Monday, March 31, 2014

The Worst Face-to-Face Networking Mistake

Networking is so important, but let's face it: face-to-face networking can be intimidating. The reality is that networking is not a step-to-step process but rather a fluid conversation that you engage in. Click on the link below for an interesting video about a common networking mistake to avoid.

Want to learn more? Come to our next Professional Series Installment tomorrow @ 6pm in Grainger!

Madison Capitols Opportunities


The Madison Capitols have approached the club about some job/internship opportunities. Find out more about the organization at

Ticket Sales Opportunity
- Paid on commission
- You will go through formal sales training
- Offices at the Alliant Energy Center
- Please contact Max ( or Ed ( ASAP for more information

Office Assistant/Community Relations Volunteer
- Help out in the Capitols' front office at the Alliant Energy Center
- Please contact Ed ( for more details.


Middleton, Wisconsin – In an announcement held today in front of a capacity crowd at the Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wisconsin, Madtown Hockey, LLC., announced it will compete in the United States Hockey League (USHL) starting in the fall of 2014. The name of the franchise as part of today’s announcement will be the “Madison Capitols.” The Capitols will begin competition in the 2014 USHL season and play its home games at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Also, announced today as part of the new ownership/investor group is current NHL and Minnesota Wild star defenseman, Ryan Suter, a former hockey standout at the University of Wisconsin and former Badgers hockey player and businessman, Tom Sagissor.
    Suter and Sagissor join the ownership group who are hockey fans that include: Brian Schoenborn, Jeff Krol, Charles Bidwill III, Saul Trieman and Tom Garrity. The Madison Capitols will hire full-time employees, coaches and a training staff, along with securing players in the coming months that will also help provide a strong economic impact to the local community.
    “Today is a wonderful day for hockey in Madison, Wisconsin,” said Garrity a native of Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin and a University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate. “This area has always supported hockey at all levels. Fans will enjoy the USHL and its style of play. Our ownership group has a strong desire and goal to give fans a winning product on the ice and a total entertainment experience from start to finish. At the same time, we are proud to continue with the Madison Capitols name as it has a rich hockey tradition and significance in this area. We will also be active community participants to help grow the game of hockey at all levels.”
    As Managing Partner of Madtown Hockey, LLC., Garrity is no stranger to the USHL, professional and collegiate athletics sports. He has worked for several high-profile professional sports organizations and leagues at a senior-level. Garrity is the founder and CEO of Quan Sports Marketing in Stillwater, Minnesota and also President/CEO of the Sioux Falls Sports, LLC., which owns and operates the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede and Northern League Baseball’s Sioux Falls Canaries. He has helped both Sioux Falls sports organizations with substantially increased attendance numbers and sponsorship revenues.
   The Madison, Wisconsin community is a “hotbed” for hockey development with a successful history and team named the “Madison Capitols.” Madison formerly had a USHL team from 1984-1995. 12 players who skated in Madison during that time period ended up competing in the National Hockey League. The Capitols have been playing junior hockey in Madison since 1984.
    “I am so excited about the USHL playing in Madison where I have so many friends, memories and deep hockey roots,” said Suter who had a standout career at Wisconsin and currently is an NHL All-Star defenseman with the Minnesota Wild. “This is a new and unique opportunity for me to be an owner and investor and I believe in the product and the great staff that is being assembled. I look forward to the first game and the support of the great hockey fans in the Madison area.”
    Ryan Suter comes from deep hockey blood-lines in the state of Wisconsin as his father, Bob Suter, is a former Badgers star in the late 1970’s and a member of the 1977 Wisconsin National Championship hockey team along with a 1980 Gold Medal as a member of the US Olympic Ice Hockey Team. Besides Ryan, Bob’s son, Garett currently plays hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Bob Suter’s younger brother Gary was a top-performer at Wisconsin and played in over 1,000 NHL games with several clubs.
    Sagissor, a former Badger hockey standout who was a member of the 1990 National Championship hockey team and also went on to play professional with the Montreal Canadiens organization. He is now a successful Divisional Director for RBC’s Wealth Management Group in Minnesota. He was a fifth round draft pick (96th overall) of the Canadiens in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft after a stellar high school career at Hastings (MN) High School. Sagissor is currently Director of Hockey in the Stillwater (MN) Youth Hockey Association and he serves on the Board of Directors for “Defending the Blue Line” non-profit organization assisting military families in need. Sagissor is still an active member in the University of Wisconsin “W” Club that raises funds for Badger Athletics.
   “This is an opportunity of a lifetime to bring a USHL club to a great hockey community like Madison,” said Sagissor. “I know the fans in this area will love to watch the development of these players over time. We wanted to keep the great tradition with the name Madison Capitols as it means so much to the history of hockey in this marketplace. I cannot wait for the team to drop the puck next fall.”
    Added USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince, “We’re excited to bring the USHL to one of the Midwest’s greatest cities and hockey communities. Madison’s ownership and senior-management have already proven themselves to be innovative, focused and committed to making Hockey Night at the Alliant Energy Center a must-see event. We’re counting down the days until a team with the Wisconsin state capital’s name on their sweater hits the home ice. This will be special.”
    In addition, announcements for the Madison Capitols in the past few months, included naming former long-time University of Denver Assistant Hockey Coach and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native Steve Miller as General Manager/Head Coach and Ed Chamberlain to the role as Team President for Madtown Hockey, LLC and the Capitols. Both positions will report directly to Managing Partner Tom Garrity and the ownership group.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Forty Under 40 Class of 2014 Gives Advice to Students Hoping to Work In the Sports Industry

