Success by Design

In December 2018, Corey Galloway ’91 became the first black sports franchise owner in New York history, establishing the New York Streets National Arena League football team. It’s the latest in a list of achievements made possible by never being content with the status quo.

Corey Galloway is naturally curious—a personality trait that’s been the biggest key to his success.

After graduating from AIC in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Galloway was working six days a week, and somewhere between twelve and fourteen hours a day, as the manager of a supermarket. It was hardly the dream job the Brooklyn native had in mind when he graduated.

Galloway eventually left the store and wound up in the position that would change his life. Working, through a temp agency, in the accounting department for the controller at Madison Square Garden, Galloway handled bank reconciliations, debits, and credits.

“My biggest thing is financial models. I love playing with them because it’s like, ‘If I do this, then this will happen. And if I do that, then that will happen,’” Galloway explains. “So I got that early passion when I first started out at Madison Square Garden.”

The work was closer to what Galloway studied at AIC, and that’s when the light bulb in his head switched on.

Galloway went on to receive his Master of Business Administration from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University, and later completed the Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School.

He gained a wealth of experience while working for companies like MTV—dabbling in animation, film, and television—as well as with pro athletes like Calvin Johnson and Lou Williams, and celebrities like Kevin Hart. With almost two decades of finance, operations, and marketing experience, Galloway currently serves as principal at Legacy Growth Partners, a business development and direct investment company based in New York City.

However, it’s his current role that has landed him in the history books.

In December 2018, Galloway became the first black sports franchise owner in New York history with the announcement that his Legacy Growth Partners was bringing arena football back to New York City in the form of the New York Streets of the National Arena League.

The Streets finished their inaugural season with a 4-10 record. In June, the team announced that Empire City Casino, an MGM Resorts property in Yonkers, will be the Street’s presenting sponsor.

Corey and Tamara Galloway at Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. home turf of the New York Streets.
Corey and Tamara Galloway at Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY, home turf of the New York Streets.

As much as it was a joyous moment for Galloway and his family when he became the owner of the Streets, it was also a stark reminder of the obstacles that African Americans still face.

“It’s 2019, and we just can’t get opportunities,” he says. “When you’re trying to be, or becoming, the first black person to do something in 2019, you have to understand why it is you that became the first. It wasn’t by happenstance; it’s by design.”

The system isn’t set up for players to necessarily become owners, and Galloway knows that firsthand. He played wide receiver for AIC from 1987 to 1991. He started during his sophomore season, and was a team captain by his senior year.

“When you’re trying to be, or becoming, the first black person to do something in 2019, you have to understand why it is you that became the first. It wasn’t by happenstance; it’s by design.”
~Corey Galloway 91′

“I’ve been thinking about it more with this whole thing with the NFL and Jay Z,” Galloway says of his role. “You have to understand that when you’re on the other side of the ledger, on the ownership side, it’s hard to take a moment to enjoy it because you’re still fighting the fight every day.”

“I haven’t had a chance to bask in it,” he says, “because I’m doing the work of what needs to happen and figuring out how to be successful.”

But even if Galloway still hasn’t taken a moment to realize what he’s accomplished, others have. Galloway now joins Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Hornets as the only two African American majority owners in American sports.

And while it may be easy to view Galloway’s success as singular, he still looks back at AIC as being the foundation for his personal and professional triumphs: “My closest relationships have all come from AIC. The people I met there are still my closest friends today.”

“I pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated there, and we’ve done everything together— weddings, kids. And our kids are in college now,” he adds. “We’ve all grown together, and I cherish those personal relationships.”

“My closest relationships have all come from AIC. The people I met there are still my closest friends today.”
~Corey Galloway 91′

AIC is also where Galloway met one of his favorite professors, the late Aloo Driver: “She just had a different approach to teaching, which wasn’t grade-based, but about receiving the knowledge she was giving us and if it was going to help us become better people.”

It would be easy to say that Galloway, at age fifty, has accomplished a lot—which is true. But if you spent any amount of time getting to know him, you would quickly realize that he’s not too fond of resting on his laurels. The curious ones aren’t built that way.

And if you ever plan on working with, or for, Corey Galloway one day, you should be prepared to answer his questions—and be unsatisfied with the status quo.

“You’ll never be satisfied, and you always want to know what’s next,” he says. “And I try to find that mentality in the people that work around me.”

 

By Carron Phillips  :: photos by Jorg Meyer