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Networking Is a Contact Sport: How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence -- or Even Land Your Next Job Hardcover – October 5, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Joe Sweeney is a most persistent and persuasive man. Networking Is a Contact Sport exemplifies the value of networking ‘outside the box.’ ”
Bob Costas, Broadcaster

“Joe Sweeney’s networking skills helped to significantly increase my off-the-field income.”
Brett Favre, Three-time NFL MVP and Future NFL Hall of Famer

“Joe Sweeney is right. Networking is one of the most crucial aspects of being successful in any workplace. Cultivating personal and business relationships both inside and outside of your workplace will lead to more contacts and greater opportunities.”
Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball

“Joe has taught me the value of having a ‘wingman’ in your life. I thank God and my Guardian Angel for protecting me, and having Joe watching out for me during my time in Milwaukee was a blessing, too.”
The Most Rev. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York City

“Joe Sweeney has grasped what it means to network in both the black and the white environment. If you follow the advice in Networking Is a Contact Sport, it will help you to transcend racial differences and succeed in any work situation.”
Ulice Payne, Businessman; Entrepreneur; and former President of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club

“When you think about it, life is all about relationships, both personal and professional ones. But relationships don't just happen by themselves. Many have to be pursued, and that's where Joe's book, Networking Is a Contact Sport, comes into play. A great read that proves that networking is hard work but well worth the while."
Bill Perez, Former CEO of S.C. Johnson & Son, Nike, Inc., and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

“I teach Joe Sweeney’s networking philosophy to all four thousand of our employees. I am reminded every day that they work. The Joe Sweeney way works.”
Bob Trunzo, Chief Operating Officer, CUNA Mutual Insurance

“Broadcasting is a people business. Contacts, sources, connections, relationships—that’s networking, and that’s where Joe’s expertise has helped me.”
John Anderson, ESPN SportsCenter Anchor

“Joe Sweeney has shown that no matter your background, there are universal keys to successful networking.”
Virgis Colbert, Retired Executive Vice President, Miller Brewing Company; voted “Top 50 Executives in America” by Ebony and Fortune magazines

“Joe’s networking advice has helped me in recruiting for decades.”
Barry Alvarez, Athletic Director and former Head Football Coach at the University of Wisconsin

“The concepts in Networking Is a Contact Sport have helped me in my post-Olympic years.”
Bonnie Blair, Five-time Olympic Gold Medal Speed Skater

"Networking Is a Contact Sport speaks volumes for the value of connecting with others. Joe Sweeney’s principles will enhance your relationships, your business, your career, and your life."
Robin Yount, Two-time Major League Baseball MVP

“Practicing the networking skills that Joe Sweeney teaches in this book will give anyone from any walk of life the abilities they need to find their own personal success.”
Bo Ryan, Head Basketball Coach at the University of Wisconsin

“Joe Sweeney taught me the networking skills necessary for me to succeed in the business world after my football career. Networking Is a Contact Sport details the lessons I learned from Joe as he helped me succeed both on and off the gridiron.”
LeRoy Butler, Former Green Bay Packer All-Pro Safety and Entrepreneur

“Everything I know about the world of networking stems from Joe Sweeney’s philosophy—networking truly is a place where you go to give, not to get. Joe’s networking advice has helped us here at OneCoach.”
John Assaraf, President and CEO of OneCoach and New York Times bestselling author of The Answer

“Joe Sweeney’s networking ability helped put a spotlight on all Wisconsin sports.”
Gov. Tommy Thompson, Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of Wisconsin

“There aren’t many people who have the heart and mind of Joe Sweeney, and there are even fewer who have his integrity. The ultimate coach, Joe wants everybody to win.”
Lesley Visser, Hall of Fame sports broadcaster and first female NFL analyst on TV

“On the field or off the field, networking is a place where you go to give, not to get. If you follow the guidelines in Networking Is a Contact Sport, you will find success, regardless if you are a beginning entrepreneur or a CEO.”
Dan Jansen, Olympic Gold Medal Speed Skater

“I preach Joe Sweeney’s networking advice to all of my employees. I know that if they practice his rules of networking in our work environment, then our company will continue to enjoy success.”
John Shiely, Chairman of Briggs & Stratton

“Joe has nailed it! If I had met Joe when we were selling millions of copies of For Dummies books, I would have signed him to write Networking for Dummies. In this book, Joe gives you a gift that keeps on giving. Apply his principles and watch your business grow.”
John Kilcullen, Creator and Publisher of the For Dummies Series

“The concepts in Networking Is a Contact Sport have helped Kohl’s Department Store become a national powerhouse in the retailing industry.”
Larry Montgomery, Retired Chairman and CEO of Kohl’s Department Store

“Joe gives new and valuable insight to many of the concepts I offered up in my New York Times bestseller Never Eat Alone. Networking Is a Contact Sport is an outstanding tool for any person who wants to become a master networker.”
Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight

About the Author

Joe Sweeney is a businessman, entrepreneur, former sports agent, investment banker and author.

