SportsCastr - Power Forward w/ John Wallace - "Power Forward" | Episode 3 w/ Shavonne Dargan
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Power Forward w/ John Wallace

Feet on the hardwood, finger on the pulse

John Wallace@JohnWallace

Having been a commentator on MSG Networks for years now, "Power Forward" is where I get to expand the breadth of topics I’m able to broadcast. I love my New York Knicks, but I’m also a father, a philanthropist, and a person who believes in his heart of hearts that you should give back to your community. "Power Forward" is a podcast where this power forward hopes to help us all power forward into new ways of seeing the world.

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Description

Syracuse alumnus and SVP, Strategy & Marketing at Live Nation Entertainment Shavonne Dargan sat down with John to cover a wide range of topics spanning the duration of their 25-year friendship. Shavonne details her professional route from being hand picked by Jerry West to spearhead the Grizzlies' marketing upon their move to Memphis to her current prominent position at Live Nation. Together John and Shavonne discuss Kamala Harris' entrance to the White House, the crucial requirement of investing in diversity in the workplace, and the importance of speaking up and speaking out for the betterment of our collective future.

Transcript

00:00:00
ladies and gentlemen today on power forward, We have a very special guest Schavan Dargan.
00:00:08
But before we get into, unless you've on talk, I'm gonna tell you a little bit about Shavon.
00:00:14
Shiran ran track at Syracuse while I was at Syracuse.
00:00:18
Um, she's a self described master marketer.
00:00:22
She worked for the Memphis Grizzlies.
00:00:25
She worked at MSG Network.
00:00:27
She's a very strong woman, let alone a powerful, strong black woman who's been making her way in the business world right from the start, just on their own.
00:00:39
No, no handouts.
00:00:41
Nobody really with a silver s**** or anything you just did on your own.
00:00:46
So, Chevron, I really want to welcome you to the show.
00:00:48
Thank you so much for making for making time today to come on my show.
00:00:52
How are you feeling and what's going on in your life? Oh, thank you.
00:00:55
Thanks for having me. I like that intro.
00:00:57
I'm gonna have Thio use that for my neck.
00:01:00
My next gig.
00:01:01
Um, how am I feeling? I feel like every time I'm asked that question now I take it moment by moment.
00:01:10
Right? Because so much has happened just in the past eight months.
00:01:15
um, it's hard right moment to moment.
00:01:18
You may be feeling, uh, one moment in the next moment.
00:01:22
You know, you have this this heaviness about you.
00:01:25
So in this moment, I am doing well that that's how that's how you know, I I am still blessed Thio be employed doing something that I I love tremendously.
00:01:37
My my family is safe and, well, I'm healthy.
00:01:40
So in this moment, I'm doing well.
00:01:43
That's good to hear now, Sharon, you were personally I you know, I know the story because I know you very well for over 25 years now.
00:01:53
But when you when you first got the job in the n b A, you're you're pretty much handpicked by Jerry West.
00:01:59
Um, Memphis Grizzlies.
00:02:02
No, no, no.
00:02:03
Listen, listen, let me let me finish because you developed such a great relationship with him.
00:02:09
And he has such eye for talent on and off the court, right? You know, pretty much everyone he's handpicked has gone on and done very successful things in their life on and off the court.
00:02:19
So that's what I'm saying on.
00:02:21
And so, in that regard, I want to say you paid it forward because because of you is why I'm probably sitting here today because of you reached out to me that day.
00:02:29
And you're like, Do you know Anthony Bonner is and I'm like, Yeah, I know Anthony Bonner Ridge.
00:02:34
And you were like, Well, I really don't know him, and he's up here doing stuff for the Knicks.
00:02:38
You should probably going interview with the Knicks.
00:02:40
I went in our interview with Dan Glass on that, you know, like, 23 days later, he hired me on the spot.
00:02:45
I started working at night, and I've been working with MSG Network for the last 10 11 years because of it because of you.
00:02:52
And I've said this in numerous interviews are numerous, um, telecast in the past.
00:02:57
But I want to hear from you.
00:02:59
Why did you feel the need to pay it forward to me? And are you still in good contact with Jerry West? Wow.
00:03:07
Wow. That's a lot.
00:03:08
Thank you.
00:03:10
Um, I There is no ulterior motive.
00:03:16
There's no, like, I this just what I do, right? If if I see opportunity and they're like you that I believe in and I know can be, you know, killing the game.
00:03:29
And if I have the ability Thio leverage, you know my network and you know my credibility, Thio put to put somebody on.
00:03:38
I'm absolutely going to do it partly partly because, like, it's just in me to do that.
00:03:45
It just makes so much sense to me to do that.
00:03:48
And I would hope that people would do that for me and people have done that for me, but that that's the thing, like I have not experienced any success by myself.
00:03:56
I have always had somebody that believed in me that put in a good word.
00:04:03
You know, I've done the work.
00:04:05
Um, and I built the reputation that's necessary for people to want to stand by you and put you on, but like nobody's successful on their own.
00:04:15
And if I'm in a position to, you know, help somebody be great unless I'm all for it, that makes me feel really, really good.
