Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Welch.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have a deep childhood connection with the Sparks and it all stems from my early love for the game of basketball. I am exactly where I am today because at a very young age I was exposed to the game. I was a multi-sport athlete from Elementary school through my Sophomore year in High School and that point I chose basketball to focus on basketball as my only sport. I was able to travel, meet lifelong friends and was fortunate enough to have something to motivate me and aspire to.
As I completed my sophomore year of college playing basketball, I was looking for an opportunity to stay around the sport that I loved but in a different capacity. From playing basketball I was introduced t the profession of sports medicine and began on a path to become a certified athletic trainer. Through my sports medicine studies, I was the student athletic trainer for women and men’s basketball, football and rowing. Although my days as an athlete were over, I was still around the athletic culture that I was so accustomed to.
2 months after I graduated from San Diego State University with my degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training, I became a certified Athletic Trainer. I worked basketball and lacrosse camps trying to land a full-time athletic training position, but once I moved back to LA, the positions were scarce as the school systems did not have full-time athletic trainers on staff like they did in San Diego. I continued to work part-time, while I figured out my next step. I chaired the board of a non-profit and I started my own LLC which led me into a curiosity and passion for business. I always wanted a Masters degree and even a doctorate. 3 years after I graduated from college, I was excepted into the Graduate Program in Sports Management at California State University Long Beach. This is where I began my career in Sports Business.
While in my graduate program I interned at many 1 day events as well with 3 of LA’S professional sporting teams. I interned with the Sparks and the Clippers before I was hired for a seasonal full-time position with the Clippers, it was in sales. I never saw myself as a salesperson, and even shunned away from it when it was presented to me as an option to get on with an entry-level position within an organization. After completing my position with the Clippers I changed sports and received another entry-level position with Angels Baseball.
While working in the NBA and the MLB were fun and valuable experiences, my heart was with the WNBA and the Sparks. As a child I had gone to games, my high school coach used to take me and my team to play on the Sparks court before a game, went to the basketball camps where Lisa Leslie signed my jersey and the opportunity available in the WNBA is much greater than it is being that it is still in its early years as an organization and a business. I became an account executive with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016 and was a part of that Championship season.
Since then I have received team and league sales accolades which include 2 promotions which allow me to train our in-coming sales team and spearheading our youth basketball program skill development camps and clinics.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely been a challenge. I was interning and working for minimum wage at 27 and 28 years old which was challenging for me because I felt like I followed the blueprint that I was provided which was supposed to land me high 5 figures to start and my exit from college was nothing of the sort.
I was driving 20-40 miles one direction working various sport industry events and assignments in hopes of landing a full-time job doing something that I love and was unsuccessful at that for 8 years after college and 4 years after graduating from graduate school, it was frustrating, to say the least. In my opinion, I was qualified and driven which I thought was a recipe for professional sports franchises wanting to hire me. I applied and interviewed at the Sparks 5 times before I was hired, but I stayed persistent and determined to make someone see my potential and ability to execute.
In one particular instance, I had applied for a position, interviewed and was awaiting an offer letter when the team was sold and new ownership came to take over. At that point my previous interview meant nothing and I had to start the process all over again.
Needless to say, I didn’t get the position this time and was back to the drawing board.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Los Angeles Sparks are 3X WNBA Champions and have the most recent championship back to LA. At the Sparks, we pride ourselves with being champions on an off of the court. The Sparks team are comprised of Olympians, gold medalist, entrepreneurs, moms, musicians, foodies, fashionistas, and sneakerheads.
The Sparks are tenants at STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles and whose season runs from May-September every year. Not only do we pride ourselves in being winners on the court we also believe that we are the communities that we serve and believe in developing programs and participating in events all over the greater Los Angeles area and surrounding counties.
I am the Sr. Manager, Inside Sales and Youth Basketball programs. My main role provides a customized experience for all individual clients, groups and businesses who are attending and hosting an event at a Sparks game. There are so many fun and exciting opportunities that people can experience on their own or with a group of friends, teammates are coworkers that they don’t even know about. It is my job to create an experience for them that they never forget and leaves an impact on their entertainment experience. The Sparks pride ourselves on being the best family and community entertainment experience in LA. You experience elite athleticism on the court and you get to sing, dance and party the entire time.
I curate and manage our youth basketball skill development program allowing kids to have fun, be exposed to professional female athletes and give them something tangible to allow to dream. Dreaming curates effort and results when the opportunity to participate is presented and fun. If you enjoy it, you are more likely to put the effort and make the sacrifices it takes to be successful in athletics and in life. We like to teach life principles, intangible skill sets and equip the kids with tools in our youth basketball program.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like best about our city is that you can have whatever you want. Hills with nice views, beaches, multiple types of cuisine, a great time during the day or the night time.
I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about our city. I believe that L.A. is one of the best places to be outside of the costs of living. lol
- The least expensive annual membership is only $255.00.
- Groups of 10 people or more start at $15.00 per ticket
- Courtside seats are only $275.00 per game
- Website: http://sparks.wnba.com/
- Phone: 3232-431-3118
- Email: Kwelch@la-sparks.com
- Instagram: b2bconcierge