Zach Colman (00:05):
Hey, this is Zach, with another episode of the brand power analysis podcast. And today I’d like to introduce Greg Amiel, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?
Gregs Journey and Story
Greg Amiel (00:16):
My name’s Greg Amiel, I’m with, I’m a Canadian guy and I’m with the Ottawa sports and entertainment group up in Ottawa, Canada. so I work with the Ottawa red blacks and the Canadian football league, otherwise known as the CFL, and, one of, Canada’s most story junior hockey franchises, the OHS Ottawa, 60 sevens. So I get to do lots of fun things and the marketing and sponsorships fear on a day-to-day basis, getting to work with a professional sports ownership group, making sure that fans and, and our teams stay connected all the time, and making sure that people here in Ottawa, they entertained as much as possible.
Zach Colman (00:57):
Yeah. I feel like fans don’t I feel like fans it’s just like any job. I feel like fans kind of go in and they don’t see the, they don’t see the inner workings of how hard it is to do, to do all that, the inner workings of the players and the teams and stuff like that. So I definitely enjoy having you on, and I appreciate, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day up there. What time is it over there right now?
Greg Amiel (01:20):
Uh, it’s noon for me. So it’s, it’s lunchtime, but, halfway through the day is usually a moment to, take a breather, step back, and have some conversations like this. probably grab some, some lunch right after that. And then, you know, get back to a day’s work here as we’ve been trying to solve some unique situations during this pandemic to make sure that, sponsors and our teams are still staying engaged with our fan base.
Zach Colman (01:46):
Yeah, it’s definitely, it’s definitely a, a different shift I think, going on towards the end of the year. And I think one of the things that it’s it’s somewhat doing is it’s kind of forcing, I’m not saying it’s a good thing or bad thing, but it’s kind of getting people in businesses and, and athletes in general to kind of see, all right. Maybe it’s time that you know, we start focusing, on our ad spend and our building our brand more digitally and not a hundred percent. and, and not just that, you know, beds and stuff are starting to go a lot towards, a lot of digital too, but there’s a lot of still inner workings that are involved with the technology side is there is on, on building the events and selling the tickets and, and raising the money and things of that nature. So why don’t you kind of tell me a little about a little bit about you and your position and what you kind of, what is your day-to-day kind of look like?
Greg Amiel (02:42):
Uh, about a year ago I’ve been with the same organization for, for, well, over three years now, I’ve spent lots of time in the marketing department, but about a year ago, I made a switch, into, the partnerships department. Some people refer to it as partnerships as we do, but some also say sponsorship and activations. But, what I do is I work very closely with a lot of our great partners that we have, in order to come up with a variety of marketing and integration and activation campaigns to activate their brands, amongst our team and, and our fans. so whether that’s our telecommunications partner, our beer partner, our, automotive partners, travel partners, whatever it may be. We have a long list of about 120 partners that, work closely with us who typically, have access to a stadium and an arena full of screaming fans too, activate their brand in front of, but of course this year during the pandemic, that’s been a little bit different.
CFL and Operations
Greg Amiel (03:46):
Uh, unfortunately, the CFL hasn’t had a chance to play, this year,, they rolled the season over and, we’ll, we’ll pick back up again in 2021. but the Ontario hockey league looks like it’s going to start right now where we’re predicting in, in early February with a training camp in January. So it’s very exciting because we’ll hopefully be able to bring in a limited number of fans into the stadiums well as our television broadcasts. So we saw some great successes, I would say, leagues like the NBA and the NHL which conducted bubble-like operations. but we’re slowly starting to see other, other, other organizations like that. If major league baseball and NFL are taking some forays into exploring, what else could be outside of the bubble? And I think that’s what we’re going to start to see, here in Canada shortly.
Greg Amiel (04:39):
So the past couple of months have been really focused on continuing to drive value, for sponsors. And we’ve developed a program that, we call them, our nation corporate heroes and our nation are, is the nickname that we give to the Ottawa red Black’s, fan base. So our, our nation corporate heroes is a program that was developed for partners to, develop a great relationship with our fans and, and create some advocacy for the brands that are helping bring football back quicker. so this is generally focused around, number one, some great digital integrations, as you were referring to before. So finding ways to engage our fans online, secondly finding ways to engage our fans in the community as well here more locally, and of course, give brand exposure, to our, our brand, our sponsors across our, our site.
