Greg Amiel: Ottawa Sports And Entertainment Group - Work In Sports Podcast

We're headed north of the border for today's podcast episode with Greg Amiel Community Engagement Coordinator for Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. 

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

I was speaking yesterday to a friend of mine from the University of Florida, sorry all you Florida State fans...cough Jake Kernen…, anyway we were discussing some of the trends he sees in his students. I like to keep up with what’s happening at the student level, the trends the pain points the problems and fears, and the best way for me to do that is to speak with students, and with professors, administrators at the college level.

One of the things we discussed was online learning, something that we didn’t have as I came up in the industry. And what’s really cool about online learning, from my friends perspective, is that it opens up possibilities for so many more people to be part of the educational experience.Greg Amiel Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group

I love that. I felt inspired after hearing that. I think about my college experience, and for me, it was never a doubt, I was going to college.  That’s not to say we were rich, we weren’t at all, we were firmly middle class, but college was happening for my brother and I. I was going to pick a school, relocate and live there and be in charge of my own existence and dedication.

This is not a reality for the majority of the world. College isn’t a foregone conclusion, it’s a dream, a fantasy, a concept that can’t be taken for granted. Over the multiple years since I graduated, college has become even more cost-prohibitive, which means the education gap, and in turn, the wealth gap, has increased.

This is scary. We shouldn’t be a world of have’s and have nots.  I’m not going to politicize this, but I do believe opportunity should be more readily available. And before some people get on me, I’m speaking of opportunity, a chance to thrive and grow.

Online programs, their growth, and importance, can’t be underscored. These programs when done right, especially at some of the top level institutions who are now investing, open up doors to so many people. Those who need jobs to survive the day to day, those with physical ailments that may make a traditional campus experience difficult, those with complex lives who have uphill climbs but want to better themselves for their future.

I choose people for our podcast interviews in executive roles, mid-level managers, and entry-level staff. You know the common thread for all of them -- they have a college education, many in fact have their Masters.

They had the opportunity to thrive.

Without getting too preachy, and I’m trying really hard to just speak honestly without trying to sermonizing,  I realize more than ever I had an opportunity. I never questioned whether or not I’d go to college, I never doubted I’d get a high-level education, and play sports, and have the equipment and new cleats, and someone to drive me to and from practice. I never doubted these things.

I was lucky. Not everyone is. Keep that perspective as you walk through your journey, take advantage of the opportunities you get, don’t feel any guilt about them, but you sure as hell better make the most of them. And look around, outside your comfort zone, notice not everyone has it the same way you do, pick someone else up. Help someone else out. Train someone, mentor someone, hire someone.

That’s how you change the world.

Today’s podcast guest is Greg Amiel, Community Engagement Coordinator for Ottawa Sports and Entertainment group -- owner of the Ottawa REDBLACKS (CFL), Ottawa 67’s (OHL)& Ottawa FURY FC (USL)...which means even just 2 years into his postgraduate sports career, Greg has a ton of experience…

Let’s get into it with Greg Amiel…


Questions with Greg Amiel, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group


First off I’d like to say congratulations, you are my first Canadian guest -- which is odd since our CEO and CMO are both Candian, you think I would have reached to the Great White North before now just to kiss up a bit.

We definitely have a lot to talk about - you are pretty early in your career but you’ve done a great deal and you're a model for many people approaching graduation to follow - so let’s dig in.

1: Let’s start with this, I spoke just a few weeks ago with a professor at the University of Windsor in and he said to me “sports jobs in Canada are much different than sports jobs in the US, there are more recreation jobs than there are jobs with teams” do you find what he said to be true about working in sports in Canada, or have you had a different experience?

2: You graduated from Concordia University in 2015 and went right into getting your Masters at the University of Ottawa -- why did you decide getting your masters was an important step?

3: While in Grad school you interned with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL -- how did this experience help frame your personal goals for the sports industry

4: I notice in your experience you were very active volunteering -- Skate Canada 2017 National Skate Championships, Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, Canadian Paralympic Committee -- what were the pluses and minuses of volunteering at these events as compared to interning?

5: Networking is so important in the sports industry, you seem to be a very outgoing person, in checking out your LinkedIn profile you are not afraid of the microphone or crowds  by any means, I’d imagine you are pretty comfortable getting to know people -- what has been your approach to networking with other sports professionals?

6: April 2017 -- just after finishing your Masters, you get hired by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment group - home to the Ottawa REDBLACKS, Ottawa Fury FC, Ottawa 67’s and live events at TD Place.

I’ll make this rather blunt -- why did they hire you?

7: Tell us about the role -- what does it mean to be a Community Engagement Coordinator for all these teams and the OSEG?

8: Sounds like there is a blend of community relations and marketing in there -- what is that like when you enter a school with the athletes and the mascot and these kids go crazy? What does that feel like for you?

You really get to witness first hand how people are affected by sports!

9: What drives you? In this industry, we all have to establish our purpose, why we do what we do… what is it for you?

10: When you operate in community engagement, it isn’t just the events and the media appearances, there is a lot of planning that goes into these events as well. What advice would you give someone who is considering event management, that can help them feel more confident when they get ready to enter the real world?

11: We’ll finish up with this --  Canada has long been known as our kinder neighbors to the north, but they’ve had a rough week. The sports debate shows here in the states have been all over the Toronto fans for cheering when Kevin Durant got hurt -- you have the floor, you have the mic, defend your fellow Canadian sports fans - tell us the truth about these gentle souls… or maybe we’ve been conned this whole time and you are just a bunch of Oakland Raiders fans in warmer clothes?


Sponsors for Today's Episode


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If I had my choice, I think I’d lean Madrid. I know if I went to Italy I’d probably end up weighing 400 pounds.

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And the Work in Sports podcast is brought to you by Canada.

This is a good week for Canada. NBA championship, our first Candian guest on the show today, the CEO and CMO of -- both Canadian. And I'm looking at a job right now on for the Manitoba Moose as a Video Content Coordinator -- which if I was just starting out, I would be all over that job.

By Brian Clapp | June 19, 2019
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