The Arthur Ashe Legacy At UCLA
There are moments in history that create opportunities for fundamental change. We believe it is up to everyone to respond, both collectively and individually and be part of the solution. We are committed to getting involved, staying engaged and fighting for justice.
That's why in June 2020, we partnered with the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), which funds student scholarships and projects commemorating the tennis icon and great humanitarian.
Arthur Ashe was the first and only African-American man to win singles championships at Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open. He was also a passionate advocate for social justice, health and humanitarian issues. The partnership is a way to provide real opportunities for minorities in our industry.
SPORTFIVE is collaborating with UCLA's Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund to provide support to students through a range of scholarships and internships that exemplify the qualities embodied by Arthur Ashe. One recent addition to the SPORTFIVE media team in New York, thanks to the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund, is Jalyn Jackson. Jalyn, who was born in Tarzana, California, in 1999, graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in communications and followed up with a certificate program in project management at UCLA, which he successfully graduated from in June 2023.
With a background in track and field, Jalyn swiftly gained recognition as UCLA's foremost participant in the long jump and triple jump events, achieving record-breaking performances in numerous competitive outings. Reflecting on his experience, Jalyn takes us through his internship journey at SPORTFIVE, providing valuable insights into his daily activities as an integral part of the media team.
Can you tell us about your journey as a track and field athlete and how that passion led you to pursue a career in the sports marketing field?
My journey as a track & field athlete has been extremely instrumental in making me the person I am today. Being a long & triple jumper that was apart of 3 different programs at 3 different universities (UC Berkeley, USC, and UCLA) the amount of things I have learned and skills I have picked up in my 5 years have transferred over to my work life seamlessly. Because of my experiences, it only made sense that I look at pursuing a career in sports marketing because not only do I love and understand all sports in general from a consumer standpoint, I also understand the ins and outs of being on the athlete side and being apart of that world allows me to see things in a unique lens.
How did you first hear about the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA, and what made you decide to apply for the internship opportunity at SPORTFIVE?
I first heard about the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA through one of our sports administrators who passed along the information to me about an info session that SPORTFIVE was holding about the internship. After sitting in that meeting and introducing myself I knew immediately after that it was a place I could see myself grow a lot with, and was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the career field(s) I was interested in which then led me to apply when the applications came out.
What initially attracted you to this organization and what were your expectations coming into the internship?
What attracted me to this organization was their dedication to creating and fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, has a voice, and ultimately is key part of SPORTFIVE no matter the title or position you hold. That in itself is extremely powerful to me and holds a lot of weight in why I knew this position would be the perfect fit for me. To be completely honest I didn't know what to expect because not only have I been a full time student-athlete for 5 years, but I had never been in an office setting before let alone all the way in New York City, which was going to be an enormous transition for me especially since I'm from San Diego and have been in California my whole life.
"The sports marketing industry can play a huge role promoting diversity and inclusion and I believe this career path has a lot of potential and tools to make this a reality across all companies dealing with athletics."
Jalyn Jackson, Media Intern, SPORTFIVE and former student at UCLA
In what ways do you believe the sports marketing industry can play a role in promoting diversity and inclusion, and what steps do you think SPORTFIVE can take to lead in this area?
The sports marketing industry can play a huge role promoting diversity and inclusion and I believe this career path has a lot of potential and tools to make this a reality across all companies dealing with athletics. In a lot of major sports like american football, basketball, and even soccer which are the some of the biggest revenue sports on the professional level, a lot of those athletes are minorities. This ties in perfectly with the way the sports marketing industry and SPORTFIVE can promote diversity and inclusion because it would be beneficial to hire more minority student athletes who understand the lifestyles that these professional athletes live. As someone who is Black, Hispanic, and an ex student-athlete, we bring a skillset and viewpoints on life and especially in sport that are unique to our experiences that similarly align with the clients and people that SPORTFIVE work with. Coupled with being apart of a high-level athletic institution/brand, this can be beneficial when working with sports businesses and even sport individuals to have that insight.
Arthur Ashe was known for his dedication to social justice and humanitarian causes. How do you see the intersection between your passion for sports and your interest in making a positive impact on society?
For me, one of the ways I feel like I can make an impact on society is through my passion for sports and inspiring other of the same communities that helped me make the person I am today. Without all of the youth sports teams and camps, high school sports teams, and collegiate sports teams that I was apart of I wouldn't have been in the spaces necessary to get me to SPORTFIVE to begin with, and so many more opportunities that I would have missed out on had I not have done sports. So with that I hope to inspire other young student-athletes that even though playing sports is a temporary thing in our lives, it can be something that creates so much opportunity and that life doesn’t have to stop after we’re done playing.
How has your experience been as a member of the SPORTFIVE team, and do you feel comfortable contributing your ideas and opinions?
My experience as a SPORTFIVE member has been nothing short of amazing. Everyone here has been instrumental in making me feel seen and heard and reassuring me that everything that I am tasked with is of value. Because of this, I feel extremely comfortable sharing my ideas and opinions and speaking up in meetings to share my thoughts on whatever the topic of discussion is. SPORTFIVE does a fantastic job of fostering an environment where there is no hierarchy and that every single person apart of the company is a huge part of what makes the agency a success and good at what we do.
As you approach the end of your internship, what are your aspirations for the future, and how do you see this experience shaping your career path in the sports marketing industry?
As I am approaching the end of this internship my aspirations for the future are to hopefully continue my career in sports marketing. This internship has given me so much knowledge that I previously didn’t have and experiences that I truthfully could not get anywhere else. Because I was blessed to be a part of this environment, I think that this completely reshapes how I think of the sports marketing industry and how SPORTFIVE set the bar incredibly high for any other aspirations or career paths I may have for my future endeavors, and for that I am undeniably grateful!
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