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Angelina Lawton on Sports and Technology

Jan 19, 2022
 

Season 3, Episode 3

Summary:

Named in the FORBES 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports, our guest Angelina Lawton founded Sportsdigita over ten years ago. In this episode Angelina shares about building their flagship product the Digideck, the risks and rewards of running a successful SaaS company, making it in the world of sports, and the chapters of her life that made her who she is today. 

 

Links:

Check out Sportdigita.com

Sign up for Champion You Group Coaching

 

 

Transcript:

Michael Kithcart:  

Hello, I'm Michael Kithcart, high performance leadership coach and the creator of Wynning Your Way. Welcome to the Champions of RISK podcast where we examine the many aspects of risks so that we can all navigate uncertainty, with more courage and confidence together. Okay, I'm gonna date myself a little bit on this one. But do you remember Wide World of Sports? You know, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? I think this really kick started my love of both storytelling and sports. And so I'm so excited today about our guest because she has married those two things to create a fast growing and successful tech company. Today's guest is Angelina Lawton. She has combined her passion for sports, branding, and technology to become the founder and CEO of Sportsdigita, which has disrupted - my new favorite word - disrupted the sports industry by partnering with clients across professional sports and enterprise industries. With its groundbreaking interactive presentation platform Digideck: think better sales presentations through storytelling. Angelina is a respected leader in the sports industry. She's been featured in Ink Magazine, and in 2018, was named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in US sports. Angelina, welcome to the Champions of RISK podcast.

Angelina Lawton:  

Thank you. I'm super excited to be here.

Michael Kithcart:  

Okay, and do you remember Wide World of Sports?

Angelina Lawton:  

I do, I do. I guess I'm dating myself as well.

Michael Kithcart:  

Okay, well, that's okay. So, tell us a little bit about some of those key milestones in your professional life, or maybe even earlier than that, that kind of prepared you to create a company like Sportsdigita.

Angelina Lawton:  

So Michael, I get asked this question quite a bit. And so I've actually had to think about it and put together somewhat of a journey map almost because I've, I've moved around a little bit in different industries. So I think it's easiest if I give you this analogy. So for me, I've put my career into the same like, analysis as a hockey game. And so I would say I can go through my career a little bit that way and show you the milestones of what I was doing that way. So think hockey game, and think the first period and the first period for me, I like to describe as my Wallstreet years. It's really where I grew up in the financial business, I was working actually, that's when I worked for my father, we were owned out of London, a very high net worth, high - managing almost $12 billion dollars in assets. And that's really where I got my start. It was definitely where I, you know, they always say you don't want to learn how to play golf from someone that's not really good. And so I same thing for me, I started under my father, and he was very disciplined, very strict. So that's really what got got my start, but also really started to mold me for my future. So that was a really critical point in my time, you know, right after college, I went to Arizona State.

Michael Kithcart:  

What would you say are like the - what did you learn most from your father?

Angelina Lawton:  

I mean, really, honestly, like the basics. At that point, when you're starting your career out, it was just how to hold yourself in meetings, and how to be on time and how to be organized, and really to not be afraid of having a voice. And my dad did give me that. And that was, in that time frame, I was really working with all men, it was called the Wallstreet years. And we were, it was a bunch of guys. And I was responsible for the corporate communication. So they're like their presentations, anything that they wanted, you know, newsletter wise, advertising, even holding their events I was responsible for. And so I would say just confidence, really instilling the confidence. He never made me feel like being a woman was, was something that was supposed to be challenging. It was just he always gave me a lot of confidence and taught me really great skills from the beginning.

Michael Kithcart:  

That's something that I wish we all could have. Right? You know, that from the beginning, as women, we're taught that there's no difference that there's equality there. And so to learn that from your father is pretty powerful.

Angelina Lawton:  

I think so. And, you know, it was a very formal work environment as well. And so at that point, I really, you know, it was. I mean, like I said, the basics. Just, you know, being really, you know, presenting yourself in a very professional manner. So, I think that a lot of times is you know, I mean, I'm a mother of three children, and one is already in the workforce. I've got another in college and another daughter in high school. And it's amazing how, you know, the, I have to teach them just the really the basics. And I think a lot of the young kids that are entering the workforce, they don't even, they don't think about those things. And so, even now, like, you know, even having your LinkedIn profile, how important that is as a young person; and just little things like that. So anyway, so after the Wallstreet years is really, I took a little break, and I ended up having three kids in that little break.

