SBJ/Sept. 11-17, 2017/Game Changers

Catie Griggs, Atlanta United FC


A
fter five years at Turner Sports focusing on business development, Catie Griggs was looking for a new challenge in her sports industry career. She found it in Atlanta with research consultancy Futures Sport & Entertainment, where she provided resources for brands, rights holders and media properties for the past three years.
Catie Griggs
Atlanta United FC //
Vice president, business operations
(formerly of Futures Sport & Entertainment)
As the company launched in the U.S. 2 1/2 years ago, Griggs helped build a business from the ground up, in large part due to cultivating strategic relationships within the industry.

With that success, Griggs embarks on a new challenge, joining one of Major League Soccer’s newest franchises — Atlanta United FC — as vice president of business operations. She will lead integrated marketing, strategy and operations for the team on the heels of moving into its new home — Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

During her time at Futures, Griggs increased the company’s roster to 35 clients operating within every major sport in the U.S. That includes working with the NBA, NFL, MLS and NASCAR, along with major tennis properties that have helped the company carve out a space in the competitive sports landscape.

Griggs this past year was behind the successful effort to win new business from Coca-Cola and grew Futures (U.S.) from a one-person operation to a team of eight analysts across three offices.

Griggs credited Futures’ unselfish team and drive to stand out in the industry. “Our clients are seeing our value and keep coming back, and to me that’s a key part of our success. It’s a young and hungry team ready to roll their sleeves up.”

— Thomas Leary



  • Where born: White Plains, N.Y.
  • Education: Dartmouth College B.A.; Tuck School of Business, MBA.
  • Attribute I look for when hiring: Attitude. Most skills can be taught, but intrinsic motivation and kindness are more difficult to coach.
  • Networking tip I’ve learned: Be authentic and be prepared.
  •  Best advice I’ve received for career development: Always put your best foot forward — it’s a small world and you never know who might be in a position to help (or hurt) your chances at getting your dream job.
  • Sports business industry can foster a healthier work-life balance by: Allowing flexibility in where and when work gets done, when possible.
  •  Proudest professional achievement: Growing Futures from an unknown brand to the analytics provider for more than 35 of the largest and most sophisticated rights holders and brands in the U.S. sport landscape.
  •  If I had it to do over again, I: Wouldn’t change anything. All of the disparate experiences have gotten me to where I am today.
  • Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Billie Jean King.
  • Is discussion about challenges women face working in sports necessary or played out? Until there is a greater representation of women in leadership roles, it’s necessary. However, I believe that the conversation should be broadened to support anyone, male or female, who is seeking out ways to be a top contributor both at work and at home.
  •  Charity supported: Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

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