Tackling Education in America

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MKTG INC’s very own Kristina Cappuccilli wrote a truly inspiring opinion piece about education in America that was featured in Elite Daily. Click here to read more!

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Guest Q&A: American Sports Journalist Bonnie Bernstein

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For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Bonnie Bernstein, American sports journalist and executive with a 20 year career. Currently Vice President, Content & Brand Development and On-Air Host for Campus Insiders, Bonnie was named one of the most accomplished female sportscasters in history by the American Sportscasters Association. Additionally, she freelances for The Dan Patrick ShowESPNespnW and DirecTV and serves as a guest commentator on several news networks, including MSNBCNBC and FOX News Channel. Bonnie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of sports, broadcasting and public health.

BONNIE BERNSTEIN
@BonnieBernstein
www.bonniebernstein.com

How did you get your start as a sports broadcaster?
I decided when I was 12 or 13 that I wanted to be a sports writer, majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland, then landed my first gig out of school at a start-up country radio station in Lewes, DE, called KIX 106. I was the News and Sports Director–a much more glamorous title than the job actually entailed! I’d wake up at 4:30 every morning for hourly studio updates from 6-9am, then head out in our white, clunky van adorned with a massive cowboy boot on the side and drive up and down the state of Delaware, covering everything from city council meetings to state politics to local high school basketball games. It was a blast and a tremendous learning experience… and I actually grew to love country music (Which, for a kid from NJ, was something you’d probably not expect!)

What’s your favorite part about broadcasting?
I love the adrenaline rush of “live.” It’s the closest thing I’ve ever felt to the actual rush of athletic competition (I did gymnastics for 14 years, all the way through college). You’re spewing information into a microphone and you have precisely one shot to get it right. I also love storytelling. There’s nothing better than gleaning a piece of information from someone or eliciting an anecdote from an interview subject he or she is sharing for the first time. Knowing even the most informed fan will walk away thinking, “Huh. Didn’t realize that” is a great feeling!

What is your favorite sporting event to attend each year, working and then as a fan?
Don’t really have a favorite in either category. I’d just say championship games, in general. Super Bowl, College Football Playoff Championship, Final Four. It’s the culmination of a season’s worth of hard work for both teams, but only one will be crowned when the clock expires. The biggest thrill, quite frankly, is being on the field/court for postgame. Confetti’s flying everywhere. Emotions are soaring (or sinking, in the case of the losing team). And I get to be at the center of it all as we round up interviews with players and coaches!

Do you have a favorite team and if so what is it?
New York Giants. Been a rough couple of years for Big Blue, but I’m hopeful for next season, especially with the prospect of having Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, Jr, healthy and on the field together! If Eli can’t get it done with those two, I just don’t know…

IMG_7738Photo Credit: Bonnie Bernstein

You have forayed your experience as a broadcaster to the boardroom. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are doing now?
I am the Vice President of Content and Brand Development for a new college sports network called Campus Insiders. It was an extraordinary entrepreneurial opportunity I couldn’t pass up! Essentially, I’m wearing two hats: I do a lot of on-air work during the college football season and March Madness for college hoops, but I also have the chance to touch other verticals of our business. I do everything from attending sales pitches and helping develop branded content concepts to working on PR/social media strategy to devising brand extensions for the network. It’s kinda like going to business school, but getting paid and the learning curve is truly invigorating!

In our research, we learned that you suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis, as does one of our colleagues. Can you tell us a bit more about DVT, your story and what we can do to help?
I was diagnosed with DVT in 2006. A massive blood clot that ran the length of my entire left leg broke off and infiltrated both of my lungs (known as Pulmonary Embolism). I was just 36 years old, so for the many folks out there who feel blood clots only inflict the elderly, I can tell you first hand, that’s not the case. More than two million Americans suffer a DVT each year and and complications take the lives of more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The good news is, the condition is largely preventable, if you’re aware of the symptoms and risk factors. Common risk-factors include age (over 40), family history, obesity, smoking, (for women) use of estrogen-based birth control (the Pill, Nuvaring, etc) or hormone replacement therapy and frequent travel where you’re immobile for extended periods, such as long-haul flights. Additionally, if you’re being treated for cancer or heart disease or are having major surgery, you’re at increased risk for blood clots. If you’re experiencing leg pain, redness and/or swelling, shortness of breath or acute chest pain, it’s always best to check with your doctor to see if you may have suffered a clot. The rule of thumb is, if you have three or more risk factors, you are high-risk, but again, the point to hit home is that by and large, DVT is preventable.

