Friday, May 24, 2013

Leaving Your Mark: Finding a Mentor in the Sports Industry

Over the years, I have periodically suggested that college students should seek out mentors or industry professionals for advice, guidance, and more or less an objective point of view from a third party (read: not your mom, dad, brother, sister, etc.).  This can be done in the form of informational interviews or simply developing a relationship through meetings, emails, phone calls and the like.  While I hope that I have been able to do this for some students and alumni of Drexel’s Sport Management program over the years, I am modest enough to know my limitations and when to bring in other “experts” to provide support.

One person that I wanted to introduce you to is Matt Crevin.  Matt is the Public Address Announcer for the San Francisco 49ers and the Founder of the sports and career consulting company, Voice of the Box (  Crevin’s career started back in 1991 when he secured a public relations internship for the San Francisco 49ers.  Yes, this was an UNPAID internship with the 49ers!  Fast forward to today and he has since written a book called Get in the Game and he recently partnered with industry leader

Crevin’s website,, offers great insights about pursuing a career in the sports industry.  He provides weekly career coaching video tips, interviews with other sports industry professionals, a blog, a podcast, and what seems like ever y social media offering out there.  His advice is current, he follows industry trends, and he attempts to cover all of his bases and not just focus on the big four sports leagues.

While networking and building relationships are key differentiators in your career, looking for a close mentor/advisor or at the very least following someone’s recommendations and seeking their counsel from afar is just as important.   Of course people like Matt Crevin need to earn a living, but ultimately people like him are very genuine, passionate, and supportive.  They want to see you succeed in the sports industry and not make the same mistakes that he or other professionals have made along the way.

If you are interested in this, try to find people with a connection to you; for example, an alum of Drexel or your high school, a current or former boss or co-worker from a Co-op or summer job, a current or former customer, etc.  Ask for their help but be respectful of their time. Be prepared for and opened to honest and constructive criticism.  Thank them for their support and pay it forward to the next generation of sports industry professionals.


Mark Gress is the Associate Director of Employer Relations for Arcadia University with a Masters Degree from Drexel University.  Mark formerly worked as Co-Op Coordinator and Manager of Employer Relations for the Steinbright Career Development Center at Drexel University.  He also has experience with Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, Philadelphia Eagles, and Drexel Athletics.

Connect with Mark Gress on LinkedIn. 

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