Greg Amiel (05:43):
And in the case, of the Ottawa red blacks and 60 sevens, our stadium is located in a great urban area with retail, commercial, and residential real estate. Therefore it’s still a very area where we can put up lots of advertising, hopefully, start to do some more events in the near future. So that’s where really what I’ve been focused on the past several months is trying to find the right solutions to make sure that our partners continue to feel, and understand that we are driving value for them during the pandemic, even though we’re not playing on the field.
Zach Colman (06:20):
So what is the, what are the, just for anyone who doesn’t understand, what do w what do for fans that is, what is, what are activations, like, what does that, what is in terminology that sounds a little more simplified? W how, how would you define an activation?
Greg Amiel (06:38):
So activation is typically a way where, our, if you take both parties, so you have our team, and then the sponsor, is finding a way to collaborate. You can call it a collaboration if you would, to get you as the fan. So the customer eventual customer of ours, and of course, there’s, to experience, that their brand, meshed with ours. So we’ve done a variety of things, over the years to make sure that, our fans feel like they’re having fun at our, at our games in our stadium is called TD place. So TD bank is, has the naming rights to our stadium. And, every year we do a variety of different things where it could be, an entrance was at the entrance of our stadium had the world’s tallest foam finger that they could take a picture of, with standing in front of it.
Greg Amiel (07:39):
Right. we’ve done other things with Telus, our telecommunications partner, who is a major telecommunications company here in Canada, similar to Verizon or at, and T and those in the States, where we do lots of digital campaigns, photo booths, and other fun activities inside the stadium that our fans can explore, their fandom. But also thanks to that particular partner realized that, Hmm, if I’m a fan of this team and this partner supports the team, and they made me have fun at this game, next time I’m thinking about making a purchase or, making use of a particular service, I’m hoping to probably, use that partner’s product or service. So at the end of the day, it’s a collaboration to get people engaging with a brand.
Zach Colman (08:29):
So somewhat, from a professional player’s perspective, they don’t really see it because they don’t really see the back. And I used to work for the Phoenix suns back in the day, and, I developed all the sponsorship and cereal for it. So I kind of know the intermingles of how a lot of that works. but from a player perspective, I would think that when you think bigger, I mean, I know at the end of the day, at the end of the data, the goal of any stadium is, you know, we want to sell tickets. but I think that comes along with, you know, bringing value to the fans and saying, Hey, how do we have these experiences for them when they come? How do we win games? I think is, you know, one of the biggest ones. so what would be something that, from a player’s perspective that you could somewhat acknowledge them on, on explaining how this benefits or how this works towards helping them as they evolve in their career?
Greg Amiel (09:37):
Absolutely. I, and a lot of our activations, I just, I just mentioned two there that really focus on the fan experience, but a lot of our activations come to life through the participation of our athletes. We have done a variety of different activations that include a player and their brand. and oftentimes we explained to the athletes when, when we’re working with them, is that, you know, whether it’s in some sort of digital format or even an in-person format, this is an opportunity for you as an athlete, to integrate yourself in, in the community and amongst the fans. it’s interesting, you know, in, in CFL football players, you know, don’t, don’t play too many years. And I think even the same in NFL football, I think the average, you know, life span, not lifespan, but playing career of a player is approximately two years in the NFL and CFL, which means that, you know, yeah, sure.
Greg Amiel (10:38):
There’s, there’s, we can name a ton, like guys like Tom Brady who have been in the game for 20 or some odd years, but the average guy will only spend two years. So if you have only two years to make the most of opera of an opportunity, you want to integrate yourself and, and any opportunity that you can. And typically those opportunities are backed by partners because they cost a lot of money to operate. there’s typically an opportunity in there for the athlete to be compensated as well. But beyond that piece, it’s how you can be present and connect with the fans that are either in attendance at the game, or at an event in the community, or, out at, a cool restaurant or things like that. We do a variety of different things. So making sure that the athlete recognizes their involvement in this and how it can help a fan go buy their Jersey at the end of the day, because they had such a great time getting to meet this player, who made a wonderful impact on their day, on their month, on their year.