SportsBusiness Journal this week profiles the members of its 2014 class of Forty Under 40. In addition to sharing with you their individual stories, we’re presenting here collectively some of their responses to questions we asked them during their interviews.

Today, we present their answers to the following question:

What advice would you give to students who are hoping to work in the sports industry?

Renie Anderson: Everyone’s a sports fan, so the key is to specialize in a core competency; then you can take that skill set and apply it to sports. I could do my job anywhere, but I’m lucky enough to get to do it at the National Football League.

Nate Appleman: This industry loves hard workers. Maybe that isn’t much different from other sectors, but I know if you come to the table with a solid work ethic you will be successful.

Bess Barnes: Be the kind of person that people want to help.

Jessica Berman: Be diligent yet respectful of people’s time; always put your best foot forward.

Amy Brooks: Be intellectually curious, sell like a champ, and learn how to model in Microsoft Excel.

Jeremy Carey: Loving sports is not the same as understanding the business of sports.

Ethan Casson: You must be passionate, you must be willing to work hard, and you must be respectful of everyone along the way.

Kelly Cheeseman: Don’t pigeon-hole yourself in your early career. This business can take you many directions. To grow a career, you have to be open to many avenues. Get in, work hard, be patient and be a team player. You will grow. 

Justin Connolly: Just get your foot in the door.

Eric Conrad: You might not be the smartest person in the room, and you won’t be the most experienced, but you can be the most prepared.

Rick Cordella: Just find a way in and don’t worry about the initial job, title or pay.

Jim DeLorenzo: Keep working hard. There are no handouts in the sports industry.

Dave Finocchio: Make yourself an honest-to-God expert about something related to the industry (other than league, team and player news). Lots of people want these jobs; you have to really want it to get in the door. 

Jessica Gelman: Identify teams and leagues undergoing significant change (e.g., new stadium), then figure out how you can add value and have impact. That, and attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference.

Jonathan Gibson: It ties to a quote I once heard and is really relevant to any industry: “You live up (or down) to your expectations.” Expect greatness. 

Alison Giordano: Don’t get set on a single path; there are different ways to get to your goal.

David Greenspan: Students often stress that they are big sports fans, but that’s not a résumé enhancer. Like all other law practices, we’re looking for great minds and great communicators and great people. It just so happens that many of our clients make their living in the business of sports. 

Kirsten Hunt: Network. Opportunities don’t just happen; they are attached to people. Don’t look for opportunities; look for people.

Tucker Kain: Focus on what portion of the sports business you are really passionate about. Caring about sports is not enough. Learn the business, understand what goes into it, and work on developing skills that are most relevant to that area.

Joe Karlgaard: Lots of people go to conferences to walk the floor; find a different and more personal way to make connections, even if that happens on your own dime.

Ed Kiernan: You can never start looking for an internship early enough. Get your foot in the door, network like crazy, and work your butt off. Also, be willing to relocate wherever the opportunity presents itself — nationwide.

Chris Klein: Find something that you are passionate about, make sure to work hard, don’t cut corners, and remain true to yourself. 

Josh Kroenke: The industry is highly competitive on and off the playing field. No matter what your first opportunity is in the industry, attack it with everything you’ve got and good things will happen. Also, don’t be afraid of what you don’t know.

Damani Leech: Read, work hard and don’t presume to know which part of the industry in which you can find happiness.

Andrew Lustgarten: Learn a skill set and not just “sports.” Analysis, sales and marketing are always valuable. Once you have that skill, apply it to sports. 

Rod Moskowitz: Start at a very young age. That helped me find success, as it takes time to build a network and reputation. 