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A World Class Diageo Competition

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Since I got involved with the 2014 session of the World Class program, I’ve been speaking with bartenders around the world about why I got involved in the first place. To answer this question, I first look at why I’ve ever thrown my hat into the ring for any competition. I can promise you that being handed a giant engraved shaker on stage is well near the bottom of my list of motivations.

One of the principal reasons I love to compete and why World Class was so intriguing is the people. No doubt one of the most unique aspects of our profession is the incredible community we have. I jump at the chance to meet other bartenders and surround myself with like-minded individuals who work in different styles. A competition like this brings together bartenders with an array of experiences. Even if you’re not competing, getting involved is beneficial. We’re always learning and evolving. That growth is never more active than when we break out of our day to day routine. Not to mention, you’re making new friends along the way. Having a bar stool waiting for you in distant cities isn’t the worst problem to have. Being able to reciprocate when people come to your town is even better.

Charles Joly

One of my favorite things about World Class is that it is not a “cocktail competition.” Sure, your drinks need to taste great; however, this is truly a bartending competition. You’re challenged to utilize the skills we practice every day as bartenders, allowing you to highlight your strengths and helping you identify areas that may need improvement. You’re revisiting fundamentals while showcasing your own creative style. As I prepared for each round (regionally, nationally and globally) the cocktails I created became more complete, my attention to detail improved and I was simply more present behind the bar. My goal was to continuously learn, improve and provide the best guest experience possible. During the months of preparation, I was actively making myself a better bartender.

Getting to spend time with a diverse pool of competitors, bartending for leaders in our industry and traveling to some pretty insane locales all adds fuel to the fire. I’ve always been an experiential person. “Things” come and go, but your life experiences make you who you are and will always be with you. Few other industries are as connected as ours. You really never know who you’ll meet or where those connections will take you.

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Whether you have a strong competitive drive or just want to challenge yourself to hone your craft, there are plenty of reasons to get involved. Even if you’re just checking out the online videos or attending one of the seminars, you’re bound to pick up something. Most importantly, have fun with it. We have the best job on the planet. Spread the love, be kind and push hard.

Cheers!

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Written by Charles Joly
Charles Joly

March 6th, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Top Five Drinks You’ll Be ‘Bragh’ging About on St. Patrick’s Day

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On St. Patrick’s Day—Tuesday, March 17—millions of people around the world will don green and celebrate the Irish with parades, good cheer, and of course, a drink! To spice up your beverage selection in anticipation of the holiday, we will be releasing one recommendation each day for the next 5 days. We hope to help you and your loved ones sip on some traditional Irish libations, as well as inspire you to add some twists to timeless classics. No matter where the celebrations take you, we encourage you to try these out responsibly.

Although we all enjoy celebrating every year in March, many don’t know the real reason behind the festivities. St. Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland, but like so many of us participating in this holiday, he wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Britain, and died on March 17, 461. The celebration in memory of his death was first observed in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. Throughout the centuries it has turned into a worldwide celebration that everyone can enjoy (not just the Irish Catholics!). St. Paddy’s day is particularly large in America, as there are 39.6 million US residents with Irish ancestry, and tons more who are just Irish for the day!

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Our first suggestion, believe it or not, is “the most talked about American Blonde in years.” While many of you may be thinking Taylor Swift or Channing Tatum, it’s actually the Guinness American Blonde Lager.