Greg Amiel (11:43):
I don’t know. Right. but those little experiences are what athletes should always work towards because without the fans and without the brands they’re not playing. and I think this year we’re seeing that more, more than ever. you could look at least like the XFL that tried to get started, but without lots of fans and without lots of brands wanting to really help it go, the whole thing kind of struggled and now has been sold to new ownership. And because of the pandemic, we’re not playing because they’re not selling tickets, but the players, once they understand that there is in fact, lots of people supporting them, they can just give that little bit back. It’ll go a very long way.
Zach Colman (12:26):
Yeah. I try to preach a lot. one of the biggest things I try to do when I talk to athletes and I try to say, Hey, think about, think about your, you playing a game as a professional game, as more of a business and less so a career, because, you know, one, the average is, you know, a couple of years, but the teams are paying you a lot of money and the players don’t necessarily see what yes it has to do with their performance and how good they do on in the game. But I think a lot of that does come down to, Hey, we’re also paying for your appearance and your likeness on helping the team grow as an organization and as a team. And so the team, the team already leverages the player’s abilities and they somewhat get free marketing. So like you said, it’s like, Hey, you want to go into this sponsorship, you get to do this, come here, you’re helping the team out.
Zach Colman (13:22):
you’re helping bring yourself out to the player. I mean, to the fans. but that’s somewhat free marketing. So I feel like when they come out of the game, they somewhat, they somewhat see it as, Oh, I can do this all myself. It must be easy because I have this connection with this, this, this, and this. But at the end of the day, you have a whole backing of not just your teams on, in the game, but you also have your coaches. You had the whole facility. I mean, everyone contributes in some way form or another to help that player grow and, and, you know, beyond TV and, and, and, and help the team grow. So I definitely think that that’s something that players could take away from this. I remember when I worked for the sons, I think one of the hardest things for me was, when we did all the branding and stuff for the, for the partnerships was watching the games and, you know, I’d look up and I’d see are everything that we’re printing or everything that we’re making.
Zach Colman (14:15):
And it would always be like, Oh, I have to get that done by tomorrow. I have to get that done by the next day, I get that done by the time. And so it was hard for me to work in the, in the, in the arena because it was like, Oh, I, it was always working, work, work. and that’s one of the reasons I went out on my own with it, because I’m like, I’d rather work on this on the side and then be able to still go enjoy the games. But, but that’s beside the point. So with, with where you’re with, where you’re at in the business, why don’t you talk a little bit more about, your interactions with the sponsors, if possible, if you’re allowed to, how do you usually go about, working with the sponsor, these, these other brands, and how does that kind of work for the organization?
Speaker 3 (15:01):
Greg Amiel (15:05):
Well, the first thing I’d say is that we have four very fortunate, and I think a lot of, a lot of teams will say that too, is that
Greg Amiel (15:18):
We really do have some awesome relationships. There you’re an athlete, or whether you’re in, even outside of the sports industry, any relationship that you have, if it’s really solid at its core, you’re going to be able to gain the trust of the other party in this case, the brands that we’re working with to be able to work on some really awesome stuff together. So I’d say that that in and of itself is it’s the most important thing and athletes should look at it the same way as well. so in the day-to-day of everything that we’re doing is we’re trying to answer and, and work through a pandemic right now, a lot of our, our, our brand sponsors that we work with have kind of come to us and said, okay, we’re not typically doing the signage that we would have up in the stadium and so forth. And other activations that we would do on, on game days. What can we do? so right now in working with them, as I said, we developed, our nation’s corporate heroes where we basically created a bespoke experience for each partner. It’s no longer talking about, Hey, these are the available stadium assets that typically we can sell that are also television visible. And yes, usually there’s one or two bespoke elements.
Speaker 3 (16:35):
You too, sir,
Greg Amiel (16:41):
Partnerships, for now, it’s completely is that this year is about me.
Speaker 3 (16:49):
Greg Amiel (16:52):
They’re okay with everything. And that we’re okay with everything so that we can get ready for what we’re hoping. It will be some sense of normalcy again in 2021, as we try to navigate this pandemic.
