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Sports Career Spotlight


We've been featuring executives from the sports industry since 2001. Naturally, some of these executives have moved onward and upward in their sports careers. We believe these profiles remain relevant and valuable because they highlight the hard work, dedication, brilliant successes, and lessons learned in a variety of career paths through the sports industry.

Steve Griggs

Steve Griggs, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing


Orlando Magic

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Steve Griggs is moving from an NHL team to an NBA team, but heíll find a familiar situation. Griggs, who joined Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the Minnesota Wild as they were opening arenas, now goes to the Orlando Magic, set to open the Orlando Events Center in 2010, as the new executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Age: 39
New title: Executive vice president, sales and marketing, Orlando Magic
Previous title: Vice president, sales and service, Minnesota Wild
First job: I worked in my fatherís factory making hockey targets
College education: Bachelor of arts, marketing, Wilfrid Laurier University (1992); master of sports administration, Ohio University (1994)
Resides: Relocating to Orlando with wife Janell and children Maddie and Jack
Grew up: Toronto
Executive most admired: Tod Leiweke, CEO, Vulcan Sports and Entertainment; Michael Downey, president and CEO, Tennis Canada
Brand most admired: Green Bay Packers
Favorite vacation spot: Breckenridge, Colo.
Favorite musicians: The Who

What is the biggest risk youíve taken?
Probably going to SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) because we had just finished opening the Air Canada Centre and we were moving over to the other building in Toronto. At the same time, it created the opportunity that led me to Minnesota, which then led me to Orlando.

Your biggest professional accomplishment?
Opening the two buildings and having sellouts in both was an accomplishment, but the fan experience that we created in both buildings has been a major accomplishment, and how we treated our fans, sponsors, suite holders in both of those buildings is the one thing that I am most proud of.

Biggest professional disappointment?
The 2004-05 NHL lockout and having to downsize our organization and letting go people that had gone through the wall for you for years.

What did the organization do differently that year?
We started the NLL team (Minnesota Swarm), we had more events in the building, but we also created an entire marketing and communication plan for the Wild fans and did special things for them each and every month during the lockout.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
If you start in the sales and service area, you are going to learn all aspects of the business just because you deal with so many different situations.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
I am always interested in watching teams that are looking to relocate and where they are going to end up. I think that there are a number of teams in each league right now that are in that situation.

This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.


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