Uncommon Sports Group had the pleasure of hosting its first-ever Members Retreat this past July. Over thirty of our USG members attended the event in Nashville, TN, as well as a group of our ambassadors, who are presently rooted in the college or professional sport industry. Hear more about our Members Retreat by clicking here to read our summary blog on the event. We were grateful to be able to partner with another ministry over the weekend, AD’s 4 Christ, which seeks to connect, encourage, and equip current and aspiring athletics directors who love Jesus and are committed to making an impact for Him through college athletics. Each year, AD’s 4 Christ hosts an in-person event at Lipscomb University’s campus, and it was an honor to be able to host our Members Retreat alongside their event.
At Uncommon Sports Group, we believe that it is essential for young professionals in the college and pro sport industry to build authentic relationships with present leaders, or ambassadors, within the industry. We were able to have some of our ambassadors join us in Nashville, TN to speak and interact with our group at the retreat. In attendance was Johnny Shelton, the chaplain of the Baltimore Ravens; Carol Voronyak, a former talent producer with ESPN; Jason Romano, presently the Director of Media at Sports Spectrum and formerly at ESPN in various roles for 17 years; Mike Parson, formerly the Director of Equipment with the Houston Texans; Lee De Leon, the Deputy Athletic Director at Middle Tennessee State University; and Hans Malebranche, the Associate AD for Development and Chief Development Officer at Middle Tennessee State University.
Each ambassador played a vital role in assisting our members in their professional and spiritual development throughout the weekend. Johnny Shelton, Jason Romano, and Carol Voronyak spoke on our core values of living called, committed, and connected. The focus of these core values is to live a life that is called to the great commission and the glory of God, committed to becoming more Christ-like, and connected to Christian community and accountability. Having these tremendous Christ-centered leaders speak to our group on these core values was powerful and the Lord used it to spark some amazing conversations within our breakout sessions at the end of each talk. Lee De Leon and Hans Malebranche from Middle Tennessee State spoke about their career journeys and how the Lord has moved in their lives as they navigated the sport industry. For any young professional, it is essential to learn from present leaders in the industry who have chosen the “road less traveled” in desiring to serve Christ above all else, including their careers. Lee and Hans did a great job at sharing how our members can serve Christ as they pursue careers in college or professional athletics. We were also honored to have Mike Parson, the former Director of Equipment Operations with the Houston Texans, join our group to participate in breakout groups and be an active participant alongside our members.
We want to especially thank the AD’s 4 Christ leadership team for allowing us to partner alongside them over the course of the weekend. Our group was able to enjoy breakfast Saturday morning alongside the AD’s group and we were able to join them for a time of worship after breakfast. Our Founder, Drew Boe, had the opportunity to share more about USG and our ministry efforts at breakfast as well. It is encouraging for our ministry and our members to be able to see present leaders in the industry putting Christ first in their lives, and it was evident throughout the weekend as our staff and members listened to and engaged with the many ambassadors that the Lord is using to bring glory to His name across the industry. We are already looking forward to next year’s Members Retreat and our continued partnership with AD’s 4 Christ, as well as our many faithful ambassadors.