Guinness goes Blonde with the first beer released in their new highly anticipated discovery series.  And we promise, this link to American Blondes is completely safe for work!

This beer is the first collaboration between the Guinness Factory in Dublin, Ireland and the Latrobe Brewery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA. It is made with the 125-year-old traditional Guinness yeast, but reimagined with American hops and brewing techniques. We think that this is the perfect beer for Americans celebrating St. Pat on this side of the pond! After all, everyone loves an Irish-American blonde, don’t they?

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For day two we present to you a beer with a fun and rebellious spirit: Smithwick’s!

To sound authentic when ordering this at the bar, make sure to pronounce it “Smiddicks”.

Smithwick’s is the oldest Irish red ale style beer from Kilkenny, Ireland. Complete with hints of caramel, orange marmalade, campfire smoke and fresh citrus, this complex beverage is sure to be one of your favorites beyond the holiday.

It has always been a fan favorite. When it was first sent to America in 1950, the whole shipment was stolen off the docks of the Boston Harbor. It was so good that the locals kept it for themselves, rather than dumping it into the water.

We suggest pairing this ale with a burger, meatloaf, steak or a margarita pizza. We have found it to be particularly enjoyable with sharp cheddar and mild blue cheeses.

For those of you who prefer a lighter beer, we suggest the new Smithwick’s Pale Ale.

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On day three we suggest a timeless and delicious classic: Baileys.

-2,300: Glasses of Baileys enjoyed every minute around the world.
-180: Countries where Baileys is sold.
-50: Percent of spirits exported from Ireland bare the Baileys label.
-220 Million: Liters of milk used to make the fresh cream in Bailey’s each year; 38,000 dairy cows produce the milk on 1,500 farms, primarily on Ireland’s east coast.

While there are endless concoctions that can be bolstered with the delicious Irish cream, our favorite way to enjoy Baileys is on the rocks. A tip from the pros: put your glass in the freezer a few hours in advance for a frosty chill.

Looking to switch it up from the classic? Baileys has many new and exciting flavors. Try out Chocolate Cherry, Salted Caramel, and Vanilla Cinnamon this St. Paddy’s day.


On day 4 we suggest a drink that both bourbon lovers and beer enthusiasts can enjoy: a Wilde Old Fashioned. Named after the legendary Irish poet and writer Oscar Wilde, this cocktail combines a rich tradition with a bold new twist.

You might have expected for us to choose an Irish whiskey for this cocktail, but our favorite cocktails are built with bourbon. They have more flavor and complexity than whiskeys, which means they won’t get lost in the drink! So, keeping with the theme of celebrating St. Pat’s influence on the culture of Ireland, we chose to mix the bourbon with distinctly Irish Guinness!

Wilde Old Fashioned Recipe
1.5 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz Guinness Extra Stout
.5 oz Rich Simple Syrup
Dash Angostura

1. Stir all ingredients in an ice filled mixing glass.
2. Strain over large ice cube.
3. Garnish with a large orange peel

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day Lads and Lassies! As I’m sure you may have guessed, on day 5 we suggest a traditional Guinness Draught! After all, it is the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day beverage.

Not only is this the beer of Ireland and beverage of choice for many who call the land home, it is the perfect drink for a day full of eating and drinking. Contrary to popular belief, it is light and thin, allowing those of you who are still sticking to New Years Resolutions to be happy. Believe it or not, there are only 125 calories in each 12 oz pint-sized glass. Guinness uses a unique Nitrogen/Carbon Dioxide mix to push the beer through the lines and into your glass. Unlike most other beers, it consists of 75% nitrogen and 25% carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is the reason for the thick, creamy head that is easily recognizable on a Guinness. The bubbles it creates are much smaller than CO2 bubbles, meaning you don’t get as full–this crafty trick allows us to save room for lots of corned beef and cabbage.

To ensure you are drinking the best pint of Guinness possible every time you choose the Irish stout, watch this video to learn about the perfect pour! We promise it really does make all the difference!