00:04:23
Just to hear you like you're still with the Knicks, and that was just like John can do this type of situation.
00:04:29
Just click.
00:04:30
It wasn't even a I didn't even have to think twice about it, and so it's really great to see that you're continuing to thrive, you know, just just off a simple recommendation.
00:04:41
Eso Jerry West.
00:04:44
So the last time I saw Jerry West, we're not still in constant contact, But But I was I was with the Knicks at the time, and my memory is terrible, but I can't remember who Jerry was. It was the Lakers.
00:05:00
He was, I think he was an adviser anyway, G I mean, he traveled Teoh New York, um, for the game and everybody if the Knicks organization was like God, you know, Jerry West and he's in the, you know, the room where all the fancy dinners happened.
00:05:16
Like forget the name of all this stuff.
00:05:19
But they're all like Jerry West, Jerry West.
00:05:22
And I'm like, Oh, Jerry's here.
00:05:25
So there are everybody's like, standing back and keeping their distance like he's, you know, a head of state.
00:05:30
And I just stroll in like I strolled in the room and I walked up to the table.
00:05:36
There was like, What is she doing? And I was like Gary and he gave me this big hug and then he would not let me leave.
00:05:44
I'm working like this.
00:05:45
This is my job, right? So, like pre game, it was like ours.
00:05:49
Pregame.
00:05:50
He's like, Go with me.
00:05:51
Had all of these interviews to do, you know, in the in the bird's nest, you know, area where all the interviews happened.
00:05:56
He had a radio interview, had his and he was like, Come with me.
00:06:00
Come with me.
00:06:01
Come.
00:06:02
So the whole night for the game, I'm running around with Jerry and everyone's looking at me like, how the hell does she know him? Um but yeah, Memphis was like everybody was family when we were there.
00:06:14
The players, the front office folks, and all of us, you know, on the marketing team.
00:06:19
So that's that's really how I get close to him now, I must admit, you you actually made all Big East before me at Syracuse 1999 through your name All Big East for Triple John eso.
00:06:32
You know, we both remember, you know, us practicing on Manley Fieldhouse Court and on outside of the track that ran around that track around the court.
00:06:43
That's what you guys would be traction and all the time.
00:06:46
Now you practice Justus hard.
00:06:48
Is this just a long as us because I remember it.
00:06:50
Did you have any aspirations, aspirations or any thoughts of possibly going pro or going to the Olympics? Or where you just Did you go to Syracuse? Thio Goto walk the Whitman School of Business? Yeah, I needed to go to college.
00:07:07
That was my goal.
00:07:09
And I my mother from a single parent household and my mother, you know, struggle, work.
00:07:17
Three jobs at some points just to raise me and my sister.
00:07:20
And so I knew that there was not a college fund for me into, And I also knew I had I wanted to do what I wanted to do.
00:07:28
I thought, you know me, right? I want to find a way because I don't.
00:07:33
I know that there are some boundaries, but I always believe that I'm able to overcome the boundaries.
00:07:38
And so we didn't have money to go to school.
00:07:41
And I knew when I was in, you know, ninth grade that I wanted to go to college, and so I had to figure it out, had great grades.
00:07:48
Um, but in 10th grade, I discovered that I had a talent for triple jump.
00:07:54
I didn't start triple jumping until I was in 10th grade in high school.
00:07:58
E was late.
00:08:01
I was already running track and I was long jumping.
00:08:04
But I wasn't like a great long jumper, and I was hurtling, but I wasn't a great hurdler.
00:08:08
Um, but I was a great triple jumper, and it was just by chance I discovered it.
00:08:13
My coach said, You know, I think you know, some of these Piau you know, drills that we're doing for with the triple jumpers could help you with, you know, long jumping with hurdling.
00:08:24
I'm like, Okay, just with the patterns.
00:08:27
Right? So I'm doing it.
00:08:28
He's like, Yo, she's you just a natural.
00:08:32
You just have the pattern down natural.
00:08:34
And I was like, I don't even know what you're talking about.
00:08:36
And then he said, Just just try something were like in the hallway on carpet in my high school, and he set up no pit.
00:08:44
So where am I gonna land? Right? I'm landing operative concrete.
00:08:49
Good thing you had young knees, young knees and young more.
00:08:54
And I'm still for those aftereffect.
00:08:57
That was it.
00:08:58
And from that point, my high school coach believed in me so much that he went out and we didn't have a triple jump.
00:09:05
Coach, We have any triple jumper we have.
00:09:08
He went and recruited a triple jump coach from another high school for me.
00:09:13
Yeah, and Coach Kadiri.
00:09:16
And he has since passed away.
00:09:19
But, um, that man believed in me so much on and took my high school coach.
00:09:25
Coach Roy was our, um, had coach, but he was a throwers coach.
00:09:31
So he knew he would, you know, about triple jump.
00:09:33
So, yeah, he recruited a coach for me.
00:09:36
And the rest is history.
00:09:38
I e shows Syracuse.
00:09:40
I chose Syracuse because of the basketball team.
00:09:42
How ridiculous is that? That's the only school that I didn't go on a visit for.
00:09:47
I know.
