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Q&A with Emily Jaenson

Name:   Emily Jaenson

Position:   General Manager, Reno Aces, Triple-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks and host of the Leadership is Female Podcast.

About your position? 

 I am responsible for overseeing overall team operations including travel, PR and relations with the league and affiliate. I oversee all marketing including strategy and promotions. I make the media buys for the organization. I am an active sales person on the corporate partnerships team. I oversee team store operations, licensing, and merchandise buying. 

What do you enjoy about your job?  

I love that no two days are the same! I get to work with a great team of people, mentor and develop those that report to me. I love that my work challenges me to learn new skills, pay attention to the marketplace for the best ideas, and I get the chance to implement those ideas, sometimes within weeks. 

What have been the highlights so far? 

Highlights of my career so far include having three children and continuing to chase my career dreams.

In 2018 I earned the job as General Manager of the Triple-A Reno Aces and become the first woman to do so in nearly 20 years.

In the office I’ve been able to launch two new brands, with a third on the way in 2022. For me, as an advertising major in college, I love a great brand and great style. To get the opportunity to launch a new brand each season, as I have in Reno, has been a dream!

– Los Corazones de Reno: I got the chance to launch Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversion, our celebration of Hispanic heritage,  with a new brand called Los Corazones de Reno, which included engaging the Hispanic community on the field, in the park, and at retail sales.

– BLC: A brand that pays homage to “The Biggest Little City” where the Reno Aces call home.  Lettering that takes after the iconic arch over Virginia Street.  The team wears the cap on Sunday to celebrate our home town. The hat and full clothing line is available at retail.

– The “R”: When I joined Reno I wondered why we only wore an “A” for Aces on our caps and not an “R” for our city.  In 2022 we will launch a new on-field cap featuring the R and wear it proudly!

I’m proud that as a leader in the company I still contribute to the bottom line by selling corporate partnerships and advertising. I believe in leading by example and by getting out in the community, meeting with businesses, and selling those businesses sponsorship packages to achieve their marketing goals and align with our brand. This has benefited the company and culture greatly.

I’m also incredibly proud of the people I work with; they are what make us a team and makes us successful. The best part of my job is seeing them succeed.

What made you interested in going into this type of work (when you first started out in your career)? 

I have been an athlete my entire life and knew I needed to find a way to work in sports.  For me, it just sounded fun!  Spending my days around sports felt like a great fit. I wanted teamwork, excitement, challenge, and a way work in events that brought people together to make memories.

What do you find are the down sides to the job (travel/long hours / missing family events/etc)? 

Downsides to the job are the hours and the number of events; baseball is a long season! It’s tough in the summer to pass on plans with family and friends to head to the ballpark. The hours in season sometimes start at 8:30 in the morning and end after 10 pm at night for days in a row. That gets tough! It’s important to know your why and find time to take a break.

What advice would you give women wanting to do what you do?  

The advice I would give, is to ask yourself: “What do you want?” And then ask yourself again, “What do you really want?” Put pen to paper. Write it down. Chart out your path to your destination and get started! There is always opportunity in sports. It might start out as a volunteer or intern role. But if you do great work, grow your network, and know how to articulate your success, the sky is the limit!

What advice would you like to give the 25-year-old you?  

I’m not sure I would offer her advice! I got where I am today because of the lessons I have learned on my own along the way.  Maybe I would have got where I wanted to go faster if I had got that advice, but I needed to hit the bumps in the road to clear the hurdles and learn the lessons to be who I am today. And guess what? I am still learning! Every. Single. Day!

So, you may feel impatient right now but stay the course. Trust your gut, set goals, and put all your good energy into achieving them. You’ve got more people cheering for you than you know.

What hopes do you have for the women working in the sport business industry in the future? 

My hope is that women know their value and they shout it out loud. The louder our voices, the more visibility, the more change.  The future of women in sports is limitless!

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