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14 alumni changing the face of sports

We all know that our community of 38,000 alumni worldwide is diverse and multi-talented. But we continue to be surprised by how alumni are forging paths in unexpected areas. In this first in a new series, we share some alumni who are changing the face of athletics.
Collage with faces of 14 featured alumni who work in sports
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TEAMS / LEAGUES

Fabrice Bocquet – General Manager, FC Lorient

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Photo courtesy of Fabrice Bocquet.

Fabrice has been involved with FC Lorient, a French association football club based in Brittany, since 2015. “Being able to reconcile my two passions – sport and leading a human-sized company – has always been an objective,” says Fabrice. “Applying several McKinsey best practices in the day-to-day football club operations has led to great impact!”

Andrew Jones – Previous CEO, Cricket New South Wales

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Andrew and his son. Photo courtesy of Andrew Jones.

Andrew was invited to be Cricket Australia’s first General Manager for Strategy in 2010, and in 2013 he took over as CEO of its biggest member association, Cricket NSW. “Cricket is my number-one passion and I saw the opportunity to help fundamentally change and grow the sport,” Andrew says. “At Cricket NSW we ran 6 professional teams, men's and women's. My proudest achievement was professionalizing the game for women. Women's BBL [Big Bash League] is now the highest-rating women's league in any sport in Australia and also the fastest-growing part of cricket.”

Scott Prime – VP, Strategic Development at NASCAR

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Photo courtesy of Scott Prime.

Scott joined NASCAR in 2015 after spending more than five years working in McKinsey’s Global Sports Practice. “Having learned from great mentors, I decided I wanted to take the skills developed at the Firm and apply them to help shape and grow NASCAR,” Scott says. “It's incredibly rewarding to be in an industry where millions of people not only consume your product, but also have a deep emotional connection."

ASSOCIATIONS

Marie De Cock – Head of Corporate Development, International Olympic Committee (IOC)

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Photo courtesy of Marie De Cock.

“I believe in the power of sport and physical activity as unique and powerful engines for social benefits, from health to inclusion, from peace to education, from empowerment to development of collaborative skills,” says Marie, who has been with the IOC for nearly five years. “This is why I chose to join the IOC, whose mission is to develop a better world through sport. My McKinsey experience allows me to bring structure and analysis to my daily activities.”

Becca Roux – Executive Director, U.S. Women's Soccer National Team Players Association

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Photo from Sports Business Daily. No copyright infringement intended.

Becca took on the role of Executive Director of the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association in 2017 – and what a ride it’s been since, with the team winning the World Cup in July of this year, and its fight for equal pay ongoing. “We hope that our efforts seeking disruptive change and societal progress serve as inspiration for women and men more broadly,” she recently said in an interview.

Sarah Treseder – Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

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Photo courtesy of Sarah Treseder.

Sarah began her tenure as CEO of the RYA nearly ten years ago, in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. This year, she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to sport. “I am still learning and relish the chance to make an impact across a diverse range of issues – from offering RYA training around the world, to inspiring behavior change in marine sustainability,” Sarah says.

MEDIA

Nathan Zegura – Senior Media Broadcaster, Cleveland Browns

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Photo from The Cleveland Browns.

Nathan always dreamed of being on-air talent for a sports franchise. He admits that the Cleveland Browns, who have never reached the Super Bowl, have had a “rough road” – but, he says, “When the opportunity came to join the Browns in 2013, I jumped at it!” Nathan was also the founder of thefantasyconsultant.com, an analytics-driven fantasy football website that helped players win their leagues. (Actor Ashton Kutcher later bought the site.) Nathan has words of assurance for long-suffering Browns fans: “We’re on the precipice of greatness and I couldn’t imagine having a more fun or rewarding job!”

David Katz – Head of Digital, FOX Sports

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David interviews former NFL player Shannon Sharpe. Photo courtesy of David Katz.

"If you are fortunate enough to be in a stadium with 75,000 of your fellow fans or witness your favorite team win a championship, you'll quickly realize that few things elicit a more passionate and emotional response than sports,” says David, who joined FOX Sports a year ago. He adds, “Sporting events are the true unscripted dramas of our time. And from a business perspective, sports has always been on the leading edge of media and technological change – color, HD, 4K, streaming, OTT, VR. Entertaining and intellectually challenging? Sign me up!"

Álvaro Martín – Commentator, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Photo from LinkedIn.

For nearly thirty years, Álvaro was ESPN Desportes' Spanish-language commentator for the NFL and NBA, acquiring a near-iconic status. His work with ESPN included covering many Super Bowl games. This autumn, he started a new role as the official Spanish voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

START-UPS

Adam Hansmann – Co-founder and COO, The Athletic

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Photo from The Athletic.

The Athletic – a sports news website with 600,000 paid subscribers – covers nearly 50 North American cities and recently expanded to the U.K. The ad-free site also features stories on national and college athletics. Adam co-founded and launched the site in 2016, and its growth has been exponential. It now employs 500 people and has more than $100 million in outside funding. “We have a one-of-a-kind business that we’ve started,” he recently said in an interview with Digiday. “We’re going against every instinct that the industry has had.”

Neetu Bhatia – Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO, Zoonga

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Photo courtesy of Neeru Bhatia.

Neetu, a former national cricket player, is credited with creating India’s professional entertainment and sports ticketing market with her company Zoonga. "At Zoonga, we had the unique opportunity to democratize access to world-class events to a third of the world's population,” she says. “The ability to create massive impact by being the bridge between supply and demand and filling a large gap in the consumer landscape was incredibly appealing and professionally satisfying."

Claudio Storelli – Co-founder and CEO, Storelli Sports

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Photo courtesy of Claudio Storelli.

Storelli Sports, founded in 2010, has a laser focus: it’s the first and only brand focused exclusively on designing and manufacturing innovative protective gear for soccer. "I chose to focus on reducing injuries in soccer because the game brings joy to hundreds of millions of young athletes globally, but injuries are very common and large brands don't provide practical solutions,” he says. One of the company’s products was just clinically shown to reduce concussions in soccer – the first time anything has been proven to work. “And guess what?” Claudio adds. “I got the idea while playing for the McKinsey soccer team in New York!”

NEXT-GEN SPORTS

Nigel Eccles – Co-founder and former CEO, FanDuel; current co-founder and CEO, Flick

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Photo from Twitter.

If you’re a fan of fantasy sports, you’ve certainly heard of FanDuel. Co-founded by Nigel in 2009, the company was a pioneer of daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the States (and one of the first unicorns to come out of Scotland). It racked up a bevy of awards, including Best Sports App in the 2016 Webby Awards. After stepping down from FanDuel two years ago, Nigel co-founded and now leads Flick, an Edinburgh-based group chat platform focused on building community around podcasts – many of them, of course, about sports.

Dan Fleeter – Head of eSports and COO, Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) at Madison Square Garden

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Photo courtesy of Dan Fleeter.

Dan has been with New York’s Madison Square Garden since 2015, recently taking on the role as Head of eSports. “I have been passionate about sports my entire life, so it seemed natural after McKinsey to pursue a career in the sports industry,” he says. “I love working on cutting-edge, innovative projects that will shape the future of sports and entertainment.”