Akasha is the Coordinator of Corporate Communications at MLSE, which means that she gets to work with teams like the Leafs, the Raptors and TFC. She started as an intern at MLSE three years ago and is now working in her dream role, working with her team to manage day-to-day communications and PR for all their brands and teams. I've seen some of the incredible events and experiences she's been a part of via social media, and I wanted to know more about her role. She shares how she got into communications, the intensity of working in sports PR and why she loves what she does.
Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’m the Coordinator of Corporate Communications at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (or MLSE). We own six sports teams in total: the Leafs, the Raptors, TFC, the Toronto Marlies, Raptors 905 and TFC II. We also operate the Air Canada Centre, Ricoh Coliseum and BMO field in Toronto. In addition, we have three restaurants: Real Sports Bar & Grill in Toronto and Ottawa and e11even. My role encompasses day-to-day communications and PR for all of our brands and our teams, surrounding everything that the company does with the exception of the teams’ performances on the court.
We have a separate PR team that handles post-game press conferences, trades and new signings. They are more traditional sports PR, where I’m more involved with brand and partner initiatives that happen outside of the court, the field or the ice. As an example, every year the Leafs do a practice in the community presented by SportChek - because it’s a partnership initiative I would execute the PR by working with SportChek’s team. There’s a lot more of those types of things than most people might think. For example, when DeMar DeRozan launched his book club this year with First Book Canada and BMO, that became something I would handle the media relations for.
The Corporate Communications team also works on longer-term initiatives, like the Raptors ‘We The North’ campaign. We were responsible for trying to get that video on as many broadcasts as possible, the morning it came out. I also run the MLSE PR social media which we’ve been building from the ground up. I’ve been trying to work on making sure we’re announcing things on Twitter at the same time that an email or press release goes out--that’s new to us and isn’t something we’ve done before.