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Published March 23, 2009
What made a homegrown Michigan girl leave a pretty decent gig with the Detroit Pistons for a job she knew little about with North Carolina-based ISP Sports?
“Maybe I got the call from ISP in January,” Janeen Lalik said with a laugh, digging through her memory files from 12 years ago. “I know the weather is a lot nicer in North Carolina.”
When Lalik arrived at Ben Sutton’s agency in 1997, five-year-old ISP Sports had three university clients. Now the company has expanded to 50 university partners, ranging from college giants like Notre Dame and Georgia to smaller schools like Appalachian State and Elon.
As ISP’s senior vice president of new business development, Lalik has been at the center of that growth, bringing home new deals while also searching for the next one.
“She’s become one of the most important people in the business of college sports,” Sutton said. “Her efforts have been instrumental in our company moving from a regional player to the leader in the intercollegiate multimedia rights segment.”
The biggest shift from the time Lalik entered the business 12 years ago to today is the competitive side.
“Many schools back then managed their rights in-house and you didn’t really see schools switching from one rights holder to another,” she said. “Now you see most of the schools relying on an outsource partner and getting more and more comfortable with that.”