Michael Kithcart:  

Not much of a break!

Angelina Lawton:  

(laughing) So that was a break, I was my last, my last, you know, I worked up with my oldest son Jack up until you know about a week before. And that kind of ended my Wallstreet years. Because after that, I did stay home quite a bit. My husband was a sports agent in the NHL, he was playing. And then he was an agent, and then becoming a GM. And so I was really, he was really focusing on his career at that time. And so I was taking care of the kids. But then, of course, I got very antsy, and the kids got older. And that is when he did get the opportunity down in Tampa, working for, he was a GM down in Tampa Bay, for the Lightning. And I was fortunate in that I became close with the owners, and they needed some, they needed help on the marketing side. And the advertising and all of that, you know, with corporate communications. And so I really, it was a tremendous opportunity for me. So they brought me on board there. And that's really what started my NHL years. And that's what really gave me by my break into sports. I've been around sports forever, because I was married to a professional athlete. My father was very big. My brothers played hockey. So I've always been around sports. But this is so to get this opportunity for an NHL team was literally a dream for me. And so I would say what I learned there is extreme hard work. Because anytime a team gets a new owner, it's a kind of a new regime, and you're really starting all over. And so we came in under the new owners, and really, literally everything had to be revamped. And it was, I was learning how to be a mother and to balance my career during my NHL years, for sure. I was there at the arena every night, you know, eating dinner at night, we had however many games; 40 home games, and it was a lot of work. And I just I that was the the years I learned how to balance. Nothing was below me because there was so many jobs and things that needed to be done for this team that it was I remember ripping wallpaper off, you know, because we're going to redo the decorating in the arena. Or I was helping pick the cheerleaders, you know, that are going to be on ice, or I was going to help them put together a big presentation for you know, a six-seven figure deal. So it's like, I just went everywhere. Wherever I was asked, I didn't care. I was a GM's wife. And so that was a little bit interesting at first, but then I think that people realized that I was, that I would do anything to help. And so that's what I learned through those years quite a bit.

Michael Kithcart:  

What did you love about that time period?

Angelina Lawton:  

I mean, I loved everything about it. It was it was almost surreal to me how much I enjoyed that. I- the only reason I- and it was actually ended up being a blessing in disguise. But the only reason I wasn't I didn't continue to do it is because we got new owners again, and they wanted a new regime. And so my husband, of course, you know, they want their own GM and they want their own coach. So Brian, my husband was moving back to Minnesota. And I was like, Wait, I don't want to quit, I love my job. And so they were really gracious to me. And they're like, We really think that you can open your own business, what you're doing for us for our team, you know, and so I was really encouraging. I remember when they were saying that to me, I was like, Really? Okay, I wasn't even really thinking about that. But then after I started to kind of digest it and moved back to Minneapolis, I was like, You know what I can do it, what I did for the Lightning I can do for all teams. What I was doing for the Lightning at that point at the end was really important was their presentations. And that's really where the whole idea of the Digideck, which is our main product here at Sportsdigita, really came to fruition. Is that I was part of any time that any kind of presentations went out of the team, they came to my department. And I remember just thinking, This is so archaic the way we're doing things. Like, what, there has to be a more digital version of this more, you know, movie trailer - I was seeing that there's really cool things being done in other industries to tell their story. But we were still very flat on paper and PowerPoint. And in such an industry like the sports industry and entertainment. It's so sexy, it's fast moving, there's just so much content, how how, what a shame that it was just staying on paper. So I really started to look around for a product that would do what, kind of what I wanted like this, and there was nothing. There was absolutely nothing. And so when I did leave and came back to Minneapolis is when I really started to focus on, okay, how can I how can I do this? And so that's when I started Sportsdigita and that was you know, second period if I bring in the hockey game, ended the second period, leaving there and then now I'm going into the third period, which is what I call my Entrepreneur years. So for the last 10 years, as you know, I'm like, you know, I founded Sportsdigita. That's kind of where I'm at right now as far as you know, the next part of my career, I think that if I were giving a lot of baseball analogies, but I would say for Sportsdigita, I'm probably in the, you know, bottom of the sixth inning for what we're going to do, there's just a lot of opportunity right now, in, since COVID, in what's gone on with our company. And so now, as you know, we're, you know, we're 400 plus teams, and we're working internationally, I just opened an office in London, and it's just, there's a huge need for a product like ours, especially since COVID. Because people need to be presenting it, you know, like, they can't be in person they can't get on airplanes, it's getting better. But it really did show that you've got to be able to send out and be present, you know, generating revenue, even though you couldn't be face to face.

