Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

CincinnatiBengalsWade Martin, Senior Corporate Sales Manager at the Cincinnati Bengals, opened his presentation at the 2009 Follett’s Sports Business Forum with an engaging video of Jimmy Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPYs. While the speech is mostly remembered for the line, “Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up,” Martin highlighted an anecdote earlier in the speech where Coach Valvano spoke about “how to go from where you are right now to where you want to be.”

In highlighting this, Martin was stressing to the crowd to have a plan to achieve your goals, but to do so with an open mind. An Athens, OH native, his first job was at Miami (OH) University, a place he surely never thought he would work. Yet, he used this analogy to show the audience the importance of keeping an open mind. In the sports industry, there is no set to path to achieve your goals.

The presentation also stressed the point of staying humble and willing to do any job at any time. To do this, he used the football analogies that students should “mix the Gatorade, throw a block, and, in time, they will score a touchdown.

As far as what students can do while in school, Martin suggested they do not waste time, because there are plenty of others that will be working hard. They should also focus on an honest self-evaluation and experiencing events that are open to them.

In the end, students found Martin’s presentation both informative and practical, providing real world advice that can be applied right now and once they enter the sports industry.

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NAADDThere were several themes that emerged from the NAADD Convention this past week. The role of new media and technology in development, strategies for dealing with the poor economy, and a focus on core values were a few of the main points that were presented at several sessions over the course of the convention. One of the most stressed themes, however, was the importance of personal touch and personal organization in the development process.

“A brochure never raised a dollar – people do.” – Tim Hall, University of Missouri, Kansas City

During the many sessions that took place, there were discussions about twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other new methods of communication that had everyone wondering when they should jump in and at what level can these new tools be useful. However, nearly every speaker noted how important it would become in the next few years to emphasize the personal touch with donors.

In response to the popularity of technology in development, “Never lose the personal touch.” – Jim Phillips, Northwestern University

Among the skills a good development officer will have, listening and a “thick-skinned” attitude were repeatedly mentioned. Several strategies to encourage a donor to speak about themselves were mentioned, but none of them are effective if you are not a good listener. Don’t take notes during a meeting, one panelist suggested, but be a good listener and write down what you must when the meeting is over.

“Development is about building relationships and asking for money.  Between the two of those is being a good listener.” – Pat Chun, Ohio State University

“Development officers must be thick-skinned and organized.” – Dan DeRose, Donor, Colorado State University, Pueblo

The personal touch does not come without some sacrifice, however. It was highlighted several times that a good development officer has to play their role in the office, on campus, and in the community. Everyone around could be a donor, or could know someone considering a gift to the university. It is essential to represent the university, athletics department, and yourself at all times.

“You must be ‘on’ at all times, and treat everyone with respect.” – Dan Cloran, Xavier University

ADF will continue to post about happenings at the NACDA/NAADD Convention in the weeks to come.

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Dr. Kevin White spoke to students at the 2009 Ohio University Sports Administration Symposium

Dr. Kevin White spoke to students at the 2009 Ohio University Sports Administration Symposium

During this past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 Ohio Sports Administration Symposium. The annual event held every year invites alumni back to campus for a round of speakers and networking opportunities. This year’s weekend saw speakers such as Alice Petzold, Consultant at Wasserman Media Group; Dr. Kevin White, Director of Athletics at Duke University; and 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Len Perna, President and Chief Executive Officer, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment.

From a college athletics perspective, Dr. Kevin White provided a good deal of knowledge stemming from his 37 years of experience in the industry. Instead of focusing on a specific topic, Dr. White addressed many aspects of the college athletics industry. Speaking with a deep passion for the student-athlete, Dr. White spoke on the importance of “delivering what you sold them.” He commented that current student-athletes are savvy consumers who get offers from many schools and compare visits throughout the nation. Therefore, it is crucial to provide for your current student-athletes the experience that was promised them in recruiting as current student-athletes sell the school to prospects.

Hidden in this observation is the ability for development to impact a student-athlete’s experience. As coaches tell the recruits about the university and the current direction of the program, the ability to enhance their time on campus with new facilities, gear, and nice travel amenities will be crucial to attracting top recruits.

Dr. White also spoke specifically to students and young professionals, commenting that everyone should put in three to five years of solid work at their first job. If they do this, working hard every day and delivering of their employer, they will never need to apply for another job. People will recruit them away from their current position.

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