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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.

Rising 25

Meet the Rising 25: George Steinbrenner IV of Harding Steinbrenner Racing

The youngest team owner in the history of IndyCar, Steinbrenner carries a passion for sports he inherited from his father and grandfather.

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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 George Steinbrenner IV: co-owner and partner of Harding Steinbrenner Racing. Steinbrenner is the youngest IndyCar team owner in the history of the sport and the grandson of legendary New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner III. With that type of family legacy, a career in sports simply made sense.

“I envisioned myself being involved in sports business in some way,” Steinbrenner says. “It’s something I had a passion for just being around it and looking up to my grandfather and wanting to be like him. In a lot of ways I think that started my passion for sports business.”

2019 has already been quite good to Harding Steinbrenner Racing. On March 24th, the team picked up a win at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Not only was this Steinbrenner’s first professional win, it also made him the youngest owner to win a race in history of IndyCar. He describes this as his most exciting achievement to date.

In his time working in racing, Steinbrenner has found that the biggest misconception about working in the sport relates to the partnership side.

“I think a lot of people don’t have a full understanding of how difficult it is and how much time it takes to find commercial partnerships,” Steinbrenner says. “In the racing world, we’re working primarily on sponsorship money. We don’t get ticket revenues. We don’t really have many revenue streams independent of sponsorship money and prize money. So for us, how difficult it is and how much time it takes primarily to create that base for the partnership and how long a deal can take to make to bring sponsors onto the race team is just something you learn. It’s always a lot more difficult than people anticipate even coming from other sports in selling sponsorship.”

While there are plenty of other challenges that come with owning an IndyCar team, Steinbrenner’s confidence and abilities suggest that he is ready to face any more that may come his way. From his own personal experiences, his advice to aspiring sports professionals is to find ways to keep grinding through the busy or difficult times.

READ MORE: Meet the Rising 25: Zoë White of the Atlanta Hawks

“When you work in the front office environment, there isn’t really much of an offseason,” Steinbrenner states. “What I learned is the offseason, for me, is the busiest time of the year because that’s where a lot of the money raising happens and all the hard work happens. When I feel like I’m getting overworked I have to remind myself to look toward the ultimate goal: winning the Indy 500 and winning IndyCar championships. That was a big factor in helping me sort of grind through the beginning of the team and the long off season.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

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Rising 25

Meet the Rising 25: Andre Robinson of the Los Angeles Clippers

Currently a video producer in the NBA, Robinson takes pride in being a point of inspiration for young videographers and people in his hometown.

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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 Andre Robinson: video producer for the Los Angeles Clippers. The son of a college athletics administrator, Robinson was never far from the excitement of live sports as a child. Robinson then carried his love for sports and his desire to be a storyteller into his college career.

“As a kid, you follow the excitement of what your family and the people around you get excited about. So sports was definitely a part of my childhood,” Robinson says. “But I think the storyteller aspect was more so my route that I really wanted to take.”

READ MORE: Meet the Rising 25: Zoë White of the Atlanta Hawks

Robinson began his college career at South Carolina State University where he filmed social events on campus for various student organizations. He then transferred to Clemson University, where he took on an internship in video production with the football program. Much of the content that Robinson created for Clemson football centered around recruitment and telling the story of being a student-athlete from the perspective of being an African-American.

When his time at Clemson ended, Robinson moved on to an associate producer position with Raycom Sports in Charlotte before becoming Ohio State football’s assistant director of new and creative media. Following the 2017-2018 academic year, Ohio State football had more Instagram followers than any other college football team and had a 77% growth in Twitter followers that year. In October of 2018, Robinson made the move to California to join the Clippers.

Accomplished sports professionals will attest that it’s not uncommon to receive messages from people looking to learn from them. Robinson is no exception. He describes the highlight of his career as the opportunity to inspire other aspiring creatives, especially those back in his hometown.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that people look up to me,” he says. “Growing up, I never saw people pick up a camera. This kind of career never dawned on them. But then I go home and I look around and there are a bunch of people picking up cameras and trying to do video. My community was people who wanted to be an athlete or a rapper or just people with regular nine-to-five jobs. But I think that opened a new tunnel for people to say ‘I want to do something like what Andre is doing.’”

READ MORE: Meet the Rising 25: Travis Case of the Los Angeles Kings

For his greatest piece of advice to up and coming professionals, Robinson refers to a quote from one of his former coaches: Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney.

“Do common things in an uncommon way,” Robinson recites. “Studying a little bit more, being very attentive to people around you, nurturing relationships, giving a little bit more effort, putting in a little bit more time, staying that extra hour to finish that project, do one more review session. It will take you to places you’ve never been”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

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Rising 25

Meet the Rising 25: Zoë White of the Atlanta Hawks

A Stanford graduate, White successfully made the transition to sports marketing after beginning her professional life in sports medicine.

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 Zoë White: manager of marketing integration & operations at the Atlanta Hawks. The daughter of a basketball coach in the San Diego suburbs, White attended Stanford University with the hope of one day pursuing a career in the sports industry. She earned her degree in human biology but eventually decided to explore another side of the industry.

“I started working for Stanford Athletics in their marketing department and went to start looking for jobs in professional sports during my senior year,” she recalls. “I ended up finding a position with the Hawks and I had never even been to Atlanta before. I just thought I’m going to take this with both feet in and try something totally different and then here I am still today.”

READ MORE: Meet the Rising 25: Samantha Timmons of the USTA

White credits her family’s support in being able to make the switch from the medical field. She took well to marketing, beginning as the Hawks’ marketing integration & operations coordinator. She stayed in that role for about two years before being promoted to senior coordinator. Within the last six months she took over the Hawks’ marketing integration and operations team after internal restructuring. Growing into a leader within the Hawks organization is a great point of pride with White.

“Getting the opportunity to be a manager, I think is a really cool experience that I’m super grateful for,” White states. “It’s still a work in progress and I’m still learning a lot but I’m excited to see what we can all accomplish together.”

Moving across the country site unseen was something of a risk for White. The move, however, ended up being one of the best decisions of her life. Getting out of her comfort zone helped her achieve success.

“Coming from a small town in California and also going to college in California, I’d been kind of in this bubble my whole life,” White says. “My parents were really pushing me to do something different and get outside of my comfort zone. I’ve got so many great opportunities that I would have otherwise had. Of course you don’t want to be uncomfortable, but just push yourself to do new things and take on projects where you don’t always know what the outcome is going to be. I think that has always really boded well for me so far.”

READ MORE: Meet the Rising 25: Travis Case of the Los Angeles Kings

White’s key advice to the up and coming professionals is to not be afraid to reach out and learn from those who have been there before.

“Build relationships with your professors, talk to people, meet up with people, and do informational interviews with people that have the job that you want,” she suggests. “I think that is something that can be valuable no matter what career path you’re going, you’re going down. Just talk to them, not try to get something from them, but just try to learn. If you maintain those relationships, there will be opportunities that will come to you.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

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