Chelsey Antony (L’19), Legal Intern, Minnesota Vikings
Greetings from the Midwest!
First of all, the stereotype accent and friendly nature up here is a real thing. Surprisingly, it’s even noticeable to a southerner, like me, who believes hospitality is home-grown and experienced best in the Big Easy. The people of Minnesota have a different sort of nice about them, though, most of which I have gathered from the many uber and shuttle drives I’ve had downtown, to the hotel, and to the Minnesota Vikings training facility.
And that's what I am up to this summer, working as a legal intern for the Minnesota Vikings.
Apart from the overwhelmingly liberal climate and more diversity than I could have imagined in the Midwest, life working for the Vikings is exhilarating in a completely different fashion. My first week was overwhelming and exciting. On day one I dove into sponsorship agreements, learning the ins and outs of the business, pulling my hair at the language I did not understand, and smiling politely at the many gleaming, welcoming faces that I met. Then came a tour of the facility, morning meetings, and introduction into the next six weeks of my life in a new world.
Despite the rush of energy and happiness I now feel spending a summer practicing in my dream job, yesterday was something especially impeccable and inspiring to me: The "Women of the Vikings" initiative is the biggest that I know of in the NFL. Launched in January of 2017, it created a seven-person
board with the goals of “improving the female fan experience and
engagement, positively impacting the community, and empowering women in
the workforce," according to team literature. I was impressed with the number of women that came together to support the movement at the “Women of the Vikings” presentation and networking hour. The General Counsel and Vice President of Legal here is a woman, the salary cap manager is a woman, the team nutritionist is a woman, and I have been elated to see all the support, strength, and knowledge of increasing the role of women in sports and the law! All this time I felt as If I was pushing a cause in my head, and here it is in front of me, and succeeding!
Overall, the Vikings is a beautiful organization, business, and team. It's impressive how well it's run and how well they treat employees. I am spoiled with breakfast and lunch every day in our beautiful cafeteria, and when the players are here for training camp everything is elevated to tip-top shape, in terms of meals, employee behavior, focus, and professionalism. Everyone is inclusive, happy, and sweet, and the energy around me is vivid, loud, and exciting at all times. I can’t help but force myself to slow down so that I can stop to smell the roses while everything else continues to move at 10,000-miles-per-hour around me. It is truly a unique environment.
The start of NFL training camp and the community events the Vikings hosted last weekend keeps me busy. Legal agreements are going out for every little thing related to both events, from sponsors, to bands, to food trucks, to player hours, to practice field usage, to naming rights…IT DOES NOT END and everything needs a transactional lawyer's keen eye.
Also, whoever said work was a 9-5 gig lied. There is no such thing and anyone who is working in the legal profession understands that for sure. I can’t fathom how the attorneys here get it all done, but they do, and with such diligence! The associate counsels even find a way to teach and mentor me along the way: Not only am I implementing the law under their tutelage, but I am learning how a business is run, how a franchise operates with multiple entities, and how to interact with high profile professionals every day. Theme? Just be cool. No one likes a bad attitude or an overly star-struck employee in their face, either.
Its been a productive, inspiring, and blessed experience to say the least. I only hope it continues and that I can translate the skills I have learned thus far here into any legal scheme.
P.S.: It is 65 degrees here in the summer. Help! I do not have the clothes for this.
--- Chelsey Antony (L'19), legal intern for the Minnesota Vikings, Tulane Law School Sports Law Society President