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 Miles Cahill: Partnership Marketing Coordinator with the NBA’s LA Clippers. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Cahill received his introduction to the business side of sports during his time as a student in Tucson.
“When I was in college I knew I had to get as heavily involved within Arizona Athletics as possible. I found out about a club on campus called the Sports Marketing Association (SMA) and absolutely fell in love with it. To this day, I think this is essentially how my career in sports took off. I began volunteering at sporting events through SMA as much as I possibly could and wound up receiving my first internship stint with IMG College at the University of Arizona. In this position, I was able to do partnership activation there as a property assistant,” Cahill says. “I loved the balance of game day operations as well as the business relations side, in making sure partners and clients are happy with the partnership and their investment into an athletic program or team/league/association.”
After a year of working with IMG College, Cahill decided to continue working with the company for an additional year and a half as his love for sports business really set in.
“I was able to learn how to truly connect genuine brand synergy and understand just how much can go through a partnership agreement, whether it be media, social/digital, community events, permanent or static LED signage, and more. When I started the role, I always assumed it was providing unparalleled client service on the hospitality and promotional-based front but the opportunities expand farther than that… even everything that goes into prospecting and follow-ups on the sales side,” he says. “But ultimately, when I was fulfilling my day-to-day responsibilities on the activation side was when I knew I found something I could not only be passionate about, but also thrive in.”
Cahill also worked game operations for the Tucson Roadrunners as well as serving as an academic mentor and sports nutritionist intern during his time at Arizona. However, he found himself coming back to partnerships a few months after graduation. Cahill describes getting his degree from UofA and becoming a first-generation graduate on his mother’s side of the family as one of his proudest professional accomplishments.
“Graduating from college was a big stepping stone for me,” he recalls, “but more on the professional side, getting an opportunity to work for an NBA team has always been my dream. Particularly doing it in partnership activation was a double win because I knew all the work I put in to get to this point had finally paid dividends.”
Cahill started with the Clippers in September of 2017 where he has achieved success coordinating the relationships between the organization and its sponsors. Through advancing up the sports business ladder, Cahill has learned several important things about this process that other young professionals can learn from.
“One of the biggest misconceptions in my eyes is that sports experience by itself will guarantee you a job after graduation,” Cahill states. “I learned it’s also heavily based on your network and how you perform in your job. Just the fact that you held a position does not tell the full story in regards to performance. Be on time, always give it one hundred and ten percent and do all the right things at your job. Not only that, continue to expand your portfolio and further develop those relationships that you have with people. You never know when a new opportunity could arise that could be a superior fit for you and that relationship you have fostered comes around full circle.”
Cahill’s other piece of advice to young sports professionals for achieving similar success is finding ways to stand out amongst the masses.
“I think the strongest advice I’ve ever gotten was the importance of cultivating and further developing relationships in unique and personal matters. One way I like to do that is with handwritten notes. It’s something that I did throughout my last two years of college and have continued up to this point in my career. It allowed me to get my first professional job out of college. Do things that other people won’t do or find ways that can make you really stand out from the people that you’re battling against for a job.”
Meet the full class of 2019 here.