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  • Writer's pictureBrett Zalaski

#SportsBiz Sales Reps & #ElectionDay

There is no doubt that tomorrow is going to be one of the most super-charged days in our lives. I've written about #sportsbiz sales reps & politics before. I wrote that article just over a year ago and it's become one of the most read articles on my site. And it even seems pretty dated. I've seen the first pro sports team I can remember endorse a political candidate. The lines between who you are as a person and a professional have become blurred on every avenue of social media AND has actually impacted the way fans support a team.

I'm more comfortable today, with permission from their team, a rep using their voice to support the things they are passionate about. I've come around a lot on that view. My passion for social justice reform and illuminating women's issues have been on my social media and on my podcasts. I'd be a hypocrite if I just stood by my last article.

So what's my (unsolicited) advice for #sportsbiz sales reps for tomorrow? It's two-fold:

  1. Remember Your World View Comes From YOUR Experiences: Wanting someone to have a similar world view as you, or criticizing someone for theirs, minimizes who that person is. You may disagree, but their world view was shaped by their circumstances. You don't buy a seat at the table by screaming at them. You buy a seat at the table by trying to understand their world view with the same effort you make to explain yours. If it's all you, or mostly you, only people who agree with you will listen. If it's half-and-half? People, in my experience, will listen...or at least not think worse of you for it. It's the obstinate assholes from BOTH parties who lose fans along the way.

  2. Be Kind: Someone's going to win and someone's going to lose. That's how sports works, that's how politics work. However, friendly banter between fans of different teams in sports can be fun. That banter in politics is almost never fun. If your side wins? Enjoy it and speak to it. But your excitement should not be at the expense of others. That's fucked up. And if your side loses? Understand that there's someone you like on the other side, that the world will not end, and the earth will keep spinning tomorrow. This tweet thread by Dan Rather spoke to this brilliantly.

In the core of my soul I believe that sports, at their best, are apolitical. It's a vehicle for people of every background to support one thing that unites them. Especially in a day and age where we can't come together at our team's home, and in a day and age where everyone's voice can be illuminated through social media.

So just be kind, have empathy, and understand that there is a day of normalcy ahead. And that day will ALWAYS be better surrounded by as much diversity of background and thought as possible.

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