Michael Kithcart:  

Right. And when you think even back to when you first started, so that was you know, many years pre COVID. But there is kind of this coming from a sales background like that curse of the presentation, right? We've all seen terrible ones. It's embarrassing how many are still flat, in 2021, right?

Angelina Lawton:  

It's incredible to me, and the brands that we work with, how when we start working with them, they're they're embarrassed to show us what they're using. And these are big, you know, I remember we're starting with the Yankees, or Visa, people like that, you would think that they've got it dialed in, and they don't I mean, everybody needs help with this, everyone wants a better way to tell their story.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah. And so what does Digideck, allow people to do?

Angelina Lawton:  

Many things. I mean, it's a cloud based platform, and it is allowing you to tell your story in a very

dynamic:  

think movie trailer, for your, your business. And you're able to, it's, it lives at the intersection of sales and marketing. So it's the first place that a sales team goes and a marketing team goes, and you go in there, you have a marketing, you know, it's like a master deck. And there you are, allowing your team, your company to be you know, very brand specific. To stay on bran. You're able to integrate with your CRM system, which is critical these days. You're, the analytics have been a huge game changer for our clients. I mean, it's the basics. But you know, you can tell when people open your stuff and what they're looking at. I mean, that does shorten the sales cycle, that makes it a lot easier. Since COVID, we actually, you know, we're on a Zoom right now, and you know how Zoom is so critical. We actually ended up building our own zoom inside of our own Digideck. So you don't have to leave the product. So it's just, it's really just the - it allows, for instance, my own sales team, I know that my team is selling rather than putting together decks. And that in itself, the ROI on that, is incredible. So we are continuing always to fine tune it. But it's just been a very agile product that's kind of moved and evolved with what's going on in the marketplace.

Michael Kithcart:  

10 years, having a business for 10 years is a huge milestone, because so many companies don't even make it through the first five. So when you think back now, like what was one risk, in particular, maybe that you took, that really made a big difference for the business,

Angelina Lawton:  

I would say, starting to actually have my own, our own development team in house. That was a huge risk. It was a risk that was painful. But it really helped me understand at the ground level what it took to build a product. Because when I started Sportsdigita it was an agency. But because of the success of this one product with the Minnesota Twins, you know, sports is a herd mentality and other teams started to see. And so all of a sudden, I needed to productize my idea. And so that was a big risk. Probably if I, if I knew now what I knew, then I don't know if I would have taken it again. I probably would have hired someone, a CTO or hired a firm that was going to be able to help me build it. But I just, I don't know if it - it definitely paid off in that it, we've got a great team now and all the things that we've learned, but it was pretty difficult. That was a pretty big risk.

Michael Kithcart:  

And how long did it take before you actually saw the benefit?

Angelina Lawton:  

Yeah, I would say it took us a good three years. It was just, it was a big, it was a big chance, a big risk. And you know, it was; and you've probably heard me say this another podcast, but it literally was, you know, flying the plane and building it at the same time. It was insane. But it was, it was definitely worth the learning experience to get to where we are now. Because now we have a great - our president runs our roadmap, we've got a great product we don't - that's like other people in the business in software, they're trying to figure out if they've got a market and they're trying to figure out you know, if their product is good, and we've we really stabilized that, and that's been stable, really for about five to six years for us.

Michael Kithcart:  

That's great. So when you look about like what Sportsdigita is and your background, now you start to see that finance, the sports, the tech all came together. Each one of those industries in and of itself is a male dominant, dominant industry. So how have you created an advantage in these spaces?

Angelina Lawton:  

The advantage I see is that there's just not many of us. And so when I do go to the meetings, there's just not a lot of us. There's not a lot of women in sales overall generating revenue. I know that your background and you know that there's not not a ton of us. So I think the advantage we have is that we're actually doing it. And that we're, we're going to these meetings, and we're raising our hand. And we're saying, Yes, we don't just, we want a sales role. We want to be a CRO. We want to be in technology. Yes, we can run a sports team. You know, there's the first female president for the Philadelphia Flyers. So things like that, I think, the advantage is just just being there. And taking and doing it is what we need to be doing. I don't know if it's like the advantage, but I, I've used it to my advantage, because it's, we'll go in and we'll pitch against a bunch of other men. And when we walk in the room, it's something different.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah. And when you think about women in sports in general, across the board, right? We've seen now women are refing. They're coaching, they're owning. Just, what's your vision for women in the sports world, in general? Because there's got to be such a passion.

