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Rising 25

Meet The Rising 25: Josh Keiles of The National Sports Forum

Meet Josh Keiles: VP of Business Development at the National Sports Forum. A former football player, Keiles credits his success to strong relationships.

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The Rising 25 class of 2019, presented by AB InBev, represents some of the brightest young professionals in the sports industry. Over the next several weeks, we’re proud to introduce you to this year’s winners and highlight some of their achievements to date.

Today, meet Josh Keiles: Vice President of Business Development at the National Sports Forum (NSF). Keiles’ lifelong love of sports brought him to Columbia University where he played football and graduated in 2015. Keiles then went on to participate in the professional master’s in sports administration program through Ohio University, which he will graduate from in 2020. When his playing days were over, Keiles made the decision to pursue a career on the business side, which brought him to NSF.

READ MORE: Meet the Rising 25: Jack Kelly of CAA and the Premier Lacrosse League

Over the last year, Keiles managed a group of four people. Each member of the group hit their revenue goal for the year, breaking the company’s annual revenue record. Keiles describes this as his proudest professional accomplishment to date.

Based in San Diego, the National Sports Forum (NSF) hosts a series of professional networking events throughout the United States. Keiles joined the organization in 2016 as a business development coordinator and quickly rose through the ranks to his current role as a vice president.

Working at NSF, Keiles can appreciate the fact that he and his team are able to study and learn about several different aspects of the industry.

“It’s an interesting cross-section of sports that we find ourselves in. We look at everything on the revenue-generating side: marketing, sponsorships, ticket sales, business development. It’s a great place to be.”

Keiles has several people that he considers mentors that have helped him get to his current position, including NSF founder and president Ron Seaver as well as Jim Kahler of Ohio University, who is the executive director at the school’s center for sports administration, and Dave Mullins: senior vice president at Chicago based agency rEvolution.

“In addition to the people that I consider mentors, everybody that has served on the National Sports Forum Steering Committee has been very valuable and a great resource for a young person like myself trying to make the most of his opportunities.”

READ MORE: Meet The Rising 25: J’Ron Erby’s Sports Industry Journey

In his career up to this point, Keiles has learned the importance of establishing strong connections with other people throughout the industry. This is his biggest piece of advice to young people trying to get their career off the ground.

“It’s all about the relationships. I don’t think that really hits home for a lot of people until they’re out in the real world. Building genuine relationships with people. Reach out to people on Linkedin and Twitter that are your guiding lights in the industry or the people you look up to. Even if you don’t know them, you’d be surprised at how open they are to having conversations just to kind of give back to the next generation that’s coming into the sports industry.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

Rising 25

Meet the Rising 25: Miles Cahill of the LA Clippers

A graduate of the University of Arizona, Cahill quickly found his footing in the sports partnership space with IMG College and later in the NBA.

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The Rising 25 Class of 2019, presented by AB InBev, represents some of the brightest young professionals in the sports industry. Over the next several weeks, we’re proud to introduce you to this year’s winners and highlight some of their achievements to date.

Today, meet Miles Cahill: Partnership Marketing Coordinator with the NBA’s LA Clippers. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Cahill received his introduction to the business side of sports during his time as a student in Tucson.

“When I was in college I knew I had to get as heavily involved within Arizona Athletics as possible. I found out about a club on campus called the Sports Marketing Association (SMA) and absolutely fell in love with it. To this day, I think this is essentially how my career in sports took off. I began volunteering at sporting events through SMA as much as I possibly could and wound up receiving my first internship stint with IMG College at the University of Arizona. In this position, I was able to do partnership activation there as a property assistant,” Cahill says. “I loved the balance of game day operations as well as the business relations side, in making sure partners and clients are happy with the partnership and their investment into an athletic program or team/league/association.”

After a year of working with IMG College, Cahill decided to continue working with the company for an additional year and a half as his love for sports business really set in.

“I was able to learn how to truly connect genuine brand synergy and understand just how much can go through a partnership agreement, whether it be media, social/digital, community events, permanent or static LED signage, and more. When I started the role, I always assumed it was providing unparalleled client service on the hospitality and promotional-based front but the opportunities expand farther than that… even everything that goes into prospecting and follow-ups on the sales side,” he says. “But ultimately, when I was fulfilling my day-to-day responsibilities on the activation side was when I knew I found something I could not only be passionate about, but also thrive in.”

Cahill also worked game operations for the Tucson Roadrunners as well as serving as an academic mentor and sports nutritionist intern during his time at Arizona. However, he found himself coming back to partnerships a few months after graduation. Cahill describes getting his degree from UofA and becoming a first-generation graduate on his mother’s side of the family as one of his proudest professional accomplishments.

“Graduating from college was a big stepping stone for me,” he recalls, “but more on the professional side, getting an opportunity to work for an NBA team has always been my dream. Particularly doing it in partnership activation was a double win because I knew all the work I put in to get to this point had finally paid dividends.”

Cahill started with the Clippers in September of 2017 where he has achieved success coordinating the relationships between the organization and its sponsors. Through advancing up the sports business ladder, Cahill has learned several important things about this process that other young professionals can learn from.

“One of the biggest misconceptions in my eyes is that sports experience by itself will guarantee you a job after graduation,” Cahill states. “I learned it’s also heavily based on your network and how you perform in your job. Just the fact that you held a position does not tell the full story in regards to performance. Be on time, always give it one hundred and ten percent and do all the right things at your job. Not only that, continue to expand your portfolio and further develop those relationships that you have with people. You never know when a new opportunity could arise that could be a superior fit for you and that relationship you have fostered comes around full circle.”

