Friday, November 8, 2013

Leaving Your Mark: For Reid, Sports Professionals, a Change of Scenery is a Good Thing

Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated halfway through the NFL season after going 2-14 in 2012. To say that this is a shocking development would be putting it mildly…especially if you are a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. While we certainly didn’t run Reid out of town, most of us, including Reid, knew it was time to move on. And boy has the change of scenery worked out well! (Arguably for both Reid and the Eagles.)

After a successful decade where the Eagles, under Reid, won 10-13 regular season games per year, followed by numerous playoff victories (though no Super Bowl wins), things started to go downhill. In his last two years at the helm, Reid’s Eagles went 8-8 and 4-12. It was over; it was clearly the end of fairly successful run and relationship. Sure he would land on his feet…but where, when, how, and why?

Reid went to a struggling team that could only go up (though the Chiefs’ franchise is pretty solid). He took on less player personnel responsibilities so that he can focus more on coaching. He went to a Mid-west market that might fit his personality better than one on the East Coast. He inherited a young team with talent that needed direction and a winning mentality. Expectations were low, despite his success in Philadelphia, and he has already exceeded most of the experts’ predictions.

Ultimately, as I mentioned earlier, a change of scenery is a good thing especially for head coaches and players in professional sports. Moreover, this can apply to sports business careers. Take a look at the Executive Transactions in the back of the Sports Business Journal. Some of the transactions need no explanation- a promotion, moving from the minor leagues to the pros, etc. Others, I often chalk up to a change of scenery. Why else would a person leave one prominent league or team to go to a less prominent league or team? Why would a person take what looks like a demotion at their new employer? Sure there is more to it sometimes (family, being closer to “home”), but a change of scenery could be all that is needed to energize a sports business professional. All of a sudden, they have new ideas, they are refreshed, they think more clearly, their outlook is more positive, and they can succeed.

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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