Business and Sports: The Ultimate Combination
Leigh Ann Souers BS ’05
Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Arena Media Networks
New York City, NY
Leigh Ann Souers has a sports fan's dream job: access to professional baseball, basketball, and football games at 35 different facilities.
As a manager at Arena Media Networks (AMN), a sports and entertainment media company that offers a digital platform for advertising and sponsorships inside over 30 professional sports and entertainment facilities, Leigh Ann Souers combines her two loves—sports and business—on a daily basis.
“I love working with a team of people who are passionate about the sports business,” she says. “I also enjoy being a part of a smaller company because it means that every day is a new opportunity to create change or be a part of something that's never been done before.”
AMN provides the largest digital network in sports stadiums and arenas across the country. AMN's platform blends live game feeds, team and player highlights, sports updates, and advertising on strategically placed TV displays in high-traffic areas, from concession areas to fan shops. Souers says that AMN's team partnerships also create opportunities for advertisers to enhance their existing team sponsorship or expand marketing initiatives inside the venue.
“At AMN, we say that our product is at the ‘point of passion,’ knowing that our marketers are targeting the true fanatic,” she says. “I love being a part of an industry where our product reaches people in an environment that affects them on such an emotional level. These are fans who paint their faces to go to the game or know every song of the artist in concert.”
Souers manages the day-to-day operations with strategic business partners, including team partners, content and production partners, and a strategic broadcast sales partner.
“We work with some of the largest brands and advertising agencies in the industry and utilize many third-party relationships to expand the business,” she says. “I really enjoy working with our partners on brand and content integration and targeting their message for a specific market, team, or event.”
Souers first combined sports and business as an intern with Pacers Sports and Entertainment. She found her current position by networking with Kelley alumni in New York.
She decided to pursue a business degree at Kelley after witnessing her older brother's success as a Kelley graduate. “He always spoke so highly of his education,” Souers says. “Early in his career he beat out colleagues who already had their MBA from higher ranked business schools for promotions. He attributed his success to the teamwork skills and work-life balance that was encouraged through his Kelley experience."
Her experience produced similar results: Aside from connecting with Kelley's vast network of alumni, Souers says that Kelley “has provided far more preparation for the real world than many colleagues that I talk with about their educational experience.”
- What's great about Kelley:
“Kelley produces some of the most well-rounded professionals I have ever met. The program allows you to interact with dynamic groups of students and understand how to work with a variety of personalities. Kelley hires a great staff that is excited to support students who are eager to learn.”
- What she misses most about Bloomington:
- Staying connected:
“Living in New York, it's easy to lose that sense of community, but I have been able to continue to be a part of that through my involvement in the Indiana alumni organizations, keeping in touch with Indiana alumni living in New York, and watching every Indiana basketball game on television.”