Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the work in sports podcast.
There is a balance I strive for in booking guests on this show. I go for the big names… the Leigh Steinberg’s, the Brian Killingsworth’s, the Jennifer Keene’s… these are the executives, the true thought leaders in the industry who have lived it all, hired hundreds of people and set that stage for what the sports industry is.
But I also like to bring on guests new or newer to the industry.
Dasmine Evans, Kelsey Smith, Evan Feinstein, Betsy Lauritzen… because there is a relatability to their story. They are you. People recently in the industry or fighting to get in. They are also the people setting the stage for what the industry will be. And they just recently got hired… so they have an experience to share!
Their challenges, pitfalls and successes may be exactly what you are dealing with right now, and that is so important.
Here’s the amazing part.
I never know how a guest will connect with all of you… I guess and speculate but never really know how much you will connect with the subject. It turns out you are just as interested in Kelsey Smith as you are Leigh Steinberg… so while I’ll always strive for Theo Epstein, I’m kind of proud that you all learn and engage just as much with your near peers.
Today’s guest Kristina Wedseltoft has been in the industry for a few years now, in the midst of her second season with the Indiana Pacers as part of their community relations team.
She worked previously with the San Diego Padres in Fan Engagement and with the Indianapolis Indians in Community relations.
She’s a real up and comer in the industry, and there is a lot to learn during this interview… we actually taped this conversation on Pacers opening night, a crazy night that Kristina was so kind to carve out some time to chat with all of us. Here’s Kristina Wedseltoft!
1: I love the various origination stories I learn from people on this show and I think you have a pretty interesting story too – you graduated college with a degree in communication from UC-San Diego but started out in the fashion industry working in PR for Viktor Luna designs … and I am totally comfortable admitting I remember Viktor from Project Runway. Anyway, how did you get from that start…to working in sports?
2: After the fashion move, and then joining the San Diego Padres as a Fan Experience representative – you decided to go back and get your Masters. Was this out of frustration with your career growth, like, I need something to kick start this process… or was getting your Masters your strategy all along?
3: So how did getting your Masters change things for you? Did it help you gain career focus and zero in on community relations as your career path?
4: September 2017 you get hired by the Indiana Pacers as a Community Relations Coordinator – take us through the interview process… I’m sure it was a very competitive role, what kind of things were expected of you, what were some of the challenging things you were asked?
5: Why community relations?
6: Let’s talk about your specific role as the Community Relations Coordinator for the Pacers what does your day-to-day look like and what are your major responsibilities?
Do you have favorite parts of the job?
7: The Pacers community relations team focuses on education, service and health – how does your team impact the local community in those realms and how rewarding are the experiences?
8: What are some of the biggest challenges you encounter putting on a great community event that you can be proud of?
8: Obviously there is a lot of work that goes into creating positive programs in the community – what would you say are the three most important skills for someone that wants to work in community relations?
9: You works revolves around the relationships you build in the community, but how instrumental are skills like marketing, promotions, and event management to have a successful community campaign?
10: Is there one event that sticks out in your memory for being particularly special?
Listen in to the podcast episode to hear the answers to these questions and more!