LeagueApps Speaker Series: Donna Goldsmith, former COO of WWE, Delivers the Smackdown
At LeagueApps, we have monthly speakers join the team to share their work, their entrepreneurial and sports journeys, and their insights. This past week, we hosted Donna Goldsmith, former COO of the WWE and former VP of Licensing at the NBA, to share her experiences from the sports industry.
An astute, no-nonsense businesswoman from Long Island, NY, Donna breaks the mold of the traditional sports executive. She started her career as a secretary at Revlon cosmetics, where she rose to become an assistant marketing manager before moving to Swatch. These experiences gave her a solid background in marketing and sales, which she brought with her to successful careers in with the NBA and the WWE.
The average American who thinks of WWE thinks of John Cena, Vince McMahon, and the other characters that the network develops to portray the stereotypical image of ‘Smackdown’. But behind the scenes are people such as Donna Goldsmith, who shrewdly cultivated the brand into a successful business venture that encompasses broadcast television, live events, commerce and licensing.
During her time at the WWE, Goldsmith was named the second most powerful woman in sports by Forbes Magazine.
Just as Donna’s rise within the sports corporate world demonstrates the possibility for sports to become more inclusive, so too does LeagueApps hope to make sure that sports experiences are accessible to all.
“Making a difference on the job is the most important thing to me. I love being able top make positive changes at an organization,” she said.
Donna attributes 60% of her success to the relationships she built along her journey to the top of the corporate ladder. She now pays it forward, not only through her consulting work with startups but also through her volunteer work through Mentoring USA.
For more information on how you can make a difference by helping a young adult develop the life skills they will need to be successful both in their career and in life in general, check out Mentoring USA.