Ask the Experts
Scout, Sponsor, Mentor, Technician: Wilson's Adam Schaechterle
by Colette Lewis
, 13 May 2010
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As a poetry major at Northwestern University, Wilson's Adam Schaechterle is as surprised as anyone to find himself Tour and Junior Manager of the Americas after less than four years in the Racquet Sports division of the global sporting goods company.
"I never thought I would be working in the tennis industry," said Schaechterle, who was on the job at Wimbledon a mere month after his 2006 graduation. "I never knew it existed really."
A native of Wisconsin now living in Chicago, Schaechterle played at Northwestern for four years, serving as captain of the Wildcats during his senior season. Although he describes his college career as "unspectacular," Schaechterle excelled in doubles, with the highlight occurring in his senior year. In a conference dual match, he and his partner Matt Christian claimed a win over NCAA doubles champions Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe, the only loss the Illinois pair suffered that year.
With an introduction provided by his college coach, Schaechterle, now 26, interviewed with Wilson and was hired to manage U.S. juniors and the company's college programs. His responsibilities have grown with his experience; he now can be found attending photo shoots with Roger Federer and Serena Williams, scouting players in South America or networking at the four Grand Slams. He still finds time to pursue his first love, scouting U.S. juniors, so at the Easter Bowl, I sat down to talk with him about sponsorships, pet peeves, the state of U.S. tennis and much more.
Questions and Answers
Colette Lewis (CL): What exactly does your job entail?
Adam Schaechterle (AS): I travel over 100 days a year, so a lot of my job is on the road. That is part of being a recruiter, whether you're doing it for a college, a brand or an agency. I'm trying to build a network of people I trust, because I can't possibly see every 11-year-old in Peru or Brazil or Washington DC. So I need coaches I can trust, who I've built relationships with through my travel. That network is so important.
As for my job, I'd break it down into three areas. One is managing equipment - I am an equipment specialist who needs to know string and grips and rackets and can advise players on them. The second is contracts, whether that is a yearly agreement with a junior player, a three-year contract or a lifetime contract, that's part of my job to manage. The third area is everything else, whether photo appearances for our tour players, or scouting juniors, or having an hour to talk to the dad of a junior player, who needs advice on two different colleges when they're trying to make a decision. And that last third is by far my favorite part.