What’s life in sales without a little competition? Our Director of Programmatic Sales Kevin Haslam knows this all too well. As a former NFL offensive tackle for teams including the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders, Kevin brings his competitive edge to the 33Across Demand Team. Check out how Kevin motivates himself in the gym while also drawing from his experiences as a professional athlete.

What are some skills that translate from the NFL to a career in tech?
In football, coaches always tell you to “be a student of the game.” It’s important to grow mentally and to understand the ins and outs of how everything works. I feel like the Ad Tech industry speaks directly to this. In order for anyone to succeed, you must be a student of the game. You have to know that no two buyers are the same. Certain DSPs work better with certain exchanges, everything is always a learning experience. I think that’s what most excites me about the ad tech industry.

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How do you keep yourself encouraged as a seller?
Ummm, commission? Haha. On a serious note I try to add some competitive element to everything I do. This keeps me motivated and makes everything feel like a game. Plus I like to win, what ex-athlete doesn’t?

What is an advancement in tech you’re excited about seeing this year?
I’m excited about programmatic advertising within virtual reality. I recently traded in my MacBook Pro for a Surface Book 2 because I wanted my laptop to be compatible with all the latest AR/VR headsets that are hitting the market. I’m patiently waiting for the day I can sit court side of a Miami Heat game while simultaneously being re-targeted through the jumbotron to purchase birthday cake truffles at GoldBelly.com.

Have you developed any habits as a salesperson that you find yourself consistently doing?
I send everyone calendar invites now; family, friends, clients, and co-workers. From working in sales I now know that if it isn’t on my calendar, I’ll likely forget about it. Social media also helps me stay connected especially since I’m always traveling and meeting new people. Luckily, Facebook gives us those auto-updates every once and a while, so I usually don’t miss a beat; Happy Birthday Mom!

As a former athlete, what is your current approach to fitness?
Unfortunately, I think I’ve become one of those aggressive gym addicts. In my mind, I am competing with other people in the gym. For instance, I’ll find the person running the hardest on the treadmill, and post up right next to them at a faster speed. Post football, I need motivating competition anywhere I can get it.