Raptors’ First Women In Sports Networking Event A Sold-Out Success

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Wednesday’s Raptors win over the Philadelphia 76ers wasn’t the organization’s sole victory on Wednesday night. The Raptors, in conjunction with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, also hosted a Women in Sports networking event prior to the game.

Hosted above e11even restaurant, the event saw more than 100 attendees come to meet and hear the words of Teresa Resch, Shannon Hosford and Justina Klein, three women working within MLSE, as they spoke on life in the sports industry.

A sold-out event, the evening led to attendees continuing their evening at Air Canada Centre to watch Toronto defeat Philadelphia.

Klein oversees live entertainment business for MLSE events, including MLSE’s partnership with Live Nation, building operations and fan services.

Hosford serves as MLSE’s vice president of marketing and communications. She manages all communications and brand functions for the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Marlies, Toronto FC and the MLSE Foundation.

Resch works in the Raptors front office as the the director of basketball operations. She functions as the liaison between the basketball and business operations. Hired in July 2013, she perviously spent four years working in the NBA league office where she worked with Basketball Without Borders.

Prior to Resch’s speech at the event, she caught up with Raptors.com to talk about her journey and the importance of women in sports working together to uplift and empower each other.

“Any time you’re able to help another person get closer to their goal or to advance, to better themselves, it’s always rewarding,” Resch said. “Throughout all of my steps [in my career] I’ve always worked alongside a lot of women in the sports industry and I think it’s always been good to see other people in those executive positions as something to strive for.”

Strengthen Bonds Within The Industry

Resch is happy to be a resource for other women who are working in the industry, she had some key advice for those who may be contemplating a career in the fast-paced world of sports.

“The biggest thing is you have to decide if you want to do it,” Resch said. “Don’t go into the sports industry if you’re only going to do it half-hearted. That goes for any industry. Don’t go be a lawyer if you’re only half sure about it. You have to go in, head first. You have to be all-in, you can’t go halfway.”

Standing in front of a room full of people to talk about a job that usually keeps her away from the public eye in her day-to-day work, Resch said it was a taste of what each of her players have to deal with each day they face the media. As a woman who has been involved with sports her entire career, she said sometimes she forgets she’s operating in a field that is generally dominated by men.

“That has more to say about the men I’m working with,” Resch said. “They’re very accepting. They see the value that I bring.”

Resch wants to continue to develop the bonds between females who are working in sports. With a conference room packed to capacity in only its first year, the Women in Sports networking event is primed to expand. Where there is interest, there’s also potential.

“I think this is a great start to building an even better network of women in the sports industry,” Resch said. “Men have been in sport for so long and they have a great network and we’re catching up. It’s kind of like the Raptors trying to catch up with the Boston Celtics. They have 100 years of tradition, we have 20.

“We have to keep striving and I think that’s the big message. We’re just starting to build our network and Women in Sports is only going to grow bigger and better and stronger.”

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