Charlotte Bockstahler, a CU Denver Business School alum and accomplished leader in the sports and entertainment industry, knew early on she had found the right career field. Charlotte started her career in sports while she was an undergraduate student at University of Colorado – Boulder. She got an internship in corporate sales at the Pepsi Center, where she worked for the Avalanche, the Nuggets, and the Mammoth.
After she graduated with her bachelor’s degree, she joined the Kroenke team full-time with the newly formed Altitude Sports. She was already on the fast track to success, and she knew exactly what she needed to get there, so she enrolled to earn a dual degree in the Professional MBA and MS in Marketing programs at the CU Denver Business School.
Higher education in the heart of the city
Looking back, Charlotte can list dozens of reasons the CU Denver Business School was the perfect choice for her MBA and MS in Marketing degrees. “My office was literally right next door,” recalls Charlotte, who was working full-time at Kroenke in downtown Denver. “My employer was very supportive of me going back to school. I loved that CU Denver had a specific specialization for Sports and Entertainment, which was pretty new at the time, and it was exactly what I wanted to do with my career. After I spoke with the head of the program, I knew it was the right choice.”
During Charlotte’s time in the MBA program, she had the opportunity to get involved with building the experience for Sports and Entertainment students. She was a founding member of the CU Denver Sports and Entertainment Club, which put on some great events during her time. She also worked with the program director to develop the idea for the London Calling study abroad trip in sports and entertainment marketing, which is still running today.
“Being involved in starting the London Calling trip is one of my favorite things I did during my time at CU Denver, and I’m so proud of that program,” said Charlotte. “I had the honor of introducing the idea to the Advisory Board as a student, and it was a wonderful opportunity. The room was filled with executives from the Broncos, the NHL, and a lot of impressive organizations, and I got to pitch my idea.” Ultimately, the Advisory Council loved the idea for the trip, and the London Calling study abroad program was born.
Today, the Maymester London Calling study abroad trip introduces students to exciting global organizations in the sports and entertainment industry. Previous site visits have included the Chelsea Football Club, the Lord’s Cricket Ground, the Arsenal Stadium and more.
A whirlwind career in entertainment
After earning her MBA and MS in Marketing from the CU Denver Business School, and spending eight years on the team at Altitude Sports, Charlotte was ready for a new challenge.
After leaving Kroenke, Charlotte took a position with HBO and moved to Manhattan, where she worked on projects like Game of Thrones, True Blood, and The Newsroom. She touched a lot of different aspects of marketing at HBO, including writing national TV commercials and bringing new technologies to market. Upon returning to Colorado, Charlotte worked as vice president of the Denver Cutthroats, as vice president of Pike’s Peak International Raceway, and as a consultant.
Most recently, Charlotte has served as a consultant to major US network groups and cable operators. She created a digital media intelligence service that helps operators keep track of what is happening in this digital streaming space. Digital streaming is really the battleground for television and it is changing the industry, and Charlotte’s work leverages online platforms to help organizations optimize their understanding of the competitive environment.
Coming full circle with a seat on the Advisory Council
Throughout her career in the Sports and Entertainment industry, Charlotte has found a lot of opportunities to serve the industry and give back for the great opportunities she’s had. She’s an officer on the board of the Rocky Mountain Cable Association (RMCA), working with the Cable Apprentice Case competition giving students the opportunity to pitch ideas and offer a new perspective on the television industry. The program includes a formal presentation to executives from across the country, and students regularly receive internship and job offers based on their ideas.
Charlotte is also thrilled to have been asked to join the CU Denver Business School’s Sports and Entertainment Advisory Council, offering guidance and direction to move the program forward. “I remember how excited I was to present to this council years ago, and now I’m a part of it,” said Charlotte. “The television industry is changing rapidly, and there are so many career opportunities for our talented students. I’m hoping to help foster the relationships with major entertainment companies that want to hire our Sports and Entertainment graduates.”
In addition, Charlotte will be teaching a class at the CU Denver Business School for the first time. Advanced Topics in Video Entertainment, held on Monday evenings in the spring, will introduce students to new concepts in the television industry.
“It has really all come full circle for me,” Charlotte reflected. “I really do love what I do, and I had such a great experience during my time at CU Denver. I’m excited to help give students the same opportunities I had.”
Advice for kickstarting a career in Sports and Entertainment
“Get involved!” Charlotte advises all the students she interacts with. “Whether it’s joining a club or just attending the events, it’s the thing that makes the biggest difference, while you’re in school and then after you’ve graduated as well. The networking and relationships you build when you get involved are the most helpful way to find and cultivate new opportunities.”
Charlotte also encourages students to think beyond sports. “I love sports and I had such a great time working for the Avalanche and the Nuggets, but I’m so thankful that I took my career in another direction. There are so many career opportunities out there beyond working for a sports team. I would encourage students to keep in mind that entertainment is a huge industry with a wide variety of career opportunities, and you might not know about your dream job yet. It’s important to keep your options open.”