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.

Doug Reffue

Doug Reffue, President

Boston Blazers


Spotlight: Doug Reffue Reffue looks to build another Boston winner, this one in lacrosse

After spending the majority of his career in consumer packaged goods at such companies as Polaroid, Brine and Yankee Candle, Doug Reffue was recently named president of the National Lacrosse League’s expansion Boston Blazers, set to begin play in January. Reffue will be leaning on his brand management experience to help the franchise establish a fan base in Boston and New England, as well as selling tickets and getting sponsors interested in a new team.

Age: 38
New title: President, Boston Blazers
Previous job: Director of brand management, Yankee Candle Co.
First job: Working in a leather tannery
Education: Bachelor of arts, history, Colgate University; MBA, marketing, Boston College
Resides: Relocating to Boston with his wife and two children
Grew up: Gloversville, N.Y.
Executive most admired: Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid Corp.
Brand most admired: Whole Foods
Favorite vacation spot: Truro, Mass.
Last book read: “Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco,” by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
Last movie seen: “No Country for Old Men”
Favorite movie: “All the Right Moves”
Favorite musician: Bill Janovitz

What is the biggest challenge in your new position?

It’s finding our brand voice in Boston, which as we all know is a city of champions and the fans demand a lot. It is also harnessing the enormous momentum of lacrosse and bringing that to a wide fan base.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

Leaving consumer products to come to sports and entertainment. I am a risk taker by nature, and I don’t think that you are pushing yourself unless you are taking risks, and this one certainly has enormous upside.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

When I was at Brine I was managing the soccer business and while surveying the landscape of soccer I noticed a huge hole in American soccer brands, a true American soccer brand that didn’t take all of its cues from European soccer. My team rebranded the Brine brand as a truly American brand and changed our entire product line and the way we went to market.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?

When I was at Polaroid and starting my career, I got to witness the rapid decline of one of the most storied brands ever, going from iconic stage to almost extinction within a 10-year period. Witnessing that firsthand was disappointing; at the same time it became a huge learning experience for me.

You have been a part of soccer and lacrosse. How do you see the future of those sports?

I think lacrosse is now what soccer was 10 or 15 years ago. It’s going through a heavy growth stage. I think soccer is starting to mature in this country and needs to continue to grow its base of fans.

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

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