SFIA Excelerator Program

An emerging leaders program for young professionals from diverse communities engaged in the sports and fitness industry.

In 2023, SFIA’s Excelerator Program marked its inaugural year – a groundbreaking initiative for emerging sports and fitness industry leaders, specifically catering to young professionals with eight years or less of cumulative experience and representing diverse communities.

Seven individuals, recognized as “Associates,” were carefully selected by member organizations for the program’s initial rollout, which included an immersive industry experience.

The program aims to grow and include ten Associates in 2024, contingent upon the ongoing support from SFIAmembership. Guided by principles of accessibility, diversity, and robust industry engagement, the Excelerator Program is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of emerging leaders in the sports and fitness sector. The program will run from May until November 2024.

Program deliverables

  • Complimentary access to SFIA events such as the Super Regionals, Team Sports Conference, Webinars, etc.
  • Exclusive meetings with SFIA leadership, including President and CEO Tom Cove, and interaction with Board members
  • Engage in between four and six career development and personal growth sessions
  • Monthly Lunch ‘N Learn sessions with industry leaders and past Excelerator Associates
  • Industry networking “mixers”
  • Monthly mentoring sessions with SFIA COO Glenn Horine and/or with industry leaders
  • Hospitality at all in-person events
  • Associate travel reimbursement if necessary


  • Unite the sports and fitness industry by conveying a crucial, “all are welcome” message to young professionals eager for career opportunities and development
  • Recognize and expedite the growth of high-performing young professionals for industry leadership roles
  • Facilitate access to SFIA industry members and leaders through events, thought-provoking leadership initiatives, networking activities, and
  • potential mentorship opportunities

2023 Excelerator Associate Testimonials

Kassi Farmer

National Account Demand Planner
Rawlings Sporting Goods

“The SFIA Excelerator Program was a unique opportunity that helped me grow in several professional and leadership capacities while also providing me with specialized industry experience and exposure to leading executives and mentors. I am grateful forthe chance to be a part of this pilot program and look forward to implementing the skills and advice I have received as I further my career in the sports industry.”

Michelle Kalupski

Associate Sales Manager, Consumer Products

“The SFIA Excelerator program was a great experience for me to enhance my professional skillset, grow my network within the sports industry and improve my leadership skills. I am thankful for this opportunity and look forward to seeing the next group of talented Excelerators.”

Erin Kelly

Area Sales Manager
BSN Sports

“The Excelerator program helped me develop both personally and professionally. I learned to change my mindset about networking; it helped develop me as a leader and made me realize the importance of personal development. I look forward to using these skills as I progress through my career and hope that other young leaders can have the same opportunity.

Tyler Klostermann

Regional Sports Video Consultant

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. The Excelerator program has given me a fresh perspective when it comes to tapping into resources that are already available to me. It has also given me an opportunity to expound upon my leadership skills while growing my professional network in the process.”

Jordan Johnson

Associate Product Manager/Designer(Collaboration & Energy)
New Balance Athletic Company

“Participating in the SFIA Excelerator program not only provided me with the chance toexpand my understanding of the sports industry but also allowed me to establish connections with experienced leaders in the field. This valuable experience has significantly enriched my skill set as a creative leader in the sports.”

Brian Morrison

Brooks Running

“I would recommend the SFIA Excelerator Program to any young professional looking to grow within the Sports & Fitness Industry. The skills I was able to develop during my time in the program, in addition to the connections I was able to make with industry leaders, are things that I will take with me the rest of my career.”

Kweku Quansah

Global Social Media Specialist

“The Excelerator Program gave me the opportunity to learn directly from executive sacross a wide range of companies and roles. I was able to create connections and step into rooms I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, and it has helped inform where I will take my career from here.”

excelerator Sponsors

For more information or to get involved, contact Glenn Horine at [email protected].