Wednesday September 27, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

Thinking on Your Feet and Learning to Improvise [rain or shine], the Journey of Kara Schuster

Front Office Sports Today

Writer’s Strike End a Boon for Sports Networks, Agencies

We delve into the potential long-term impact of the five-month strike.
Listen Now
September 26, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

By: Katie Willis, @_KatieWillis

Kara Schuster, Consumer Event Coordinator for PGA of America

Front Office Sports is honored to have sat down with Kara Schuster, Consumer Events Coordinator for PGA of America. Kara was kind enough to have offered up her time and insight into the importance of thinking on your feet to come up with quick fixes, maintaining a healthy work/life balance and finding a mentor to bounce off ideas. In her current role, Kara is in charge of leading and directing golf experiences and activations around PGA of America championships and special events as well as the event marketing and promotions.

Growing up and throughout your college career, can you explain what experiences/jobs led you to want to work in sports and land your current role as Consumer Events Coordinator at PGA of America?

“I grew up in Colorado and my sport was soccer. I ended up playing Division 2 soccer at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Although my background wasn’t in golf, I’ve always had a passion for sports. I started working in e-commerce but it wasn’t as exciting as sports. It was mostly online and I did some social media marketing management in terms of web development projects. It was in the office behind the computer. So, it wasn’t what I do now which is being outside and running tournaments.”

“Through a networking event, I got connected with the PGA by a friend. After, we established a better relationship and rapport. He was instrumental in setting me up with the HR team. From that, you can see how networking and relationship building is definitely important.”

“I went through the college recruiting process for soccer so I think that was helpful (in applying for jobs). Through that process, you have to send out your highlight clips and connect with coaches like you do at job fairs. You begin to see what they have to offer. I went through the interview process but it was through sports at first. (That experience) helped me to maintain relationships over time, which I could convert to a job skill.”

You talk about transitioning from the e-commerce marketing position you had in college to a job in the sports industry, can you talk about that?
“For me, I already had a job at the time (of graduation). I didn’t look into other opportunities. However, I loved working in sports and knew it was something I wanted to do. I wish I would have started working in the industry earlier. When you’re exiting college, you take an entry level job in sports. I’d take that opportunity over a little bit better paying job if it’s really what you’re passionate about.”

In the beginning of your start with the PGA, what was the biggest thing you found yourself having to learn?

“When I started, I knew some things about golf. For me, it was learning more about the sport and going through the programs to better my game and foster more connections on the golf course. Industry wide, we do events with NFL teams, WNBA and NBA, etc. so as much knowledge as you can soak up about other sports, it will, only help you in the long run.”

What’s an average day in the life of Kara Schuster?

“It depends on the time of year when we’re doing events around championships. I’ve already started planning for 2016 and looking at where our championships are going. It involves starting to research possible event partnerships and organizations to work with, figuring out new things to promote our programs, such as our ‘Get Golf Ready’ program. In addition, our activations while keeping brand consistency to plan and market event promotions as well as new spins to expose people to our PGA programs.”

When you arrive on site at an event, describe the process and steps you and your colleagues go through to prepare for tournaments/championships?

“Once you arrive, equipment collection is a very important part — making sure everything we shipped and ordered is there and on site. If it’s not, then it becomes finding a creative solution of what we need to buy or if we can do without it. Sometimes we can’t do site visits in advance but when we do, whether it’s a baseball stadium or office space, we make sure it’s usable and if there are any potential blind spots for set up. Also, making sure we have staffing and uniforms. Volunteers need to know what they’re doing for activation and promotion or if there’s any logistical information. We go over credentials and contacts to make sure everything’s squared away and make sure we’re prepared as much as we possibly can be so we’re ready. Sometime we have to think on our feet in those moments.”

You’ve emphasized the importance of coming up with creative solutions and ‘thinking on your feet’ sometimes. Can you recall a time where you’ve had to put that skill to use?

“Specifically this summer, we had a clinic in Indiana. It was calling for rain. However, it wasn’t raining before the event. We went going back and forth, ‘Should we cancel or should we not.’ We decided to postpone the event. Then, at the start time, it started to rain and it poured the whole time. We started bringing out extra coffee, tents, and umbrellas. We focused on trying to accommodate people despite the weather. It ended up being one of our highly attended and most memorable events of the summer. In those moments, you realize what you’re doing is important and appreciated.”

A lot of professionals stress the idea of having a work/life balance. Can you talk about what you do to maintain that balance?

“It’s really important to be successful at work and work really hard. Having goals and interests in things outside of work is important as well. Personally, I play in a soccer league one night a week which is fun. I have goals outside of work like studying for the GMAT to go back to grad school and continuing my education. All in all, it’s pursuing other interests so you don’t get fully caught up in work.”

