Danielle Chabot ’05, a Saco, Maine native, relocated to Florida after graduation to pursue her dream career in the sports management world. As an undergraduate, Chabot knew her business background and love for sporting events would help her excel in arena management, where she has spent the past 16 years.
“I was able to gain invaluable experience at Merrimack through both my education and several internships I was able to get with O’Brien Center for Career Development,” Chabot said.
Along with internships, Chabot studied abroad in Australia where she honed in on her passion – sports management – and took sport-related classes taught by professional athletes and professors who opened new doors to her overseas.
Shortly after graduating from Merrimack, she began working for Contemporary Services Company (CSC) as an event manager providing event security for both professional and local college teams in South Florida. She then took her expertise to Nova Southeastern University assisting in the opening of their new campus arena. In 2009 – just four years after graduating from Merrimack with her bachelors degree – Chabot joined the Miami HEAT as an event manager.
Two years later, Chabot scaled the ranks to become a senior event manager with the Miami HEAT. In this role, she focused on A-Level shows, events and was named HEAT Lead for the Event Service Team, responsible for coordinating four back-to-back NBA Finals that resulted in two HEAT championships. As part of the front office staff Chabot received two championship rings. More recently, in 2019, Chabot’s dedication promoted her further to become the director of event services.
“Between coordinating shows and games, every event brings its unique challenges and opportunities. There is always room to learn something new,” said Chabot, who has been able to manage over 350 concerts and NBA games over the course of her 13 year tenure.
Maintaining strong connections within the National Basketball Association (NBA) has played a key role in her success, Chabot said, and has presented invaluable moments throughout her career. She was recently invited to work with venue operations for the NBA in the 2020 NBA Bubble at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
“Being part of the professional sports and entertainment industry as a woman, I have made sacrifices in my career,” said Chabot. “ Over time, I have learned to embrace the valuable experiences while maintaining balance in my life.”
Chabot also emphasized the importance of networking and having internships early in her career. During her time as a student, she took advantage of professional development offerings at Merrimack she knew would help her shine in the future. Internships, site visits and connecting with current employees in an organization are just a few of the steps she took to ensure she was on the right track as a student.
Chabot now advises young alumni and current students to take the time to develop a deep understanding of the operations of organizations that interest them, and to make sure to consider the culture of the company.
Although she now resides in Florida, Chabot holds on to her Merrimack roots. As a member of Theta Phi Alpha, she stays connected and regularly participates in local chapters with colleges nearby.