SBJ/20090323/Forty Under 40

Janeen Lalik

Age: 39
Title: Senior vice president, new business development
Company: ISP Sports
Education: B.S., Central Michigan University
Family: Single
Career: Began career with the Palace of Auburn Hills and the Detroit Pistons, 1991-97; joined ISP in 1997.
Last vacation: Scotland
Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Whats on your iPod? Earth, Wind and Fire, Kings of Leon, Van Morrison, Richard Cheese
Pet peeve: Inconsiderate people
Greatest achievement: Being a good aunt and having great relationships with my two nieces and four nephews. They are so cool!
Greatest disappointment: Not yet figuring out how to have it all
Fantasy job: Photographer for a travel publication
Executive you most admire: Ben Sutton
Business advice: Each day, you are in control of three things: 1. How hard you work; 2. Your attitude; and 3. How well you take care of yourself.

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?

Janeen
Lalik
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.”

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