Andy Blackburn: VP New Business, Marquee Sports & Entertainment

March 20, 2019

Andy Blackburn is the VP of New Business at Marquee Sports & Entertainment, which is the hospitality and marketing arm of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and other iconic properties. Every day, he aims to improve the in-game experience for anyone who steps foot into Wrigley Field, from team sponsors to once-a-year fans, and everyone in between. He talks about the dramatic facelift Wrigley Field, and the surrounding neighborhood, has gotten over the past few years, and how that transformation has helped modernize the team’s approach to sponsorship and hospitality. His team has created a new PGA TOUR Champions event for 2020 which is so smart with MLB spring training right there. I love that his first crack into sports was a lead through a Miami professor. Power of not just who you know, but who knows you. That job, which was selling Detroit Pistons tickets via cold calls, is the only break he needed.

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Jeff Berding: President & General Manager, FC Cincinnati

March 13, 2019

The MLS season is just getting underway, and we’re lucky to have on the pod this week the President and General Manager of the league’s newest team. Jeff Berding was instrumental in the awarding of FC Cincinnati, and he provides some fascinating insight on the pod about the process of getting his beloved city that franchise. You can hear in his voice the passion he has for Cincinnati. He also talks about how sports are like politics in terms of meeting deadlines and putting your product out to be judged by your consumer. I really appreciated his approach to work and life – “Be stubborn on vision, but flexible on journey.” That’s great advice for anyone, no matter which stage of their career they are in. Enjoy!

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Steve Carlin: Global Brand Strategist

March 6, 2019

From a geology major to an uber-successful business leader, Steve Carlin has spanned the industries of soap and cosmetics to video games and robotics over 20+ years of work. Our conversation covers all sides of his business career and is rooted in some key themes – leadership, business creation, and networking. He has successfully weaved his way forward using key attributes and learning to propel into career-advancing jobs. He is smart, articulate and his perspective is well thought out. I can’t believe we haven’t talked live in more than two decades. It felt like we were in an IFC meeting senior year on campus. And to the students listening on the pod, his statement about school is so true – “college is about learning how to learn”. Hope you enjoy it!

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