It’s no secret that my company Viking Sports partners with the New England Revolution. What people don’t know is how that happened. The wheels were set in motion the day Jen and I found out she was pregnant with Mia in 2012.
It was October 4, 2012 and I was accepting the Boston Business Journals 40 Under 40 award for being CEO of MyBike. By this point in my entrepreneurial career MyBike was an award winning bike shop that was revolutionizing the way bike repair service was done. When me and Jen got to the event we were treated like royalty. Everyone wanted to talk to us, every wealth adviser in the state wanted to handle my money, which was funny because I had none. I looked at the list of winners and immediately felt like I didn’t belong. Everyone was curing cancer or saving the world and I was just a bike shop owner. In any case Brian Bilello, the President of the New England Revolution, was one of the winners and we hit it off great. He was humble, down to earth, and funny. Just a great all around person. We started talking business to see if there was any way for my bikes to be at Gillette Stadium. He told me to chat with his top marketing dog Cathal to see if there was any possibility of a partnership. Like Brian, Cathal was just a great person. We talked a bunch, but ultimately couldn’t find a path to make a partnership work. That as in 2012.
Fast forward to 2018. I got invited to a Revolution game with my celebrity chef buddy Al McLean and we both brought our oldest sons. The experience was incredible. Family friendly, vibrant, and festive. It seemed like a perfect environment for Viking Sports to be apart of. The next day, I shot Cathal an email and quickly there after I was at Gillette Stadium working with him to figure out a way to partner with Viking Sports. I remember for one meeting, I had no sitter so I had to bring 3 year old Brayden with me. After months, maybe even a year of talks, the partnership became official. And it was awesome.
And to think all of this came about by me winning an award 7 years prior that I probably should not have won, networking, and being somewhat unforgettable. The bottom line is networking opens doors.