Angelina Lawton:  

There is such a passion. I would say, you know, like I said, there's just not enough of us, number one. And I would love to see a time where we're not talking about as being the first woman ref, or the first woman president, they're there. It's just who she is. You know, like the first general manager down for Derek Jeter, the Marlins, you know, that was such a big deal. But it'd be just great to hear about a woman getting a job that just doesn't have that "woman", you know, tag to it, which would be great. But the passion - what's nice about sports and women in sports, they really support each other. There's a lot of great, you know, groups and conferences and things like that. So it's it is kind of fun when you do meet other women that are in higher level C suite positions, because they know how hard it was to get there. And I just find complete support all the time across the board. You know, we just were; I was just in New York for Sports Business Journal. They have a, they have an event every year that they have, it's called Game Changers. And it was like my biggest goal in life since I started the company to be a Game Changer. And I finally was able to do that. I was, I was chosen. Of course, 2020, the year was COVID. So we didn't get to go and do it in person. But that was, you know, the one of the biggest milestones for like, biggest accomplishments. And going there. After COVID. There's about 50 women from across, it's the commissioners, it's coaches, it's you know, people that are running, you know, teams, all that it's just, it's, it's just incredible to see what that room is like, and just the accomplishments of those women. And to be a part of that group is just that was the tops for me.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yes. That's great. So now, what's the goal?

Angelina Lawton:  

For me, I'm seeing a lot of these women become presidents of teams. And I think that because of my background, you know that people will have fun with me. And they'll say, what's, what's overtime for you? And for me, I just obviously, I want to continue Sportsdigita, as long as I can; bring it to the next, you know, we're at a very critical time in the business as far as, you know, the revenue and software companies, the lifespan, and you get to a certain point that it really kind of blows up for the better. And so we're just on that cusp right now. So they'll probably, you know, we do get a lot of people that talk to us about, you know, investments or buying or things like that. We don't know which route we'll take. But we know that we're at a really kind of critical reflection point on what we'll do. So I don't think that I'll be doing Sportsdigita forever. And my hopes would be that I stay in sports and you know, I'd love to run a team.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yes. Yes, I love that. Okay, if you could do any team at all, if you could run any team, the whole wide world, come on.

Angelina Lawton:  

I mean, for me, my passion is hockey, just because I've married a professional hockey player. So it has to be that but for me, I think about how many games there are. And so baseball is like 80 home games, you have to go to all. Hockey's 40, kind of like the NFL, because NFL has what, very few home games, but also just what they're doing there that it would, I wouldn't, I can't say a team, but I will probably say NFL just in the fact that they're just so progressive in what they're doing on all fronts. And it just would be great to be part of that. But all leagues are obviously amazing, but just NFL is one I do have my eye on.

Michael Kithcart:  

Okay, we're gonna keep our eye on you. Because that will be amazing. You talked about this being a critical time for Sportsdigita. And you have a major investor called PEAK6. And it's co founded by Jenny Just, and she is known as the most successful businesswoman that you've never heard of. So how important has it been for you to be able to work with another, like, high level, high powered woman that is investing in your high powered female owned Business?

Angelina Lawton:  

I don't know if there is a bigger compliment that I can have, than to have Jenny Just, and Matt Hulsizer, her husband, be a part of Sportsdigita. I mean, she is incredible. She is, you know, people, you're right. People have not heard of her. She's very under the radar. She likes to keep it that way. But if you open up, you know, this, she was just on Forbes self made billionaires. And she's like number, I want to say like number 17 on the list. She's the head of Beyonce, and Oprah and all these major, major people and you and you talk to her, and you just would never know that. She's so down to earth. But having her part of my world, even if it's, you know, she's not, she's not like, obviously, in our day to day, but just to have her in my network and my sphere of people that I could call and talk to. I mean, I'm, I don't even, I'm speechless. Honestly, like, I'm just, that's how happy I am. And she's and she's just got very, you know, a great way about her about mentoring without really mentoring and just leading by example. So and she's a mother too, I love that about her. And we've got kids about the same age, our husbands are friends, as well, they did a Minnesota Wild project together. So I'm very proud to have her be part of my circle.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah, well and since part of your role really is to, you know, raise capital for Sportsdigita, so it can continue to grow, how do you go about mitigating risk?

