Front Office

SPORTSDOG: Using Your Values to Recognize Your Team

By Melissa Wickes
March 8, 2022
3 min

At your first LeagueApps All Hands meeting, you may be surprised to find out that an entire section of the meeting is dedicated to giving team shoutouts. 

Every week. 

Depending on how the week goes, this part of the meeting can last anywhere from five to 20 minutes. Anyone can give a shoutout to anyone, the only catch is the shoutout must be tied back to a company value. In fact, we’ve had to limit the length of shoutouts recently because so many people have been giving shoutouts. 

The moral of the story? People love being recognized and they love recognizing others. Positive encouragement is a powerful leadership tool, and it leads to greater retention, organizational loyalty, and productivity.  


Let’s start with an introduction to our company values, which spell out the acronym SPORTSDOG. 

Everything we do at LeagueApps in some way ties back to these values. When we interview new members of the team, we place a huge emphasis on whether or not their values align with these. Are they a team player? Are they willing to learn a new skill to get the job done? Are they open and honest with their team? Are they focused on results? 

You get the idea. 

So, each week we’ll give shoutouts to our teammates for the way they embodied one (or more) of our company values during the week prior.

“Shoutout to Kara Lawson for Student of the Game—this week she dropped everything to help me review my product marketing blog post to ensure the copy was factual and up-to-date, and helped me better understand how our product worked.”

“Shoutout to Jared Cooper for Difference Maker. He led our FundPlay Drive this last week, resulting in nearly $200,000 of donations to sports-based youth development organizations in underserved communities.” 

“Shoutout to Gini Dietrich for Team. I couldn’t have gotten through this tough week without her understanding and empathy while I was going through a tough time.”


The ultimate shoutouts come once a year, though, during the SPORTSDOG Awards. Our two fearless leaders—Jeremy Goldberg, President of LeagueApps; and Brian Litvack, CEO—host a top-notch, Grammy-esque awards ceremony each year during our Winter OTAs (or Organized Team Activities) to properly acknowledge members of our team for the amazing, value-driven work they accomplished the year prior. 

The whole LeagueApps team votes on the winners of each category, with 5 nominees per category to choose from. The accomplishment comes with a sense of pride, reinforcement, and a chance to have your name featured on one of our value banners that hang above our desks in the office. As Brian loves to put it, “we literally work under our values.” 

The SPORTSDOG Awards are a special time at our company where we can acknowledge our teammates, laugh, and look around and appreciate the amazing community in which we work. 

Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s SPORTSDOG winners:

  • Sportsmanship: Bharat Chopra
  • Passion: Annie Gavett,Jessica Scannapieco
  • Openness: David Cameron, Amanda Astudillo
  • Results: Melissa Macaluso
  • Team: Craig McGinn, Onki Yeung
  • Student of the Game: Kara Lawson
  • Difference Maker: Rebecca Gross 
  • Own Your Role: Lavie Sak, John Lechner
  • Grit: Katie Ringel

Stay tuned as we individually highlight the 2021 SPORTSDOG winners over the course of the next few weeks, and click here to be kept in the loop as each article is published.