In Their Own Words – Bryant Pfeiffer

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with Bryant Pfeiffer

As the MLS season roars ahead, we are grateful to Bryant for taking a few moments to share his journey from the soccer fields at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN to being one of the most innovative executives in the sports industry as he serves as Vice-President, Club Services with Major League Soccer.

Bryant Pfeiffer oversees training process at MLS Sales Center

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am currently the Vice-President, Club Services with Major League Baseball and have been with the MLS for 3 years.

Tell us what your specific role is with the organization?
I work very closely with every MLS team from ownership and senior management to sales and customer service staff to help them reach their local business objectives. This ranges from helping support the development and execution of business plans, best practice sharing, sales and retention, training and benchmarking results between teams.

What is your favorite part of the job?

It is fascinating to have the opportunity to work with 18 different MLS teams all with unique opportunities and challenges. And then, the opportunity to help contribute to their success in achieving their goals. I’ve met and had the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals.

What was your first “REAL” job?
Unpaid intern in the sales department for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wasn’t sure I wanted to be a salesperson but knew I wanted to be in sports. Once I had my foot in the door realized I had to “figure it out”. Eventually went on to have a very successful sales career at the Timberwolves including setting many of their all time sales records.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
I’ve always been extremely competitive in anything I do from varsity competition to playing rock, paper, scissors. I want to win at everything I do and I firmly believe this helps fuel my desire and has separated me from peers in the past. With that said, I’ve always tried to balance that competiveness with humility and teamwork. Never want to show anyone up in the process of reaching your professional goals. Sports, like in the business world, things don’t always go your way so I’ve always practiced winning and losing gracefully.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I miss being assembled with a like-minded group of unselfish teammates who are just as hungry to achieve greatness.

I don’t miss windsprints or ankle injuries.

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Beating one of the top ranked racquetball players in the world in an exhibition match in 2002 or completing my first marathon in 1993.

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
I still workout 6-7 days a week. Basketball, racquetball, running, soccer, golf and chasing kids around.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
Take improvisational comedy courses at a younger age. Huge impact into building confidence, being open minded, thinking big, accepting all styles and deferring judgment.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) that has helped you along the way?
I have a “connector’ personality and would say rather than lean on one mentor, I’ve instead tried to absorb a little bit from many, many people over the years at each stop of my journey.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Parents have been very influential.

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Ask a ton of questions. Get involved in something that can differentiate you from the thousands of other former student athletes interested in getting into a career after sports.

Favorite Book
The Book of Basketball – Bill Simmons

Favorite Movie
Anything with Will Ferrell

Read & Improv Comedy

Favorite Place to Vacation
Beach with kids – Las Vegas with buddies

What’s playing on your iPod?
Metallica, Rhianna and Doobie Brothers

Android or iPhone?

Mac or PC?

Favorite TV Show

Favorite Restaurant

Favorite Quote
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders not followers

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