03/16/2020 6:12 PM
Article By: Emily Bondi
Jawad Yatim, a former arena football player, is now wearing many hats in his new position of Founder, Co-owner, President, and Director of Sponsorship Sales for the Massachusetts Pirates, a National Arena League team.
Yatim was not long ago playing on the arena fields as a quarterback for a few seasons. “My first season was in the IFL, the Indoor Football League playing for the Cedar Rapids Titans, Billings Wolves, and Tri-Cities Fever.”
During his second season it took him across the world to China. He played in the China Arena Football League and was drafted to play for the Dalian Dragon Kings. Yatim adds, “it was a tremendous experience, one I will always be thankful for.”
The transition from player to owner was pretty effortless and natural from a football perspective for Yatim, however the operational and business aspect of things was certainly an adjustment.
“I had a good feel for how to attract attention to our product and what fans would gravitate to in my market, but the small details and procedures with starting a professional sports organization from scratch was certainly new to me. I have to give a big thanks to Jeff Bouchey and Brady Nelson who I leaned on for information and guidance as we were getting this project off the ground, they certainly eased the transition for me.”
Yatim has had the opportunity to grow and learn in his position. “Learning how to manage personalities and egos is a big part of this job. There's so many egos and personalities that come through your office every year, understanding how to manage them and maintaining a positive culture around your business is essential. I've learned a lot but I'm certainly still learning and enjoy the process of coming across new experiences and obstacles that can benefit myself and my organization.”
As for the upcoming 2020 season Yatim is excited for the competition. The league is the strongest it's ever been and the talent is unmatched. “I believe the playoff race will be one that won't be finalized until the last week of the season. You simply want to compete against the best week in and week out. That's what we have facing us this season in the NAL and I can't wait to get it kicked off soon.”
The National Arena League is looking forward to a successful 2020 season.