Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, Vice President of Content and Engaged learning at WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…
A few months back I interviewed Lewie Pollis, Philadelphia Phillies Lead Quantitative Analyst for Amateur Scouting… and something he shared during that interview has really stuck with me.
While in college, he took it upon himself to conduct a research study into evaluating players impact on the collegiate level, and pitched it to various college teams, leagues and conferences in hopes of landing a position.
This was his proof of concept, his calling card to the teams to not just say he was a worthy addition, to prove it with action.
It is also a leap of faith in himself - he put in a lot of time and effort to do a thorough investigation, but there was no promise of return. He could have invested time and effort creating the doc, and then sending it out to teams, following up with leads, digging for action… and had nothing come of it.
But it did. One college program had their interest piqued by what he sent, talked with him and eventually offered him a job… which eventually led to an even better job with the Phillies.
All because he went an extra step, a risk.
He's not alone, Brian Killingsworth, CMO of the Vegas Golden Knights came right out on our show and said - when you apply for a job include something that makes me take notice. He cited doing research into the value and impact of eSports or pitching a new social media concept.
Crafting a research document -- anything extra to help you stand out.
This concept sticks with me because we’re always looking for ways to help you differentiate yourself.
I was reminded of this again in my research for today’s guest on the podcast, Vince Gennaro, associate dean of NYU’s Tisch School for Global Sport.
Back in 1974, Vince was 27 years old - an economic consultant to various industries in addition to working as an economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He had his MBA and a passion for baseball.
Inspired by veteran right-handed pitcher Catfish Hunter signing a then-lucrative free agent deal with the Yankees - Gennaro decided to analyze if the contract was a real value to the Yankees.
He reached far beyond performance metrics, he applied statistics, mathematics, and technology to dig into the overall impact of the player, not just performance, but economics as well -- how many additional tickets would he sell?
After this extensive research, Gennaro concluded that Hunter's value to the Yankees that first season was $680,000. This was the beginning of his Player Valuation System, which, in addition to analyzing the value of specific players, shows how winning percentage, promotional days, ticket prices, attendance, and other factors interact and affect the bottom line in the operation of a major league club.
Teams took notice of this new methodology of evaluating a player's true value.
Since that time Gennaro has consulted with various baseball teams, owned a women’s professional basketball team, written endless columns for outlets like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Sports, is the president of SABR society for American baseball research, hosts a baseball show on SiriusXM and is the Associate Dean for NYU’s Tisch School for global sport.
Not a bad resume.
He’s one of the wisest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing -- he’s Vince Gennaro.
Listen in to the Work in Sports podcast with Vince Gennaro to learn more!