Zach Colman (17:03):
Yeah, I think it, I mean, I, without going too far into the pandemic, I, I, I’m really hoping that I think just the mindset of everyone and that, that nice cut from 2020 to 2021, my wife said the other day, she was like, you know, nothing really changes from 2020, 21, just another day. And I’m like, I know, but I feel like people, in general, are going to have, a mindset, like a start over like, okay, let’s get past that year. Let’s move forward this year. And I’m hoping that that mindset in itself for a majority of, of civilization, will, will say, all right, you know, at least in the States, you know, we’ll, or in the Americas, will kind of say, all right, let’s, let’s start fresh. Let’s, let’s see what we can do. And moving forward with the knowledge that we from 2020 and how we can advance, you know, more ideas, not just digitally, but, you know, with those players, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m seeing a lot of the more I get into this.
Zach Colman (18:02):
I’m, I’m seeing a lot of, a lot of need for these players and a need for all, a lot of these players to kind of go out there and, and how can I say it really leveraged their end game experience and saying, Hey, what do I want to do next? What’s my passion? And you can talk a little bit more about this. I know we kind of brought it up in our last call when you said you’ve talked to the players a little bit when they want sponsors, you know, when you’re like, Oh, how do we sponsor? Like, how does that, how does that engagement usually work with you when you’re talking to the players? And, and what kind of advice do you give them?
Greg Amiel (18:43):
Well, yeah, I’ve been fortunate in my previous role. As I said, I was in marketing and I looked after all the community engagement for the sports teams that we operate. So I worked very closely with the athletes, booking them for a variety of different opportunities, some for sponsors, some straight straightforward brand marketing of our organization, and being out and about in the public. But, I was fortunate to be able to get, too, create some very personal relationships with, with these guys and, and get to know them outside of everything. they typically do in, in the public eye, which everybody just assumes is football or hockey. and yeah, of course, and their cases as is the case for the majority of athletes, they spend 10, 15 plus years of their lives solely focused, on, on the sport. And while they attend, college or university and maybe other types of education over the years, their main priority oftentimes is to become professional.
Greg Amiel (19:46):
So they skip out or, or they, they miss out on really embracing the things they may be learning at university or in school, which are typically the fundamentals of whether it’s marketing communications or, or business. And, oftentimes I tried to just spark conversation about, okay, you’re, you’re looking for this sort of thing or that sort of thing. Well, then tell me a little bit about what’d you study in school, right. and you know, sometimes you get a variety of answers, and by variety, I think you, you get what I’m saying is that they’re not very in-depth. and some go about really telling you about what they felt passionate about in school, the classes, they really enjoy taking the things they learned in those, those classes and opportunities and, the things that they also didn’t like, which is very important in my opinion as well, because it’s, as you plan for what’s next in your career, you need to know what you don’t like.
Greg Amiel (20:42):
And, I really try to get the athletes to reflect on, some of these fundamental elements and that’s recognizing that, their brand is important to them. They, they own that that’s, that belongs to them and nobody else, but them, but what could they be doing to make it of value to sponsors? And I think that’s really the most important thing. And then I explained to them, I said, look at our team. For example, our team as a whole is of value to sponsors because one, we win two. We have thousands of followers and fans that come to every single game and want to attend, they’re attentive. And they listen, right? if the red blacks are hosting a great upcoming event and we invite them there, they will come. So two sponsors, that’s very exciting because they could work with our team to gain the trust of these fans to be potential customers because they recognize that there’s an affinity and an affiliation between two brands.
Examples of Athletes Branding Themselves
Greg Amiel (21:52):
So I explained to the players that if you can create value and create trust and a relationship with potential sponsors, those opportunities will come. But what is it that you’re doing that is of value? Sometimes athletes say, well, I have 50,000 Instagram followers. That’s fantastic. That’s great, that’s a great start, theoretically, but are they really engaged with you? Right. Did you do something one time that went viral three years ago, you got a ton of followers, but since nobody really cares and everybody kind of forgot to unfollow or whatever it be, so demonstrating, what type of engagement you do, do you do engage things on the internet that people find interesting. And then by engaging, I don’t mean go do something stupid that will get attention and go viral. You are doing something that people find interesting, that they feel that they could engage with. They could learn from, or feel a part of creating a community or an opportunity to connect with fans is really important. So again, that’s really what I get them thinking of where do they create value for themselves and the sponsors, and what did they learn once upon a time in school or another opportunity that, could bring value again, to those sponsors?
