What do you do in your current role?
One of the largest revenue generating opportunities for professional sports teams is the sale of luxury suites and premium seating. Corporate executives buy suites to entertain customers and prospective clients, as well as their own employees. In my current role with the Lions, I am responsible for developing and executing all sales and retention strategies involving suites and premium seating.
In the last 10-15 years, costs associated with attending professional sporting events have increased dramatically. Consequently, teams have adopted a more proactive approach in selling luxury suites and premium seating. Franchises are also now competing with an enhanced at-home viewing experience due to technological advances like HD television. Strategically assessing your pricing, marketing campaigns and the way you build and nurture key relationships with clients, all while looking for effective ways to grow a new customer base, are essential to the success of the organization.
Throughout the year, I spend a significant portion of my time developing and enhancing relationships with prospective and current clients in an effort to drive revenue for the Lions. We take our suiteholders to games on the road where they join us on the team plane with the players, stay at the team hotel and come down on the field before the game.
These exclusive opportunities can be a huge thrill for some of our suiteholders and their guests – for some it’s like being a kid again, especially when they get to meet the players. In addition to being enjoyable, these experiences offer our clients a unique business development platform for their executives to foster their own corporate relationships and drive revenue for their respective companies.
What is something that SLU LAW does right in order to prepare students for success on the job market?
One of the consistent themes during my time at SLU LAW was the importance of “thinking like a lawyer,” which means using logical reasoning to analyze and solve problems or using persuasive argument to make a point. My role and ultimately my success with the Detroit Lions revolves around effective problem solving and persuasive arguments.
What was your most valuable experience at SLU LAW and how has this experience helped you in your career path?
I had the privilege to serve as the co-president of the Sports and Entertainment Law Association for two years while at SLU LAW. One of my key responsibilities in this role was to secure speakers that were working in the industry. I not only learned so much from the insight and perspective shared by these speakers while they addressed our group, but I had the chance to really build strong relationships with some these individuals following their presentations. Some became friends and mentors that helped me navigate my career path in the sports industry.
What advice would you give to students beginning their legal career at SLU LAW?
I would recommend that incoming students at SLU LAW use their time at the law school to 1. Pursue their passion, and 2. Develop and enhance their professional network.
SLU LAW offers dynamic courses as well as real world opportunities for students to gain practical experience. I would encourage students to capitalize on the chance to explore areas of law that they are passionate about. The Office of Career Services is a tremendous resource that can help align a student’s passion with a career path.
SLU LAW is the perfect environment to develop and enhance your professional network. Through networking in law school, I was able to secure an internship with the St. Louis Rams. Upon completion of the internship and passing the bar exam, a mentor at the Rams put me in touch with the VP of Sales at the St. Louis Blues which ultimately lead to my first job following graduation. That same VP is now my boss with the Detroit Lions. I would encourage all law students to take advantage of the networking opportunities at SLU LAW. Many of the relationships developed during your time at SLU LAW can lead to business acquaintances, personal friendships and career opportunities that can last a lifetime.