00:09:48
And I was like, I knew about Syracuse basketball with family in New York City.
00:09:51
I grew up in Northern Virginia, but yeah, I chose.
00:09:56
I chose queues for all the wrong reasons.
00:09:57
But I'm really glad that I did it, really, you know, because everyone that goes to Syracuse, we all love Syracuse like we bleed orange.
00:10:06
You know, everyone that you meet that didn't go to Syracuse.
00:10:09
They're like, man, why does everyone that goes to Syracuse Love Syracuse so much.
00:10:12
I mean, either you went there, you didn't and you don't get it.
00:10:15
Um, but so we all love Syracuse.
00:10:18
Can you tell me what your How do you feel about Syracuse A and B? Do you still keep in contact with any of professors or your track and field cultures or anything like that? Yeah.
00:10:29
So I became me at Syracuse, and what I mean is, I I started to become more comfortable with myself.
00:10:42
You know, you go from awkward high school student in college and you're having to find your way.
00:10:47
And and part of that, for me, was being a member of the team and kind of having a unit or in a tribe that's already there.
00:10:55
I didn't have toe.
00:10:56
Sure, I had to go out and make friends, but helped that I was part of that tribe and then being an athlete, they're not just my track and field tribe.
00:11:06
There's everybody's basketball team, the football players across.
00:11:10
You know, we were kind of we were all we all had each other's back and I became who I am, and I think my a lot of my success is because of my choice and going to Syracuse and and having the experiences that I have.
00:11:26
I don't keep in contact with professors, but I am in contact with a lot of, you know, my former colleagues and athletes, you know, on the field.
00:11:41
But we I know you know about black oranges.
00:11:45
So Brian Torrent, um uh, Thomas, you know, you just had this thought just based on everything that's happening, but specifically with police brutality against black and brown communities in this country and then all of the unrest and turmoil that has happened on the Syracuse campus in the past couple of years with racist and anti Semitic marks, which I couldn't believe because, like when we were there, we just it was just everyone loved each other.
00:12:15
It was man.
00:12:16
It was hard to believe that that was happening in our campus now because it was hard to believe it.
00:12:25
And and that's that's the sentiment that we all share with black oranges to is just like we love Syracuse Way were never afraid of.
00:12:33
That's like we weren't afraid.
00:12:35
I don't even remember seeing Department of Public Safety.
00:12:38
I'm like they were there like they were.
00:12:42
Where were they when we were on south campus? We didn't see much at all s self regulated.
00:12:49
We have to have, you know, like you got someone so handle that.
00:12:54
But so black oranges.
00:12:56
I'm very much a part of that now, and and that's kind of renew that sense of community with some of the folks that I went toe to school with.
00:13:04
And if it feels good, you know, we're leveraging our collective influences.
00:13:08
Thio try to make a difference.
00:13:10
So all right, now I wanna I wanna go back to Memphis Grizzlies because that was your first MBA job, right? And you know, Memphis, That was the team that was in Vancouver and got moved to Memphis.
00:13:24
And you were You came in on the first year in the first year.
00:13:27
So on, I wanna I'm a talk about my little story, and then I'm gonna go back to your story.
00:13:34
So I was in a similar situation when I got traded to Toronto.
00:13:38
Toronto is a new team, a hockey town.
00:13:44
And trying to get hockey people to come to basketball games was very tough at first.
00:13:51
But luckily Tracy McGrady, who ends up.
00:13:54
He's a Hall of Famer now on Vince Carter will be a Hall of Famer.
00:13:57
But those two guys together brought such an excitement that they turned even your regular, most staunch hockey fans into basketball fans.
00:14:07
I mean, they built a new arena.
00:14:09
They sold it out.
00:14:10
So how did you because you're part of the marketing team that that you know, that's what you That's what you do, Your master marketer.
00:14:18
How did you ingratiate the Memphis Grizzlies team into, Ah, Music town? Happy town, but not really a basketball town? How did you ingratiate that? And where there's some key players that help you, uh, expedite that process? Yeah, 100%.
00:14:36
So it's a it's a It was a college basketball town, so they heavily support the University of Memphis.
00:14:43
But they were not about that life to have Ah, you know, MBA team, like we're not going to just support you just cause you're here.
00:14:51
Um, So we had to do a lot of grassroots.
00:14:54
And when I said earlier that we were all family, I say that because everybody was out there doing grassroots, you know, knocking on door sipping, sipping tea, having meals really like that.
00:15:04
Knocking on doors and everything. 100%.
00:15:06
I remember there was this major developer in Memphis, Henry Turley, and I lived in, like, the industrial kind of downtown area of Memphis.
00:15:14
And he had developed this this, um, this community there and he lived there and I became friendly with Henry Turley.
00:15:23
And I'd be on Sundays at his house with him and his wife sitting on the porch in rocking chair, sipping Thio, literally sipping out Hey, had to do our president at the time, Andy Dole.
00:15:39
It would be at somebody's house having Sunday dinner with their family with them.
00:15:44
The players did it.
00:15:45
We all.
00:15:46
We all did it, Um, So people like Henry Turley, my friends, uh, Gina and Pat Neely, who were Memphis Staples.
