Nothing compares to the sights, sounds, and spectacle of live sports. From last-second wins to comeback stories and seasons that unite fans in pride – it’s an unparalleled experience.
Capturing this experience, Sportsdigita was founded in 2011 by Angelina Lawton after her time with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as the SVP, Corporate Communications illustrated a clear need for better storytelling and selling resources for sports franchises. Witnessing six and seven-figure deals being pitched within the limitations of PowerPoint, Lawton knew there had to be a better way.
”I knew there had to be a better way for teams to tell their story and immerse their audience. Today, our Digideck solution has not only solved this problem, but has expanded into the Enterprise space as well used by 400+ of the biggest brands in the world including the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Visa, MetLife, and more.” Lawton says.
Sportsdigita is a Minneapolis-based technology company that specializes in sales enablement through its cloud-based presentation platform, Digideck. Digideck has transformed the way sports and enterprise organizations sell by bringing media-rich, immersive storytelling capabilities along with in-depth analytics tools to its 400+ sports and enterprise partners worldwide.
“I’m a woman-based business in sports and technology. Those are two of the hardest fields to break into. I came from the financial industry which is probably the third hardest,” Lawton says.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur.
What do you put your success down to?
I owe much of my success to my father. He was a lifelong entrepreneur and very well known in the business community. He taught me everything I know.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
- Find Your Niche – Don’t chase two rabbits at the same time
- Invest In Leadership First – I would have saved myself years of time and money if I would have hired my Leadership team earlier
- Do What Scares You Most – The only way to push yourself to be the best is to get outside of your comfort zone
How do you make sure you keep your clients happy and satisfied?
Our clients are at the heart of everything we do. Customer Service is undoubtedly the most important thing to retain lifelong customers/partners and bring in the word of mouth referrals for your business. Make sure you have a strong Customer Service team!
Being named as one of the most powerful women in US sport, how does that make you feel. What would you say has taken you there?
Being named to the Forbes List of the Most Powerful Women In U.S. Sports was a pinnacle moment in my career. Being named among the likes of such inspirational, incredible women such as Serena Williams and Billie Jean King was indescribable! I would say my entrepreneurial spirit that keeps me working at all hours of the day, my team’s commitment to our Digideck product, and the partners who entrust us with their brand every day all played a role in this accomplishment – I am truly blessed!
What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I love to travel. Especially to Italy and Mexico. They are my absolute favorite places in the world. I work hard and I also play hard. Meaning I like to get away and make fun a priority!
How did you fall into this line of work (did it just sort of happen or did you have to be intentional about it)?
Working in sports was very intentional for me. I started as the SVP, Corporate Communications for the Tampa Bay Lightning. I was in charge of anything with a Lightning logo on it. Once I witnessed the need for better storytelling solutions in the sports industry, the rest was history!
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
Take school more seriously. Education is truly a vehicle for your future!
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Make sure your online presence is buttoned up. Your digital brand is the curb appeal for your business – especially your LinkedIn!
What is one piece of advice that has impacted you the most?
Hire people that are smarter than you
What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?
I believe women shouldn’t shy away from pursuing careers in male-dominated industries. Being in both sports and technology industries I am oftentimes the only woman in the room. That needs to change! I also encourage women to pursue revenue-generating roles such as Sales – there is so much money to be made!
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement has definitely been being named to the Forbes List of the Most Powerful Women in U.S. Sports!
Outside of work, my proudest achievement has been being a mother to my three beautiful children.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I learned the hard way to hire your Leadership team first and entrust them with your vision. I would have saved myself years of effort and money if I would have hired my Senior Leaders earlier on in the process.
I also learned to find Leaders that know about what you don’t know about! When I started Sportsdigita I was trying to run a Dev. team without knowing anything about it – thank goodness I quickly hired our President who quickly took over the Dev. side of the business and has helped us become who we are today!