by Brent Macon ’12
It’s hard to believe that it is week eleven running Primer Sports; time has simultaneously gone by incredibly quickly and seemingly crawled. Events from early September feel like they were eons ago, yet the entire experience has been a whirlwind.
To add some context, I left McKinsey & Co. in August to pursue my passion and launch Primer Sports. I have always been a sports enthusiast and spent two Morehead-Cain summers interning with alums in the space: NBA agent Jim Tanner ’90 and then-Wasserman consulting lead (and current NBA D-League president) Malcolm Turner ’93. However, I decided to start my career in consulting to learn ‘what I didn’t know I didn’t know’ about corporate America.
I loved my time at McKinsey and learned how to be a great professional. But I always had the sports itch. I didn’t foresee an entrepreneurial route until I noticed two things that I just couldn’t ignore:
- I was working so much that I didn’t have time to be a ‘good sports fan,’ and I didn’t have a great way to stay on top of the major happenings in sports in just a few minutes a day.
- So many meetings, at every client in every state I visited, started with sports small talk. And you do not need to be an avid fan to contribute and earn the social capital that comes with talking sports.
Fast forward to today, and along with a co-founder, Andrew Faircloth, I’m on a journey to help busy people enjoy the great benefits that come with being ‘in the know’ about sports—preferably without having to spend a ton of time following them. If done correctly, we’ll help folks connect with others and provide them content they find equal parts interesting and useful.
I say we’re on a journey because we know there will be bumps in the road and major evolution along the way. We are both first-time founders; we know we have gaps that we aren’t even yet aware of. We’ve been greatly aided by conversations that more experienced and successful people in the space have been willing to have with us.
People ask us often if we’re scared; scared of not having a paycheck, scared of failure. How did we decide to finally take the leap away from consulting?
The answer? Of course I’m nervous, but that feeling of being ‘in the arena’ is intoxicating and one I think I was uniquely prepared for in my time at Carolina. It was a big decision to start Primer, but at the same time it was a no-brainer—I couldn’t ignore something that got me so fired up when I started working on it!
So yes, I’m aware of the statistics of how many startups fail. Especially first-time founders. We are working our hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen. But if it does, I’ll make sure I learn from it and move on – hopefully another step on an extraordinary journey.
Brent Macon is a first-time entrepreneur in Atlanta, Georgia. He started Primer Sports in August to help outgoing professionals use sports to connect with people in the workplace and beyond.