Hashtag Sports Recap
*A Frugal Athlete is a media partner with Hashtag Sports
I had the tremendous pleasure of attending the 2018 Hashtag Sports Conference. Last week, I spoke about how excited I was to attend and the events I was most looking forward too. I was pleasantly surprised to connect and collect so much valuable information from some of the top innovators in the sports business space. It was an enjoyable and very productive conference and I have already locked it in for next year.
If you are interested in the sports business space I suggest that you find a way to attend this event, you won’t regret it.
With the being said, here is a recap of some of the key points I took away from event
Every athlete should have a team, there is power In the group- Hope Solo
It’s vital that every athlete has a team. Not just a team but a strong team to help them succeed both on and off the field. Having a team to help hold you accountable, bounce ideas, develop strategies are the reasons why the top athletes you see today are excelling off the pitch.
“That window isn’t forever that window is now”
Steve Stoute said it best at the opening keynote. As an athlete you have to take advantage of your window now. Don’t wait until the end of your career or when you sign the big contract, start now. Time waits for no one and the sooner you realize that in developing your influence both on and off the field the better you will be for it.
Take advantage of the opportunity
As an athlete you will be blessed with a plethora of opportunities. For example, having the opportunity to not only attend the Hashtag Sports Conference but become a media partner and connect with the founders amongst many different companies and C-Suite individuals may not have happened or would definitely have taken longer or cost a pretty penny if I wasn’t.
Content is king….Quality is queen
This is important considering the influence of social media and digital media. Not only is the content important especially in how you get your message across and how often but the quality in which is it produced. In order to attract the consumer and retain them, quality needs to be heavily considered.
You don’t know what you don’t know
As an athlete it’s important to understand you won’t have an answer to everything. The key is to understand that and know it’s ok to ask questions. Find mentors and people that are smarter or more experienced than you in specific fields you are eager to learn more in. Especially as athletes continue to grow in the vc venture, entrepreneurship space it’s vital you continue to seek increasing your education. Like they say if you are the smartest dude in the room than you need to find another room.
Daniel Sillman, CEO of Relevant Sports, ended the Hashtag Sports Conference as a guest on The Victor Cruz live podcast and was a very good interviewee. He talked about the power of cold calling. How cold calling helped him connect with business magnate Stephen Ross and Lebron's business manager Maverick Carter. Cold calling is still one of the best ways to connect with big players in various industries. Maybe because everyone else is too afraid of rejection and don’t go through with making an effort to reach out or just don’t know how to go about it. Sillman talks about the difference between making a pitch and asking for a moment of your time. The simple difference in approach can make all the difference. At the end of the day It’s important to understand that the only thing negative that could happen from a cold call is no. Remember a no just means not right now
As an athlete, Ryan Mundy spoke at A Frugal Athlete panel(more on that later) about how using his status to leverage a better click rate with his cold calling. By simply identifying he was a professional athlete he was able to connect with so many more people in the VC space because he got them curious.
Purpose before revenue
The best companies I came across during the event all focused on having a purpose well before any talks of revenue. Obviously everyone wanted to make money but the most successful ones that I came across all solved a problem and had a purpose first and foremost
Financial capital vs Social Capital
Athlete need to understand the power they have with both financial capital and social capital. Athletes obviously are blessed to be compensated at a high level which allows them some of the luxuries of life and ability to get into different spaces with business and investing
They also have social capital, their influence and network or relationships allows them to change the minds and opinions of others easier than other individuals. Athletes need to understand that social capital is just as if not more important than financial capital and should be leveraged as such
The theme behind Hashtag Sports is to innovate. Innovate means to make changes to something established. That couldn’t be more in tune with what Hashtag Sports is promoting. To be able to be in an environment with so many different leaders of the sports business industry across all sectors just creates innovation across all fronts. With the ever changing landscape with certain trends in the industry the best businesses athletes companies are going to be the ones that are ready and willing to continuously find ways to innovate.
I talked about how we held an impromptu Frugal Athlete panel at the Hashtag Sports Conference….well one of the athlete catered workshops was unfortunately canceled. Instead of wasting idle we made the announcement to the attendees and let them know a panel would be taking place. With the help of Afik Malik founder of Podium VC and the generosity of Ryan Mundy and Mohammed Massaquoi we were able to have an hour plus Q+A panel. It was great to have an intimate setting and create that discussion. Instead of complaining, everyone got together and innovated. That's what Hashtag Sports is all about.
It was a great event and look forward to hopefully attending next year. You should too!