For the Love of the Game: How One Woman Scores in the Sports Entertainment Industry
El-Amin, Zakiyyah, Black Enterprise
Cydni Bickerstaff is no rookie to the sports arena. As the daughter of veteran NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, currently with the Charlotte Bobcats, she grew up surrounded by athletes. As an adult, she combined her affinity for professional sports with her entrepreneurial ambitions to form Bickerstaff Sports & Entertainment.
Based in Washington, D.C., Bickerstaff Sports & Entertainment is a full-service sports marketing, management, and event production company. Incorporated in 2001, the firm specializes in marketing and promotions, sporting events, athlete appearances, sponsorships, and other events. Bickerstaff Sports & Entertainment has a staff of five full time employees with account executives in Los Angeles; Dayton, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Dallas.
The company's client base includes the 100 Black Men of Maryland, The Coca-Cola Co., and NBC Sports. Revenues for 2003 reached $1.6 million. The firm has been instrumental in organizing events for the Capital Jazz Fest, the State Farm Bayou Classic, and the NBA Jam Session, which Lakes place during All-Star Weekend. Anticipating an influx of similar projects, revenues are projected to reach $2 million for 2004.
Bickerstaff started bidding for projects directly from her home, equipped with only a laptop computer and printer. To cover startup expenses, the entrepreneur started the lengthy process needed for a bank loan. However, since time was of the essence, she decided to go another route and borrowed $10,000 from her parents. She was also able to accumulate an additional $500 on personal credit. These funds went toward salary as well as the purchase of a new computer, scanner, stationery, and business cards. …