Zach Colman (23:10):
And I think, I think a good example of that is JJ watt. I mean, what he did a couple of years ago. Oh my God. Yeah. For the hurricane, I mean, just watching recent news on how, how he was such a big influence on the coach switching and stuff like that. Like when you’re still playing the game, I think the team’s value. And I mean, even when I watch, even when I watch, you know, football, soccer, you know, I don’t watch too much hockey, but I, I’ve been to, I’ve been to a few games. when I, when watching these, I always tend to the player, who doesn’t have to be the best player on the field. Like there’s a lot of times that’s only one part of what makes a successful, a successful player. It comes down to, their morale, and the way they act.
Zach Colman (24:07):
I mean, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a huge Atlanta Falcons fan, for instance. but I don’t hate the saints as a rival. I mean, because, you know, I think drew Brees is, is that is a down-to-earth guy. He’s, you know, really, you know, honest with the stuff that he talks about. and so, and even the text of what JJ, why is an example like you look at these certain players and you become fans of these players, which helped you become fans of the team. So I think that, what you’re saying is true. And I think my biggest downfall when I’m trying to talk to players, I’m very technical, you know, from the brand identity side and the marketing side, I feel like I get very technical with what I say to data, these athletes, but it does come down it at the end of the day, a lot of times it’s the small attention to detail things that brands look at in the, in the longterm LUNGevity.
Zach Colman (25:02):
So coming up with like a brand voice, as you said, and say, Hey, how are we going to reach this? And not just reaching out and blindly throwing stuff up, but really thinking about what, what you’re saying and who you’re trying to reach as a fan, and how are you going to bring value to those fans? that’s really gonna keep, you bring in an audience. Yeah. As you said, I’ve, I’ve had, I’ve had players come to me and be like, Oh, I have 50,000 followings, but I’m not really making any money off of it. I’m like, well, what are you trying to do with this following? I mean, is it just there? And they don’t realize that normal brands, you know, unless you’re a very, very big corporation, they don’t have 50,000 followers. So they look at 50,000 like it’s nothing. And in my mind, I’m like, you know, it’s, it’s still a lot, you know, it’s still a lot of people that you’re talking to.
Zach Colman (25:52):
And, so being able to reach your fans and that doesn’t just help the team, but it could also help your future endeavors, as you decide, Hey, I want to open a nonprofit, or maybe you want to open a gym, or as you said, find the things that you’re passionate about and have an idea and transition that, that same passion over, and leverage the small things like the, you know, I always say a logo is just a logo. It’s part of the brand. So why don’t we dive in a little bit on Mount what your thoughts are on, on a brand? I mean, I think that the word brand gets used so much that I think that a lot of it’s misinterpreted, a little too much. So let’s dive in a little bit more into what your kind of thoughts is on, on auto brand. What do you really think a brand is and what do you think, how does that help? How would that help? Not just athletes, but any individual or corporation, grow
Greg Amiel (26:58):
Well, I think to your point too, I would say I’ll go right ahead and argue that a brand isn’t just a logo either, in the opposite direction. Right. and I think more and more so as people have increased access to call it globalization, you could, we in North America can hear or see brands in Australia or in parts of Asia or whatever way quicker than we ever used to. Right. and there’s, and, and the opposite as well, right. That those on other sides of the world can hear or see about brands, way quicker because of the internet and so forth. But before all that stuff aside, I do think that brands more importantly are beyond just that image of the logo. It’s actually what they stand for. and consumers are smarter today for the most part I’d like to think. And, they’re much more conscious about what the brands that they choose to purchase from or services that they, they, they make use of the stand for.
