The Community Relations Department of the New York Knicks devotes time and resources to developing and carrying out programs that will benefit the community while building fan interest.
Karin Buchholz has a unique job working with the Knicks players to identify their interests and create programs to give something back to the community. She oversees the Community Relations Department, Fan Development Department and Alumni Relations. "Our community platform is literacy, so all of our programs have an educational component," explains Karin. "Our Fan Development Department includes basketball camps, clinics and special events."
Compassion and Passion
Karin, a former world ranked professional tennis player, has channeled her love of sports, knowledge of business and compassion for working with children into one career. She took numerous business classes on her way to a BA in Finance from the University of Arizona and continued through 1/3 of an MBA from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
Her love of sports took her to Harlem where she ran a non-profit Tennis program that was honored by President George Bush. Her people skills helped put her in the position of Director of Foreign & Cultural Affairs for the United States Olympic Committee. And, it was her business background coupled with hard work, perseverance, communications skills and the abilities to motivate and get along well with other people that landed her the Director of Fan Development for the WNBA and finally for the New York Knicks.
Now, she follows an early morning workout with a full business day that includes various meetings to create community events. She also talks with partners in the communities and invites them to the programs and to games.
You'll need business skills, people skills and good organizational skills to be an effective community leader. Karin suggests that you volunteer with non-profits or get an internship to gain the basic business experience. "Meet a lot of people and interview the people who have the job you want. Find mentors and role models in the sports industry," says Karin.