Although we’re only about a 1 / 3 of the way through our Spring semester at Georgetown, last night’s class was the highlight of the semester. Why? Because Ted Leonsis spent over 2 hours with our 45 students.
Ted, who is one of my primary mentors and a long-time friend, speaks each Spring to my Sports Marketing Strategy class. And, he always knocks it out of the park. It’s such an honor having someone with his background share his life story and life lessons with the class.
With his background of running AOL when we were the world’s hottest company; operating as the Majority Owner of the Capitals and Mystics (as well as interests in the Wizards and Verizon Center); producing two stellar documentaries – “Nanking” and “Kickin’ It”; serving as one of the DC area’s leading philanthropists; investing in new hot companies and ideas such as ClearSpring and Snagfilms; and being a terrific family man, he has so many wonderful experiences to share. And, that’s exactly what he did to our class last night.
He talked about coming to Georgetown as a 16-yr old freshman — his mentorship with Father Durkin — his initial job right out of college at Wang — to successfully selling his company for millions of dollars before the age of 25 — to the plane crash he fortunately survived at the age of 25 (very similar to the story about the recent crash on the Hudson River) — to his days at AOL, including the rise which led us to the largest merger in corporate history — to finding out the truth behind real happiness in life — to running and operating professional sports franchises (and the successful turnaround of the Capitals — to producing documentaries and coining the term, “filmanthropy” — and, much more.
Each year, after he speaks to the class, I get a few emails from students that tell me how they were blown away by the stories and life lessons; how they called their parents after the class to share some of the stories; to how some of them say that the class where Ted spoke was their best class in their 4 years at Georgetown. Those type of compliments say it all. Thank you, Ted, for giving back so much to your alma mater. We are all better for it. Go Hoyas!