For those of you choosing not to drink this St. Patrick’s Day, it is very easy to incorporate Guinness into your delicious holiday recipes! From tenderizing beef in a classic meat-and-potatoes Irish stew, to drizzling it on vanilla ice cream we promise it adds wonderful flavor to whatever sweet treat or hearty meal you are making! Find some great recipes here: https://www.guinnesshooley.com/food-recipes

However you choose to celebrate this history-rich tradition, always remember to enjoy responsibly!

Sláinte!

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Adventures in Hairstyling With the InStyler

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Vocalpoint.com is one of MKTG INC’s online communities and has over 1 million moms that are always looking for ways to make their lives run a little quicker, a little cheaper and a little smoother.

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We recently shared 6,000 InStyler tools (yes – the ones you’ve seen on TV) with our community of moms. InStyler tools are known to make hair styling simpler. Take me for example – I have thick curly hair and it takes me an hour (at least!) to straighten my hair. With the InStyler MAX – I go from curly to straight in just 25 minutes! Much of our community told the same story as they styled themselves gorgeous!

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First, we provided moms with 3 products from the InStyler line of tools. Next, we had them invite their friends over for a styling party. Lastly – we asked them to show us the results! Vocalpoint combined over 6,000 pieces of user-generated content with over 2,300 product reviews to generate over 20 million impressions for InStyler! (Check out some of them on Instagram at #rsvpinstyler.)

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What we learned on this project is that with something like a hairstyling tool – getting it in the hands of the community is essential for driving purchase. The #1 thing that our community engaged with were the before & after pictures. This program provided the brand with thousands of images of REAL women successfully using their tools, which will translate into thousands of new customers.

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NBA All-Star Weekend a Slam Dunk

NBA House

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The spectacle of NBA All-Star, one of the most electrifying sporting events in the world, came to New York City in February 2015. MKTG INC worked with the NBA to develop and produce a concept that would bring all NBA Fans together in celebration of basketball and its unique connection to NYC.

Welcome to the NBA House, 2015 All-Star edition. 70,000 sq ft of basketball activities, sponsor activations, and legendary NBA player appearances. Player appearances included Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Robert Parrish, and the one and only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

This was an extraordinary first-class entertainment experience with the NBA’s brightest stars and their fans at the center of it all.

Over 21,000 fans stopped by NBA House during its 7-day tenure in Manhattan and left with a memory that will last a lifetime.

Written by: Michael DelMonaco

Gatorade “Be Like Mike”

On Friday, Feb. 13 during NBA All-Star week in New York, Gatorade allowed fans to step into the shoes of Michael Jordan by taking part in a series of athletic challenges to celebrate the return of “Be Like Mike,” one of sport’s most iconic commercials­. Students from area high schools, media members and even Nick Cannon recreated iconic moments that defined Jordan’s career—they shot, dunked, won and even dressed like Mike! The event was captured in an online video right before the All-Star game launched a social media campaign encouraging fans to show how they #BeLikeMike.

Guest speakers were NBA legends Horace Grant and Dominique Wilkins. They shared their experiences playing with and against Jordan in such epic moments as the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest and “The Shot on Ehlo” during the Bulls 1989 Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The event was another celebratory milestone for Gatorade during its 50th anniversary year.

Written by: Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

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Restaurant Patrons Hungry for Experiential

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Ready for an elevated dining experience? Diners are looking for a satisfying meal, but they’re also looking for a unique experience. Restaurants are forced to be creative and have begun experimenting with adventurous forms of serving food to their patrons.

Roller Coaster Restaurants anyone? Probably not for everyone but Rogo’s Roller Coaster Restaurant in Abu Dhabi spans 14,000 square foot and offers 30 individual roller coaster tracks that loop, spiral and spin around diners to deliver the menu and food to tables. Since the restaurant has no servers, diners place their orders through tablets at their tables. When the food is ready, the kitchen puts it in a covered pot and shoots it down one of the tracks to your table. The tracks range from multi-spiral to double-loop, reaching speeds of up to 12mph.

