Lessons learned in the fast lane.

President and co-founder of Matchbook Christy Gormal began playing sports in kindergarten. She did it all, from the balance beam to the basketball court. So even at the young age of six, she was competitive and driven to succeed. Today, Christy remains dedicated and living in the fast lane for Matchbook partner Rev Racing, along with numerous other sport related partners. Rev Racing is the competition arm of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program and serves as the NASCAR-supported racing team charged with developing female and minority drivers and pit crew members for future competition at NASCAR’s highest levels. NASCAR shares Rev Racing’s belief that minority and female audiences are underserved in America’s second largest sport. “The sport of racing incorporates strategy, talent and working as a team for greatness. Everyone on the team is working together to make the race successful,” said Christy. “Together, Rev Racing and NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative have an impact on the entire sports industry by developing female and minority drivers and pit crew members. Look at the current pit crew roster for NASCAR races, more than half is full of diverse drivers that started from Rev Racing. We’re able to touch something much larger than performing our daily tasks. We have the ability to help influence an entire sport. Appointed as Rev Racing’s chief marketing officer in 2009, Christy manages all media inquiries and interest, while balancing her Matchbook responsibilities and home life. Working heavily in client representation and public relations at Matchbook, she is a specialist in sponsor, partner and media relations, as well as athlete and public figure representation. Below is Christy’s advice and encouragement for those looking to enter the sports entertainment industry.

Follow your passions.

Christy didn’t wake up one day and say, “I’m going to work in the sports industry,” but instead she followed her passions, and it led to her current role. “My love for sports is much deeper than watching football on a Sunday afternoon. It’s the camaraderie, it’s the connection of every background and it’s coming together for a common purpose. Plus, the real-time excitement,” said Christy. “Investing in the sports industry is purpose-driven. It’s a human necessity for people to enjoy life, and sports brings out that enjoyment in so many people.”

Make connections.

Relationships are the core of sports. The power of mentorship is real, and Christy fully believes she made it this far with a professional support system in her corner. Finding someone to look up to once breaking into the industry is vital for success, but it doesn’t stop after that. Continue to build new relationships as your career progresses, but always try to appreciate and retain the relationships you have built in the past.

Be tenacious.

Working in the sports entertainment industry isn’t for the weak, you have to stay focused and remain tenacious day after day. Just like any career field, the sporting industry changes and evolves daily. You must stay educated and on top of shifts, it’s not luxurious and it involves a lot of sleepless nights. From bouncing back and forth between racing and Matchbook partners, Christy has to constantly have a wealth of knowledge in her back pocket. “This job is trying, but if you remain passionate and persistent, it’s worth it,” said Christy. “Come prepared and continue learning.” When you combine Matchbook’s expertise of strategy, branding, creative and engagement to the proficiency of the sports entertainment industry, results are to follow. A race team is only as successful as its pit crew, managers, vehicle engineers and hundreds of others vital members. Similarly, an agency is only as good as its team, and Matchbook is firing on all cylinders.