By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have to sat down with Bob Gaudreau, CEO of Media Golf Productions. He is an alumnus of Southeastern Mass University where he was a two-sport athlete and graduated with a degree in Sociology. He later went on to complete an MBA at Tampa Metropolitan University. Once he was done with sports, he found a new passion in wanting to be a professional salesman. He became successful early on due to his passion and drive. That passion and drive has stuck with him and he has taken what he learned in sales to become a successful entrepreneur. He was gracious enough to offer up his insight on how important sales experience is in sports, why honesty is still the best policy and why, sometimes, negative comments can be the greatest motivators.
How did your prior positions help you get to where you are today?
My first job out of college was as a Physical Education teacher. From there, I became a camp instructor for the Ted Williams Baseball Camp. This position helped me learn the ins and outs of running a business and truly got me started down my entrepreneurial path. Three years after that, I started my own baseball camp. I have a lot of background experience in sales, which has helped me tremendously. All my previous careers built on top of one another to get me to where I am today.
As CEO Media Golf Productions, LLC what is your average day like? What are some day-to-day challenges?
The challenges are that I am a one-man show. Although it keeps me busy, I would much rather have it that way. My day-to-day job is more selling. I’m always on the phone, on my email and doing research. I also enjoy fundraising so I try to set up events for teams, companies and charities so they can use our platform to raise funds for their cause.
What is your favorite part about working in the sports industry?
The interesting thing about it is I have been a competitor all my life and we do things that challenge people to compete. Whether it is to raise funds or just in the everyday aspect, our model is built on competition. I also love the relationships you form through sports. It is great to be able to sit down and share ideas and thoughts with people who have common interests.
What is the best career advice you’ve been given so far?
I was once the number seven seller in the United States for a company called Nasco. Once that happened, I started to think about leaving the company to explore other options and other career paths. When I decided this, my sales manager got me on the phone with our VP of sales and had him talk to me. I will always remember what he said to me. He told me that “he didn’t think it was a good idea for me to move because even though there were greener pastures on the other side of the fence, I didn’t know how green the pastures were on my side of the fence.” I took it as advice and as a challenge. It was a great career motivator for me.
If you had to hire someone right now, what traits would the ideal candidate poses to succeed in the sports industry?
As a business owner, I am looking for someone who is honest. I can’t afford to have someone go out and represent my company and products without being able to trust them. I want someone who is very outgoing and someone who has a track record. I want someone who is very active and very interested and not someone who has just sat around and played video games all day. Having some community work background is also a plus.
How important are sales skills in sports?
They are very important. You must know how to sell because not only are you selling what you are doing, but you are also selling yourself to other employers. I read a lot of motivational books, which helped set myself up for success.
What are some tips you have for students and young professionals looking to succeed in the sports industry?
Before you do work for someone, ask him or her if, when you’re finished, they will write you a testimonial. Not only does it keep you accountable, but it also keeps them engaged in you. It is a win-win situation. You don’t own your own businesses until you start running it and not allow it to run you. When you start to delegate effectively and trust people, then that is truly running a business.
Bob's Motto for his company is "Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime"