Climbing the Sports Ladder
“I used to hate public speaking!” MNU graduate Kiley Herold (’13) said with a laugh about her part-time job emceeing for men’s basketball and hockey games in front of thousands of people in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
But concern about public speaking soon went to the wayside when Herold found her niche in sports marketing. This girl loves sports, and sports is where she wants her career to be. In high school she played sports. Her father is a baseball coach at University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO), and at MNU she played basketball. So it’s no surprise that Herold was pulled toward a career in the sports marketing. Now working at Learfield Sports as an emcee and as an advertisting promotional specialist at SKAR, a marketing company.
“I’ve been around sports my whole life, and I really enjoyed the business side of it more than the fitness side,” Herold commented.
While working toward a sports management major with an emphasis in business at MNU, Herold found her niche through three impressive internships that helped shaped her career goals.
After her freshman year at MNU, Herold set up baseball camps for UNO. But she really found her calling when she landed an internship at Sporting KC, a professional soccer club in Kansas City, where she interned under Stacy Gewecke, director of partnership marketing.
“The connections at MNU definitely set me up to get the internship at Sporting KC,” Herold commented. “That was honestly the biggest step. You can learn in a classroom and still not learn what the corporate world is about until you actually go out and experience it.”
While at Sporting KC, Herold was able to assist Gewecke in building and maintaining relationships with corporate sponsors, such as Sprint and H&R Block. She witnessed how professional teams worked with sponsors and assisted in everything from escorting them to their suites to doing the coin toss before a game, and other activities specified in their sponsorship contracts. She learned how to read their sponsorship contracts and cultivated relationships with the sponsors throughout the regular season.
“I love relationships and dealing with people, which is what corporate sponsorships are all about.” she said.
The Sporting KC internship led an internship with the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Kansas City Royals Triple A Affiliate, in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Her supervisor Jason Kinney a corporate sales executive, continued her training. Herold loved how diverse each day is within the role of corporate relations for an athletic team.
“I like anything that’s face-paced and not the same thing every day. You don’t get bored with it, you get to be creative,” Herold commented.
Upon graduation, Herold found her way back home to Omaha to emcee with Learfield Sports Marketing, a company specializing in college sports broadcasting across the U.S. She also enjoys working at SKAR, a company that focuses on evolving brands by deeply involving customers in those brands. Herold enjoys that some of their promotions are for teams such as the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
As she progresses in her career, Herold says she would like to be employed by a professional sports team in the area of corporate sponsorships. In addition to her two jobs, Herold stays busy as a volunteer assistant coach for her high school team at Millard North High School.