Greg Amiel (28:11):
and that, in my opinion, can go in a variety of, of, of ways. But I think brand statements are, are, are rooted in things like integrity or, or innovation or, excitement, right? What are those emotions and sentiments that these brands make you feel as, as a consumer, and athlete should look to reflect the same, in a sense you, you could look at, I’m trying to think of, you know, the the bad boy Dennis Rodman, that, that once was, it was different? not everybody agreed with his approach and his philosophy. However, there was something incredibly captivating about someone who was kind of breaking the rules or reaching for some sort of freedom that other players never really looked to reach for. and that may have inspired other people to do something similar in their lives. Isn’t it, it’s not wreaking havoc and doing some of the crazy things, but maybe reaching for that freedom that they were looking for in a job or in their, in their careers.
Greg Amiel (29:23):
Right. and, and, and there are countless examples of athletes who do this sort of thing, but they create a brand around themselves. And you can look at, at, at one of the guys on the court with him, Michael Jordan inspired every young kid to want to be able to reach the rim and dunk the ball. All right. not just because of his logo, but because of who he came to be, how he chose to speak in front of people, and how he chose to recognize his failures as the elements that allowed him to reach his successes. So that is what I think a brand is really deeply rooted in is, is the sentiments that go beyond just the visual logo, as you’ve, you’ve said, right. The logo is part of the brand, but I don’t think it is the brand all the time. Right. It has to be a part of it, but it doesn’t stop there. It goes way deeper.
Zach Colman (30:22):
Yeah, exactly. And I think that I think that I actually put a video up on YouTube about the jump, the jump man logo. And I kind of talked about that a little bit and how I transitioned and became a part of that, how Michael Jordan became a part of that. So if anyone wants to check that out, they can check it out on the channel. but I think that I’m going to have you do a little exercise, not right now, but, in your free time. Cause I think it will help you kind of dive into brands a little bit more like brand strategy in itself is one of those things that when we develop our, our brand identity systems, that we kind of takes a look at. So we’ve got, we do, as you said earlier, are your integrity? Are you, are you, what, what kind of values does your company kind of look at, to bring in customers or fans or, what is your voice?
Zach Colman (31:13):
And so it is, it’s not just about the logo, but it also is about your color schemes and your fonts and stuff like that, because a lot of that stuff really does dive into your values. I mean, I, I think that a lot of, that’s one of the biggest mistakes. And when I, when I got into this right now, they do think it’s just a logo. So they kind of look at it and they go, Oh, I’m just going to have some designer out there. Kind of create me a logo, you know, and I’m good to go. And, and then you look at it and you’re like, what does that have to do? How does that represent you in any way form or another? Like, and you’re using bright coat, at least certain color schemes and these fonts that make it look like you’re, you, it just brings this feel.
Zach Colman (31:57):
I always tell people, that you have to think about the logo is part of the brand and it has to be, has to be so simplistic that it’s subconscious and it’s iconic. So I liked it. I like to use examples like circle K, I don’t know if you have certifications up there in Canada, but I like to use purple K is a good example, because it is a very simple logo, but when people are driving down the street, and for athletes that are watching this, so, you know, you’re driving down the street, you can kind of say, Hmm, where am I getting gas today? And even though, you know, the circle, K’s a mile down the road around the four corners that all have gas stations, you take that extra mile and you go to Circle K because you subconsciously remember their values, the honesty that they bring you as you buy their products.
Zach Colman (32:42):
And so you go there. So I a hundred percent agree with you on that. So when I was saying, go back and as you’re kind of, as you’re growing and you’re kind of looking at stuff from a day to day, just challenge yourself a little bit and take a look at certain brands and kind of say, as you’re talking to them, when you’re in, you’re working with them and their values and what they’re doing, kind of digest their colors in their fonts and there, the stuff that they’re working with, even with the designers that you’re probably working with to help create some of these, the create some of these in, in-market advertising for that company, you know, and that’s where, of course, brand style guides come in and all that empty stuff, but we won’t go that far into it. But, but yeah, no, I totally agree with you.
