Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Sports Life

I love this time of year. It’s absolutely insane – for some reason life heats up to a crazy pace on October 1, but it’s worth it. Not only is does the weather improve (although I admit that I am not looking forward to the cold winter temps), but fall is the apex of the sports year.

I love sports. Not all of them equally, but I will watch just about anything on TV. It’s amazing too, when you consider the recent and not-too-recent track records of some of my favorite teams. I’ve been a Royals fan ever since I went to college – I’m dating myself, but it was 1985 and the Royals were at their peak. It’s been a long painful slide since then.

My two NFL teams are the Carolina Panthers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are actually showing a glimmer of respectability this year, but it’s going to be a long cold winter in Charlotte.

The Charlotte Bobcats are (still) an expansion team – not much else to say about that.

I’ve had more luck with college sports…my beloved Jayhawks won the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship two years ago. They also won in ’88 when I was in college – it’s a feeling that is beyond description. The football team won the Orange Bowl in 2008. If you know anything about the history of football at Kansas, you know what an accomplishment that was. I’m not even going to talk about this year’s football team.

And then there’s NASCAR. It’s never been a sport that I followed or watched and when I started at Press Pass, I had to take a crash course in drivers, sponsors and fans. In my almost nine years here, I have come to appreciate, not just the skill and talent of the drivers, but the passion and enthusiasm of the fans. I believe that the people who buy our NASCAR trading cards are more than collectors – they are true fans of the sport and the drivers they follow.

I think that’s the best part about what we do. We help people who are already fans become even bigger fans of their sport. It’s why we have (sometimes) heated discussions in our office about who attends the National and other opportunities to talk to fans – it is an incredible feeling to find out how excited people are about the product we produce. It’s not an opportunity many companies have. Of course, the downside is when people are not happy about an experience with our product, but that is also part of the job. You listen, you learn and you make the next product better.

We love hearing from you. Keep the comments and thoughts coming – through phone calls, email, Facebook, etc. Good and bad, we want to hear from you.

Terri Rehkop

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