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Parlaying passion for sports into a career

How a former intern combined his loves into a successful venture. Jack Bechta

Print This April 07, 2010, 10:50 AM EST

On Monday night, I attended the North American premiere of a movie called “The Perfect Game” (theperfectgamemovie.com). The film is based on the true story of the 1957 ragtag Little League baseball team from Monterrey, Mexico, that, against all odds, achieved the impossible. I was invited by the first person who ever interned for me, Christian Tureaud, who also produced the film.

This is a great example of how my former intern took his passion for sports and melded it into a successful career.

When I first met Christian, he was a 23-year-old aspiring model and actor who was sidelined from football by several knee injuries.

When he found out about my sports agency, he asked if he could be involved because his first love, as he told me, “is and always will be football.” So I brought Christian on board for a year to help me procure new clients. After getting a taste of the industry, he knew he wanted to be a part of it in some way. In that year, he realized he could keep a connection to sports in his life and blend it with his other passions and opportunities. He eventually found his way into a job at Mandalay Entertainment in L.A., a company that produces films and TV shows and even ran some minor league baseball teams.

In 2005, we collaborated on a reality TV show called “The Long Shot.” The concept of the show was to travel the world looking for athletes who could possibly make the transition to the NFL. We needed an owner who would be willing to give a spot on the 80-man roster to the winner, so Christian and David Salzberg, Christian’s partner at Mandalay, flew to Dallas with me and met with Jerry Jones for four hours. At the end of the meeting, we convinced Jerry to do the show and be our Simon Cowell of “American Idol.”

A month later, however, Jerry called and said he had to pull out because his PR people advised him to keep a low profile until the new Cowboys stadium referendum was passed. As a result, the show never got off the ground. But inspired by the process, I went on to produce a show called “Super Agent,” which I sold to Universal and Spike TV for nice little profit.

Christian and his company have accomplished some good things in the sports and entertainment fields, but “The Perfect Game” will put him in the big leagues of his industry. My point is that you can take your passion for sports and other interests and blend them together to create opportunities, a service or business that keeps you close to whatever you love most.

I truly believe the sports universe is still expanding, and there’s opportunity for those who take an abstract approach. Christian makes a living combining his passion for sports and his knowledge of entertainment. Others combine sports and fashion, sports and fantasy gaming, sports and equipment, sports and software design, sports and the law, sports and real estate, sports and cars, and even sports and writing.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who can find your niche and develop a career combining your passions, you’ll have a fulfilling career, not just a job. So think outside the box, stay determined and carve out your space in the sports industry. It’s waiting for you.

Follow me on Twitter: jackbechta

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