Tim Stallings MBA 98

Tim Stallings MBA 98, co-founder and vice president of merchandise for the Sacramento Republic FC soccer club, shares his experience helping to build a professional sports franchise with big plans to bring it to the national stage — and how his UC Davis MBA has helped him at every step of his career.

I work in professional sports, so one of my responsibilities is finance and other responsibility is merchandise. In those two areas, we help keep the stadium costs and the production costs down as well as be able to produce merchandise that's on theme for the night, and we all work together to try to set the same goals and achieve the same results with each other's help.

What are the highlights of your career in the last few years?

As I'm involved through Sacramento Republic FC and I'm one of the founders of the club, and we're using soccer as a tool to make Sacramento a better place to live, work and play. So, one of the highlights is being able to be in a small company with a very large footprint in the local market.

What are the biggest challenges in your industry?

In terms of just us, we have a very publicly-aware challenge of finding a billionaire to invest in the Sacramento market, so that we can advance our team to a major league soccer franchise. And a challenge for our industry is to grow the International sport in America with the presence of the big four sports ahead of us.

Which GSM professor or course had the biggest impact?

What I learned from Kim, from her research and from the Negotiations class, was probably the most important thing that I learned in the school. Actually helped me do what I was involved in with a start-up of the soccer team, which was gaining investment.

What should future business graduates be aware of as they start their careers?

Seek diverse opportunities to grow and so for me that, I think is the biggest opportunity, the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is if you get too funnel-focused and the biggest opportunity is if you take a risk, do some things outside your comfort zone and then sort of hone in on what you want to do and bring all that background.