00:15:56
They have.
00:15:57
They had a chain of restaurants at the time.
00:15:59
The nearly families that got really deep ties in Memphis.
00:16:02
They have all kinds of businesses.
00:16:04
All of them are preneurs.
00:16:05
But they, you know, embraced me and welcomed me.
00:16:10
And they were one of our first, uh, sponsors at at the Grizzlies.
00:16:13
So it really it really waas uh, in all team effort.
00:16:19
And we were boots on the ground, you know, breaking bread with with locals Thio, Thio, one person at a time.
00:16:28
Try to get them Thio believe in us.
00:16:32
And to understand that, you know, there's not this big, big organization that's coming in to take from the community.
00:16:39
We understand that we don't We don't survive without the community.
00:16:43
And so what community need.
00:16:45
And that's what we're here to deliver for you, along with some fantastic basketball and entertainment for your whole family.
00:16:53
Alright, so we talked about Memphis.
00:16:55
We talked about MSG in the Knicks a little bit, but currently your with live nation, right? And today I just heard I got some news that you just got a promotion, right? Yeah, I'll explain.
00:17:10
It's, um yeah, explain.
00:17:13
You could explain it better than me.
00:17:15
So it's it's sort of kind of a promotion.
00:17:19
But you you know me, John.
00:17:20
So I see a vision, and I if I believe in something very strongly, I want to figure out how to do it.
00:17:28
So it's a job that I created for myself and it was created e don't want to cut you off, but you gotta teach me that one because I want to create a job for myself to everybody everybody can you hear? Here's the here's there's no, like, really special sauce to it, right? It is.
00:17:47
You are an observer, you are intelligent and you see you are able to identify gaps not only, you know, identify the gaps, but understand and and build a case for how you are the right person to fill those gaps I've done.
00:18:04
And so this is the second time in my career that I've done that.
00:18:07
That's because before I went to the Grizzlies, I worked for SFX Sports Group and SFX was that conglomerate of all these sports agents, including David Falk, who, you know, major school accused.
00:18:19
Now shout out to David Falk.
00:18:21
Um, right, all these all these cues ties, cues, connect.
00:18:25
But I did it when I was working at SF.
00:18:30
Exports grew by starting in the business as somebody's administrative assistant guy who's currently my boss. Today.
00:18:36
I was his administrative assistant and I saw there was so much more that I could do.
00:18:41
He didn't know because I was eight months into the job and so I put a proposal in front of him and created a whole new role for myself and new salary and everything new title.
00:18:50
And he was like E.
00:18:54
So I I kind of did that again.
00:18:57
And so really, what my new role is it's a new team that were, you know, we gotta figure out you gotta gotta get the name trademarked, but I'll tell you like this is the first time I mentioned mentioning it publicly.
00:19:09
It's called Curated by Live Nation.
00:19:12
And what what I'm doing with curated is we have these joint ventures that are so phenomenal and their their focus is on black culture.
00:19:23
It's and all its musical, um, implications, right? It's live nation urban, which focuses on hip hop, R and B gospel tours, festivals, all kinds of events.
00:19:35
And then we have won fame it forward, which is, of all female focus platform.
00:19:41
But again, the target is black cultural influences, or or or, you know, targeting musical events for black audiences.
00:19:51
So we also have Rock Nation.
00:19:54
We have live nation women.
00:19:56
We have all of these fantastic um, assets globally, and there was not one way in which we were tying them all together for brands that are looking to reach black audiences and and or leverage black cultural influences to reach their audiences.
00:20:17
Because, let's be honest, like black culture is popular culture and we work in the music business.
00:20:23
The song like I'm like, Wait a minute.
00:20:27
We have all of this potential opportunity that we are not taking advantage of.
00:20:32
So it was kind of a perfect storm, which is a terrible way Thio say it.
00:20:37
But for lack of a better term to use were on lock down because of a pandemic.
00:20:42
All of this racial unrest is happening like I'm just like I can't do the same stuff anymore.
00:20:48
What I was doing yesterday, I can't do the same thing that I was doing yesterday and how I love my work and I love what I do.
00:20:56
But how do I do that In a way that makes me feel more fulfilled because it's not just about, ah, paycheck and maintain this lifestyle right? It's about I wanna be making a little bit of a difference.
00:21:06
And if I'm gonna be working in the music business and working for Live Nation and doing this, this what I'm doing, I need to make it count.
00:21:14
So So I put the proposal together and it became a reality about two weeks ago.
00:21:21
Well, I'm not shocked because you know that just your ability to pivot and adapt and assimilate to any situation.
00:21:29
So the pandemic and everything, you know, change your business and everything for a while, right? You guys have had to adapt.
00:21:38
Now when? When they if and when they do come out with the vaccine Do you think that's gonna change your business eyes? They're going to go back to normal, You think? Are you think? Are you guys still preparing the toe? Have social distance type events or whatever? So nothing is gonna be normal, like normal? There's not, first of all, like just from a societal perspective.
00:22:05
We can't go back to normal if before pre pandemic was normal and pre like, I'm not gonna get political.
00:22:13
But pre Trump was was normal then.
