The Rising 25 Class of 2019, presented by AB InBev, represents some of the brightest young professionals in the sports industry. Over the next several weeks, we’re proud to introduce you to this year’s winners and highlight some of their achievements to date.
Today, meet Kaitlin Brennan: Assistant Director of Marketing at Stanford Athletics. Brennan graduated magna cum laude from Cal Poly in 2017 before landing her role at Stanford.
Brennan’s passion for sports started at a young age, playing just about every sport she could get her hands on.
“In high school I played four different sports,” Brenna says. “Then I got to college and just had this void, missing not being able to play and practice and be around a team.”
Recognizing this void led Brennan to combine her passion for sports with her business major as a student at Cal Poly. Brennan secured a role with the university’s athletic department as a sports marketing manager, which gave her an introduction to that side of college athletics.
“Second week of freshman year, I walked into the athletic department at Cal Poly and offered to do whatever they wanted.” she recalls. “I did a lot of odds-and-ends jobs throughout my entire time in college. I was taking photos, recording games, working the video boards, sending surveys to fans…
“I really got my hands in a lot of different things and confirmed that I liked the business side of sports.”
After graduation, Brennan interviewed with several different types of sport organizations. She soon realized that college sports offered the team atmosphere that she ultimately desired and found herself at Stanford. Brennan currently works closely with four of Stanford’s teams which brings a great sense of fulfillment to her professional life.
“Since coming to Stanford, our department has renewed its focus on telling the stories of our student-athletes,” Brennan says. “All of the students that come to Stanford have such cool stories, which makes my job incredibly easy. Fans can relate to our student-athletes because of their life stories, what they’ve gone through, what they’re going through right now and what their goals are. I think my biggest professional accomplishment is really using marketing and the channels that I have to highlight and amplify student-athletes’ accomplishments and dreams in a natural, organic way.”
By taking pride in learning the small skills that make the world of sports business go, Brennan has been able to elevate herself to a leadership position within college athletics. Following that method is one way that she recommends for young professionals to advance their careers.
“Do the little things right and the big things will come your way. But still continue to do those little things. There are people with three titles above me that still pass out shirts,” Brennan says.But if you continue to do those little jobs right, bigger opportunities will come. Get as much experience as you possibly can no matter what it takes.”
Meet the full class of 2019 here.