Google’s Elyse Guilfoyle will lead a breakout session as part of the 2015 Basketball Analytics Summit. Check out BAS student director Bryce Parrish’s interview below to get to know Elyse!
What are your primary responsibilities?
As a senior industry analyst for live events and ticketing at Google, I work closely with the live event industry on consumer research, digital insights and thought leadership events. During my eight years at Google, I’ve worked with a number of companies in this capacity – spanning publishing, ticketing, performing arts, sports and music labels – to offer them insight into the digital behavior of their target audience. Prior to Google, I worked in event marketing for Ford Racing.
What do you see as the fastest growing or most important aspect of analytics in basketball today?
Sports analytics is typically described in terms of how you can use data to affect players’ performance on the court. But for me and my clients, we’re especially interested in how data can help get more fans in the arena. By using data and analytics to drive fan engagement and ticket sales for teams, there’s huge potential to bring in more money and create more loyalty for teams and players.
Who do you admire?
I really admire Sheryl Sandberg as a businesswoman. When I started at Google 8 years ago, Sheryl was the head of our sales organization. As a young woman just beginning my career, she was a great role model. With her book Lean In, she’s done so much to bring issues of gender parity in and outside of the workplace to light. I love this quote of hers: “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” I feel like Sheryl exemplified this during her time at my company and she certainly made it a better place, even in her absence.
Who is your favorite sport team(s) or athlete that you follow regularly?
Though I’ve lived in Michigan for most of my life, I’m originally from Kansas, as is all of my family. We’re a KU family, so I remember watching Jayhawks basketball when I was a kid and cheering for Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz when they were under Roy Williams. From age 11-12, you could always spot me wearing a blue and crimson jersey.
What tips do you have for students interested in a career in the sports industry?
There are a ton of niches within the sports industry, so you have to align your passions with the right niche. If you like numbers, perhaps data analytics is the right path. Writing? Maybe journalism. Business? Perhaps sports marketing. Once you’ve narrowed down a niche, find a mentor or a professional networking organization so you can really learn what the job is all about. From there, securing an internship in your ideal field is a fantastic gateway into a career in sports.
By Bryce Parrish (MBA ’16), student director – Basketball Analytics Summit