Meet the Rising 25 Class of 2018: Racquel Douglas

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1. Tell Us About Yourself and Your Current Role

Growing up in the DMV, and a graduate of the University of Maryland, I have always been involved in sports. From an early age, my parents supported me in countless soccer games, basketball tournaments, and every other sport I tried to play. Since then, sports has always been my preferred outlet of choice. Nelson Mandela said, “sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” Sports give me a vessel to make an impact on others and move the culture in a positive and united direction. My strength is my ability to empathize and connect with others, in this case, athletes and clients. I believe everyone has a story tell, and my focus is on understanding their story, to help them tell it.

Most importantly sports have taught me to have resilience, compassion, acceptance for others. I am thankful for a vessel that has given me some of the greatest friends, experiences, and blessings. While I do love sports, I also love to try new things, whether I am traveling somewhere new, obsessing over fashion, listening music and podcasts, reading a new book, creating good vibes, and having great laughs.

In February, I took a huge leap of faith and moved to New York City for a brand new opportunity to work with Legends, on the Global Sales team. Legends works collaboratively and in true partnership, to deliver solutions for securing Naming Rights & Partnerships, Premium Seating & Ticket Sales, Special Events & Tours and Fundraising for clients, like the Los Angeles Sports Entertainment District, and the Raiders new Las Vegas Stadium. In my current role, I have the opportunity to work alongside some of the greatest leaders in the sports industry, helping bring the largest projects in the sports industry to life.

2. Where do you see yourself in 15 years/dream job?

In 15 years, I will be 40….at this point, I hope to be living my happiest most authentic life (on a beach). If I continue to follow my current path and do things that help me to grow professionally and personally, I will have met some of the greatest people, traveling the world, be open to new experiences, giving back to those who have helped me, and making a difference.

Professionally I have a vast range of goals I want to accomplish throughout my career. My goal is to manage athlete and talent relations through my own sports and entertainment agency, close large sponsorship deals, become an executive producer, and of course, work on the LA Olympics in 2028.

But, ultimately my dream job is to build my own unique brand that is true to myself and open to all opportunities the future may bring.

3. Who is your mentor at this point?

One thing I know...I can’t do this on my own…I have been blessed to meet some inspiring people my life that I am able to turn in both my professional and personal life. I could go on forever about the people who have helped me, my family, friends, colleagues, and interns.

Dior Ginyard, Player Manager at the NFL Players Association, and recipient of the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30: Sports. Dior is responsible helping players reach their full potential after they leave the game. Because the transition isn’t always smooth, Dior believes it’s his mission to help others develop the readiness skills for their second act. Both growing up in the DMV, I have been fortunate enough to call Ginyard a friend, but also work alongside him at the NFLPA. When I was first looking for an opportunity in the sports industry after college, I reached out to Dior, a friend that was building a successful career in sports. Luckily for me, Dior was willing to share his experiences and has continually helped guide me through multiple challenges, and growth opportunities in my career.

Thuy-anh Nguyen, one of my favorite people that has immensely influenced my professional growth. I met Thuy-anh when I was working on Super Bowl 50; and she was the West Coast Marketing Manager for Hennessy, meaning if you saw Hennessy on the West Coast, Thuy-Anh was involved in some aspect of getting it there. Most recently, Thuy-anh has become Senior Director of Marketing at Rémy Cointreau, leading brand strategy across the U.S.  While most people would stray away from a career pivot after 7 years of dedication, she embraced it. Making moves in careers can be challenging personally and professionally, and she has encouraged me through my most recent transition to New York City.

Most importantly, when I think about my future career, my goal is to be something like Thuy-anh and Dior. Easily, both two of the most genuine leaders in the industry, and masters at maintaining authentic relationships. I am lucky to have Thuy-anh and Dior, as friends and mentors.

I can easily say that there have been so many people that have helped me get to where I am and I wouldn’t be here without them, Katie Thompson (Google), Cassandra Nicaisse (NFLPA), Dave Wredberg (NFLPA), and of course my parents!

4. What’s one thing you’ve learned early in your career that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?

I learned the value of authenticity. In networking and in business and is the most important quality for establishing reciprocal relationships with others. Maintaining relationships is easily the most fundamental part of the business, but not all relationship are equal. Truly being authentic is knowing what matters to you, on the deepest level of who you are, and committing always to act from that authentic center. – Oprah Winfrey. People love people who they can trust, but I have learned quickly it begins with trusting myself first.

5. What does winning the Rising 25 Award mean to you?

Winning this award is humbling, and I am beyond thankful to Front Office Sports providing a platform for rising leaders in the industry. To me, it confirms, that I am living and working my dream. This is an opportunity to stand next to future leaders in the sports industry, connect with them, and grow together. I am honored to be a part of the 2018 Rising 25 Class and look forward to continuously contributing to the culture, through my vessel of sport. *God’s plan*