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20 Questions with Krista Balogh

April 3, 2017

Name: Krista Balogh 
Position/Institution: Associate Athletic Director for External Relations & Communications and
University Licensing Coordinator/University of Vermont
Number of years in your position: 14 years with our athletic department, 2nd year in Licensing
Alma Mater(s): University of Vermont ’02, MPA ‘07
Hometown: Marlboro, NJ

1. Why did you become involved in ICLA?
I had asked our collegiate licensing partners (Learfield) if they had any recommendations on professional development in licensing as I did not have much experience in the field while taking on the responsibilities. They recommended joining and I am glad I did.

2. What is your favorite part about being a member of ICLA?
I enjoy the newsletter and when folks post questions. Some questions are ones I have not necessarily thought about so it generates a bit of a buzz in my head about what we do here on campus and ways we may be able to improve our licensing efforts.

3. What is the biggest challenge to working in a university environment?
Coming into this role, it was to educate the entire campus on why we had a licensing policy and why they could not just go to any vendor they wanted! Like many others in the profession, licesning is one of my responsibilities here, but not my full-time role, so finding a balance was important from the get-go. As associate athletic director, I also oversee external relations, supervise sports and participate on senior administration.

4. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?
Educating the campus and as a result connecting with many wonderful people across campus, seeing more revenue generated and overall consistency through the proess.

5. What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?

6. Who has been the most influential person in your career?
My supervisor for many years and currently our new athletic director, Jeff Schulman. I have learned a lot from my colleagues with whom I have developed great friendships with. I feel very fortunate for that.

7. What is one item you cannot live without?
My family! Is that considered an item?

8. Who would you chose to switch places with for a day?
My 2-year old, Jackson. He is very loved, laughs a lot and doesn’t have to cook!

9. What is your favorite sporting that event you have ever attended?
2005 NCAA Men’s Basketball game where we defeated Syracuse.

10. Why/when did you decide to pursue a career in collegiate licensing?
Our former athletic director asked me if I would be interested in the opportunity. Overseeing marketing, having an interest in retail and a passion to collaborate with others, I thought it could be a great addition to my portfolio and a new challenge.

11. In your mind, who in this industry can serve as a good role model?
Morgan Rogers with Learfield Licensing is my liason – she has been an amazing mentor to me.

12. How has your involvement with ICLA influenced your career?
Being a member helps keep me stay current with trends and connected to others in the profession who can help me become a better licensing coordinator.

13. What educational or business experiences best prepared you for a career in licensing?
I think my marketing background has helped and certainly seeing how athletic success can impact retail sales.

14. What challenges do you face when working with students or vendors?
It is rare, but I have had a couple student groups who are very passionate about using a logo that does not comply with our style guide. Educating them on why certain things may not be appropriate can be a challenge but also a rewarding part of the job.

15. Would you please explain a professional success and how you implemented it?
When I first started, I created a brochure with Learfield Licensing that is distributed annually to all units on campus. Off campus, developing new relationships with vendors has proven to be successful especially when pushing specific product that is tied to an in-game promotion (ex: military appreciation night).

16. In your opinion, where is collegiate licensing headed in the future?
I think collegiate licensing will continue to grow especially with the changing landscape of colleage athletics. Developing technology and new social media platforms and engagement will continue to push these efforts as well.

17. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the field of collegiate licensing?
Educate, don’t enforce.

You have to listen to others to learn about their intentions on producing and/or selling certain items you may not agree with. Their perspective may make you think again.

18. What was your biggest professional failure/mistake and how did you learned from it?
This is on-going but I need to improve on capitalizing on retail opportunities. When we are having athletic successes or a promotion where an item could really sell, we need to be weeks ahead of it planning, promoting and executing. This means working with a number of retail outlets and our external staff to push the product.

19. What percentage of your work-week is spent in your office?
Tough question as it varies throughout the season – right now I would say 60%.

20. What are you most looking forward to at the next ICLA Convention or Winter Symposium?
I am headed on maternity leave so I will not be there but hope to attend at some point!