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The Stylus

Think it, dream it, chase it 

Lydia Aroune and friend at a Buffalo Bills game

Big dreams, a Buffalo Bills obsessed family and a determined attitude set former SUNY Brockport student Lydia Aroune up for success.   

“I was front row, it was a snowstorm game, and I was sitting there watching it and I thought it’s amazing to be a fan, but it’d be on another level to be working with the Bills. That’s when I was like okay, I know what I need to work towards, I just didn’t know how to get there yet,” Aroune said.  

Aroune started her undergrad with a major in sport management and a minor in coaching but eventually trailed off to marketing because she found it suited her best.   

“It’s funny because I was in a sport management class with Dr. Chang and a speaker came in, and it was actually Gregg Pastore, who I work closely with now,” Aroune said.  

Pastore discussed his career path and his role for the Buffalo Bills organization when he spoke to the class.  

“I reached out to him for a job opportunity but there was nothing available for me, but I had this dream, and I was just not letting it go. So, I reached out to him, and he was like, if you get in contact with this person, I think there’s a spot available for you just in a different area. I said absolutely I will take anything, and he got connections with a couple people for me, and then I got a couple of interviews and landed the job,” Aroune said.  

After graduating from Brockport ’22 Aroune became a Business Development Assistant at Pegula Sport and Entertainment on the Bills side. She is an activation person, which means typically working closely with the sponsors of the Bills. On every game day she acts as a leader with a team of five to make sure everything runs smoothly.   

“It’s exciting because I have been able to sit in on more crucial meetings like combing through the Superbowl or meetings about the game scheduled next year and being able to find out that we had a London game lined up before everybody else was cool because I felt like I was able to like, you know, be a part of that,” Aroune said.   

On a typical Monday through Friday, she works downtown in the office building doing more of a behind-the-scenes job. Working on documents that are for the sponsors, handling prizing, sending out any autographed footballs, helmets, or jerseys, and managing and handling all their gear.   

“Another part of the job is handling the TV each week. There are two shows that run for the Bills, and I just put the lineups together and make sure that all the sponsors who have paid for spots and get those spots. And then I also do the radio for the Bills to make sure that all those spots are put together. So, that’s when you hear the radio bills live running on the radio or at the ad Pro Training Facility,” Aroune said.    

Brockport alumnus Gregg Pastore, ‘99, who spoke in Aroune’s class, graduated with a physical education major with a concentration in sports management and two minors in business administration and coaching. Pastore now works closely with Aroune.   

“Lydia sets herself apart from others by her willingness to jump in and get things done. On game days, Lydia was in charge of leading our group of interns. Her energy has a trickledown effect which in turn ensures a positive team environment,” Pastore said.   

Pastore is the Senior Director of Digital Marketing, which means he focuses on providing the best possible user experience for all Buffalo Bills fans across digital platforms.  

“I was lost on how to get my foot in the door, and he provided an amazing opportunity for that to happen, and he was like the key that unlocked that. It’s been eye opening being able to actually have this kind of dream so to speak and put into reality,” Aroune said.   

Pastore believes Lydia embodies many traits that make her successful in the business and has seen her grow greatly in a short period of time.   

“When Lydia first joined the team, she was quick to complete her work as this industry is fast-paced and demanding. As she has grown in her roll, Lydia has been incredibly thorough and focused on the projects she is given,” Pastore said.   

Aroune just feels lucky to have been placed with the Bills and given the opportunity to be a part of that family.   

“I cannot say enough about the team that I’m working with and the criteria and the jobs and tasks that I’m doing. It is absolutely everything up my alley,” Aroune said.   

Lydia’s family has been a big part of her journey. She was Buffalo born and raised, with only a 10-minute drive to the Buffalo Bills stadium growing up. Her whole family would get together and tailgate, starting at 5a.m. most game days.   

“When I first had told them about the job they instantly were like, oh my god, did you meet this person? Did you meet this person? What do you do? So, do you get to go to every game? It’s just a very, very, surreal opportunity. It’s a proud moment for not only me, but a proud moment for my family too,” Aroune said.   

Aroune believes you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone to get what you want and go farther than you ever thought you could, because no dream is too big.   

“I think my biggest piece of advice is to be just constantly eager and willing to go above and beyond,” Aroune said. “Just be a sponge and soak up as much as you can from your experiences. It’ll show those around you how you work for it, and how much you want it. If you have a dream chase it, no matter how big it is, even if you think it’s unrealistic.” 

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