Every aspect of the customer experience adds up to overall satisfaction. Creating memorable, entertaining aspects is at the heart of brand experience. Campaigns come and go, but in today’s world creating memories through experiences is what people care about, it’s what people talk about.

What good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience?

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Written by Bibi Persaud
Bibi Persaud

February 27th, 2015 at 12:23 pm

NBA All-Star Week Has Arrived in NYC

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Aerial Views of New York City

MKTG INC’s very own EVP, Sales and Marketing Bryan Duffy is featured in a cover story of this week’s SportsBusiness Journal talking the upcoming NBA All-Star Week(end). Check out the story and his thoughts on what it takes to cut through the clutter in a busy market like New York City. Read more here!

Source: SportsBusiness Journal, February 9 2015

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MKTG INC Plays the Field at Super Bowl XLIX

Some quick sports trivia: How many celebrities crossed an MKTG-affiliated threshold at this year’s Super Bowl? Answer: At least 100 yards’ worth. From Nick Lachey to Nick Jonas, from Erin Andrews to Andrew Luck, from Mark Teixeira to Mark Sanchez, MKTG collaborated on no fewer than 4 different brand activations throughout the Big Game weekend.

NFL BARBER SHOP
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Super Bowl Media Day took place on the Tuesday before Super Bowl XLIX at the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. To help make players and personalities feel at home before their media interviews, MKTG INC tempted up with the NFL to create a premium lounge experience for Seattle Seahawks players.

The NFL’s Barbershop experience staffed top celebrity barbers for players about to “go live” on camera. The service menu included everything from haircuts to straight razor shaves to trims to hot towels. 

As soon as the doors opened, the Barbershop was crowded with Seahawks looking for a pre-camera makeover. Several players even asked for in-room hotel visits from our celebrity barbers, so they could look their best before the big game.

SUPERB OWL III
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The 3rd annual Superb Owl took place on the Friday before Super Bowl 49 at RnR Gastropub in the heart of Old Scottsdale, AZ.

A little bit of background: The Superb Owl is the international take on the celebrations surrounding the American Football Championship game, the Super Bowl. The idea was concepted by 5 English pals – some living in London and some in NYC – who wanted to create a unique experience unlike the usual testosterone-fueled, beer & wing fest that go hand-in-hand with the Super Bowl.

This event is part networking, part spectacle with light entertainment and a quintessentially English theme.

Now in its 3rd year (and best year yet!), the Superb Owl has evolved into a staple event for key influencers in the Sports & Entertainment industry, various US & UK media partners, key clients and prospective clients. This year’s Superb Owl, which has been hosted by MKTG and the 5 “Owls” from the UK in the years prior, was joined by a third host, psLIVE.

The cross-agency collaboration enjoyed record turnout for a jolly good night of networking, noshing and libations.

TEQUILA DON JULIO AND 1OAK PRESENT THE NEON CARNIVAL AT THE BIG GAME
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For the fifth year in a row, Tequila Don Julio made an exciting impact on the Big Game Weekend social scene, but this time with something entirely new and unexpected. In collaboration with nightlife impresario 1OAK, the brand brought the legendary Neon Carnival event from the desert of Indio, CA to the desert of Phoenix, AZ for the first time ever.

Hosted at Castles n’ Coasters on Friday, January 30th, this one-of-a-kind exclusive event featured the fun of carnival games and rides, handcrafted cocktails served from the Airstream Speakeasy and the hottest music in town by acclaimed DJs Ruckus and Politik. The buzzed-about event attracted influencers such as actor Chris Evans, NFL star Mark Sanchez, host of VH1’s Morning Buzz Nick Lachey and reality star Audrina Patridge.