00:22:17
I don't want it right.
00:22:18
We none of us should want normal.
00:22:20
So just from a societal perspective, everybody is going to have to adjust and change, and everybody's business is going to have to pivot.
00:22:28
Um, we're we've we've adapted, right? We've gone to Livestream concerts.
00:22:34
Our whole.
00:22:35
If you go to live nation dot com, our whole entire platform on our website is totally different.
00:22:40
And we're aggregating every single possible Livestream event that's happening.
00:22:45
Whether it's ours or somebody else is the same way in which our website, you know, we service tickets for sale, you know, for anything, right? Um, but with the vaccine, just those two announcements last week by Pfizer than earlier this week or or late last week, the Moderna 90 something percent, um, effective for this vaccine.
00:23:08
Just the prospect of a vaccine like shot our stock up significantly because the stock's been like this right through through through this whole pandemic.
00:23:18
And it went up like 20 something percent.
00:23:21
And I'm like, ****! Just all people want is the hope that we're gonna be able to congregate again.
00:23:28
We've done some research, we have our internal insights teams, and they're constantly talking to fans and just, you know, all around the world, people want to go back to live experiences, whether it's going to the movies or going just to the park to hear somebody, you know, local band play, going to sporting events.
00:23:49
People want that So the moment we're able to do that again, people are going to go back to it.
00:23:55
So So we're on pause right now, and it z impacted our business significantly.
00:24:01
Um, but we're optimistic everybody that's still in the live entertainment business for its etcetera.
00:24:10
We're gonna be ableto get back to, ah, place where fans can safely, you know, come to to enjoy these events.
00:24:19
And so you know, it may it may be a while.
00:24:23
You know, just because there's a vaccine doesn't mean tomorrow, you know, everybody could go back outside.
00:24:29
It's gonna it's gonna take a while, but we're definitely optimistic that we'll get there.
00:24:33
Well, I hope it happens because I love conscious.
00:24:35
I love going toe shows all the time.
00:24:38
So hopefully guys ableto they're able to figure it, figure out the vaccine, and then that eases a little bit of the people that worries.
00:24:47
Now, I got a quick question is gonna be a very you know.
00:24:50
Mostly, I'm you know, most of my questions.
00:24:52
I talk a lot, but this is just very simple.
00:24:56
How did you wind up at Live Nation? So I always say that your network is so important and critical, and i e.
00:25:10
I learned it very early on.
00:25:12
Thank Thankfully.
00:25:13
So the gentleman that I worked for at SF exports grew.
00:25:18
Remember, I was his administrative assistant and I put a proposal in front of him and said I could do so much more and I found these gaps, and I'm the right person to fill them.
00:25:26
He's the president of the media and sponsorship division at Live Nation.
00:25:30
He's been there for a long time, So I worked for him at SFX.
00:25:36
I left and went to go work for the Grizzlies, but I kept in touch with him.
00:25:40
And when I left the Grizzlies, you know, I just was like I'm done.
00:25:44
There's nothing left for me to do.
00:25:45
I'm going to just go and figure my life out for a year and then I'll decide where I want to live and work.
00:25:51
I kept in touch with him and he called me randomly.
00:25:54
One day I was in Virginia and he was like, Hey, are you in New York? This was in 2000 five and I said, uh, I can be I was in Virginia at the time, but I was like I get on a train, which what do you need me to do in New York? He said, I want you to go meet somebody.
00:26:10
I have an opportunity.
00:26:13
And long story short.
00:26:15
I met with the guy he wanted me to meet with, and I was hired January 2006 when Clear Channel spun off its entertainment assets and the company became live nation entertainment.
00:26:28
So I started in 2006, right when live Nation became live Nation.
00:26:34
And I got the job because of my network in my, you know, past, uh, experiences and work with the gentleman who's the president of the division.
00:26:43
He's been the president of the division for the whole time that has been at Live Nation.
00:26:48
Um, and then I left Live Nation for a hot second went over toe Madison Square Garden because I didn't think I had the sports sketch out of me, but quickly learned that I did e no.
00:27:02
Yeah, I'm done here like sports is.
00:27:05
I'm not. It's not. It's out of my system.
00:27:07
I'm gonna go back.
00:27:08
So I went.
00:27:09
We went back to live.
00:27:10
Nation went back, but not after, not before negotiating a a bigger salary in a better title, right? Of course.
00:27:17
So Shavon, you worked with NBA athletes.
00:27:21
You worked with entertainers.
00:27:25
What's the difference? You know, athletes, wannabe entertainers, entertainers, wannabe athletes.
00:27:29
What's the difference? There is no difference there, people, Right? So that's why you know, I don't I don't fan out the only person that I've ever fanned out to two people.
00:27:39
One athlete won entertainer, and I'm still kind of embarrassed about it.
00:27:43
But I know one.
00:27:46
Mhm Mary J.
00:27:49
So so, Mary J.
00:27:50
But I just never wanted to meet her.
00:27:52
But Prince was the one that I found out because I had an opportunity to meet him.
00:27:57
And I was like, I don't I can't.
00:28:00
I just I know God.
