What if your day was shaped by talk of batting averages, player trades or World Series updates? What if your colleagues involved heavy hitters from the world of Major League Baseball, from the megastars on the diamond to the power brokers behind the scenes? What if last night’s doubleheader was no longer left to “water cooler” conversation, but the main topic of your department meeting?
It may sound like a season of fantasy baseball, but for Becca Shaw ’06, it’s another action-packed day at the office. As vice president of business development at MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), she’s in the business of growing the sport’s digital reach through licensing and syndication of baseball rights.
Though baseball may be a primary driver of her team’s activities, Shaw juggles a lot more than just what happens on the baseball field. Her purview goes beyond the ballpark to handle third-party business for MLBAM’s nonbaseball clients, such as HBO Now, live streaming of March Madness, WWE Network, the PGA tour, and MLBAM’s recent digital media rights partnership with the NHL, among others. Shaw is responsible for developing partnerships that allow baseball fans to access game action when they aren’t in the ballpark. She works with partners like AppleTV, Xbox and Roku to ensure that baseball fans can access MLB.TV on their Internet-connected devices. She also handles licensing agreements with partners, such as Yahoo and YouTube.
It’s no fluke that Shaw can talk shop with seasoned pros spanning athletic disciplines, and does so around a conference table flanked by far more neckties than high heels. Growing up in Omaha, Neb., Shaw established an athletic mindset at a very young age: “I asked my mom to sign me up for any sport that the YMCA offered. It didn’t matter the sport, I just loved being part of a team.”
Her love of competitive sports deepened when she was recruited in high school for the College’s volleyball team. Time on the squad offered a vantage point of the game, including a freshman-year opportunity to play in the first round of the NCAA tournament. But it was time off the court while involved in Red Bull’s marketing program, WIN for KC (an organization providing opportunities for girls and women in sports) and her internship at the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament on Daniel Island (secured through the College’s physical education program) that gave her a new perspective on the business side of sports.
“The College volleyball team was my family for four years,” she fondly recalls. “We learned to depend on each other both on and off the court. Trusting your team and elevating your skills to meet any opponent are critical for success – both in sports and in business.”
In the College’s classrooms, Shaw was able to galvanize her sports devotion with other interests, expanding upon the studies for her degree in physical education with coursework in psychology and media studies. “Psychology and physical education really offered me a unique combination, because I wanted to learn about the mindset of what motivates people. That really excites me,” she says.
As fate would have it, her love of sports is a two-way street. In fact, baseball has been very good to Shaw. It has powered an enviable career, earning her a spot on Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 list and a seat on the board of WISE (Women in Sports and Events). The love of sport at all levels also propelled the native Midwesterner to the big leagues of New York City.
“I never thought I’d end up in NYC working for one of the most premier sports leagues in the world, but I’ve loved every step of my journey and look forward to whatever the future holds,” Shaw says.
From baseball to hockey to the next Game of Thrones episode on HBO Now, Becca Shaw has landed her dream job and continues to hit the ground running.