Adam Grossman, chief marketing officer of the Boston Red Sox, will be speaking at RAISE 2017 on July 27! His spotlight session is not to be missed; use the promo code ADAM to get 10% off your tickets.
When the face of your institution or organization moves on, how do you celebrate his or her legacy while looking to the future?
That’s exactly the question that Adam faced when David Ortiz—a.k.a. Big Papi—announced his retirement before the 2016 season. For Sox fans, saying goodbye to the beloved slugger would mean the end of an era.
Going into Big Papi’s last season, Adam and his team had the difficult task of building a “farewell” narrative—one that would commemorate Big Papi’s success on the field, garner an emotional reaction from fans, and inaugurate the next generation of talent for the Sox.
Want to hear Adam tell the story in person? Don’t miss his spotlight talk on day one at RAISE 2017! And before you attend, learn about Adam’s strong ties to the nonprofit sector through his undergraduate education at Duke University and his passion for mentorship.
What’s an experience from your academic career that helped you get to where you are today?
The most meaningful experience that I had as an undergraduate was a project that one of my close friends and I did for a sophomore class. The assignment was to come up with a socially responsible enterprise, and we ended up working with the Durham Bulls—who was the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Tampa Rays. The Bulls run an inter-city little league in Durham, and we basically became their fundraising arm. We wrote grants and raised money for new equipment, and eventually we started a $450,000 campaign to renovate two fields in Durham.
The Bulls ended up opening the fields two years after we graduated. The project went beyond our senior years at Duke and gave us the opportunity to think about something meaningful that could help people outside of the classroom. It expanded our view of a traditional college experience and opened our eyes to what’s possible if you have an idea and pursue it in an aggressive way.
The theme of our conference is “Who do you Raise for?” What’s a charity or organization that you are involved with or feel strongly about?
That’s easy: MENTOR, which is a national mentoring advocacy organization based in Boston. It goes back to the idea that you can’t get anywhere in your life alone. We really believe in that here at the Red Sox, and I’ve seen it on display each and every day—and certainly in my own career. Relationships allow you to learn and to grow and to jump. Having people invested in your growth in whatever journey that you pursue is invaluable.
I was lucky to have handfuls of people in my life who helped me get from A to B, but there are so many intelligent, hard-working kids who don’t have people in their lives who can guide them. I can’t think of a more important platform than mentoring because it’s been proven that it works. A lot of times, the differentiator is who’s in your life and who’s not.
On a national level, MENTOR makes sure that mentoring is front and center on legislative agendas. They also work to ensure that the affiliates in each state have the resources, funding, and expertise to proliferate the organization’s message throughout communities.