WHEELS UP SUPER SATURDAY TAILGATE
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The 2nd Annual Wheels Up Super Saturday Tailgate Party pulled out all the stops this year at the Maya Club in Scottsdale with 1,000 members and their guests, which was the talk of Phoenix. Among the celebs in attendance were “Dancing With the Stars” Host/Fox Sportscaster Erin Andrews, “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, ESPN “College GameDay” host Kirk Herbstreit, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira, Miami Dolphin Ryan Tannehill, NFL Network host Rich Eisen, Indianapolis Colt Andrew Luck, New Orleans Saint Drew Brees and ESPN host Mike Golic. Singer Nick Jonas performed.

The event featured a cigar roller, pool-top go-go dancers, specialty cocktails, a branded bar and tastings led by National Zacapa Ambassador Robert Pallone.

 

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Guest Q&A: Stephanie Rudnick

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For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Stephanie Rudnick, MKTG INC’s new SVP, Marketing Communications. An almost 20-year industry veteran, Stephanie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of PR and experiential marketing, MKTG and the best advice she’s ever received.

What will your role be here at MKTG INC?
I’ll be developing and managing all aspects of the company’s communication strategy and practice, including media and industry relations, external communications and brand management.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Carpe diem” –  Live each day as if it were your last. It’s something I’ve lived by since learning about it in elementary school from my favorite English teacher.

How did you get into PR?
When I decided on my major, it was WAY before PR was as widely understood as it is today. I spent a lot of time working with non-profits in high school in Chicago and loved when the media would come to our events and publicize our causes. When I learned that I could study journalism with a PR focus, it just felt right. I went to college at USC in Los Angeles because I wanted to study in a major city where my teachers were working professionals in my field, but also because the location would offer me access to a wide array of internships. I was lucky enough to have internships every semester – from beauty to music to technology to entertainment and celebrity publicity – which helped expose me to how different PR can be depending on the client. Since then, I’ve done pretty much every kind of PR across a ton of verticals, both agency and in-house. Now that I’m older, one of my favorite things is to mentor young people who are interested learning how to navigate the business and continue to help them along throughout their careers.

What publications or websites do you find most relevant to your career?
It’s part of my job to read, read, read and do my best to stay on top of what’s going on in our industry and in general. So, I start my day with a scan of Twitter, which helps me get a handle quickly on the news of the day. Then, first thing at work, I go old-school and get my hands dirty tearing through the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  I also read the hard copy of the Sports Business Journal and the SBJ’s three daily e-newsletters, as well as MediaPost, EM, Adweek and AdAge. The list goes on and on.

What are some of your favorite work experiences?
I’m so grateful that my job has afforded me so many amazing experiences. I’ve been able to travel around the globe, working, and experiencing working in other cultures. One of the craziest experiences was in Beijing, when just hours before a press conference I was organizing, a friend tipped me off that if I wanted the media to actually publish/broadcast something, I had to give them a gift and CASH. For real. That was fun to have to explain to finance why the company owed me thousands of CNYs in cash and for T-shirts from the hotel gift shop! I also have to share that one of my all-time favorite nights at work was in 2012 at the NFL Draft when my client, Andrew Luck, was drafted first. It was so crazy and exciting and anxiety-inducing being backstage with Andrew and his family and all of the other draftees and their families, waiting for “the call” from the teams. Not sure that will ever happen again, unless my son decides that’s the route he wants to take…urgh.

Who have been your favorite clients?
That’s a hard one but I would say that working with the totally courageous and amazing NBA center Jason Collins was a highlight of my career.

What are your favorite apps?
Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, SportsCenter, Swarm, American Airlines, Diapers.com, Fitbit, WeatherBug, WhatsApp, FlightTracker, OpenTable, Seamless, Timehop and Tile.

What are three things you can’t travel without?
Earplugs, a flat-iron and my Philips Sonicare toothbrush

When not at the office, where are we most likely to find you? (Not that we’ll be looking, of course.)
At home in Battery Park or running around downtown Manhattan with my husband Duncan, and kids Charlie (2 1/2) and Matilda (5 months). And probably reading.

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