networking

3 Great Resources for Networking in Sports Philanthropy

By: Dr. Mimi Nartey, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Nartey Sports Foundation | NarteySportsFoundation.com

Athlete marketing has become a billion-dollar enterprise.  The wealth and global influence athletes garner are being leveraged in the philanthropy space, and the sports philanthropy field is taking off. There are many opportunities to get involved in the social and environmental justice movements that are being spear-headed by major sports leagues, teams, and athletes. Building out your knowledge and network in this space can set you apart with your athlete clientele.

Here are three great resources for sports and entertainment professionals who are looking to cross-over or include philanthropy in their resumes and networking spheres:

Professional Networking Sites: Sports Philanthropy Network

Professional networking is obviously so important in getting new information and sourcing new business.  This is especially true the sports philanthropy space, which is a sector that is difficult to access.  While standard networking sites are a solid resource, sites specifically dedicated to professional networking in the sports philanthropy sector are even more useful because of the specific focus.  Sports Philanthropy Network is a professional networking platform targeting individuals interested in accessing a community of people engaged in bolstering the social and financial influence of athletes and sports teams for the common good.

Sports Philanthropy Platforms: The Sport of Philanthropy

There are a few great sports blogs and platforms that showcase stories and advice from athletes from around the world.  The Sport of Philanthropy is a blog created by the social enterprise Champions for Philanthropy to highlight the charitable work of professional athletes, teams, and major sports leagues around the world.  The goal of this platform is to showcase best practices in sports philanthropy and celebrate inspiring philanthropic efforts in professional sports that aren’t widely known.

Continuing Education: Sports Philanthropy Certificate Programs

If you are really committed in expanding your knowledge and skill set, you can pursue continuing education through a sports philanthropy certificate program.  George Washington School of Business offers a unique Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Program in partnership with the GW Sports management MBA program (ranked 3rd in the country for sports business programs by Sports Business International Magazine).  The GW program emphasizes corporate social responsibility and how non-profits can use sports for social good.  Another option is to obtain certification through the Sports and Entertainment Impact Collective, which is a program designed to bring together athletes, entertainers and philanthropy leaders in a collaborative instructional setting.  Students and faculty come from major organizations including Nike, the WNBA, Under Armour, UNICEF, the Detroit Lions, and Gatorade, among others.

There are plenty of amazing resources for this emergent field.  Whether you or your clients are interested in making sports philanthropy a primary focus or looking to simply find some positive affiliations, these are some great starting points for making a positive impact.

Sources Cited.

Posted by thesesociety_0md1v7 in Member Contribution

Member Contribution: Persistence is key to breaking into any industry

By Eric J Proos | The Law Office of Eric J. Proos, P.C.

Coming from Metro Detroit, without any ties to the entertainment and sports industry, some think I broke into representing music clients by simply moving to Los Angeles. However, landing those Grammy winning clients was not that simple. It involved a lot of work behind the scenes. As many in the entertainment and sports industry will tell you, persistence is a characteristic that many of us professionals in SES possess. I guess this Member Contribution is not about me, my firm, my work, or my clients, but instead is a way of paying it forward to anyone that is interested in breaking into the entertainment and sports industry[1]. The key to success is to be persistent in the following three areas.

Networking

No matter the industry, never turn down the opportunity to network with professionals, experts, or people interested in entertainment and sports. When I moved to LA, I talked to everyone I was introduced to, no matter who it was, the day, time, or if it was raining (which we all know is a big deterrent in LA). Keep in mind, that it is sometimes the people you do not meet at industry events that may have the best connections. For me, it was the guy that cut my hair. He was so well connected he introduced me to some of the most well-known professional service providers in music, TV, and film. Did this result in clients? No, but it did result in the ever-valuable relationship capital, and keep in mind that the more people in an industry that hear your name, the more credibility you have, even if you haven’t worked for those individuals.

When I network it is not about getting clients, it is about getting to know the people, learning what they have to offer, and matching them with my current clientele and connections to help their business. When you network and provide value to the people you are networking with, you stay top of mind, and that is one of the best ways to eventually land clients from your networking efforts.

Cold emails

Even though this may be a different version of networking, I think this is a completely different game in itself. Cold emails allow you to pinpoint the people you want to meet instead of leaving it up to chance. Compile a list of people you want to meet, talk with, learn from, or whatever it may be and start sending emails. This is a numbers game, so don’t be deterred if you receive no response. To this day, I still send out daily cold emails to other professionals in order to network and provide value to in any way I can. I send out six emails a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year. By doing this, I have made numerous connections with professionals that now provide my firm with great referrals and clients/connections in the entertainment industry.

Asking

I am a huge fan of learning from some of the best business people. Usually, this education is provided via interviews or biographies. Nowadays there is a ton of videos on YouTube that can provide some great information. With all the videos out there, the best one I have found is of Steve Jobs. Never be afraid to ask. This can be done via emails, phone calls, or while networking.

I always ask for the most valuable thing a person can offer, their time, whether that’s to grab coffee or jump on a call. Yes, I get a lot of “no’s”, but I also get some “yes.” Don’t be afraid to ask the same person over and over again to meet for coffee/a phone call/response email. Just keep one thing in mind, you better plan to bring some value to the conversation as well. Bring something to the table, don’t ask this person for their time and then ask for something without providing value back to them.

As these three factors outlined, persistence is the key to breaking into entertainment and sports, or any industry for that matter. The Members of SES are established in these industries, but sometimes our closest connections that want to break into entertainment and sports don’t want to listen to us. So, this article is for them, that may be your kids, family, friends, or someone seeking your time. Persistence has been the key to my success, not only in entertainment and sports, but life in general, and it can be an important asset for others too.


[1] Persistence can be used to break into any industry.

Posted by thesesociety_0md1v7 in Member Contribution