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Will Rock Sports Executive Showcase- Dominic DeAngelo | Account Executive

Why do you work in the sports industry?

I work in the sports industry because I know the impact it can have on companies and families/ friends. Growing up, I have always loved attending sporting events. I have experienced wins, losses, great moments, and some incredible memories with the people that are most important to me. Working in sports sales, I am able to provide these moments for the people that are most important to my clients. There are so many different positive results that stem from attending a Bulls or Blackhawks game. Whether you are trying to reward and motivate an employee, or you are looking to close prospects and retain current clients. These are all outcomes that I want to provide for my clients, and they are done through the power of sport.

Also, I work in sports because of the competitive and fast-paced environment. Being a former athlete, I enjoy competing and building a strong competitive culture. This industry allows you to push yourself and strive to be the best version of your work self.

What has been your most memorable moment working in the Sports and Entertainment industry?

In my years I have had many great moments working across a couple of different teams. My favorite moment takes me back to when I was on my inside sales team with the White Sox. That overall experience would be the most memorable moment in my career up until this point. That was my first time working in the industry, and in sales. Inside sales roles are so great because it gives you a real-life look at what a role in the sports industry would like, and more importantly, you are going through it together with a group of people. I learned so many valuable lessons and met so many great people that I keep in touch with still today. For a lot of us, that was our first position out of college, and going through that shared experience allowed us to create friendships that still last today. It also was the driving force behind me finding my passion and love to compete in a workplace setting. The times we had on our team are still some of the ones that I cherish to this day.

What do you look for in potential candidates?

In a potential candidate, I would be looking for someone who is a motivated seller with a desire to be the best in their given role. We look for someone that has the grit and determination to grind through as many calls, emails, and meetings as they need in order to be successful. It is also important to be coachable. If you are coachable and have the work ethic, it is easier to mold your technical skills and product knowledge. It is much harder to teach work ethic. Lastly, it is important to have the desire to compete. I love being a part of a competitive culture where every team member is pushing one another to be better. This not only helps you as an individual to get better, but when all put together, it creates a unit that is all reaching to hit team and organizational objectives.

When you decided to start with your current organization, what were some factors that weighed into your decision?

I am currently at the United Center in the Premium Seating department for the Bulls/Blackhawks. There were a lot of factors that led to me deciding to make the move from another organization in Chicago, to the house that Michael Jordan built. Some important factors that I considered were who I was aligning myself with, what ways I can grow as a salesperson, and then the culture that was present.

First, in the interview process, I had gotten to know the Bulls' leadership and the culture they created. After learning more about what they were trying to build and how they were wanting it to look, I quickly realized that we were aligned. It sounded like a competitive culture that was going to motivate me and inspire me to be the best worker I could be. For me, it was important to be aligned with the culture and leaders because it has allowed me to be myself and thrive under their tutelage. I also want to learn from them and continue to develop my leadership skills so I can do my best to be a leader in the salesforce and be someone that my team can lean on.

Second, I wanted to know how I can grow within the organization. It was important to me that I could see myself learning, growing, and being challenged. I was going from a Business Development role into a Premium sales role, so I knew there was going to be a difficult transition. With that being said, I wanted to be a well-rounded salesperson. I wanted to jump into this new role and take the premium conversation head-on. In order to grow and be successful, I believe that it is important to push yourself out of your comfort zone. That will force you to face any insecurities that you may have about a new and advanced role.

Lastly, I wanted to be aligned with the culture that was in place. The United Center has offered numerous training opportunities as well as offerings to help grow in technical and tactical sales skills. I wanted to join a team that was constantly trying to find ways to innovate and find new ways to be successful. As I am challenged with speaking with CEOs and Presidents of large companies, it is important to invest in sales training and new techniques that will continue to improve me as a sales rep.

What advice would you give other sports executives in similar roles to yours?

The most important bit of advice I would give any other counterparts or others that are desiring to be in the sports industry would be to push yourself out of your comfort zone and continue to challenge yourself. In my career, I have seen myself grow the most when I have tried something that I knew was going to make me better. Some examples of this include: making that call to that CEO, asking for the close when it may feel awkward, reaching out to others in the industry for advice, making that cold call to a prospect, and going to a prospect's office with a pitch. While some people may think those examples are “just part of the job”, the sad truth is a lot of salespeople do not execute them. It is easy to sit and send emails, and then wonder why nothing is working. Although some of these things may feel uncomfortable, once they have been done, you will feel accomplished and better for it. Even if it does not go well, there are things to learn from every situation you put yourself in.

In conclusion, the sports industry is my passion, and I am so excited to see where it goes in the future. I am excited to surround myself with hard-working, like-minded individuals that will continue to make me better.

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