Behind the Champions: Cara Wright
Basketball is in Cara Wright's blood, and the Indiana Fever Sales and Service Consultant loves working for a championship organization. "I played basketball my entire life. My father was an NBA and pro player overseas and a head men’s basketball coach so I grew up around basketball," she says. And now with the WNBA champs, Wright is excited for the future: "Basketball is transcendent and I just want to be a part of that. I have always wanted to work for a professional team/league and the Indiana Fever gave me that incredible opportunity."
Describe your path to this point in your career.
CW: I decided to not pursue professional basketball, but I still had passion for the game. I decided to go back to school at Indiana University for my masters in athletic administration and it led to an amazing opportunity to obtain my doctorate in athletic administration and cognitive and behavioral psychology. I am the first black woman to get my doctorate of Human Performance from IU and I am so proud of that accomplishment. I have also gotten to work internationally with sport for the NBA/WNBA in the Basketball without Borders in South Africa for the past two summers and that has also strengthened my dedication to pushing all aspects of basketball as a vehicle for success all over the world.
How long have you been working with the Fever?
CW: Since March 2012.
Explain your role with the Fever.
CW: I am a sales and service consultant. I sell tickets to individuals and groups and then I am also responsible to give them the utmost attentiveness and overall greatest customer service to the best of my ability.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
CW: I like the interaction with the fans and to see what works and doesn’t work with getting people on board with the WNBA. It is awesome to be a part of something like the WNBA, which is still in its youth as a professional league. I feel like I am really a part of history since in my lifetime, when there was no WNBA and to get to see such talent and growth means so much me. There’s a lot I like about my job.
What are your personal ties to sports, particularly women’s basketball?
CW: I played basketball at the University of Arkansas and finished up at the University of Dayton. I coached a high school girls’ basketball team and I have worked women’s and men’s basketball camps and clinics all over the country and lately the world while working the NBA/WNBA BWB camps in South Africa for the past two summers.
How did the Fever winning the WNBA championship inspire you personally?
CW: It was awesome!! It inspired me to make sure that I put in my best effort to get the Fever the fans in the stands that they deserve. Playing women’s basketball you don’t always play in front of a packed house and sometimes you dream of having an opportunity to win a championship to gain that respect and interest from the general public. I just believe that this championship made some new Fever believers and I want to make sure we as a staff and as a city really support what these women do on and off the court.
Other than the players and coaches, what makes the Fever a world champion organization?
CW: From the facility to the support staff, to the sales staff to the administration and players, this team really tries to personify excellence on and off the court. Incredible individuals make for an amazing and strong united team which exudes the tenacity and fortitude of a championship organization. I hope as a sales staff that we can mirror the determination that the players have displayed to the world in winning the championship this year and get it done on our end.
Your job requires a lot of interaction with fans. What stands out most to you about Fever fans in particular?
CW: Fever fans are “Die Hard”!! Such continuity with favorites and love for the team as a whole. Some Fever fans are vocal in saying that they have been here from the beginning and you have to respect that. The Indiana Fever Fans are some of the best in the WNBA!!!
Give your best sales pitch for someone considering buying Fever tickets for next season.
CW: There is no excuse to not support the 2012 WNBA Champs if you’re a basketball or sports lover; it just makes sense. For a family-friendly atmosphere, world class competition in a world renowned facility, it doesn’t get much better than this!
What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in sales with a professional sports team?
CW: Do your homework and think outside of the box. You cannot truly sell anything if you cannot sell yourself. Know the product, find your passion and make sure you set goals so that you can reach or surpass them.