Can you talk about the importance of mentorship and how it has played a role in your journey?

“I have a professional and personal mentor. My personal mentor is my mom, who I am always running my ideas by. Seeing her work really hard and always manage to engage people is something I admire. I still will bounce ideas off her to this day. Also, I definitely have full support from my boss. Because he used to have my current position, he has been very helpful. He’s always been there and has shown me, ‘maybe you don’t find the answer here, but consider this angle.’ He’s brought me up in the initial, sometimes overwhelming process of transitioning into this job.”

Any parting wisdom/advice:

“Have a mentor and someone you can speak with to promote you and to bounce ideas off of. If you don’t have those relationships organically, seek it out from someone at work you can learn from. It’s all about trying to foster and build a relationship with people who you can learn from.”
“For people who are searching and trying to learn more about getting into the sports world, seek people out from companies who you’d be interested in working for, whether that includes reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, etc. If you look to talk to someone with a job you’d want to be in, you can learn more about what you would do. Most people are willing to carve out a couple minutes and help someone out.”

We would like to thank Kara for her time and insights and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

You can follow her on Twitter here or connect with her on LinkedIn here!

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Ghost Gamer

Nutrition Extends Past Traditional Sports With Ghost’s Esports Deal

Nutritional supplement company Ghost has eschewed traditional sports partnerships to better reach everyday consumers through esports.

Marquette University Prepares to Engage Fans Post-Pandemic

With the college basketball season set to begin Thanksgiving weekend, the Marquette University marketing team looks forward to the return.
Detroit Pistons’ 2020-21 Season Ticket Holders Can Earn Interest on Deposits

Pistons’ 2020-21 Season Ticket Holders Can Earn Interest on Deposits

Detroit Pistons partner Flagstar Bank will offer up to 5% annual percentage yield on deposits for 2020-21 season tickets.

NHL, Partners Lean Into Canada’s Hockey History At Heritage Classic

In total, more than 13 of the NHL's Canadian partners will activate at the 2019 Heritage Classic, which is being held in Regina, Saskatchewan.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Writer’s Strike End a Boon for Sports Networks, Agencies


Featured Today

NFL's Swift Mania Starting To Show Impact Through Merch Sales, Viewership

Taylor Swift stole the NFL's spotlight by attending Sunday's Chiefs game.
First Take vs. FS1
September 26, 2023

Sharpe: 'First Take' Would Still Beat 'Undisputed' Without Stephen A.

Even if Smith leaves, Sharpe said he will still beat Skip Bayless in the ratings.
September 25, 2023

Oakland-MLB Relationship Devolves Into Next-Level Toxicity

Commissioner, mayor have very different accounts of July meeting
Jacksonville Jaguars Team President Mark Lamping addressed community members at Strings Sports Brewery on Main Street for the first of 14 planned town hall sessions to present the team's plans for the new "stadium of the future" complex and address the public concerns.
September 25, 2023

Jacksonville Jaguars President Walks Back Stadium ‘Threat’

"Viewing those comments as a threat to leave Jacksonville isn't correct."


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Drew Brees smiling while wearing hat

Drew Brees, PointsBet Pull Off Elaborate Lightning Publicity Stunt

The video racked up over 2 million views in about 12 hours.
September 16, 2022

NBA Legend Scottie Pippen Latest Celebrity To Endorse LIV Golf

The former Chicago Bull is part of LIV's celebrity marketing campaign.
al michaels and kirk hergstreit
September 15, 2022

Amazon's Advertising Blitz Ahead Of First 'Thursday Night Football'

'Thursday Night Football' has launched massive marketing takeover ahead of Chiefs-Chargers.
June 21, 2022

NBA Finals Broke Records on Social Media

The NBA closed out the season with a bang on social media, eclipsing 2 billion video plays for a 19% increase over last year.
June 21, 2022

Gallo Winery Could Be New Player For Super Bowl Spots

Anheuser-Busch is giving up Super Bowl alcohol exclusivity for first in decades. NFL sponsor E. & J. Gallo Winery might step up with own commercials in the Big Game.
June 13, 2022

NBA's Latest Floating Court Hits London's River Thames

Hennessy continued their global initiative with the NBA by creating a floating court in the River Thames.
June 13, 2022

Steph Curry Is NBA's Social Media King

Steph Curry isn't only dominating on the court, he's become the king of the NBA's social and digital push.
June 7, 2022

The NBA Continues to Dominate the Social Media Space

The NBA seemingly capitalizes in the digital and social space more than most leagues. Here's some of the data from the Finals.