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Volume 21 No. 42
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Jennifer Pope, Los Angeles Kings

Photo: Adam Pantozzi / Los Angeles Kings via Bernstein Associates Photography Inc.

Jennifer Pope

Vice President, Kings Care Foundation and Team Services, Los Angeles Kings
Born: White Plains, N.Y.
Education: B.A., communications, University of Delaware

Jennifer Pope is an integral part of the Los Angeles Kings and AEG’s efforts to help tens of thousands of people across Southern California through various philanthropic efforts, driving tens of millions of charitable donations and a deeper bond between fans and the team.

Who helped Pope get her start in sports? Her father, via a desperate phone call to appease his sports-loving daughter when MSG Network wasn’t working at their home right before she returned for college break.

“My dad called the network to figure out why, and he started talking to whoever answered the call about me and got me the contact info for the PR folks at the network,” she said. She later landed an internship at MSG Networks, then later joined the NBA. It was Pope’s work with NBA Cares that led her to the charitable side of sports.

Since arriving in L.A. in 2007, Pope has reworked the Kings’ foundation and community department, forging partnerships with local organizations such as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It’s been personal as well, with the Kings helping raise money and awareness for hydrocephalus, a rare, incurable disorder with which Pope’s son, Charlie, was diagnosed.

“You have an ability to really make an impact on a community, as well as on one kid or an entire family,” she said.

— Ian Thomas

Getting to know...

Attributes I look for when hiring: Self-starter, someone who can work under pressure and has the ability to multitask.
Networking works best when:
I meet face to face. It’s easy to get caught up on having calls and writing emails, but the best relationships start when you meet in person and have continued engagement.
Misperception of working in sports:
That it’s glamorous. It’s actually a grind, a fun one, but a grind.
Woman in sports business I’d like to meet:
Michele Roberts. Having the trust and support of the players is something I take great pride in in my current position. She clearly does it at the highest level.
Role of sports in social issues:
That’s a complex issue, but sports has the ability to amplify a message. Look at the city of Houston and what J.J. Watt was able to do, or the Humboldt Broncos and events of Oct. 1 and how the hockey community came together to make an impact.