business priorities.

About Twin Galaxies, LLC

Focused on a “player-first” approach, the H1Z1 Pro League is a partnership between Daybreak Games and Twin Galaxies to create a sustainable, first of its kind, professional esports league for the “one versus all” battle royale genre. Through the partnership with Twin Galaxies, an organization built on community adjudication, the H1Z1 Pro League will be established as the pinnacle of integrity in esports. The truly unique partnership with Daybreak Games will allow for the close collaboration necessary to create a cohesive experience to go from average joe to professional player.

As the next generation of esports league, the mission of the H1Z1 Pro League is to operate with integrity and dedication to players and teams to establish a sustainable ecosystem. The H1Z1 Pro League is set to get underway in early 2018, with 15 teams of five players each competing in 75-player battles over two ten-week splits, followed by finals slated for late 2018.

 

Prodigy Sports welcomes Everett Coleman to Twin Galaxies!

Best of luck in your new role!

                                                                                                                                             

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

 

 

 

The Offer Stage: A Lesson in Planning

By: Megan Meisse, Prodigy Sports

With many NFL teams making staffing changes this offseason, the Indianapolis Colts were another team looking for the person who can lead their team to success for the upcoming 2018 season. Now that the hype of Super Bowl LII has settled, there has been more buzz about the New England Patriots, outside of their tough loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It has been several days since Patriots Offensive Coordinator, Josh McDaniels, made the decision to stay in New England, passing on the Indianapolis Colts’ head coaching position. One thing the Patriots did win within these last few weeks is the guarantee of McDaniels staying on their coaching staff.

After having fired their former coach, Chuck Pagano, the Colts were looking at many successors for his position from multiple teams including the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, and of course, the New England Patriots. All signs pointed to McDaniels to be the lead candidate – he was offered the opportunity and agreed in principle to accept the role.

In a short amount of time, McDaniels changed his mind and decided not to accept the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching job and remain the Offensive Coordinator of the Patriots. Without much explanation from McDaniels on his reasoning, his decision blindsided many, including Colt’s ownership, who had announced the day before that McDaniels was scheduled to be introduced by the Colts as their new head coach.

As recruiters in the sports industry, we speak to candidates daily, whether it be prospecting, interviewing, or negotiating offers similar to this situation. With a database of 10,000+, candidates from various backgrounds, experience and compensation levels, and business disciplines, express interest in potential job opportunities and go through the initial application and vetting process through to successfully being placed into a new position. Situations like McDaniels frequently happen; a candidate goes through the entire process with us, as well as the hiring organization and unfortunately, back out at the last minute. Although the candidate may think removing their name from consideration is the best move for them at the time, he or she may not realize the short and long-term ramifications behind their decision.

If you are involved in a job search process, be sure to talk to everyone involved during the recruitment and keep the key stakeholders informed every step of the way. Educating yourself as much as possible on an opportunity is critical, in addition to knowing the culture and environment you are walking into. Aside from knowing the basic specs of a role from a job description, recruiters need to know the ins and outs of the organization they are representing, as an extension of that brand.

Often as recruiters, we see candidates back out of opportunities at the last minute, despite our best efforts. Although this happens, there is a right and wrong way to handle these situations. The most important way to properly handle is not to wait. Let the employer know as soon as you realize you no longer want to accept the position. Be tasteful in how you communicate with the hiring manager you were working with. Without saying anything negative about the company, explain the situation professionally, with emotions aside. If the opportunity just did not make sense in the long run, feel free to share that and be transparent so they can understand your reasoning. However, if another opportunity presented itself instead, be cautious not to burn bridges or give too much information away that the other company you are pursuing may be weary of. Finally, always apologize for the inconvenience and show appreciation for their consideration given the time, energy, and money invested into the process.

Aside from the candidate turning down an offer for a new job in an appropriate way, as a current employer of this person, you are just as important. It should not take your employee to come to you at the very last minute when they are telling you of their departure and have another opportunity lined up. If you value your star employees and do not want them to leave, then treat them like your star employees. Give them reason to stay within your company and help them grow to their full potential. Yes, at certain times, everyone may move on in life to something new or a growth opportunity but give them a reason to want to stay while they are currently employed working there.

Create an inviting corporate culture with open discussions to voice concerns or share current 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. Provide opportunities for your employees to grow and take on new challenges, keeping them engaged. Celebrate the win by encouraging one another to be the best versions of themselves and motivate those who need help. Create an environment that embraces unique and different ideas, because without them it will be difficult to retain notable talent. Build a culture with different personalities but with the same values. It is critical to establish a successful corporate environment in your organization, whether you are the CEO or an intern.

The Indianapolis Colts have since hired their new head coach, Frank Reich, who has agreed to a five-year deal. Reich was the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles over the past two seasons and after a tremendous Super Bowl win, he is returning to his roots with Indianapolis, having started in coaching with the Colts back in 2008. Confident in their decision, the Colts put McDaniels behind and look forward to seeing what Reich will bring to the team. Similar, should this happen to a company by their top candidate, know there are other great additions to your team out there. As for candidates, understand that although it may be the best decision in your mind at the time, realize there are other people who are affected by your decision and handle it in the best way as to not jeopardize your brand.

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: Gord Lang- Engine Shop

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Gord Lang as Chief Growth Officer with Engine Shop.

Prior to Engine Shop, Lang spent 17 years at Octagon Marketing, including the past 10 as Chief Growth Officer. At Octagon, Lang helped companies maximize return on investment for their sports and entertainment marketing programs via proprietary analytics and award-winning activation campaigns, content, and experiences. Lang worked with marketing executives that constantly challenged to evaluate; measure and justify their sponsorship spending, activation ideas and engage customers, influencers and their own employees.

