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Using local sports to expand your network

The other night I had the opportunity to go to the Inaugural Monumental Sports and Entertainment Business league event at Verizon center and I think it’s a really interesting and exciting concept. As happens in any medium to large city, you end up over time doing business with the same network of folks that you know and for better or for worse you stay within those networks. There’s a lot of benefits to that. It’s great to do business with people that you’ve known a long time and that you trust but it can be a bit limiting. The problem is that it’s hard to meet the right kinds of folks that you’re going to want to work with going forward and I think that is the neat thing about something like the Monumental Sports and Entertainment Business League. What they’re trying to do is draw on the fact that they’ve got a ready built community of people that share a common bond or common passion for something and in this case its hometown sports whether it’s the Capitals, the Wizards, or the Mystics. It’s a shared passion for something that gives you that sort of immediate common bond with other people.

I never thought about it this way but when they were opening up the event they were talking about the fact that Verizon center was the largest gathering point for people in the area. There are so many people that are so passionate about their hometown sports it does provide a sort of unique opportunity to group people around that and expand your network. I know that as you meet, greet, and talk to different people it’s amazing how the fact that you have that common bond eases you into making some of the normal hurdles you associate with understanding where other people are coming from as a business standpoint easier to overcome.

Now I don’t know if there are other teams around the NBA or NHL who do this but I think it’s just and absolutely incredible concept. I’m excited to get to the next event and continue to meet some of the great people that I met at this past event. So I’m curious as to what other people’s experiences were at sort of closed community network events. What other types of shared passions have helped bond together communities around something where the purpose of that event is one part whatever that activity is and the other part is about the networking and expanding your circle of folks that you may want to do business with?

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