Telling Victory's Story
PROVO, Utah – Jun 18, 2020 – With a capacity of nearly 19,000 people, BYU’s Marriott Center can be an intimidating place to play a basketball game. As BYU’s basketball teams take on and defeat some of the best teams in the country, students hold up signs and fans cheer from all directions, pouring down deafening noise on opponents. Earlier this year, before COVID-19 closed down campus, BYU Marriott entrepreneurship senior Bradley Pilkington documented this scene for social media.
As a former vice president of BYU’s student section, the Roar of Cougars (ROC), Pilkington took every opportunity to share his love of sports with BYU fans at sporting events and on official ROC social media pages. Besides creating content for the ROC, Pilkington also helped set up game-day events for BYU students. Now that COVID-19 has altered the season for BYU sports, Pilkington was recently hired on the BYU athletics social media team, and he continues to promote BYU sports, helping to get fans excited for the day when they’ll be able to watch BYU sports again.
One of Pilkington’s most treasured BYU sports memories was when the BYU men's basketball team beat the then-second-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in February 2020. “That game was the most electric of all the sporting events I’ve ever attended,” he says. “Going into the game, ESPN analysts were saying that our team that season was the best team that we’d had since Jimmer Fredette’s Sweet Sixteen team in 2011, so there was a lot of hype. We absolutely dominated the game against Gonzaga, and it was so much fun because I was sitting there in the front row, screaming my head off and documenting everything. That game is an experience I will never forget.”
Pilkington hopes his experience of documenting sports for social media as a student employee will help in his future career as a full-time social media manager for an NCAA athletics organization. In his work with the ROC and BYU athletics, he’s made connections with people who have helped him envision a career in sports social media. “I've met people who have swayed me to consider the sports industry for my career because I love that industry so much,” he says.
In addition to his desire to work in sports business, Pilkington also hopes to create his own company and have the autonomy of the life of a business owner. “My dad is an executive vice president of sales, so we moved around the country all the time while I was growing up,” recalls Pilkington. “Sometimes I didn’t like moving, so my dad told me if I didn’t want to move around in a future career, I should start a business of my own.”
Pilkington also feels that the role of a business owner matches his personal style and work ethic. “Entrepreneurship suits my personality because a big part of success in this field is deciding that you’re going to stay committed to your work and dedicate everything you have to your goals,” he says. “If you give your all to a project, you’re going to be successful most of the time.”
Pilkington chose to attend BYU Marriott so he could take advantage of the entrepreneurship program, and he’s benefitted from relationships that he’s built with professors while he’s pursued his degree. “The professors at BYU Marriott care about the students,” he says. “They're not only willing to meet with me if I'm not understanding what we're doing in class, but they're also willing to meet with me for anything that I'm dealing with personally.” Pilkington says that these relationships will continue to help him after he graduates in 2021 as he works toward his future goals.
Pilkington plans to combine the business skills that he’s learned at BYU Marriott with his love of sports to create a successful business by the time he’s thirty. “If I'm going to go to work every day and give 100 percent of myself, I want to be working on something that I'm passionate about, such as sports,” he says.
While Pilkington plans to incorporate his passion for sports into his career, he also wants a career where he can influence his employees and the people around him for good. “I want to be able to inspire other people and teach them things that I've learned in my life,” he says. “If I can impact one person's life, I’ve fulfilled my purpose on Earth, and I want to impact as many people as possible. I feel like entrepreneurship is a good route to be able to do that.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce