It might not seem like professional services is the most exciting industry. However, the job of an accountant at a major firm might actually involve understanding a variety of high-tech practices (like using AI and blockchain) or groundbreaking work in emerging industries (like cannabis and renewable energy). But if you’re an employee at CohnReznick, your job might even be more interesting than that.
That’s because CohnReznick has formed an alliance with MLB to power the Business of Baseball—a series that explores the complex economic and cultural impacts of the industry—and that’s not all the sponsorship means for the elite accounting firm.
To learn a bit more about the decision to team up—and how it’s just one of the incredible aspects of CohnReznick’s business—we spoke to CEO Frank Longobardi.
Why CohnReznick Teamed Up With Major League Baseball
CohnReznick and MLB is a natural fit, Longobardi tells us.
“We love the idea that many of the teams, including the league, had foundations and players that were giving money back to the community,” he explains. “That aligned very well with our values.”
But it wasn’t just the ethical values of the league and its teams that CohnReznick gravitated toward, it was their way of doing business, too.
“We loved what they were doing to get the customer front and center,” Longobardi says. “And again, that really aligned with our values as well as our clients’ values.”
CohnReznick, as a firm, is known for their commitment to going above and beyond for clients, and MLB’s commitment to the entire fan experience was a topic that not only attracted CohnReznick as a presenting sponsor of the Baseball Winter Meetings, but also as an area of business to explore in their Business of Baseball series.
Breaking Down The Business Of Baseball
The alliance between MLB and CohnReznick has spawned two content series for the MLB Network, one of which, Business of Baseball, takes a look at just that: the complex business behind America’s national pastime.
In one episode, CohnReznick and the MLB Network team explore the renovation of the Braves’ SunTrust Park—and its surrounding neighborhood—in downtown Atlanta.
Like the business of accounting, it’s far more complicated than it might seem—and that’s actually a good thing. The new park project wasn’t just a renovation of a venue, it was the rejuvenation of a whole neighborhood and the creation of a new entertainment district. Shopping, music, food, and—of course—baseball were all essential elements in the engaging fan experience that the Braves and Atlanta wanted to create.
Beyond the media sponsorship, the CohnReznick team also gets to put on client and team events at MLB stadiums. A baseball game viewed from a box suite provides a great opportunity to connect with clients or foster team bonding, so it’s no surprise that the MLB relationship is a hit throughout the organization.
The Learning Is A Two-Way Street
Even though CohnReznick’s team is full of management and accounting experts, there’s still plenty to be learned from their work with MLB, Longobardi tells us.
He and the CohnReznick team were impressed with how MLB used technology to communicate with and provide top-tier products for customers. Both the league and the individual clubs use data collection and analysis to optimize the fan experience and the teams’ in-game performance. In this way, CohnReznick and the league have something in common: They both use technology in subtle-but-impressive ways to compete at a high level.
They’ve also learned a lot about talent development. CohnReznick is one of the Top 10 Most Prestigious accounting firms, so putting young players into the big leagues is exactly what CohnReznick does with its interns and new-graduate hires.
“Leadership development today is so critical,” Longobardi says. “We forget sometimes how young these players are. A lot of these kids are 20 years old, 19 years old. We look at the amount of training and time that goes into developing these players.”
“It resonates with me as CEO of the firm that we’ve got a similar responsibility to our young people,” Longobardi explains. “We need to continue to provide them with the tools to be successful. And unless you’re talking to your people and understanding what they’re going through at the job level, you’ll never know that.”
And between the company’s superb training opportunities and early-ID leadership programs, they’re doing just that.
Sounds like a home run to us.
Want to learn more? Check out open opportunities at CohnReznick on WayUp!