Zach Colman (33:22):
It is. It’s always, it’s, it’s more than a logo. And, and so, and I think JJ watt really, really showed that a lot with his, his campaign and how everyone, when they look at him yes. His logo and what he does. I mean, I know what it looks like because I’m, you know, I’m a beat when it comes to that stuff, but I am familiar with it as well. Yeah, exactly. So you think about that, but now it’s somewhat tied to him and you still, overall think of JJ watt, but when you see the logo, you think of JJ watt, you know what I mean? So I think that that’s something that people can take away from it that when they see that when they see that they feel the humbleness that he has, and they feel that giddiness that he has. And I think that that’s what it really, really symbolizes more than anything. So, I know that we talked about, I know that we talked a little bit about, you working with athletes and kind of telling them some of those struggles, but have you worked with, have you worked with, or, or from your experience as you’ve grown with these brands, athletes that have, have maybe not sick, we’ll just say successfully, but have, you know, open businesses or have, worked in any sort of capacity outside the game.
Greg Amiel (34:43):
Yeah. right now is a perfect example. a lot of people do not recognize for the most part that although they are tremendous athletes though, the players that are in the CFL, there’s a handful of them that is, capable of not playing this year and having made enough salary to, to hang on for a year and returned to play next year. But this year I’ve had a variety of conversations with some of our players. Who’s had to look for another source of income and, have had to diversify a little bit, and they are still going early in the morning to train and stay physically fit. however, they’re going to a job every single day throughout this year to start developing a dinner or a future. And some are much ahead of others. Some have recognized that even while they were playing during the off-season, they would be busy getting real estate licenses or, you know, taking courses to eventually become a financial advisor or whatever it is of interest to them. And typically that’s deeply rooted in what they studied at school as well, or perhaps what family experiences they may have had in businesses that they are around. But right now there are some, who got a bit more of a head start and were able to find jobs immediately, because they’ve already, you know, I don’t, well, I guess you can call it interned in the off-season
Greg Amiel (36:26):
Commercial real estate ordering. So they’re not necessarily owning and operating their own business just yet, but,
Speaker 3 (36:40):
Greg Amiel (36:41):
To see that some have taken the necessary step S themselves, just yet, because they recognize they do have some, some time left in their sports career, but will come out of their sports career with something to talk about on their resume, such as the great leadership and in sportsman, chipping everything T teamwork that comes out of playing team sports, but actually having the truly raw, um,
Speaker 3 (37:10):
Greg Amiel (37:10):
That is maybe looking for well, which is really
Speaker 3 (37:14):
Zach Colman (37:17):
Yeah. and I think that’s good. I think one thing that not even from an athlete perspective, but I mean, you hear a lot of, a lot of, I’ll just call them gurus out there that will say, Hey, you don’t need to go to college. And I know you brought this up a little bit when college, and we could dive into that a little bit later on, but, I tended to see, I tend to say, Hey, you know what? I think I think college is, is great. I think college, you know, a lot of people don’t understand that it’s very similar to going out there and getting an internship and starting to jump. I learned so much more outside of school than I did in, in school. Yes. But I think college helps you. I think that that’s the point of college it’s, you’re having a teacher give you things to do, to teach yourself when you’re out in the corporate world, working for another company, or even when running your own business, you do have to teach yourself things on a constant basis and, and ever-growing and ever-changing, especially with like, with what’s going on right now.
Zach Colman (38:17):
So I think that’s a good example, of why college really helps. And I would give all of, your athletes kudos for taking that, taking that leap. And I mean, I think it goes back to, to what you said of, it puts a, not to say a negative spin on it, but I’ve, it’s the first time that I really thought about, you know, college, I know college, the NCAA has been talking a lot about, you know, it was in the process of them starting to allow the students to the players to do sponsorships. And so it’s really making me start to see it from another aspect of if, if you know, maybe that’s gonna delay their opportunities, in finishing, as you said, they get so tangled up in, in training and trying to get, make it to the team that the team sport, the professional level, that they, they neglect some of their scores. So, what are your thoughts on that?
Greg Amiel (39:20):
I think we need an entire other podcast that discussed the whole NCAA aspect, but I would take, you know, the overarching idea I’m of a very similar, train of thought as you are that, education is a very powerful tool and, and it’s, it’s a fundamentals system. Yes, I do. I totally do agree that you can go out there and you can learn a ton on your own without going to school. There are plenty of great people who have done that, very successful people who have done it. So, but I do feel, especially how deeply rooted, becoming a professional athlete is in the United States for most sports. The path is through school, especially in, in my case where I work with some football players, you do not become a professional. You are unless you are recruited out of a school.