00:28:02
Oh, my gosh, Gosh, no.
00:28:04
When you had a chance to meet Prince and you just we didn't have the opportunity.
00:28:08
We did a gig at his house at his house at Paisley Park, and this was like, ah, year before you passed away.
00:28:15
We were there all into all day filming a live stream for Yahoo.
00:28:20
Yeah, and it was a complete **** show train wreck, But it was the most beautiful train wreck ever, and I was exhausted a 15 hours straight.
00:28:30
We were in his house.
00:28:31
There were all of these rules, like all of these insane rules.
00:28:35
I'm like, what? And it was the most bizarre experience ever, and he wanted to come into the trailer and thank us after the control trailer, all the live stream of things happening.
00:28:47
But I just I couldn't I couldn't And but I still have those fantastic like fantasies and memories of my prince experiences.
00:28:58
Michael Jordan was the other one.
00:29:01
I was at a basketball game with David Falk without a Wizards game.
00:29:07
Me and David used to be chilled to just like me and Jerry West and we went to a game and he was like, Do you want to meet? You wanna meet? Um, Do you wanna meet Michael And I was like, Not really I didn't want to meet him, You know what I mean? It's Michael Jordan and we go to the back where the Busses are.
00:29:27
The players, you know, everybody's even they're going on.
00:29:30
And I was like, a dummy, like I could I had nothing to say to the man.
00:29:34
I was just like, I'm Mr Jordan, and then I like I'm still kicking myself.
00:29:39
That was 20 years ago, but But they're people, athletes, entertainers like they're they're humans.
00:29:46
And I, you know, there's there's no difference.
00:29:51
You have ego, you don't have ego, your gracious or you're not.
00:29:54
You're just a human and that zahau it, treat them now.
00:30:00
Obviously, it's in basketball, Atlanta and football.
00:30:03
Most of the players are predominantly black, and most of the execs are predominantly white.
00:30:09
And you've won numerous awards for inclusiveness because you know, you're at the forefront of that as a powerful high business a***en.
00:30:18
Uh, highfalutin black woman.
00:30:21
Um, what is true? So that Z now, when you came into the game, things were a certain way.
00:30:35
Not that you, now that you're like a seasoned vet in the in the entertainment marketing world, how are things now versus when you first entered the game of marketing for Live Nation? Unfortunately, not that different.
00:30:50
That's the unfortunate.
00:30:51
That's the unfortunate part, the challenges, because if I'm the only one, which which in a lot of instances I am, I can I can impact and I do like I have the ability to hot make hiring decisions.
00:31:04
I absolutely do.
00:31:05
I owe 100% I.
00:31:10
As for the past, even when I was at the Garden, I was in a position to of influence, and I've always felt like it's my responsibility to leverage whatever influence I have at whatever level on that doesn't matter.
00:31:22
As long as I have a voice and a conscience, I need to I need to leverage that that influence.
00:31:28
So it's It's my responsibility as far as I'm concerned, to make sure that spaces where I'm succeeding in, I open the door for somebody else to come up that looks like me that can succeed.
00:31:43
I didn't have the one thing I didn't have coming up in my career.
00:31:47
Waas um, black women who looked like me that were in positions that I thought I wanted to be in, who would give me the time of day quite honestly when I would reach out, There wasn't linked in when I was coming up, so you, the way in which you had the network was like real scrappy.
00:32:06
You had toe figure stuff out and find people on your own.
00:32:10
It wasn't social network Thio to make that connection less cold.
00:32:14
And so when I would reach out cold, you know, I would not get a response or, you know, and I just had to kind of navigate on my own.
00:32:22
The beauty of now and the one thing that is a little bit different is the ability for people to see who you are, know who you are through a social network, like, linked in and make make some kind of outreach.
00:32:35
That doesn't feel weird, right? That's what LinkedIn is for.
00:32:38
I wouldn't be on it if I didn't expect for people to reach out to me.
00:32:41
Um, but it's unfortunately not very different.
00:32:46
And with with the pandemic and all the social unrest in this country and the fact that quite honestly, folks are fed up and things have to change.
00:32:54
You see a lot of companies who have made these very bold statements about how they are going to be better at diversity equity and inclusion.
00:33:05
Um, and they a lot of them have have publicized their their stats and their stats are terrible, right? They have no black people in leadership.
00:33:16
They have no women on their boards.
00:33:19
They have.
00:33:20
They have no black people at all or people of color In some instances at the most senior levels of their company and where they do have a concentration of people of color, it is it is that entry level positions and then they see a in extreme dip.
00:33:37
When it comes to time, Thio climb the ladder and that has to change, right? And so I'm like, I'm I'm always doing my part.
00:33:45
Like I said, I I am in a position to make hiring decisions.
00:33:50
So you know, every person, every every black person that was on my my prior team Prior to me, changing into this new role Lab Nation was hired by me.
00:34:03
Um z incredible to have that kind of leverage and and pull that such a huge company.
00:34:11
That's incredible.
00:34:12
I don't do it, you know what I mean? We're going to get better.
00:34:17
And I believe in this company.
00:34:18
I believe in our CEO.
00:34:20
You know, there are people that have been rooting for me and pulling for me.
