Alumna Kristin Bernert ’96 spoke to members of the Siena community on Monday April 15 in the Key Auditorium in Roger Bacon. As Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sports, she shared what she has learned from her experiences working closely with major sports teams such as the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.
Before being considered a “game changer” for having a major impact in the sports industry by The Sports Business Journal, Bernert was a psychology major at Siena and on the women’s basketball team.
To get a glimpse of what Bernert does, she explained that the MSG company not only owns MSG, but also Radio City Musical Hall, The Forum in LA, and the Chicago Theater. MSG is also planning on establishing transformational venues called the MSG Sphere starting in Las Vegas and then in London. MSG is a very aspirational company, as Bernert explained, so they needed someone with dedication as well as passion to oversee all of their business operations, profits and losses.
On top of with working with the Head of Ticket Sales at MSG and engineering a sophisticated approach to dynamically price every ticket and moderate it daily, Bernert is also in charge of event presentation. She attended 82 games just this year, 41 Knicks games and 41 Rangers games.
“From the minute someone steps in the arena to the minute they leave, I am responsible to make sure everyone is safe and satisfied. It is a taxing job, but fun too.”
As a student-athlete at Siena, Bernert says she, “uses her knowledge of Psychology everyday and approaches business as a point guard, not a scorer, doing whatever I can do better the people around me at MSG.”
Getting to work closely with the NBA and NHL Presidents and across the company with different leadership was not Bernert’s plan. When she sat in the seats our Siena Saints sit in now, she had no set plan.
From being a security guard at Seaworld in Columbus, Ohio right out of college, to then opening a book one day on how to get a job in sports, her path is not something she had planned. She shared a little piece of wisdom with Siena Saints in attendance.
“From someone who sat in your chair, don't worry about it if you don't know what you want to do. I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist and then I did an internship and realized it was not a good idea. But I knew I liked to help people. Maybe I wanted to be a guidance counselor, tried that and it did not feel right.”
Bernert reminded students that they should not give up until it feels right for them, to always be a team member, whether it is on an actual court or in an office, and to always work hard. She formed her reputation based on hard work and dedication, and encourages Saints to do the same.