They drive a Sienna minivan. Is it a coincidence? You might think so until you meet their daughter, Siena.
Justin and Amanda Clemenza '04 met at Siena, fell in love at Siena, and have always maintained (and promoted) their cherished connection with the College. On January 29, in a Zoom conversation with Siena students (mostly communications majors), Clemenza was almost giddy when talking about his alma mater.
"Siena was the first application I got in the mail. And then I made the mistake of going somewhere else. I'm so happy I transferred to Siena after one year. And I couldn't be happier talking to Siena students right now. This is surreal for me."
Surreal for Clemenza, but an opportunity for the students. Clemenza described his journey from obscure jobs (with little or no pay) to his current position as a writer/personality for the immensely popular digital media company Barstool Sports.
Clemenza was a marketing and management major, but told the students to take advantage of the communications opportunities on campus he never had. Clemenza did have an inextinguishable desire to work in the sports communications industry. He worked as a quality assurance analyst for ESPN for many years and then as a mobile content producer for USA Today Sports. On the side, and for no money, he blogged about sports. He was gambling on his talent and ambition, and many times he turned down more stable opportunities that would have taken him further from his dream. In November of 2015, Clemenza landed his dream job with Barstool Sports.
Along his journey - which was occasionally questioned by friends and family - Clemenza clung to his personal philosophy. It's something he shared with the students:
"Love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life."
"You have to be smart, not reckless, with the decisions you make in your career. But you have to be committed to putting in the work. I was like a blind mouse looking for cheese. The paths would open in unique ways. I had to believe that one day I’d find what I was looking for. There are going to be frustrations along the way, obstacles you don't see coming. But you have to believe in your passion and in yourself."
Justin Clemenza '04
"I know sports communications is a competitive field, but hearing the encouragement to keep pursuing my dreams put a smile on my face. The steps Clem took to build his career have inspired me to build my own portfolio by developing a social media presence. I've also started to look at the sports industry differently to better analyze and understand what I should publish in the future.
Also, it really warmed my heart when he said he’d retweet me. It just really shows that even after graduation, Saints are still opening the door for Saints."
Andrea Barr '22