Cahill’s other piece of advice to young sports professionals for achieving similar success is finding ways to stand out amongst the masses.

“I think the strongest advice I’ve ever gotten was the importance of cultivating and further developing relationships in unique and personal matters. One way I like to do that is with handwritten notes. It’s something that I did throughout my last two years of college and have continued up to this point in my career. It allowed me to get my first professional job out of college. Do things that other people won’t do or find ways that can make you really stand out from the people that you’re battling against for a job.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

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Rising 25

Meet The Rising 25: Kaitlin Brennan of Stanford Athletics

After playing every sport she could growing up, Brennan sought out the team atmosphere that makes working in college athletics so rewarding.

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The Rising 25 Class of 2019, presented by AB InBev, represents some of the brightest young professionals in the sports industry. Over the next several weeks, we’re proud to introduce you to this year’s winners and highlight some of their achievements to date.

Today, meet Kaitlin Brennan: Assistant Director of Marketing at Stanford Athletics. Brennan graduated magna cum laude from Cal Poly in 2017 before landing her role at Stanford.

Brennan’s passion for sports started at a young age, playing just about every sport she could get her hands on.

“In high school I played four different sports,” Brenna says. “Then I got to college and just had this void, missing not being able to play and practice and be around a team.”

Recognizing this void led Brennan to combine her passion for sports with her business major as a student at Cal Poly. Brennan secured a role with the university’s athletic department as a sports marketing manager, which gave her an introduction to that side of college athletics.

“Second week of freshman year, I walked into the athletic department at Cal Poly and offered to do whatever they wanted.” she recalls. “I did a lot of odds-and-ends jobs throughout my entire time in college. I was taking photos, recording games, working the video boards, sending surveys to fans…

“I really got my hands in a lot of different things and confirmed that I liked the business side of sports.”

After graduation, Brennan interviewed with several different types of sport organizations. She soon realized that college sports offered the team atmosphere that she ultimately desired and found herself at Stanford. Brennan currently works closely with four of Stanford’s teams which brings a great sense of fulfillment to her professional life.

“Since coming to Stanford, our department has renewed its focus on telling the stories of our student-athletes,” Brennan says. “All of the students that come to Stanford have such cool stories, which makes my job incredibly easy. Fans can relate to our student-athletes because of their life stories, what they’ve gone through, what they’re going through right now and what their goals are. I think my biggest professional accomplishment is really using marketing and the channels that I have to highlight and amplify student-athletes’ accomplishments and dreams in a natural, organic way.”

By taking pride in learning the small skills that make the world of sports business go, Brennan has been able to elevate herself to a leadership position within college athletics. Following that method is one way that she recommends for young professionals to advance their careers.

“Do the little things right and the big things will come your way. But still continue to do those little things. There are people with three titles above me that still pass out shirts,” Brennan says.But if you continue to do those little jobs right, bigger opportunities will come. Get as much experience as you possibly can no matter what it takes.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

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Rising 25

Meet the Rising 25: Kimberly Ostiller of the LA Stadium & Entertainment District

A 2016 graduate of the University of Southern California, Ostiller is the Global Partnerships Coordinator at the future home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers.

Front Office Sports

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The Rising 25 Class of 2019, presented by AB InBev, represents some of the brightest young professionals in the sports industry. Over the next several weeks, we’re proud to introduce you to this year’s winners and highlight some of their achievements to date.

Today, meet Kimberly Ostiller: Global Partnerships Coordinator for the LA Stadium & Entertainment District. A 2016 graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) where she majored in public relations and Spanish, Ostiller chased her desire to work in sports early and took an internship with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers while at USC. Ostiller feels that the exposure she received to the professional sports landscape while with the Dodgers prepared her for the next phase of her career.

“I met really talented people and I’ve maintained those relationships,” she says reflecting on her time with the Dodgers. “It’s great to still have that soundboard for professional advice.”

Ostiller worked in partnerships with the Dodgers for over two years while simultaneously working as a tour guide on USC’s campus. Ostiller then made the jump to her current role shortly before her graduation in 2016. This experience has also provided its fair share of chances to showcase Ostiller’s abilities. For each of the last two Super Bowls, Ostiller spearheaded multi-day showcases to show brands and executives what the future home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will have in store. The new stadium is set to open prior to the 2020 NFL season in Inglewood, California.

This past season in particular, with the Rams taking part in the big game in Atlanta, Ostiller feels proud of what she was able to accomplish leading the LA Stadium & Entertainment District’s efforts to attract new potential partners.

“I set higher expectations for myself and I think that helped this year’s showcase to be more successful,” she says. “We had significantly more guests coming through and had more productive meetings with brands, which was important to me. This was a big undertaking. It took months to execute and I am grateful to our leadership for trusting me to plan this showcase from start to finish.”

For the next generation of sports business professionals, Ostiller offers a few pieces of advice. Her advice is to not give up, appreciate the value of networking, and respect others’ time. This will help move one’s career in the right direction while building essential relationships.

“Being politely persistent is helpful,” she says. “I think leaders in this business have enough time to share if you can get in front of them. Ask people to have coffee – everyone has time for a cup of coffee. Just get your name out there and keep your eyes peeled for opportunities; be mindful of teams that are in season. Informational interviews are a great way to learn and stay visible in this competitive field.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

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