Ahmad Nassar: Focus on developing a strong skill set, whether that comes in sports or not. Know that your first job is unlikely to be your dream job, and that’s OK. Just don’t let the detour become your road.

Will Pleasants: Get exposure to as many different sides of the industry as possible. At that age, you usually don’t know what you don’t know; you need to find that out.

Brian Schulz: Keep an open mind. Opportunity has an interesting way of rearing its head, so if you can, keep your mind open to different possibilities. You might think you want to enter this industry in a certain manner by taking steps that you have predetermined in your head, but open yourself to the fact that it may not happen that way, that it may happen a different way. Don’t be so closed to those moments when they come up; recognize them. 

Donte Scott: Work hard, learn unique skills and stay positive.

Emmanuel Seuge: It’s one of the most dynamic industries to join now. The sports business as a whole is going to embrace the change happening in our lives — social, digital, and new ways to consume content — in the future. There’s a ton of innovation coming. It’s a great industry to join now, but you have to remember the history of it. 

John Shea: Get as big a name company on your résumé as you can and start in an area you have a passion for.

Jared Smith: In this business, you’ve got to be willing to take an opportunity when it comes and jump on it. There are 10 people willing to do every job there is. You’ve got to be able to jump in and be willing to try. Find a way in, and you’ll find a way to get into the lane you want to get into if you’re skilled and qualified and trained.

Henry Stafford: Figure out what you really love to do, and find a job in that space. You need to love what you do to be great.

Josh Swartz: Network like crazy.

Lowell Taub: The people around you will take note if you work hard and work smart. They will also take note if you don’t.

Igor Ulis: It’s no secret that this industry is tough to get into. The way in is to prove you’re willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and to be vocal about that. We are big on promoting from within and have had very smart, highly educated people start at entry level jobs and work their way up. It gives us a chance to see them in action and has worked really well.

Araceli Villegas: Hard work, dedication. 

Pete Vlastelica: Do something on your own initiative that’s designed to get the industry’s attention. Start a blog, a meet up, or a company. Understand that it’s always better to show than to tell.

Chris Wujcik: Enjoy what you are doing, where you are doing it, and the people you are doing it with.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The 10 Most Overused Words on LinkedIn Profiles

Are you guilty of using the same 3 words over and over in your LinkedIn bullet points? See the list of the 10 most overused words found on LinkedIn profiles and find out what you can do to make yourself stand out.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Speaker Spotlight: Mike Lipp

Grainger Hall: March, 4th 2014 7:00 pm

           Tonight, Sports Business Club had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Mike Lipp, the Athletic Director at Madison West High School. Madison West High School has ties with UW-Madison in that 100-150 West students are taking classes at UW-Madison while still in high school. West also sends about 100 graduates per year to UW-Madison. Mr. Lipp has been employed with the public schools for 40 years. For 35 years he taught high school chemistry and physics. For the past 5 years Mr. Lipp has been Madison West’s Athletic Director and declares that, “working in high school athletics is simply a blast.”

            So how did he get there? Mike was very into watching and listening to professional baseball and hockey when he was growing up. That’s where his passion for athletics started. “When I came to the realization that I could not play for the Dodgers, I changed my interests to swimming and soccer”, Mike said. He moved a lot as a kid, and played or tried almost any sport. When appointed to the AD position he had taught for 35 years, coached 51 different teams, spanning across 4 different sports.

            Currently, Mike is responsible for managing 23 sports with 64 teams, 1,300 athletes, 84 paid coaches, and 33 volunteer coaches. 65% of Madison West high school students are in athletics. He has a $165,000 budget to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Mike describes his budgeting process as, “no frills... we haven’t bought uniforms in 15 years with that budget”. That’s where the boosters of Madison West high school come in. They are constantly fundraising and spending money on the teams.

            On a day to day basis, Mike does things such as hire security for football and basketball games, schedule facility and field space, arrange transportation, hire coaches, and meet with the booster club. He also has to deal with vendors when buying uniforms, awards, and equipment. When working to get things done Mike says, “Get involved. Don’t just complain without offering a solution.”

            Mike’s main goal is helping students and athletes reach their full potential. About 20-30 kids per year from Madison West will continue on to college athletics. Enduring relationships with his fellow coaches, the kids, and their families are really what it’s all about for Mike. He says, “I go to work everyday knowing my avocation is my vocation. I like Sunday night because I know there is school the next morning. When I get to work every morning I read the sports page, not hiding from my boss in the corner, but out in the open at my desk because it is my job.”

Thank you, Mike, for offering SBC a unique perspective on working in sports!