Lang’s newly created role with Engine Shop is to drive growth – from organic to new, he will engage the entire agency in helping them connect with people and brands who are looking to drive engagement with their target consumers.

About Engine Shop

ENGINE SHOP IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL AGENCY.

We are looking for great people who are passionate about what they do.  People who understand the value of hard work, are willing to get their hands dirty and enjoy the process as much as the result.  People who love working on a team.  People with a make it happen and get it done attitude.  People who, no matter what the level, are leaders.  No two gears are the same but they all fit together to make an unstoppable machine here at Engine Shop.

Engine Shop is an engagement marketing agency that integrates live experiences, digital engagement and content.  To best serve their clients, all roles come with the expectation of meeting Engine Shop’s standard of excellence.

But that’s not their only focus. Culture is a part of everything they do – from casual work environments to creative benefits and acclaimed annual retreat.  It’s a part of how they treat one another, how we have each other’s backs and how we welcome people who are different.

 

Prodigy Sports congratulates Gord Lang on his new role with Engine Shop.

Best of luck in your new challenge.

 

RECENT PLACEMENT: Susie Piotrkowski- NWSL Media

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Susie Piotrkowski as Head of Sales, NWSL Media. Prior to NWSL Media, Piotrkowski held the title Director of Sponsorship Sales with Spartan Race, Inc. Prior to joining Spartan, Susie spent two years with Fenway Sports Management in FSM Ventures handling hospitality packages across all FSM Ventures properties. She began her career in sports with Starcom MediaVest Group, first serving as Activation Junior Associate, Coca-Cola before being promoted to Activation Associate Strategic Properties, Coca-Cola.

About NWSL and NWSL Media

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a ten-team Division-I women’s professional soccer league featuring national team players from around the world. The clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Orlando Pride, North Carolina Courage, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Utah Royals FC and the Washington Spirit. Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation.

NWSL Media, a joint venture between the NWSL and A+E Networks and based in New York City, acts as the media and commercial arm of the league, overseeing all of its global broadcast and sponsorship rights. In addition, NWSL Media manages all digital assets for the NWSL including a re-designed NWSLSoccer.com, a new NWSL app on iOS and Android, and the league’s social media platforms.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Susie Piotrkowski to NWSL Media!

Best of luck in your new role!

 

RECENT PLACEMENT: Jonathan Treisman – AEG Global Partnerships

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Jonathan Treisman as Director, Global Partnerships & Media Sales, AEG Global Partnerships. As Director, Jonathan will be responsible for selling all of AEG’s corporate partnership assets including AXS TV inventory, on-site signage, promotional opportunities, logos and marks, and on-line assets. He will also focus on engaging new and existing strategic partners to drive business value across all AEG platforms, with a key focus on AXS TV.

Prior to accepting this position, Treisman served as the Director of Corporate Partnerships with Comcast-Spector running business development and negotiating new sponsorship, marketing and promotional initiatives in Los Angeles. Treisman has also worked for NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company and Flatiron Films.

About AEG

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns, controls or is affiliated with a collection of companies including over 100 of the world’s preeminent facilities such as STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO), Citizens Business Bank Arena (Ontario, CA), O.co Coliseum (Oakland, CA), Oracle Arena (Oakland, CA), Valley View Casino Center (San Diego, CA), PlayStation Theater (Times Square, NY), Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie, TX), Colosseum at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, NV), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX), Allphones Arena (Sydney, AU), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), Ericsson Globe Arenas (Stockholm), Sydney International Convention Exhibition, and Entertainment District (Australia), Barclaycard Arena (Hamburg), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Berlin) and The O2, a 28-acre development located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River which includes a 20,000-seat arena and over 650,000 sf of leisure and entertainment use which are all part of the portfolio of AEG Facilities; AEG Merchandising, a full service merchandising company; and AEG Global Partnerships, responsible for worldwide sales and servicing of sponsorships naming rights and other strategic partnerships.

Prodigy Sports welcomes Jonathan Tresiman to AEG!

Best of luck in your new role!

RECENT PLACEMENT: Jeff Owen – PCG SportsDesk

Prodigy Sports is pleased to announce the recent placement of Jeff Owen as National Director, Corporate Partnerships at PCG SportsDesk.

Prior to accepting this position, Owen served as Vice President of Sales for Impression Sports & Entertainment, responsible for high profile sponsorship sales for sports marketing agencies including college football bowl games, stadium/arena naming rights and league partnerships.

In his new role, Owen will have a dedicated focus on driving new revenue for their existing and growing client base.  In addition, this position will be responsible for ongoing business development to meet and exceed budget and revenue goals, working with their creative team to secure new business for PCG SportsDesk.

   

About PCG SportsDesk

Founded in 2007, PCGSportsDesk is a full-service, independent firm focused on partnership sales, innovation and digital strategy to maximize scale, solve business problems and directly grow revenue and outreach for some of the world’s most prominent sports, entertainment and municipal brands.

A forward thinking team committed to an innovative approach to driving revenue and solving business problems.  They inspire the sports and entertainment industry to find comfort in the uncomfortable, challenge the status quo and redefine the possible.

With offices currently in Chicago and Dallas, PCGSportsDesk represents regional, national and international clients, including professional sports leagues, teams, events, municipalities, entertainment districts, and malls like FELD Entertainment, Hendrick Motorsports, Macerich Malls, Rosemont Baseball, and Village of Rosemont (Allstate Arena, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, MB Financial Park, etc.).

Prodigy Sports welcomes Jeff Owen to PCG SportsDesk!

Best of luck in your new role!