From one side of the mic to the other
Krista Cellucci knows arts degrees can take their fair share of beatings.
“Yeah, they get attacked a lot,” said the fourth-year communications major and women’s soccer striker.
But it’s what you do with that piece of parchment that defines whether you took advantage of your four-plus years in the endless essay extravaganza or whether you were just spinning your wheels, says the Ontario University Athletics (OUA)’s second-leading scorer.
You find your passion, use your skill-set, and you combine them.
So when the forward found out about Toronto FC’s “dream job” opportunity, she knew she had something tangible and something real in her midst; a frequent insecurity not unbeknownst to arts majors.
“It’s Toronto FC looking for a representative to be the face of the franchise,” explained Cellucci while sitting in a busy concourse last Thursday.
The job employs those savvy with sports marketing and public relations; interviewing players, packaging video clips, travelling with the team and releasing press documents; things Cellucci has always adored.
“Talking to people about sports comes naturally … it’s not really a job to me,” said the forward. “It’s a perfect combination of my passions.”
The contest has already ended, with Cellucci unable to crack TFC’s top 15 applicants out of dozens, but for her, it’s just one opportunity out of many to come.
The star has already volunteered in a number of capacities with TFC in the summer and has even interviewed and packaged clips together for Laurier Athletics this season.
She remains on the prowl for a similar soccer-based internship with TFC or otherwise.
Teams need a proper mouthpiece, said Cellucci.
“It’s important to communicate what players are thinking, and what’s going through their heads in games. To the fans, it’s a strong connection.”
Cellucci’s assessment rings resonant especially in a sport that some followers treat as religion.
TFC consistently sells out in a market with a high population density of immigrants from a wide selection of global markets.
Toronto’s diverse ethnic background allows TFC to thrive in a country not yet ripe with rabid soccer fans the way Europe experiences.
And for a woman, the barrier of entry to being taken seriously as a sport analyst or PR marketer is that much higher.
“I think it’s really important that women are in the sports industry. I don’t think there’s enough attention paid to women’s sports let alone on the business side,” said the Mississauga native. “Having a brain [behind the looks] is extremely important.”
Cellucci cites ESPN’s Jemele Hill, a sportscaster and analyst as a source of inspiration.
“She has an opinion and people value her opinion,” said Cellucci.
“It’s gotten better [in the past 10 years]. You look at the women’s world cup; it got so much attention this year.”
So along with kicking a mean bender, Cellucci has learned to utilize her bag of tricks.
“Being at Laurier, it’s taught me how to write; how to critique; how to argue,” said Cellucci — a toolbox not undervalued in today’s jumbled information age.