The Blog of Jake Kelfer
Success Spotlight with Niki Angleton, Business Development Manager, Coliseum & Sports Arena at USC
In her own words: "I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, my grandfather actually came to the U.S. in 1920 from the Greek island of Kefalonia. You could say I am half Greek, half Texan :) Growing up I was a major athlete and performer playing volleyball, basketball and softball competitively through high school as well as the piano and guitar. I have a fraternal twin sister who went to UCSB while I went to USC (the best decision of my life) and studied Performing Arts and Music graduating in 2007."
How do you define success?
Reaching your god given potential, simple as that.
Everyone has their own journey and story to tell. Can you talk about your journey up to this point?
I have always tried to find ways to raise my own bar and be motivated to carve an inimitable path, one that seemed unattainable at a young age. This is why I chose to go to USC instead of the University of Texas, where both my mother and grandfather attended college. While in school I set a goal for myself to work for the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL and eventually find my way back to USC to work for Athletics and be the first in my family to earn a graduate degree. Luckily, I was able to work for 3 of the 4 major sports leagues before returning to USC and am currently applying to the Business Analytics Master’s program at USC’s Marshall School of Business. I’m extremely interested in the big data era and discerning its various applications to the sports industry.
How do you feel about the Rams moving back to Los Angeles? How will it affect the Coliseum and your role with them?
Adding the Rams to the mix is going to be a challenge but I can’t help but get excited for the opportunity to be a small part of the reintroduction of professional football to the second largest market in the US. Hopefully, the Rams will not totally overshadow the new soccer stadium and organization being built across the street, LAFC, which I’m also thrilled about. This particular infusion of new business, people and experience to the already dynamic USC landscape is going to be nothing short of tremendous. It remains to be seen how my job will be affected but I’ve been positioning and preparing myself for this very scenario since I graduated in 2007 having worked for multiple professional clubs and the NFL league office in Culver City.
Since I met you, you’ve always been extremely passionate about what you do. Now that USC has control over the Coliseum, what are some of your goals for new business at the Coliseum?
The Coliseum is a globally recognizable venue with an unparalleled history but most Angelenos don’t associate it with anything other than USC football. My goal is to change the perception of the Coliseum from a place you go to watch a football game, to the sports and entertainment shrine that it is. I want to establish the stadium as one of the most venerable AND profitable venues on the planet while communicating it’s 100 year hidden history to the masses.
You’ve had a ton of experience in sports and entertainment? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself working for a premier league football club in Europe, preferably in London, in a business strategy capacity.
What has been your biggest failure and how have you learned from it?
I’m terrible at turning down opportunities, even if adding them to my plate isn’t realistic. I would much rather be good at 100 things than an expert at 1 or 2 but unfortunately there just aren’t enough hours in the day to say yes to everything. Over the past few years, I’ve learned how to say no and turn down people and opportunities that earlier in my career I would have said yes to in a heartbeat. If time management is an art form, than I am still very much a novice.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Worship accuracy.” It’s simple but not practiced very often in virtually every field, especially by the media.
If you could have lunch with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
1)Louis Zamperini, he’s the epitome of courage and a real life hero of mine
2)Eminem, he’s one of the most brilliant, enigmatic and fearless artists of our lifetime
3)Prince Harry, because I think we might be soulmates!
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing right now, what would you be doing?
Singing at the top of my lungs on Broadway.
The Fundamental Round
Favorite food: Queso (it’s a Texas thing)
Favorite book: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Read it!)
Favorite movie: Bull Durham, The Sandlot
Favorite athlete: Craig Biggio, Brad Ausmus
Favorite sports team: USC Trojans
Favorite song: You Look Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton; Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
Favorite quote: “From what we get we can make a living; What we give however, makes a life.” - Arthur Ashe
Biggest role model: Pope Francis
Animal you most resemble: Cougar
You can connect with Niki here:
Niki Angleton Instagram
Niki Angleton LinkedIn
I am a motivational speaker on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal success and happiness.