PAVING THE WAY WITH AUTHENTICITY
In the five years since Kgai Jones joined the Phoenix Suns, he’s excelled in each of his roles since beginning as a Premium Sales & Service Account Executive. After being elevated to Senior Manager of the team he began with, Jones now leads the team to create and secure business opportunities with high-value tickets or corporate accounts and deepen existing relationships.
For Jones, his “tools of the trade” are not a complicated algorithm or marketing program.
Kgai’s ability to forge relationships and meet the needs of his colleagues and clients from a level of genuineness has equipped him to succeed in his field.
Jones attended multiple schools growing up. This created numerous occurrences of introducing oneself and meeting new people. Jones was committed to being his authentic self, and as he changed school to school, he met more people and quickly learned the importance of community. The importance of generating genuine relationships wherever you go.
“I went to three different high schools and three different colleges,” said Jones. “This taught me at a very young age how important it is to form genuine relationships.”
Jones values the power of sports for providing him avenues to create friendships and the values his parents instilled in him shaped him into the man he is today.
Today, Jones uses his business and social acumen to pay it forward and create opportunities for minority communities, who are trying to break it into the front office of professional sports.
In 2022, Jones teamed up with Shaun Mayo, Chief People Officer of the Arizona Cardinals and colleagues from around Arizona in the sports and entertainment industry and established the Phoenix chapter of the National Honor Society of Black Sports Professionals. The nonprofit’s mission is dedicated to accelerating the advancement and impact of black professionals who work in sports. Through its local chapters across the United States, the nonprofit organization seeks to be an industry thought leader in sports career development and is one of the leading voices in the arena of advocacy for an evolved approach to recruitment, search, placement and onboarding of Black professionals within the sports and entertainment industries.
Jones is grateful for the opportunity to open doors and is motivated to continue to be successful and generate opportunities for others.
“My primary motivation is to be successful in order to take care of the people around me. That includes my friends, my family and those that look like me,” added Jones.
Eight years into his tenure in professional sports (including three years with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns before arriving to the Valley), Jones is just getting started and is eager to make a difference.
“Overall, when it is all said and done, I just want to inspire people by showing them that there is never a limit to what you can achieve.”