Angelina Lawton:  

I'm very, very careful with, with the spend. So and I don't - we get a lot of people that a lot of corporate, you know, P firms and things bank investment banks that do want to invest. And for us, it's not about the cash, it's about the strategic portion of that. And we don't want just anybody's money, we want people that are vested in like helping us round out our leadership team, or helping us with our pricing or, you know, trends in software, how they can help move us forward. So I mitigate risk by not letting a lot of people in, really. And not in, but just in my mindset, as far as you know, I just want people I can trust, and people that understand my vision. And Matt and Jenny 100% do that. And so we did not take any capital on until 2019, I believe it was, and even at that point, it was like, I just really wanted them part of it. And I knew that they could help us move forward. So I would just say, that's how I mitigate risk is picking the right people.

Michael Kithcart:  

And what's your vetting system?

Angelina Lawton:  

Trust. Trust what they've done. I mean, you know, obviously, Matt and Jenny are extremely successful. And so you know, they lead by example. So that, to me, says a lot. I also work with, you know, I see what they do with other companies, I see how they handle them, they're actually a client of ours as well. So I know how they can operate and what's important to them. So, and obviously, the relationship, the vetting, you know, was a personal relationship through my husband, at the at the beginning. And so, trust, you know, really, that's it. And if they'll gonna let me do what I need to do, and they've really allowed me to do that.

Michael Kithcart:  

Okay. And so you've had to make a lot of big decisions over the last 10 years with Sportsdigita. What's something that in hindsight, maybe you would qualify as a fail? Although I do like to make sure that it's not really failing if we learn something, right? But what was maybe in that failed column? And how did you overcome it?

Angelina Lawton:  

It goes back to the technology. That technology has been quite a bugger for me. That was, you know, we, we were, like I said, flying that plane at the same time as building it. And I was bringing on clients, like, you know, the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, and people... I failed at probably bringing, like, getting the product out too soon. You know, we were getting clients and I was I was delivering, but not at the pace or the quality I wanted to. So I've been fortunate that I've had very great partners that have stayed here for a long time. And they've worked through this, you know, through that with us, but it's all about the technology. I just, it was tough for me. It was really tough. And I don't claim to know what - you got to know what you don't know. And I didn't know technology, and I was literally running a technology company.

Michael Kithcart:  

But you found people who knew how to do it really.

Angelina Lawton:  

I surrounded myself, I mean, I have to give complete credit to my President Cory Factor, who you know, had a team that he brought with him. He came on, he righted the ship right away. The people that he brought on, at that inflection point are still here today. So I think in technology, you really have to have continuity with the same people and they work so closely together. So running a SaaS company is not easy. It's got huge high growth potential. But you know, this technology, it's It's difficult. It's not for the faint hearted, that's for sure.

Michael Kithcart:  

And so how do you think Digideck in particular, has kind of changed or shape shaped the sports industry is as a result of what you can do?

Angelina Lawton:  

I think not so much that Digideck has, but what there's been a huge transformation in sports. And that is that this whole move to a very solid tech stack. There's so many software's out there now that I'm seeing teams not only embraced like a, you know, a presentation platform like ours, but it's a CRM system. It's like a gong, where you're recording your phone calls. It's Salesforce, because you need the CRM, and they're building this whole tech stack, which before, that, that was not there before. That was, you know, they would buy, you know, they would buy a software and they really didn't implement it or integrate it with others. And so it was a lot of just sitting on the shelf. But I would say, digideck is part of a bigger movement in sports that is just really moving. Everything is just Tech Tech Tech, you know, and you know that you see that we've got teams out and on the West Coast, you know, like Utah Jazz, who we're doing a big, you know, webinar with them on on Thursday, but talking to them about, you know, they're calling Utah, the Silicon Slopes now, because of all the technology going out there with the Utah Jazz or the Golden State Warriors. You know, you're seeing people like down in, you know, Sofi stadium and think about all the technology that's happening, but teams are getting really, really smart now. And they were really kind of the last ones to get on board.

Michael Kithcart:  

Gosh, I love that. I'm curious. Another way that like I've been seeing teams evolve to is in the naming rights of the stadiums. So to have like, Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle to really like have a movement?

