Kalyn Hutchinson, Manager of Ticket Sales for the Windy City Bulls, development team of the Chicago Bulls, told us of this team’s community outreach, the role of the “D League”, and how her career in sports marketing developed.  This is the inaugural season at the Sears Center for the team which provides professional-level completion featuring players from the Bulls and other teams.   Rotary has a fund-raiser with the team Saturday, 2/11 -- Windy City Bulls - Fundraiser for EndPolio Now (click the link for more information) at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates.  For details of her presentation, read "More".
 
Through Q & A she gave us an understanding of the team, league and sports marketing.  She noted that the “D” of D League isn’t like other sports’ B and C leagues; instead, the “D” stands for development.  Even Bulls players may ask to get more playing time at a professional level by coming to the team.  Other players may be selected out of college, from other teams or even overseas.  She said that for $12 (plus $10 for parking), one gets the same experience as at the United Center , except in more intimate surroundings.  She also noted that one of the reasons for the D League is to give an opportunity to kids so that don’t leave to go overseas to play.  Salaries are $55,000 to $75,000 per year, plus living expenses.
 
Kalyn grew up in the Naperville area, attend Waubonsie Valley High School for the first two years of high school, and graduating from Plainfield South High School.  Before joining the front office, Kalyn started her career as a Chicago Bulls Ticket Representative during the 2014-15 season and transitioned to a Ticket Executive for the 2015-16 season. Kalyn graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science Degree in Communication. While there, she worked with the Illinois Men’s Basketball team and served as the New Media and Marketing Chair for the UIUC Sports Marketing Association. Prior to graduating, she was the Marketing Intern for the Bulls/Sox Training Academy. Kalyn said she is thrilled to be a part of the inaugural season for the Windy City Bulls and is excited to meet new fans throughout the year.   The WindyCityBulls website is http://windycity.dleague.nba.com/front-office/ -- there you can find information on partnerships, events, personal celebrations, fund raising and ticket sales).
 
Asked about securing a career in sports marketing, she suggested heavy networking and not being afraid to put yourself on the line.  She said she networked any chance she could and was persistent in contacting potential employers or related organizations, seemingly almost to the point of pestiness, offering her help for pay or otherwise.   She also said to always have a Linked-In presence and resume. 
 
The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 22 teams — all with one-to-one affiliations with NBA franchises — in the 2016-17 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.  [from http://dleague.nba.com/about/ -- see this site for more about the “D League”]