Words of WISdom from Linda Logan
Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:00am
Linda Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, talks about her career path, vision and process she went through in creating the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
Linda Logan (MSA '80)
Executive Director, Greater Columbus Sports Commission
Why did you decide to pursue a career in sports?
I've always had an interest in sports. I love baseball and grew up a big Cleveland Indians fan. As a little girl, that drove my passion for sports. I wasn't an athlete in high school but was very involved with the sports teams. I was a scorekeeper, statistician, and editor of the high school newspaper. In college, I was an organizational communication major and, at the time, wanted to be a sports writer. While at OU, I had a work study job with Dr. Higgins. He was very instrumental in my career and encouraged me to come back for my masters. My first job out of college I worked for World Team Tennis with the Cleveland Nets. They played at the Richfield Coliseum, which was the same place the Cavaliers played. Working in sports was a combination of things. Part of it was great timing, part of it was my passion, and part of it was seeing opportunity.
Could you please talk about the vision and process for creating the Greater Columbus Sports Commission?
I had a very interesting start to my career. The first two teams I worked for the teams and their leagues both folded. Then, I found myself on the facility management side working for the Kemper Arena in Kansas City. I really liked the facility side of the business but also had the opportunity to work for the Big 8 conference hosting tournaments. The Greater Columbus Sports Commission evolved from these experiences. When I moved to Columbus, I started working at the convention center and recognized that there was not a dedicated effort in the city. While working at the convention center, I started bringing a lot of tournaments to town and realized that Columbus wasn't seen as a destination. It was recognizing a need and having the opportunity in Columbus. People were very open to hearing what I had to say and gave me a seat at the table. I had the knowledge of what worked in other cities and was able to put together a plan. Along with these factors, being a good collaborator helped me with the opportunity to establish the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
What has been the most memorable event you've been a part of?
I might have had a different answer if you asked me a month ago, but I'd say this year's Women's Final Four. We'd been working on it for over 10 years. We were very prepared for it, but it took a lot of hard work and was a collaborative effort amongst many people. We also had a lot of things go our way. We had great weather and three remarkable games. It was very rewarding to see all the pieces come together. The event was quite a journey, especially after initially losing the bid. It got people's attention when we didn't get it the first time around and helped us draw interest for a city that naturally has a lot of women in leadership roles in the community. It's really was a great experience all the way around.
What advice would you give women pursuing a career in sports?
Regarding their personal lives, I always like to tell young women that if having a family is something that's really important to them, make the time for it. Professionally, have confidence and don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. Sometimes I think women are our own worst enemies about having the confidence to let our voices be heard because we know our stuff. I would also say don't be too impatient to get the dream job right away. My journey and the winding road I took, I love that about my life. I learned things each step of the way. For example, working for teams that folded, I understand so much more about finances than I would have without facing that adversity. The journey is more important than the destination.
What's your favorite memory of Athens?
I'm a double bobcat. I went to undergrad at OU, too. I love the beauty of the campus and the people. I have wonderful friends from my time at OHIO. There are five of us girls who met in undergrad that still make it a priority to get together and continue to do a gift exchange over the holidays every year. I also have some remarkable friendships with my SportsAd classmates that have lasted a lifetime. I think Athens itself, as a community that is geographically tucked away lends itself to really investing in other people.