Basketball, Business and Sales: Penn alum Andreas Schreiber’s Holy Trinity

Penn Alumni Andreas Schreiber went from professional basketball to sales, which for him was natural. (Photo by Andreas Schreiber)

The transition to sales after professional basketball is only natural, according to former Penn male basketball player Andreas Schreiber.

After graduating from Penn in 2011 with a degree in environmental science, business was a completely foreign idea to him.

Although Schreiber was born in the United States, he moved to Stockholm, Sweden at a very young age before returning to the United States for high school. His dual nationality enabled him to compete for his club team Täby Basket and later the Stockholm junior team, as well as the Swedish national team.

Initially, Schreiber was not sure what role he would play in the Swedish national team. But when injuries affected the team’s usual rotation, Schreiber found himself with the opportunity to show off his years of training.

“A few guys got injured so I got into the first rope until the starting five,” said Schreiber. “I also played really well, so I was lucky to get a contract in the Spanish Second League, which at the time was considered one of the best leagues in Europe.”

Playing for Club Bàsquet Tarragona, Schreiber averaged 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the field in 34 games. After a year in Spain, Schreiber bounced off teams in Sweden, England and France.

During his 2012-13 season in the British Basketball League (BBL), Schreiber led the Plymouth Raiders to the league semi-finals, averaging 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per match.

“When I was playing, I realized I had a lot of free time,” Schreiber said. “I thought I would do something productive so I started researching how to start a business. ”

By his third year in Europe, Schreiber had developed his business plan and 15 designs for a cashmere sock company, Evoke Socks. Each of his luxury cashmere sock designs was linked to a specific charity in an attempt to raise awareness in society.

“My idea came from Toms Shoes, which is a large for-profit company, a [in which one item is donated for each item purchased]”said Schreiber.” But I thought [donating] a dollar a sock would make more sense. I had 15 models and 15 charities that I was helping.

At the same time, Schreiber was also rolling out another business venture: Prolete Formula. As a basketball training program, Prolete Formula has provided instructional classes for athletes to help them improve their abilities.

After a few years, however, neither company was getting where Schreiber envisioned them.

“It didn’t really take off the way I wanted it to,” Schreiber said. “I was putting a lot of effort into something that I felt someone else could probably do better, so I sold it to a subscription box company called SprezzaBox.”

After a few years of integrating his entrepreneurial businesses into his basketball career, Schreiber was ready for a new journey.

“I was done with [my companies] and I felt like it was a great transition into the business world, ”said Schreiber. “Evoke Socks and Prolete have been a great way for me to learn by doing. [sales]. ”

At the same time, Schreiber was starting to tire of his basketball career.

“People talk about these million dollar contracts that we [professional basketball players] never really seen it, ”Schreiber said. “I was talking to my friends who worked more at McDonald’s than I did. I had this incredible title of professional basketball player, but I was not making any money.

Schreiber says his interest in the sport is starting to wane.

“There was a lot of politics involved, agents, people who saw strangers differently, and stuff like that – so I thought it was time to find a different trip,” Schreiber said.

Trying to determine his next trip after professional basketball, Schreiber tapped into his network of friends, family, and Penn alumni.

“People who have been in the tech world for a while have told me that I should try to get into sales,” Schreiber said. “[I was told] that it’s similar to basketball; it’s competitive and soft skills are transferable. So I thought to myself why not.

At first, the transition was not easy for Schreiber. Starting with a small tech company called Gigya, Schreiber once again had to rise from the bench.

“I was what’s called a BDR or SDR, which was at the bottom of the totem pole,” Schreiber said. “It’s very hard work and not many people like it.”

But that’s where Schreiber’s soft skills from his basketball years really came into play. Speaking constantly with the media during his basketball career, Schreiber was well equipped to talk to strangers in his career. cold selling role. Schreiber’s research habits in finding opposing basketball teams have also prepared him well for researching potential customers and information relevant to a sales pitch.

“It was a big tank of sharks [within sales]. Just absolute killer salespeople with insane courage that are there 6 am-6pm, and that’s where I really learned how to survive, ”Schreiber said.

At the end of the day, sales have always been what interested Schreiber in a business. While he certainly managed all aspects of the business with Evoke Socks and Prolete Formula, it was the sales that were the most exciting for him.

“When you get a thousand dollar order, you get really excited and it’s almost like winning a game,” Schreiber said. “I don’t think there are other opportunities like this in other positions like marketing or HR where you really get that competitive adrenaline rush like you would while playing basketball.”

For Schreiber, selling is truly a unique industry that brings the competitive spirit of the sport. It was natural to move on to sales after professional basketball.

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