Sports – the great connector.
I was reminded of that one more time during my vacation to Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. It was fascinating experiencing different cultures and was interesting to see how sports played a role in each. From the World Cup viewing party on the ship to the jerseys and team logos worn by sports fans in every city, it was evident that sports plays a large role around the world. I didn’t speak the local language of any city I visited, but I could find some common ground in being able to turn on a game and watch with other fans.
Sports does this every day. You don’t have to be on vacation in foreign country to experience the camaraderie of being a fan. It happens in your workplace and among your colleagues. You don’t have to speak the language. Be willing to open the door and listen to a sports fan. When you do, you’ll tap into a passion that can build relationships. And that’s how business gets done.
Here are a few story lines to watch this week.
- Training Camp
- Baseball Hall of Fame
- Andrew Wiggins
- Rory McIlroy
- For NFL fans, this is a week they’ve waited on for months. This is the opening week of Training Camp across the league. There are several teams, players and storylines to watch, but you can bet that the defending champion Seattle Seahawks will be receiving a good share of the attention.
- Baseball fans will celebrate six new inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame Saturday. The list includes three former Atlanta Braves in Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine as well as former slugger Frank Thomas and managers Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre.
- In the NBA it’s been a busy few weeks for the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James is returning to his home state, and his former team, and the Cavs are busy gathering pieces around him. This week they’re expected to sign the No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins. The signing could impact trade talks with other teams especially Minnesota who is said to be interested in Wiggins if the Cavs want to trade for Kevin Love.
- On the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy won the British Open Sunday. The win was the third major championship of his career. McIlroy’s father also won big Sunday. Ten years ago Gerry McIlroy placed a bet that Rory would win the British Open before he turned 26. The 25-year old Rory helped his dad to an $180,000 payout.
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the sideline reporter for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks. She also works on the television broadcasts for the Seattle Mariners. Jen is the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business. Her step-by-step process makes sports accessible and practical for relationship building in business. The book is available through Amazon.