Aubrey McCoy is a native of Colorado’s neighbor to the north. Born and raised in Laramie, Wyo., McCoy met her future husband Brandon, a Colorado Springs native, while attending the University of Wyoming where she earned her degree in business marketing. The couple, who have since added 2-year-old daughter Maggie to the mix, moved to southern Colorado where McCoy worked as a fellow at El Pomar Foundation. Today she is director of operations and marketing at Colorado Springs Sports Corp., a nonprofit, professional event management organization.
McCoy spoke with the Business Journal this week about her pet project — the Rocky Mountain State Games — as well as marketing sports and engaging with the business community.
When did you move to Colorado Springs?
It was February 2010. I had interned and worked part-time with El Pomar Foundation prior to graduation, then did their fellowship post-graduation. Through the fellowship I was on loan to the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation to help with outreach and event management projects. I got to know [Sports Corp. CEO and President] Tom [Osborne] and [Chief Operating Officer] Doug [Martin]. There was a position here for me when I finished the fellowship.
How did you hear about El Pomar in Wyoming?
I accidentally stumbled upon them. I found them on my career board at my college. I knew, since my husband was from here and his family was here, that I would probably end up in the Springs. … I didn’t really expect to go into nonprofit work, but now that I’m here, it’s a perfect fit for who I am and what I do.
What were you doing for El Pomar?
I did their summer internship and worked with [Senior Vice President-Outreach] Theo Gregory on community outreach. I graduated a little early and had a six-month period to fill, so I did some part-time work with Theo and Tom. I was hired on as a fellow and looped in here. It was a very natural process.
Through El Pomar I was primarily involved with its college-readiness and success program — high school outreach, getting kids engaged with college and prepping them. It involved event planning and marketing and, during the fellowship, I did a lot of nonprofit management. It gave me the opportunity to be exposed to the nonprofit world and what a foundation does.
As part of [El Pomar’s] outreach, they loan out staff to support other organizations, and Sports Corp. is one of those organizations. I came on to support the Rocky Mountain State Games. I helped with volunteers and hospitality while working part-time here, and now that’s the primary event I manage.
What were your goals going into college?
I wanted to do marketing but I didn’t know what sector that would be in. They say the benefit of being a marketing major is you can do anything. But the problem with being a marketing major is — you can do anything. Sports Corp. is a very small organization and we get to wear a lot of hats, so I’ve taken on a large marketing and media role here. I’ve gotten to put some of that schooling to use.
What are some other events you’re involved with?
I work closely with Doug [Martin] helping with the Labor Day Liftoff [hot air balloon event] or the Colorado Classic [bicycle race]. Our team is small, but we all play a role — working with the beer gardens and volunteers and coordinating all those people. The State Games alone take about 900 volunteers, and that’s one event. We have about eight major events this year and we use several thousand volunteers every year.
How well do you think the city’s sports culture is marketed?
We’re getting better. The Olympic City USA element is key to our core. It’s all about educating those outside the city or even those who live here about how many governing bodies of sports and related industries there are in the Springs.
Did sports interest you growing up?
You know, not so much. I played sports — soccer, tennis, volleyball — but I’m not really a sporty type. My husband laughs at me because I work in sports. But I’ve always been an organizer and a planner. I’m that type. If you can organize, you can do sports; you can do concerts. It’s kind of the same.
What are the greatest challenges here for young professionals?
I think a challenge anywhere is to be humble and patient. I think you have to pay your dues. If you’re sincere in your relationships with other people and if you do a good job, eventually you’ll be recognized and presented with more opportunities.
I think a lot of young professionals want it and they want it right now. But you need to build those relationships.
It’s really about the connections you make.