SBD/October 30, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With BDA Sports Management's Alyson Furch



Furch leads communication strategies for BDA Sports clients, such as Rajon Rondo
After eight years with the Knicks and MSG Sports, ALYSON FURCH joined BDA Sports Management in July as Dir of Corporate & Client Communications. The new gig allowed her to stay in N.Y., but shifting roles from a pro sports franchise environment to BILL DUFFY's agency has Furch focused more on individual relationships. Furch: "We really get involved in their day-to-day everything. Coming from a place where you look at the athletes as more of cogs in this bigger wheel, where I am now, I care about all the guys, and I care about their families. The personal connection is probably one of the biggest surprises for me coming from such a corporate environment." The former Seton Hall volleyball player spoke to THE DAILY this week about successful PR pitches, the importance of one's personal network, and tips on spotting celebrities in Manhattan. 

Keys to a good PR pitch...
Picking the correct outlet. Selecting the correct editor, or reporter or producer, and personalizing the pitch to that particular person. The biggest misconception about PR is that it's easy. It's a lot more selling and convincing than people think, especially because what I do is not as sports driven and more entertainment, lifestyle and business driven. A lot of those outlets don't know about an athlete's stats, or whether or not he's an All-Star. When it comes to sponsorships, defining the individual athlete's brand, and communicating to the corporation the difference between the athlete they want versus the athlete that we think fits best. You might want the All-Star, but the storyline you're trying to tell really fits better for this other person.

Looking for in a job candidate...
What does their Rolodex look like, what does their network look like? Who do you know, how are your relationships and how quickly can you turn that into something tangible? I'm looking for your connections with producers, editors, TV, corporate connections. Do you have relationships with Facebook? With Google? Are you walking in with at least some bit of savvy in that way? Also, what are your celebrity relationships?

Mandatory morning media...
I get up, I go get my coffee from Starbucks. Right next to Starbucks, I'll grab the Post, the Times, the Daily News, the Wall Street Journal and the Record -- all the local New York papers. The first one I crack open is the Post, and the first place I go is Page Six. The Post's KIRSTEN FLEMING is one of the first people I met when I came to New York. Usually, Kirsten will e-mail or text me a heads up on what STEPHANIE SMITH has in Page Six. Once I get home, the first thing I put on the TV is MSNBC's "MORNING JOE." I love it when WILLIE GEIST is on there.

Tech tools and apps...
My Macbook Pro, iPhone and iPad go with me everywhere. The apps I use the most are Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Around Me is a great tool for the city. And I actually use a lot of relaxation apps. I have DEEPAK CHOPRA's 21-Day Meditation, I keep that app going.

Big Apple bites...
If it's a need-to-impress business meal, I like to go to Catch -- a seafood place in the meatpacking district. It's a great place to see people and it has this really great vibe. The owners there are phenomenal. The EMM Group has a ton of places in the city. It's the "see-me" place. You're going to see actors, actresses, athletes -- all of the above. If it's a place I need to go and get work done, but still with a great ambiance, my spot is ABC Kitchen in the Union Square area. They have awesome salads and really great wood-fired pizzas. It's quiet enough and it's in a cool area. 

In my free time...
I started taking tennis lessons this summer. I have a court at my home office, and I'll go out there if I need to take a quick 30 minutes and go hit the ball. I like it because I can just go out there by myself and hit the ball, I don't have to gather up a big group of folks to play.

Guilty pleasure...
Reality TV. I'm a big Bravo person, basically anything on Bravo. All of the "REAL HOUSEWIVES" shows, and I really like "MILLION DOLLAR LISTING."
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