Diversity, Growth, Sport Business | Mar 1, 2021

Episode 2 of our 2021 Chain Conversation Series sees Wasserman’s Managing Director for EMEA, Lenah Ueltzen-Gabell speak with Chief Marketing Officer of the Atlanta Hawks, Melissa Proctor.

Melissa’s career in the sports industry began as a teenager when she was hired as a ball girl for the Miami Heat. After graduating from university, she went on to serve in senior positions in brand & development at Turner Broadcasting, until joining the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena in 2014 as Chief Marketing Officer. In her role at the Hawks, Melissa is in charge of building the team’s brand and engaging its fan base.

In this conversation, Melissa shares her approach to leading her team through change throughout the past year, and the importance of viewing colleagues as people first and foremost. “I’m a huge believer in family first and people first, and while there’s work to be done, if we’re not ok personally, there’s no way that we’re going to be ok to execute work.”

Melissa also reflects on the process of writing her first book, From Ball Girl to CMO, and how her daughter was the motivation behind it.

Other topics covered were:

  • Adapting to and developing new norms
  • Setting personal boundaries
  • Adopting a ‘never say never’ approach to 2021
  • Navigating through enforced change



Chain Conversations is part of the Leaders Meet: Diversity Series, in partnership with Facebook.

The programme brings together leaders from a variety of backgrounds across professional sport to share their personal stories of leadership and to reflect on their own career journeys, pinpointing the peaks and troughs, the helps and hinderances along the way.

Every other week the previous interviewee will become the interviewer as we hear inspiring stories from aspiring and senior leaders within the professional sports industry.

The aim is to inspire, to energise, and to showcase why diverse thinking – and diverse opportunity – makes for better business across sport and beyond.


Supporting Partners of the Leaders Meet: Diversity Series:

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