For 28 years, Joe has built a career by combining his love of business and his passion for sports. Joe brings an extensive background in hands-on business experience. Joe has owned and operated four manufacturing companies and has more than three decades experience in the business and sports worlds. Prior to acquiring an equity position in Corporate Financial Advisors, a middle-market investment banking firm, Joe founded and was president of SMG, a sports management firm that specializes in assisting and representing coaches and athletes including three-time MVP, Brett Favre. Joe was also president of the Wisconsin Sports Authority and serves or has served on 23 boards of directors.
Joe received his BA from St. Mary's College and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

He has used his 28 years of business experience as a master networker in the sports and business worlds.

Mike Yorkey is the author, editor, or collaborator of more than seventy books. He lives in the San Diego area with his wife, Nicole.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935618083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935618089
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Have you ever thought what you might do if you lost your job today? If you haven't, I invite you to think about that for a second... Asking you to think about such a thing, goes against my belief, since I like to consider myself an eternal optimist. But I recently faced that exact situation in late July and was forced to figure what my next move would be.

Should I work as many angles as possible to "re-land" the job I was set take in early August? Should I go back to the place I just submitted a letter of resignation to and beg for my job back? Thanks to Joe Sweeney, I found out the answer was to NETWORK.

I put in my order for Networking Is A Contact Sport, following a recommendation from a close friend, without even knowing I would be jobless in an instant. The week my job feel through, I received my copy and began reading. Joe Sweeney's book was a life changer and renewed my confidence and optimism in life. While reading Networking Is A Contact I felt every word resonating in my life, both past and present, as well as what I hope for in the future. The chapter titled, "The Difference Between Networking and Not Working is Just One Letter" especially offered great insight considering what I was experiencing.

Within a week of reading Networking Is A Contact Sport and incorporating Joe's "5-10-15 Program" I already had three interviews scheduled for careers that interest me. I was proactive in my networking, all while keeping in mind Joe's approach of "giving, not getting." People thought I was crazy for not creating an account a career website and/or applying for any job under the sun.

Joe's book has become my Career Playbook that has allowed me to hone in on my abilities, talents, and restore confidence.
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Format: Hardcover
I think some of you will really enjoy this book, while others will have a mixed opinion like me. We read this in our business book group and the rest of the group seemed to really like it. Here's a few things I didn't like about it. First, the author's platform speaks to the fact that in order to truly be effective as a networker you need to look at the process as helping people rather than getting something out of it for yourself. I have no problem with this, in fact I find this works well in business (and life.) However, he then uses an example where someone called him up after losing his job and rather than help the guy the author preached to him about the importance of networking properly. He had an opportunity to do exactly what he says we all should do and instead showed little compassion. He goes on to say that he realized the guy was hurting and it made him think about how he handled it, but then ends the segment with "and the guy is still unemployed today," as a parting shot. I was really turned off by this.

I have no doubt that this author is probably a friendly, likable guy. However, he seems a bit out of touch with the way people really live. He talks about days where his income wasn't very much, and the figure he throws out is higher than anyone else I know. If he thinks he "struggled" at any point in his life, it is obvious he doesn't know the meaning of the word.

His tips for networking with the 5/10/15 rule are solid, however, and I think he makes good points with how to connect with people. He falls short when it comes to the social networking end of things. He seems to think things like Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook aren't very useful, and as a business person myself I disagree.
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Format: Hardcover
. NETWORKING IS A CONTACT SPORT (BenBella Books) by Joe Sweeney is written by a master networker . . . it hooked me right from the beginning when the author told the story about how he was an eight-year-old boy, he walked into Coach Ara Paraseghian's office to help his older brother gain a spot on the Notre Dame football team.

I figured if anybody can do this, then he could tell me a thing or two about how to connect with others--and he did . . . this book had lots of other great stories, as well as many useful tips that could be used by anybody looking to both develop and use contacts.

For example:

* Looking for a sure-fire way to bond with someone you want to get to know better or show a customer you really care?

Go to his kid's ball game.

There's something about standing on the sidelines or sitting in the bleachers together that creates a shared moment between the two of you. I still haven't forgotten the time when a well-connected Milwaukee CEO, John Arlotta, and his wife, Bobbie, came to Conor's high school football game when the championship was on the line. That happened seven years ago, but every time I think of John, I remember how we cheered on the exploits of Conor together.

It was a great bonding experience.

I also liked the fact that Sweeney's advice doesn't require a lot of money to follow . . . sometimes, it can involve something as simple as going to eat lunch with others:

* Being willing to break bread with your colleagues will strike up all sorts of interesting conversations that could prove fruitful down the road. You'll learn who they are, and they will get to know who you are.
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