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Carl Manteau: Chicago Blackhawks Senior Director of Group Sales – Work In Sports Podcast
19th August 2020 • The Work in Sports Podcast - Insider Advice for Sports Careers • Brian Clapp - Work in Sports
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Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning for and this is the Work In Sports podcast. Well, I’m not often one to get into self-aggrandizement -- ok, maybe a little - but I have to say this is a pretty proud day.  On September 9th, 2017 we launched this podcast with the intention of helping guide young professionals into sports careers. We aimed to share advice, insider knowledge, seasoned perspectives, and cover the journey of hundreds of careers and organizations.  The first-ever guest on the Work in Sports podcast -- and some of your old schoolers who have been here from the beginning -- Scott MacDonald, Jake Kernen, James Ebo, Kelsey Smith, Carlton Robie, Dasmine Evans, Gary Pinson, and others I’m forgetting and sorry -- probably remember it was Carl Manteau then Senior Director of Group Sales for the Milwaukee Bucks.  Today is episode 300 of the show. Alright, slight confession it;’s actually 301, my math didn’t line up as I had planned but don’t get lost in the details, I’m on a roll here.  Three years ago, Carl and I talked about the journey into sports from inside sales, today we talk about new subjects like mental health through a pandemic, group sales when there are no groups to sell to, and developing culture in a world that is distant and through computer screens.  Now, while that sounds depressing -- it is not. Carl is one of the most positive, insightful, and motivating people I know. He paints a picture of light with his words, sharing ideas that can make this time productive, efficient, and set us all up for future success.  He highlights the good things, like the positive culture of working in sports, and how we can support one anothers mental health with simple gestures. This is a podcast of positivity, rooted in reality - we aren’t painting unicorns on the ceiling, we’re seeing the silver inside the grey.  Here’s my guy, Carl Manteau, who is now the Senior Director of Group Sales for the Chicago Blackhawks.. Questions For Carl Manteau, Chicago Blackhawks Senior Director of Group Sales    1: The returning champion!  In February, you left the Milwaukee Bucks, an organization you had been with for almost 7 years, to join the Chicago Blackhawks as Senior Director of Group Sales.  What has it been like starting with a new organization and having the entire world turn upside down just a few weeks after starting? 2: For a decade or longer I’ve been telling young people, if you want to work in sports look to sales, that is where the opportunities are. In February we had 25,000 jobs on – around 12,000 of those, almost 50%, were in sales.  We dropped down to 8k jobs in April, and now we are back up to 16k. But only 622 are in sales.  What do we tell all the young professionals who were listening to guys like us say they should work in sales, and now there are either no jobs for them, or they lost the one they had? What advice can we give them now? 3: I know you can’t predict the future – but the NHL is in its playoff bubble right now, and it looks like the next season will start in December versus the normal October start.  Has the conversation shifted to “how” to bring fans back into the arena versus “if” you can bring fans back? 4:  Things have likely settled down a bit now as we’ve hit the 7th overtime of our global pandemic, but I keep picturing the early scene in Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise is frantically calling his clients trying to retain them with little luck.  I envision this is what it was like for most salespeople in the first few months of COVID, trying to call their big groups and premium clients to settle their fears, or respond to their questions – am I on track, as it pretty crazy? 5: It’s strange, in this time of social distance and isolation I’ve talked to hundreds of professionals in marketing, operations, technology and social media -- and they’ve all told me about bei...