H@H: Ep 75 – MBA student and BD and partnership lead at Visa, Alex Holden, was first introduced to professional sports by his grandfather, who gave him a Steve Young jersey. Since then, Alex knew he wanted to pursue a career in sports. As a child, he became fascinated with how players are chosen, traded, and the work that goes beyond brand partnerships.
Adam and Alex discuss Alex’s love for professional sports, and how he has successfully carved out a successful career for himself in the field he enjoys. Listen in as they talk about competitive advantage, sports management, and how American sports reflect American culture.
Haas’ MBA program stays true to its commitment to diversity
[00:05:25] I find that there is such a great diversity of thought. For me, all these MBA programs where they are sharing and talking up how much diversity they had, this and that, I look at this stuff and say, “All right, let’s see really what it’s like”. I was really so happily surprised that Haas really put their money where their mouth is. I’m surrounded by not just people from different backgrounds, and different countries, and different experiences. Well, look at the same problem in completely different ways. In class, we have 70 different opinions to solve the same problem.
Professional sports bringing American communities together
[00:09:10] I can tell you working in sports, being around professionals, that’s just such a small percentage of what’s going on. Sports is about family. Sports is about bringing people together, lifting people up. In this day and age, I mean, what other things can bring communities with absolutely nothing together, just wearing the same colors for, you know, one particular day? Being surrounded by a community of like-minded, ambitious individuals who will push you to be the best vision of yourself was very attractive to me.
American Football reflects the American mindset about teams
[00:11:00] Now, the interesting thing about football is, it was played in the late 18 hundreds, but it really rose in popularity closer to World War I. And when you think about the game itself, the lines, right? The offensive line defense alliance pushing against each other, unfortunately, was very similar to trench warfare. But the interesting thing about the game itself is that a lot of the ideals are American ideals. It’s the team first. We can do this together, if we work harder, stronger, faster. We can have competitive advantages if we are more strategic than the other. Teams can have these competitive advantages.
The media and entertainment is a growing and ever-evolving industry
[00:34:09] For me in my journey, my immediate step is, I’m trying to round out that profile by perhaps getting a little more onto the media side of sports. Or getting onto more of the media side of entertainment, media technology side. So video gaming is an industry, of course, to think about. Think direct to consumer companies. Think audio. Absolutely. I mean, the podcast industry is growing like crazy. You know, here we are. So much growth and innovation in that space.