Angelina Lawton:  

Yes.

Michael Kithcart:  

You know, right now Staples Center will be changed to... not bitcoin.com? Not Bitcoin, ah (laughing)

Angelina Lawton:  

I can't remember. I'm like, I'm having a brain - I think you're right?

Michael Kithcart:  

Is it Bitcoin? It's it's one of the cryptocurrencies or Crypto.com.

Angelina Lawton:  

Yes, I should know because the Lakers are a partner.

Michael Kithcart:  

So obviously, we're recording this one. It's, it's it's super new. But that's really fascinating, too, that the naming rights had changed so much, and what your technology is able to do to help create that vision in a completely different way.

Angelina Lawton:  

And to be able to tell that story. I mean, that's just the we're on the front lines for when naming rights does change, or new stadium or friends. You know, we've got really good friends that, you know, that started opened up the Climate Pledge arena, you know, we're at the forefront, because the first thing that they're going to need is presentations. You know, and so how to raise that money and what to do. So. It's, it's really interesting to see what's happening. Climate Pledge is really, really cool, though. I loved what they did. That was just so groundbreaking.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah, it's everybody should check that out if they haven't yet. And I've actually seen the presentation. That, yeah, it's, it's a whole other level.

Angelina Lawton:  

Yes.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah.

Angelina Lawton:  

Yeah. Such different activations. Now, just with technology.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah. So what do you think is the number one opportunity that's facing you, the tech industry, around sports and entertainment?

Angelina Lawton:  

I mean, I just I don't think it's just, it's just that movement. Still continuing with that movement. As far as it's the biggest opportunity out there for teams to embrace. You know, it's funny, we go into a talk to a team. And we always know if the leader, the sales leader of our computers, is going to embrace technology or not. And I just think to be a sales leader in the sports industry or market leader in sports industry these days, you just have to embrace it, you're just going to be left behind, if you don't, you know.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yes, and I actually think that's universal outside of, you know, sports leads the charge a lot. And it's like you said earlier, it's sexy, entertainment is sexy. I come from the radio world, but it's like anybody that is selling, and especially selling an intangible. I just think what you offer is absolutely critical. So you know, what would you say to that sales leader, who's still working with the PowerPoint?

Angelina Lawton:  

I would, first of all, feel sorry for them, because there's just so many better options out there for them, and just really try to make sure, you know, your people need to be productive, they can't be putting decks together, they've got to be selling and generating revenue. That's the whole name of the game, and sales is generating revenue. So I would just try to, you know, you have to be careful though, because, you know, some people really, really do like their PowerPoints still. So it's interesting, because our platform still has a print option. And so, you know, we were just in a meeting in a product meeting last week, and we were trying to decide whether we're going to let it go or not. And it's just, you know, do we charge extra for it? It's just it's really taking away from our value proposition but we understand there still still people out there, you know, that are, They're that they're still connected to PowerPoint. So that's, you know, that's our, our contribution to society is try to get as much people off PowerPoint as we can (laughing).

Michael Kithcart:  

(laughing) Yes, you're gonna make PowerPoint the fax, right?

Angelina Lawton:  

I know, right.

Michael Kithcart:  

Make it obsolete. What drives you?

Angelina Lawton:  

Success. I mean, really just I want to be successful, I want to be a great role model for my kids. I, I have a father who has very high standards. So you know, he's 83, I'd like to show him that I've been successful. And have him be proud of me. But I would; driving, just winning, building something, the fact that, you know, I built something and we have, you know, 80 plus employees. And they're all, you know, selling the Digideck and being part of this whole Sportsdigita team, is, sometimes it's surreal to me when you have an idea, and then it goes to fruition; software companies that don't even get past the first million. And I like I said, I don't if I if I knew now what I knew, then I don't know if I would have started a software company. I don't you know, this is just it's been a lot of hard work. But success drives me. I want to be successful.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah.

Angelina Lawton:  

To be honest is probably not the kosher answer. But you know, you work hard and you want to be you want to make a difference.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yes, well, and that's what so what does success represent? What does it look like for you?

