Laurier Grads Soar is a nine-part series that features former Wilfrid Laurier University varsity athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, a different feature will be released each week over a nine-week span that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.Sophie Kotsopoulos - Senior Director of Integrated Marketing, National Hockey League
She doesn’t say it often, but you can hear a feeling of deep pleasure in her voice when Sophie Kotsopoulos admits she landed “my dream job”.
That was after trading in luxury cars for hockey sticks.
To be a bit more precise, Kotsopoulos was a former brand analyst with BMW Group Canada – a company that claims to be driven by passion. And it just might very well be that same enthusiasm and emotion that drove Kotsopoulos to a slight maneuvering in her career – now as Senior Director of Integrated Marketing for the National Hockey League.
“There was a posting for a Sales Marketing position with the NHL and I applied,” recalled Kotsopoulos who graduated from Laurier with a double Degree, both with academic Honors, too, in Communications and Sociology and with a Business Administration option.
“The NHL interview was the same day that I received the BMW Passion Award, which had been voted on by employees. It was a strange feeling. Then, later, when I was informed that I was chosen for the job, I thought about my passion, hard work and persistence to do well.”
Once interested in becoming a lawyer, it just may have been the overall education, especially the Laurier co-op placement in marketing, and the diverse university lifestyle experience that helped Kotsopoulos find a comfort zone.
“I went to Laurier because it was a perfect combination in academics and the school prides itself in community involvement – and, for me, it wasn’t all about the classroom,” said Kotsopoulos, who finished her education in France focusing on international studies at the famed ISC Paris Business School.
“Laurier gave me an incredible foundation, the building blocks that I use everyday to achieve success in the work place. I was fortunate to play a varsity sport, be a Laurier ambassador at high schools, serve on the student advisory board and get a lifetime achievement award with the Student Union.”
While Kotsopoulos was a gymnast and basketball player in high school, she did excel in one of Canada’s National sports – lacrosse. A fan of hockey, playing the game was not her forte. Instead, Kotsopoulos was a four-time member of Laurier’s lacrosse team – including the one that won the first-ever OUA championship in the sport.
“The people I met at Laurier have become friends for life and I look back, with great memories, at being so fortunate that my time (at Laurier) allowed me to completely discover so many great things,” said Kotsopoulos, who was recognized in 2016 as one of the outstanding leaders, under the age of 40, in the sports business industry.Previous Features
Week 1 - Steve Griggs - Chief Executive Officer and President, Tampa Bay Lightning