written by KATHLEEN STEVENS WHALEY | photo by KELLE MAC PHOTOGRAPHY
To legions of young women, Michelle Grech has nabbed the ultimate dream job as partner, chief operating officer and president of MELT, a bustling marketing firm that navigates entertainment, lifestyle and trends among collegiate athletics for brands like The Coca-Cola Company, Turner Sports and many more.
“How lucky are we that we get to wake up and work on sports?” Grech raved.
Enthusiasm aside, another asset setting her apart within a highly competitive field is an innate understanding of how whole families consume sporting events. Grech is passionate about bringing a storytelling aspect to her craft, intentional at creating experiences and not simply selling tickets.
How good is she? In 2014, the hard-hitting strategist and event producer was named “Game-Changer” by The Sports Business Journal as a top female executive in the industry. To Grech, the accolade felt akin to winning an Oscar.
“Not only is she one of the few women (if not the only one) to run a large sports and entertainment firm in the country, but she’s a great wife and mom to 9-year-old Mackenzie,” said business partner and MELT CEO Vince Thompson. “All with a great smile on her face!”
A University of Michigan and Emory University graduate, Grech admitted blue and gold are her team colors, but a passion for all sports began much earlier in life. She credits her dad for sports know-how and solid advice.
“My father always said your career has three phases: learn, earn and return.”
As for the latter, pro-bono work with MELT is just one of many ways Grech gives back. She’s also happy to share what she’s learned with a younger generation wanting to break into sports marketing: build your resumé by joining sports and communication organizations at your university, volunteer to set-up and work local sporting events or at a radio station, and most of all, secure an internship every summer.
Chatting with Grech gives one the feeling you’re conversing with Wonder Woman’s blonde twin; an unstoppable force with a mega-watt smile and limitless energy. Few would guess she has battled rheumatoid arthritis singe age 33. Setbacks do not limit this female powerhouse who applauds her adopted hometown as the epicenter of sports in the South.
“Atlanta is a corridor of sports progress and innovation,” she praised. “It’s a dynamic place to be.”
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