00:34:22
You have a fantastic group of black with our joint ventures.
00:34:28
We can we can be better.
00:34:30
We're in the music.
00:34:31
Interesting for crying out loud.
00:34:32
There's no reason We should not have representation at every single level of our company, and it's getting a lot better, but we definitely have a long way to go.
00:34:40
A lot of a lot of companies us included, have a long way to go on.
00:34:44
Gets up to me and people in like me.
00:34:47
It doesn't matter what your what your level or title is.
00:34:50
I tell people this all the time.
00:34:51
You have a voice and you use your voice and, like talk about you know, the changes that you want to see and make sure that you are connected to the people who can actually implement the change.
00:35:07
If it's if it's not you.
00:35:08
If you're not in a position.
00:35:10
Thio do that yourself.
00:35:12
No, my my boy Oliver, who's accused guy? He works behind the scenes at SportsCastr.
00:35:19
He found a reason Zoom, you're on me and you said, speaking of his isolating and what did you mean by that? Oh, my gosh, Um, when you especially as a black woman.
00:35:33
So I always I already wake up every day thinking about All right.
00:35:39
How am I gonna move right? I have this big nappy hair.
00:35:43
I have big lips.
00:35:45
You know what I mean? Yeah, I'm a little sassy.
00:35:49
People already have preconceived notions about who I should be.
00:35:54
And so when I speak up, it's sometimes perceived, as you know, first, for someone who has some kind of bias that's not your place.
00:36:08
Or why are you speaking for X Person? It's not.
00:36:13
You doesn't involve you or what? It's extremely isolating because people don't want to hear things that that, you know, they should examine about themselves.
00:36:28
People don't want to hear it, especially the business people and men.
00:36:33
If I'm honest, you know they don't want to hear, especially from a woman.
00:36:36
And God forbids black woman, right with a voice and with an opinion about something.
00:36:40
Um, but I don't I don't know how toe.
00:36:44
I don't know how to be another way.
00:36:45
I don't know how to see something that is, you know, grossly wrong, especially in the workplace, and not say anything about it.
00:36:57
E I don't know how to thio, not speak up.
00:37:02
And so, like, I've I've been in situations where, um not invited to the meeting anymore because meeting I was invited to.
00:37:12
You know, everyone around the table like yucking it up and laughing and joking about something.
00:37:18
And I'm like, That's a serious matter.
00:37:20
Why? I don't understand the laughter, You know what I mean? Like you're talking about people's livelihood here.
00:37:27
This isn't This isn't We're not smiling in this meeting that this is a serious business.
00:37:33
So let's get to the serious business.
00:37:34
And then, you know they don't like that.
00:37:36
So I'm dis invited to the meeting.
00:37:39
You know what? I'm okay with it.
00:37:41
I'm used to it by now.
00:37:44
But even even in in social circles, it's extremely it can be isolating sometimes, too, have an opinion that's different from the group opinion, you know, and but I'm not really afraid of that.
00:38:02
Well, on the topic of speaking out, what's your what's your feelings and our view on what athletes and entertainers should be speaking out about in today's topic? Like you know, everything is like you said.
00:38:19
We're in the world today that honestly couldn't imagine because, like when when all these protests started, honestly, I said to my my oldest daughter, who wanted to go on protests and ended up going to protest, I told her, I said, You're wasting your time.
00:38:34
I've seen this with Rodney King.
00:38:36
I've seen this other, but honestly, this time, this real attraction and I had to go back and apologize to my daughter and tell her I apologize.
00:38:45
I'm sorry.
00:38:46
I thought, It's just gonna be like that all the other times where you're going protest for a couple of days.
00:38:50
And then it's.
00:38:51
But no, it's been sustained.
00:38:54
And honestly, there's been more white people protest ing than black people, which means it's starting to bother people.
00:39:01
The silent majority.
00:39:03
And once the silent majority started speaking out, I felt like everyone started taking more of a notice.
00:39:10
How do you feel? Yeah, so with regards to athletes, entertainers, like I said, they're people.
00:39:15
And you know, I don't I don't I don't place any, um, you know, more of a burden on them that I placed on myself.
00:39:25
But I will say if you have a class of your anybody who has any kind of platform, it doesn't have to be a global platform.
00:39:31
It could be your local community, your church, your alma mater or whatever your your book club group.
00:39:37
If you have any kind of platform and you have something Thio say That is, um, unselfish and benefit.
00:39:46
What could could benefit the greater good and the whole than use your voice and speak up and use your platform.
00:39:52
Um, but this is different, right? E and I don't know.
00:39:57
I don't know.
00:39:59
I don't know what it is.
00:40:00
What I kind of think sometimes is that we were sitting still, right? Everybody's sitting still on way.
00:40:12
We don't have the luxury that that we've had in the past of putting something to the side and going to do something else because we're all still right now.
00:40:23
And that allows us a lot more time to just ease thinking and to be thoughtful and thio start examining and to start reading more and understanding how we got here in the first place.
00:40:36
And And you should be angry whether you're black, white or or or anything else.
00:40:44
Mhm.
