Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast.
One of my favorite stories to date happened on the podcast interview you are about to hear with Betsy Lauritzen, Assistant Director of New Media for Fresno State Athletics.
I reach out to people all the time about being on the podcast, some are just starting their career and have a great story to tell on breaking in, some are in management and more established, some are executives and can really share about the hiring and firing process… and then I go for the big swingers too.
Most of the time… hello Theo Epstein… they don’t respond. But sometimes they do. Jack Mills, agent for Baker Mayfield, that was a pretty big one. And coming up in a few weeks Leigh Steinberg, agent for a record 8 1st overall picks.
With guys like Leigh, I can come up with hundreds of questions because there is so much information out there about them and their career. I try to come up with unique angles, but again, the big swingers make for easy question development.
But with some of the newer, younger, high rising people in the industry like todays guest… I have to go on gut instinct a lot. I write up questions in advance, and I have a framework for what I want to ask… but I have no idea what will work and what will lead us to an interesting conversation.
So you can imagine my excitement when I asked Betsy a question from my rough outline and she responded “this is one of my absolute favorite stories that I have about the sports industry.”
For me, excited guests who are anxious to share an impactful story from their career is like being handed a heaping dessert prepared by some fancy chef and then being told, magically, that this will not add any inches to my gut.
It’s pure satisfaction.
So betsy went on to explain how she got her first internship with the Dallas Mavericks – an internship and opportunity that she should have had to fight tooth and nail to get. But, as you’ll hear shortly, what she really had to do was care, have a moment of sacrifice and take advantage of an opportunity.
That’s a big lesson in this interview – caring about your career, pushing towards your goals…all of it really matters.
But before we talk to Betsy I want to remind everyone that registration is now open for our Sports Career Accelerator event September 13-14th in Atlanta.
You know by now that by registering you will get to learn the business of sports hands on from executives and staff of the Hawks, Falcons, Braves, College Football Hall fo Fame, United and more.
But here’s the big thing – everyone you talk to in the sports industry will tell you getting into this industry is about who you know. Well, this is your chance to get to know these high-level people within these huge organizations.
We will have a special networking event on the first night, and all these team execs and more from other agencies, smaller teams, local businesses…will be there networking and sharing with all of you. This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for…and even if you don’t live in Atlanta, we picked that location because it is a very easy direct flight from many locations.
And if you want to work in sports, as I’ve said about 100 times on this podcast, you need to be ready to relocate. I started my career in Atlanta, and I’m a Boston guy… it’s a great city and the teams and opportunities are awesome… so register already!
Visit Work in Sports.com / Tremont / atlanta
Tremont Sports are our partner in this so again, to register visit WorkinSports.com / Tremont / Atlanta
Now here’s Betsy!
1: New Media is one of those broad job titles where it can mean so many things, before we dig into the details of how you got where you are and your various experiences – explain your role at Fresno State and your daily responsibilities…
2: You have a background in broadcasting, which is near and dear to my heart and how I started my career, when and why did you decide to focus on the broadcasting side of the industry?hhhh
3: So you’re in your undergrad at TCU and you get an internship with the Dallas Mavericks as a production assistant… getting any kind of a role with a pro team can be a challenge – how did you get this opportunity, and what type of things were you tasked with?
4: I’ve advised many times on this podcast that people should balance their internships – work for a big organization, and work for a smaller agency, or local network so you see how different operations work. You followed this to a T – your next internship was with local TV station KDFW which isn’t a small network by any means, but the sports department is just a fraction of the overall operation compared to the Mavs which is all sports all the time. How different was this experience for you compared to the Mavs?
5: What was your approach to networking and building relationships in all of these roles, did you have a style or methodology to build your reputation and network?
6: You’ve been at Fresno State now for 2 years, how different is working in college sports compared to the pro’s?
7: There are 21 varsity level teams at Fresno State – how are responsibilities divided…do you cover all the teams in some form, or have a limited focus?
8: I feel like almost every week I am getting pitched some new social network, or content distribution app, or consumer marketing data bank – working in new media you must be inundated with “new” – how do you go about deciding what is worth trying and can enhance the customer experience vs. what is worth ignoring?
9: What is the most challenging part of the job for you? And on the flip side, what is the most enjoyable part?
10: How do you determine success? What makes you finish a day and say “wow I really nailed it” or your boss come to you and say “nice work” what does that look like to you?
11: I interviewed Samantha Wood a while back who is the digital platform manager for the Philadelphia Eagles and she remarked that over half of the social media directors in the NFL are women – I think that is huge progress and a great indicator for women in sports – what has been your experience working in the Mountain West at a major college athletic program? Are there other women in the industry you can look up to, and gain inspiration from and do you feel the world of sports is a welcoming environment?
Thanks so much to Betsy Lauritzen – we hadn’t talked to anyone on her side of the industry yet, so it’s always exciting to learn about new roles and share that with all of you.
I loved her story about the Mavs and I hope that inspires all of you to seek out and take advantage of opportunities that may arise. I know a lot of you are guilty of self-censoring… you have this interna narrative saying “they won’t pick me so why bother trying” Well, if you are a match for the job and have the right skills.. you need to believe and you need to go for it.
Think of the kid that was in Betsy’s class and told themselves… I shouldn’t bother trying, they’ll pick someone else, I should just go grab a beer instead. They’re probably doing something right now that is a lot less cool than Betsy.
Alright that’s it for today – thanks again to Betsy, don’t forget to register for our sports career accelerator event and keep on the lookout, Leigh Steinberg coming to this here podcast in a few weeks!