At Home in
By Jill Harrington
Suraj Batheja ’07 arrived at law school with the goal
of breaking into the sports industry – and true to the former
college varsity tennis player he is, he never took his eyes
off the ball.
He started the Sports and Entertainment Law Society
at Roger Williams, bringing in big names from the sports
world. He hosted a sports radio talk show on WQRI, the
college radio station. He completed internships with the
International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport and IMG
Media, the sports business giant.
His eyes-on-the-prize mentality has paid off. Five
years after graduating and following a stint in corporate
partnerships for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, he is now the
director of sports and entertainment partnerships for the
Madison Square Garden Company in New York.
When you walk into an arena and see sponsor signs for
Chase, Delta – I’m negotiating those deals,” Batheja explains.
His job comes with some considerable perks – as Batheja
points out, the company’s seven venues also include Radio
City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and the recently added
Forum in Los Angeles, among others.
Raj Batheja ’07
The alumni pages
So I have a playground of assets to help build brand
partnerships,” he says. “Knicks games, Rangers games,
concerts, college basketball, family shows. When we’re
entertaining clients, it’s, ‘Do you like hockey? Basketball?
If you’re not into sports, how about the Rockettes?’”
Batheja came to RWU Law on the recommendation of
the president of Wake Forest University, his alma mater,
who told him that David Logan – a longtime Wake Forest
law professor – had just accepted the deanship at RWU.
Batheja came to visit, loved it, and continues to feel it was
the right decision.
It was a great experience for me; it was small enough to
get one-on-one attention from professors, and that was key,”
Batheja says. “In a big city or big school, I would’ve drowned
in all the distractions.”
Batheja refers to himself as the “Rudy” of the law school
world – an underdog.
I was not an A student,” Batheja says. “I’d always been
more of a jock than a student, but in a way that ended up
helping me. I took my tennis-court work ethic and translated
it into getting through law school.”