Angelina Lawton:  

Well, it starts with my kids, because, you know, if you're a mother, you're only as happy as your unhappiest child. So success for me is to have a balanced work life with my children, where they still feel like I am a mother and they're loved. And, and hopefully, I'm leading by example. That's, that's what success looks like for me, obviously, financially, and all that for the business success looks like for us to get to a certain, you know, revenue, inflection point that we're almost there at, we should hit where I want to hit in the next six months, which is a huge, huge deal for us. So it's, it's a different many different levels. But it does start with my with my kids, for sure.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah. That's great. So what has you excited about 2022, New Year ahead? This is airing early in 2022, so...

Angelina Lawton:  

I would say what we have not talked about as part of our business. And the biggest growth that we have, sports always remains at our heart, and what we do, and it's what you know, it was started out as a niche. But what excites me the most is the team, number one, that we're building here. But then also, because we really are now starting out, are starting to fill out our kind of leadership team and our C-Suite and things like that. So that's, you know, really exciting, but, we're doing a lot outside of sports. You know, we're like with the VISA and the Cargill, United Healthcare, people that Kaiser Permanente, big huge corporations that we were not thinking about, but that we've grown organically through. So, for instance, we just did like, let me see, like, if you're Seattle Seahawks, and you present to Delta Airlines, and then Delta Airlines asks, What is this presentation? Now we're starting to, you know, pitch to the airlines, or it's, I mean, I can come across, there's so many examples of now of that happening. You know, we literally will, a team will pitch and then within the week, they're like, we just want what this is, and we don't even have to sell it, because they've already seen that they've been pitched to on it. So I would say 2022 is kind of Sportsdigita pivots - not pivots, but broadens outside of sports. And that I mean, we're, we're doing that already. So we we've hired a bigger sales team. Now that includes the B2B side, we've got a marketing team. Now there's does the B2B side. So that's really where where I'm most excited. And that's what investors and people that are looking to potentially buy or invest, that's where they get excited, they love the names that we work with the biggest names in sports, we've got them, their partners, and we're grateful for them. And because of them, you know, like the Packers are one of our best clients, they will, you know, if we're selling to someone in Wisconsin, and we tell them that we work with the Packers, we're going to get a meeting. You know, so we're thankful for that kind of base that we have with sports, but we're going to try to leverage that as much as we can.

Michael Kithcart:  

And sounds like way more on the brand side.

Angelina Lawton:  

Yes, for sure. On that.

Michael Kithcart:  

That's great. I love how the product is sells itself.

Angelina Lawton:  

It does. I mean, think about anyone that uses PowerPoint is totally game for our product, you know, then they're not specific to sports. We just started in sports, which is really a hard industry to start in. You know, and it's and it's the word - not, the right word is not incestual, but like if you - you, everyone talks to each other and you have to do a good job. You have to service them. You have to give a good product. You have to be able to add value to them. Otherwise, you're not going to make in sports. So I feel like if you can make in sports, you can make it anywhere.

Michael Kithcart:  

Yeah, I agree. It's almost like sports is a small town, right? Everybody's gonna hear about it.

Angelina Lawton:  

That's a probably better analogy than what I used. (laughing) So yes, I might use that.

Michael Kithcart:  

It's all yours. (laughing) So thank you so much for spending time. And if people want to follow you want to follow Sportsdigita and other things that you're doing, like, how, how do they find you?

Angelina Lawton:  

Well, it depends on if they want to see my social life and my fun life, or if they want to see my business life. Because I do all my fun stuff on my Instagram and my stories. And then I do a much more professional stuff on LinkedIn. I try to have a little bit - it's, I'm trying to figure out what the best you know, there's a couple different brands that I have. So is it is it the entrepreneur? Is it the mother? Is it you know, the business owner, so I, I do a couple of different personas on there. I don't do Facebook, and Twitter is kind of a combination. So just add @AngelinaLawton on all of those.

Michael Kithcart:  

Okay, that sounds great. Well, thank you so much for being the Champions of RISK podcast. It's, it's always a pleasure talking to a champion.

Angelina Lawton:  

Thank you so much. It was great.

Michael Kithcart:  

If you have big ambition for this new year, personal development can provide resources for you to take action, and actualize your goals while enhancing your well being. Invest in yourself this year with Champion You Group Coaching. Each month I go live with members to highlight high performance topics that shift perspective, provide a new tool or resource and create action steps to reach those desired outcomes. If you're looking for a personal or professional development companion, and want to be part of a high performance community, start your new year off right and give yourself a Champion You Group Coaching membership. We meet virtually the first Wednesday of every month and you can see details in the show notes or go to MichaelWKithcart.com/group

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