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Three #SportsBiz Resolutions For 2014

Mark Burns's picture

While 2014 is already more than two weeks old, it is not late to still get started on your New Year’s Resolutions — at least in regards to your career. You might already have your Resolutions clearly defined. Maybe you’re still recovering from your not-so-great 2013. Yet, regardless of where you are at in your sports business career, there is always room for re-evaluation, re-growth, and a clearer focus of where you want to ultimately be. Below is a post that weaves in four sports business professionals’ thoughts and suggestions for a better, more productive 2014.

1) Clear Vision, Clear Purpose

At my apartment in Nashville, Tennessee, I have a good-size white dry erase board hanging on the wall; I’ve had it since December of 2012. I list a variety of information on the board, including what I think is the most important pieces of information: my goals. There are long-term goals and others that could be defined as weekly or even monthly goals. Yes, some are bold such as ‘Sports Business Journal 40 Under 40’ recipient.

Still others are relatively simple like ‘Connect 1/week’. That shorthand notation means connect with one person in the sports business world each and every week, a goal that I’ve tried to live up to the past 18 months or so. I walk by my white board probably 10-20 times a day, and it’s an excellent reminder of where I currently am in my career and where I want to be down the road.

Morris E. White III, the Director of Marketing/Promotions at Murray State University, discussed similar sentiments. For White, having a clear vision is a necessary step to progressing in one’s career.

“I think one thing an undergraduate can do for himself/herself early in 2014 is write down his/her end of the year goals,” White said. “If you know what your ultimate destination is, you'll better understand how to navigate the necessary steps to take towards accomplishing said goals.”

At the same time, without a clearly defined purpose, your vision will only mean so much. David Oestreicher, Co-Founder of the Manhattan Sports Business Academy, suggested, “Focus on finding your passion within sports business. A love for basketball, football, baseball, etc. will only take you so far. Dig deeper and explore the actual roles and opportunities our diverse industry has to offer young professionals.

“Are you a seller, buyer, servicer, strategist, or tech leader? Do you enjoy marketing, brand management, public/media relations, finance, legal or operations? Study the many segments and then throw yourself in the mix to discover what's right for you.”

2) Power Of Creation

How do you stand out from the thousands of individuals who want to work in sports? Part of your New Year’s Resolutions might be to figure out that tough question; it might mean creating something around a particular sports niche that you’re interested in. According to Darren Heitner, a Partner at Wolfe Law Miami/Contributor with, there are many benefits that can result from putting an idea into action.

“The goal should be to create something that one can attach his or her name to,” Heitner suggested as a New Year’s Resolution. “Whether the venture thrives or ultimately fails, there is no better learning experience than taking the plunge and committing oneself to a passion project.”

As part of a New Year’s Resolution at the end of 2005, Heitner created a blog geared toward the sports agency industry. Now called, the website is viewed by sports business professionals as one of the best resources for the agency niche. Through its creation, Darren has not only increased his knowledge about the industry, but he’s developed countless relationships as well.

For me, personally, I am starting a sports twitter chat (Sport Chat 360) in the next week that will hopefully allow people to connect online and also, enable them to gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole. In short, commit yourself to creating something new and tangible in 2014 — you’ll be surprised where it takes you.

3) Continue #SportsBiz Education

“I encourage everyone to remain students of not only the sports business industry, but the greater business industry. When we leave school, we have a tendency to forget about the need to constantly learn outside of the day-to-day work environment. Spend at least 30 minutes each day reading — both sports business publications or websites, but also general business.

“Some of my favorite non-sports business publications include, Ad Age, AdWeek and Harvard Business Review. Twitter is also a great resource for gaining insights from others. The investment in self-education will sharpen your mind and allow you to be a better solutions provider for your organization and customers.”

Jared Melzer of Farmers Insurance (Sports Sponsorships) iterated the above statement. Since the sports business world is constantly changing, it’s imperative to stay fresh and up-to-speed on the latest trends, topics, and advancements shaping our industry. By reading The Migala Report right now, you’re furthering your understanding of the business of sport. As 2014 moves on, what books will you study, what conferences will you attend, what people will you connect with, and what websites will you read in order to become a more-rounded sports business student/professional?

Check out more Career Management articles on The Migala Report.

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