Greg Amiel (40:11):
Yeah. So you do have to attend to a university. and the opportunity that you are given, is often not fully reflected. And I think that’s what surprises me the most is that to be able to attend some of these schools as a regular person outside of sports, I mean, the th the cost is immense. The reputation is immense as well. And some of these guys are being given a free ride, but they don’t care about anything other than making it pro. But like I said earlier, the average career is only two years. You could spend four years in college. That’s more time than you will have gone and played pro why not make the most of that opportunity? and then when you finish park it and go play your pro career because I truly believe that these athletes deserve that they’ve worked hard for it, but make sure that you take something from there, that will allow you to, to have a future.
Greg Amiel (41:15):
and in some cases, yeah, you’ll have a Tom Bradys of the world who even when he retires will truthfully never have to. I do air quotes with my fingers at work another day in his life. He probably would be set, but he probably has the mentality that he will want to continue to work. And he’s set himself up with a tremendous brand. and, and, and now they’re growing into the health and wellness space and a nutritional space and, and a variety of other things are diversifying. And, and that to me is something that, that comes not just with, you know, I’m really great at my sport, but also taking a moment to step back and be really good at other things, and understanding how businesses operate. How do you do marketing? How do you partner with people who should I partner with, to be, to achieve this?
Greg Amiel (42:08):
Who should I invest in certain things with? And, and you have to be educated to make the right decisions. most of the time, of course, there’s, there are unique opportunities that will come about and things may happen that great things work for people. But for the most part, you want to have a concrete foundation of what you’re doing moving forward. So the schooling aspect, I think, is greatly important because it does teach you a lot about life. And it also teaches you, like you said on, how do I teach myself this? I, if you come out of school, you’ve practiced for four years on how to teach yourself things. But if you don’t take advantage of that and you’re done with your career, then you start having to teach yourself. Not only are you going to be four years, plus let’s say you played six years and football. That’s 10 years behind teaching yourself things, compared to everybody else who’s gotten now 10 years of teaching ourselves some stuff. So, that’s just my perspective on it. Others may feel differently, but, there’s definitely a benefit.
Zach Colman (43:13):
Yeah. Especially if you have a scholarship, I think that if you have a scholarship, it’s one of those things I’ve had my Ibis, we just paid off my student loans. So, after 10 years, so for sure, it’s one of those situations where I look at it, and I’m saying, you know, if you have a view of a sponsorship, take advantage of that sponsorship, I sponsor, I mean, a scholarship, if you have a scholarship take advantage of it. but, but yeah, so I want to thank you for being on I, we could probably talk all day. why don’t you tell everyone, where they can find you, who you’d like to possibly, if anyone reaches out to you, if they, if, if they like to, and, and maybe we’ll have you on, the podcasts on a more frequent basis. I think you have a good insight, into the inner workings, and I love to jump on your brain a little bit more about some of these other topics.
Greg Amiel (44:11):
Yeah, absolutely. you can, you can find me, I love to connect on LinkedIn. I think it’s a wonderful tool. simply, www Greg amiel.ca will redirect you to my LinkedIn. So that makes it pretty simple and straightforward. but I encourage you. If you want to connect with me, send me a message. Let me know. You’ll listen, to the podcast or, something you found. Interesting. I think it makes a great starting point for a great conversation. that’s how Zach and I got connected with one another, and I think it really creates, an opportunity for us to, get a good discussion going. So if you’re in the world of marketing, sponsorships, athlete, management, whatever it may be, if there’s an interest to connect, please do so. And I encourage you guys to do the same with, Zach as well because he’s got some great insight. I’ve been learning from him in the conversations we’ve been having. so look forward to being on again, if we can make it happen. And at the time being,
Zach Colman (45:11):
And this will be another episode, this is another episode of the brand power analysis podcast. And again, I want to thank you for being on, and, hopefully, we’ll have you on again soon.