Friday, March 18, 2011

A Silver Lining to the NFL Lockout

Billionaires versus Millionaires.  That’s the fight we’ve all familiarized ourselves with in the last few months regarding the NFL labor dispute.  Stories have been written about which side is right, which side is wrong, who a lockout will impact, and how long it will last.  Sports radio hosts and newspaper writers alike have pointed out that the little man is really the one that suffers.  It impacts the bar owner who relies on revenue generated from NFL Sundays to run his business.  It impacts the food or beverage vendor who works part-time at the stadium during the NFL season to make ends meet.  It even impacts the dad who wants to watch NFL football with his son or daughter.  It isn’t just about the owners and the players.  It is about the consumers!
Oddly enough, such an awful experience that is the “NFL lockout” has impacted Drexel Cooperative Education in a positive way.  Much has been detailed about how NFL teams are downsizing, cutting salaries, and implementing furloughs.  The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, among many others, have already taken such action assuming and planning for the worst.  Heck, even the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cut his salary to $1. 
Locally, the Philadelphia Eagles shifted course and made a major adjustment as it pertains to their internship and Co-op program.  Historically, the Eagles have hired 6-10 Co-ops per year.  These included Mascot and Marketing, Human Resources, Ticket Operations and Services, and Premium Services.  Aside from Co-op, the Eagles previously hired recent graduates for full-time, paid internships in most of their other departments from other colleges.  Due to the lockout however, these internships were eliminated and the number of Co-op jobs jumped significantly.  In the B round alone (for Spring/Summer Co-op), six new positions were posted including Stadium Operations, Corporate Services, Marketing, Guest Services, Client Services and Event Services.  No added pressure (J) to these students but they have the opportunity to set the bar high and make the Eagles realize why hiring Drexel Co-op students is to their benefit.  If they succeed, they have the opportunity to change the course of the Eagles hiring patterns even after the lockout ends.  In the meantime, we’ll certainly take the positive consequence of an otherwise negative situation.
-Written by Mark Gress, Employer Relations Coordinator for Sport Management students 

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