00:40:45
Everybody should be angry about how we got here and why we're still here on.
00:40:50
And everybody should want to do their part.
00:40:54
Whatever that means.
00:40:56
Thio make a difference.
00:40:57
And to make a change.
00:40:58
I was talking to somebody the other day.
00:41:01
Um I'm not vocal.
00:41:05
I'm not you know, developing this whole new team at Live Nation focus on black cultural influences and black voices.
00:41:12
I'm not part of black oranges.
00:41:14
I'm not, you know, working the polls on Election Day.
00:41:18
For me, it's for because I don't I don't know that there is going to make a There's not gonna be that much traction in my lifetime.
00:41:27
It's from my nieces, and my nephew is for your kids.
00:41:30
It's for, you know, future generations.
00:41:34
And when you said your daughter wanted to protest, that's the other thing that's different.
00:41:39
Thes young kids are.
00:41:42
They didn't They are so much smarter, I think, and so much more aware than we were when we were young, coming up.
00:41:51
Dangers, whatever.
00:41:52
I think we're focused on silly things.
00:41:55
They have all of these world challenges that they see their social media, so they have access to everything, and they're really gonna be the difference, I think, And I'm I'm grateful for them.
00:42:13
You need now as a black woman with an impressive career in a black woman in position of influence.
00:42:22
How meaningful was it for you to see? Come out Kamala Harris be named to the vice presidency, a and B.
00:42:31
Is that something that should be meaningful? Or is this just something that should be normalized at some point? Well, it is extremely meaningful.
00:42:40
The fact that we're in 2020 and and things like first Black, this first woman, that is still it's ridiculous.
00:42:49
If you really think about it, it's ridiculous.
00:42:52
But but But it's where we are.
00:42:55
And so we have to celebrate moments like that.
00:42:57
And while we're celebrating, we have to acknowledge the ridiculousness of it and keep pushing and doing what we need to do to make those changes.
00:43:07
This is huge.
00:43:08
I had been, like, literally sick to my stomach for weeks leading up to the election.
00:43:13
I worked the polls like me.
00:43:15
You worked the polls, heard you heard you slide that in there, just like you slit in that you're cool with David.
00:43:21
****, you're cool with you, replied those things in.
00:43:25
But it was significant things e.
00:43:31
I signed up.
00:43:32
I did five hours of online training.
00:43:35
It was brutal, worked 18 hours at my local poll on Election Day.
00:43:41
I just felt like I needed to do more.
00:43:45
I needed thio.
00:43:46
I needed to physically be doing What's that process? How did you become a pollster? Poll was a poll counter Post.
00:43:55
What's your title, Pol e? I don't want to say poll worker.
00:44:00
We gotta be careful. We owe it.
00:44:06
Um, you sign up on the website and and, you know, they probably go through all your public records in history and, like, decide whether you're qualified or eligible or not.
00:44:18
That's your eligible.
00:44:19
And then you have Teoh.
00:44:20
You have to either go in person for training or because of Kobe.
00:44:24
They let you do it online.
00:44:25
You have tow pass the online training and then you just wait for an assignment.
00:44:30
Um and so my mother has been working the polls in Virginia for years, like she's retired and that's her thing.
00:44:39
She does that for local election.
00:44:41
She's been doing it for years.
00:44:43
Um, and she couldn't do it this year because of Kobe.
00:44:47
She's fine, but it just wasn't safe.
00:44:49
She was better to stay home. E.
00:44:52
I was like, You know what? My mother is not doing it, something that you know.
00:44:55
I'll do it.
00:44:56
I'll do it just kind of like because my mom can't and also be because I'm gonna be stir crazy in the house watching, you know, flipping channels all day following what's happening with this election.
00:45:08
Because I legit was looking for, uh, opportunities to leave the country.
00:45:15
Where can I go live? Who's gonna have Americans at this point? How can I make a living? Because I gotta get the hell out of here.
00:45:21
If this man wins another term.
00:45:25
Well, that's it.
00:45:26
So that's where you were.
00:45:28
I was kind of feel the same way, but it's all good.
00:45:30
We gotta worry about that now worry.
00:45:34
But we can't take our foot off the off the No, no, no doubt.
00:45:37
I don't think we will Collectively.
00:45:40
That's right. I don't think we will. That's right.
00:45:42
But so Shavon.
00:45:44
It's been a pleasure.
00:45:46
E haven't seen senior to talk to you and so long.
00:45:48
So it's been a pleasure to see you, uh, the SportsCastr and everything that you've got going on your life.
00:45:56
Uh, congratulations and good luck.
00:45:58
Congrats on your promotion.
00:46:00
You trying to slide that in there like it wasn't really a promotion, but it was a major promotion because you you created it for yourself.
00:46:07
So that's that's a boss move Congrats on that.
00:46:10
And, uh, and everyone else out there You can catch me here every Tuesday on a SportsCastr.
00:46:17
Wednesday's on spot of Apple and on and on.
00:46:22
Spotify.
00:46:23
Thank you guys so much.
00:46:24
Appreciate you tuning in Geron.
00:46:26
Thank you.
00:46:27
Accuse Nation.
00:46:28
Let's go!

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