VP Retail Sales and Marketing for the NHL meets Sporting Goods Business students

Barry Monaghan (left) with program coordinator Charlie McGee
Barry Monaghan (left) with program coordinator Charlie McGee

Barry Monaghan, Vice-President of Retail Sales and Marketing for the NHL, is the 10th and final speaker in the Sporting Goods Business Speaker Series at Fleming College. Sporting Goods Business students and Sports – SHSM students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School came to Sutherland Campus on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to hear Barry’s words of wisdom from the industry.

“First things first, don’t think it’s all going to happen fast,” said Barry, who got his start as a salesperson on the floor of Footlocker. “Getting a foot in the door is crucial. Get in there and do it and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to take a hit at the beginning to see where it goes.”

Barry confided that his father felt he had wasted money sending Barry for years of study at university to watch him work frontline sales, but Barry knew it was a “foot in the door” and continued to work his way up. And when a licensing and retail position became available at the NHL, he went for it. “I focused on it. I knew I wanted it and I went for it,” he said. “Even my wife thought I was crazy!”

Now the Vice-President of Retail Sales and Marketing for the NHL, Barry discussed the changing landscape of sales– going from bricks and mortar to online. “When you’re dealt cards, you play those cards and figure it out,” said Barry, who has been on the Program Advisory Council for 31 years at Fleming. “Retail is changing and online is growing. You’ve got to figure it out.”

One thing Barry noticed is that sales are becoming less personal; unless you’re ordering large quantities from a wholesaler, you do not speak to a person. “I have trouble with that. I think face-to-face is best to get questions answered. I’m old school, I phone people to bother them,” he joked.

“How can you communicate today to make sure you’re successful and not pushy?” he asked, giving the example of Instagram users. Barry said some post on Instagram with pushy sales pitches and discounts, while others post a cool picture that will help the product sell itself—without the pushy sales pitch.

He added that all technology can be used to our advantage to make sales more convenient while remaining personal, giving the example of his friend’s tech-savvy real estate agent. Barry’s friend works in the industry and often travels, so he is not available to tour houses and meet frequently. His real estate agent offers a video for every house she sells, communicates via text and email, and is active on social media. “She was great for someone who didn’t have time to meet,” said Barry. “She found a way to do what many people have done, but in a different way.”

“Take some of the amazing things available today and use it to your advantage,” said Barry.

Sporting Goods Business grad Tim Schultz encourages networking

tim-schultz-and-charlie-mcgeeTim Schultz, CCM Hockey Pro Rep and Fleming Sporting Goods Business graduate (Class of 2010), said career success is achieved through building relationships.

Tim visited Fleming’s Sutherland Campus today as part of the Sporting Goods Business Speaker Series. While speaking with the class, Tim shared the story of the rep for hockey player Sidney Crosby; Tim said Crosby requests to continue working with the same rep he had while starting off in the industry.

“When you’re really close with someone, you never know how it will play out,” said Tim. “It all comes back to relationships, whether with athletes or classmates. The more relationships you have in a room, the better the day is.”

Tim knows firsthand the advantage of networking. In April 2010, Sporting Goods Business program coordinator Charlie McGee shared with Tim that the Reebok CCM Director of Sales was hiring a representative. Tim applied, went through the interview process, and got his start in the industry.

Tim is now the Pro Athlete Representative for CCM Hockey, covering 28 teams in the OHL and NHL. “I really enjoy what I’m doing, it’s fun. Is there a lot of paperwork? Yes, but at the end of the day we’re talking hockey,” he said.

“It’s amazing what you can do with effort and hard work,” said Charlie on Tim’s career success. He said that while Tim was not the strongest student with reading and math, he was a very hard worker and earned strong grades through hard work and organization.

“I over-prepare, that’s my comfort zone,” said Tim, who shared that he would repeatedly write everything down while in school to study for a test. “I’m not someone who can just remember things.”

He uses that skill on the road now, keeping track of 28 teams. “I’m big into lists,” he said. “I have a weird satisfaction when I complete something, being able to cross it off a list. And Excel skills are big. I use an Excel sheet to plan my weeks and months ahead of time. So, lots of lists, lots of Excel, lots of calendars– that’s how I stay organized.”

His advice to current students is to start their projects early, chipping away at it a little bit at a time. “The more prepared you are, the more you’ll thank yourself later,” said Tim. He also recommends networking, volunteering, and gaining valuable retail experience.

“But try to find a balance, you gotta have some fun too,” he added.

Baseball player Rick Johnston meets Sporting Goods Business students

rick-johnstonRick Johnston, Co-Founder & Director of Baseball Operations at The Baseball Zone, visited Fleming’s Sutherland Campus to speak with Sporting Goods Business students.

Rick has an impressive resume in baseball, which includes playing on the Canadian National Team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 1987 and 1991 Pan American Games, and the 1985 and 1991 Intercontinental Cup. He served as a scout for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, was named Manager of the Year for managing the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Inter-County League in 2001; and served as a technical consultant on “Fever Pitch,” “Angels in the Infield,” and “Batter Up.” Rick was inducted into the Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

The co-owner of SST Mississauga gave a guest lecture to Fleming students about achieving goals, as part of the Guest Speaker Series in the Sporting Goods Business program. “Set an achievable goal and, once you reach it, set another achievable goal,” said Rick. “When you reach one, then you set another one on the ladder. You’re not going to climb five steps at once, so set ones you can reach.”

He suggested looking at every opportunity as an open door and considering where it can take you down the road. “Look at everything long-term and start goal setting. Do goals happen overnight? No. Everything has to take time.”

This means doing the grunt work to move up the ladder. “I had baseball experience but I had to learn to coach. I had to do the grunt work and it’s not easy. It takes hard work, and tons and tons of hours.”

Rick said he was disciplined and attended as many coaching seminars as he could. “You have to be committed. Every class you take, be committed to it,” he said. “If you put the time in, you have a chance. If you don’t put the time in, you don’t have a chance.”

His recommendation to those pursuing a career is to network, network, network. “I was massively networking. Networking is something you should be doing on a daily basis,” he said.