Katie Ryan recently joined the #GrassCanTakeMore™ movement as Director of Client Success and Marketing. She will be working diligently to support the creation and promotion of new technologies and possibilities for natural grass fields. Follow her work @KBrennaR
Growing up, I was the girl who went to soccer practice straight from dance class. A uniform and shin guards layered on top of a leotard and tights. I loved soccer: the team environment, the thrill of a win, and the distinct smell of fresh cut grass. But dance loved me more. I could leap across a stage better than I could jump up to win a header ball. Soccer was an interest, dance was a fit. This combination, aptitude for dance and affinity for sports, steered me to where I am today writing this introduction blog post on Growing Green Grass!
While earning my degree at Fairfield University, I was a dance team member for my University and later two professional sports teams in Boston. These experiences introduced me to the business side of collegiate and pro sports, and I knew that’s how I would use my marketing degree. In September of 2009, I moved to Boyds, Maryland, to work in the front office of the Washington Freedom Women’s Professional Soccer team. Once again, dance and sports collided. I sold 100 tickets to the match against the Philadelphia Independence to a local dance studio who would perform during half time. Unknowingly, I needed approval from the Maryland SoccerPlex to allow these 30 little dancers to step foot on the stadium’s field in the middle of a professional soccer match, go figure! This was my introduction to Jerad Minnick, at the time the SoccerPlex Director of Grounds and Environmental Management, and to the business and importance of natural grass field management.
Recently revisiting the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, it dawned on me: The career path I’ve danced my way through lead me to a Blue Ocean. While a Red Ocean is bloodied with competition and expired ideas, a Blue Ocean creates its own uncontested market space. Every day, natural grass fields drown in the murky water made red from ideas of the past. Meanwhile, a Blue Ocean of opportunity and possibility for improving natural grass sport surfaces exists. New ideas and technologies make it not only easy, but affordable, to maintain natural grass fields that can sustain more use. This Blue Ocean is a win-win for all of us swimming here in the natural grass field maintenance industry.
#GrassCanTakeMore™ is a movement, in that Blue Ocean, that I am extremely excited to join in the role of Client Success & Marketing Director. Thank you for your hard work and passion! I will do everything I can do to continue that and spread the success of your work!