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 Samantha Timmons: business operations associate at the United States Tennis Association. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Timmons very recently made the move to the USTA after spending just over two years working within the Atlanta Braves organization.
Most recently, Timmons held the position of senior coordinator of diversity marketing with the Braves. Her goal in this role was to make sure that the work that the organization put out spoke to all audiences from a marketing perspective. Timmons held many roles with the Braves dedicated to serving and communicating with the community.
“When I first started working with the Braves’ community affairs I was very familiar with the foundation work and working with nonprofits and building programs for education and health and wellness,” she recalls. “The opportunity to be able to focus on segmented audiences was definitely a cool thing. A lot of organizations are gearing towards this as a new initiative and I definitely wanted to be a part of it.”
Looking back further on her time with the Braves, one person sticks out to Timmons as a mentor and positive influence on her career. This is Braves’ senior director for community and diversity marketing Adrian Williams.
“Everybody goes down their professional path and then they look back and they realize they have that champion in their corner,” she says. “He is definitely that champion of mine. He’s that guy that tells me when I’m doing great and then he’s also that guy that tells me where I need to improve and what I could do differently. So I can always count on his honesty, his courage, and his wisdom to get me through each day.”
Timmons describes her favorite part of working in sports marketing as the opportunity to meet and work with an array of different types of people.
“In sports, you find yourself working with some super passionate people who are there to win and be the best in the business,” she says. It is a huge motivator, especially in baseball where you have 81 home games and it’s 162 games total. It’s a long season, so you always have to find those people to work with that can keep you going. Create moments like that is a really cool thing for me.”
In order for young professionals to create new opportunities for themselves, they must be constantly networking. This is the advice that Timmons imparts on those who hope to be in future Rising 25 classes.
“Network, network, network,” she says emphatically. “Especially in sports, everyone knows everybody, or at least knows someone that knows someone. So always have your business cards, always have your resume updated, and make yourself available for people to use you as a resource. You never know when someone will come and reach out to you.”
Meet the full class of 2019 here.