Monday, April 30, 2012

SMTSU Blog Contest

DATES OF CONTEST: May 1st 2012 to May 31st 2012

HOW TO ENTER: Go to “The Sports Complex” and comment on one or more of the blog posts.  Each comment will enter the commenters name into a prize drawing (Ex. One comment = name into drawing once, two comments = name into drawing twice, etc.).

WHY: After the contest period of May 1st to May 31st, comments will be tallied and the drawing will be held on or about Friday June 1st, 2012.  The winner of the prize drawing will be randomly selected and contacted via email or phone. 

PRIZES: One (1) grand prize will be awarded.  The grand prize is a Drexel SMTSU prize pack consisting of one (1) SMTSU Keychain, one (1) SMTSU Water Bottle, and (1) SMTSU Drawstring Bag. 

Prizes will be provided by the Sport Management Student Union

This contest is open to everybody everywhere.

Any comment containing profanity/obscene language will be deleted and participant will be disqualified.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 NFL Draft - Round One

With the first two picks pretty much decided with the quarterbacks from Stanford, Andrew Luck going to the Indianapolis Colts and Baylor, Robert Griffin III going to the Washington Redskins, how will the rest of the first round picks go? With players stock value rising and falling in the past weeks with new players being put on the table and others being taken off, tune to ESPN at 8 PM to watch how the first round goes.

Here is a mock draft of how the night could go.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How Sports Teams Can Leverage Instagram

The saying "a picture says a thousand words" is a true, if not overly used expression. But as Facebook's recent acquisition of photo-sharing social media platform Instagram proved just two weeks ago, a picture, or rather a way to share a picture, is worth a billion dollars. 

It's surely frustrating for sports franchises, having new platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest pop up just when it feels like they're really getting the hang of Facebook and Twitter. Staying ahead of the social media curve is important though, and that means we will surely see many teams popping up on Facebook's new baby in the near future. In fact, some teams like the Celtics, Knicks, Bulls and Eagles have already jumped on the opportunity to create some more brand exposure and build stronger relationships with their fan bases. 

We can all agree it's a pretty sweet app with a simple, attractive layout, but how can teams use it? It's pretty simple, really. Use it for whatever you want to promote. New facilities, a new ad campaign, a particular event or promotion. Instagram can serve essentially as a digital billboard in a way that not even Twitter can. Below, check out a picture from the Eagles' Instagram account (@philadelphiaeagles), with the caption "Jeremy Maclin participating in our first #Google + hangout #philadelphiaeagles".

-Written by Dan Mullin

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Say It Saint So

The Mayans predicted it and we are seemingly living it.  The end of the world is quickly approaching.  Snooki is pregnant.  Dick Clark, the king of New Years, has passed on.  World Peace is on the brink of suspension after throwing a vicious elbow to the face and beard of James Harden.  And now, the Saints are accused of major NFL sin, again! 

First it was Bountygate, which got head coach Sean Payton a yearlong boot from the Saint’s sideline.  Sanctions also included interim head coach Joe Vitt getting a 6 game suspension and left the team looking for an interim interim head coach.  GM Mickey Loomis got handed an 8 game suspension.   Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely and facing an uphill battle to be allowed to coach again.  The team was also fined half a million dollars and players wait to hear their fate. 

The Saints have since moved on, believe it or not, but not to any better of a place.  Now, GM Mickey Loomis is facing allegations of bugging opposing teams between 2002 and 2004.  Putting them somewhere between Watergate and Spygate, the Saints are once again in damage control mode.  The team maintains that the reports are “1,000% inaccurate” (we will ignore the impossibility of that statement).   

Of course, Bountygate was bad, but NFL Watergate is just as bad.  We are talking about the integrity of the game being put into serious question.  The competitive advantage that the eavesdropping could have provided is said to be minimal, if any, which raises my personal question, why do it?  Yes it is bad to cheat and steal other team’s plays by bugging their lines of communication but at least there is a reason.  Mickey Loomis’s latest offense seems to have little purpose or application which just makes me wonder why he would ever put the team in harm’s way like this.   

Who knows what is going to come out of this for Loomis.  Maybe criminal charges.  Maybe more punishment from the league.  What is definite though is that every move the Saints make for now on will face intense scrutiny.  The Saints now face a slippery uphill slope in rebuilding their image and brand.  Making Drew Brees happy again would be a great start to rebuilding a damaged brand.  We have all seen what he has done for the city of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck.

Unfortunately for now, the Saints have gone from “Who Dat?” to “Who Done It?”. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Death To The BCS

Death To The BCS: A Definitive Case Against The Bowl Championship Series is written by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, and Jeff Passan.  The book offers incredible insight into what really makes college football and the BCS tick.  Many of us know about the injustices of the BCS, but Death To The BCS takes it to a whole new level.
The writers take an extensive look into the reasons that the BCS people give for not having a playoff.  “It would take away class time.”  “It wouldn’t be good for the band members or cheerleaders.”  “It would take away the importance of the regular season.”  All three are ridiculous arguments that “the Cartel”, as they call the BCS throughout, uses to leave people dumbfounded.  Those are just the beginning. 
The Cartel’s biggest argument against a playoff is that there has not been a reasonable alternative suggested.  The book was written before this past season so obviously there was no knowing that the plus-one would be suggested and gain steam.  Wetzel, Peter, and Passan take the time to not only craft their own plan that could very well work, they crafted a plan that would be exponentially more profitable than the current system. 

Many people love sports for its simplicity and sense of purity.  The BCS not only complicates the system beyond belief, it takes the purity of competition and fairness almost completely out of college football.  We know that money drives everything, but in sports the integrity of the game and competition should never be sacrificed.  The BCS throws integrity completely out the window. 

My favorite part of the book is the final chapter titled “Death to the BCS”.  The chapter starts off talking about how the BCS is so corrupt that it even brings Republicans and Democrats together.  Anybody with the slightest sense of 2012 politics knows that that is damn near impossible.  The writers call the BCS un-American.  At first I thought it was funny; how could college football, one of the most ‘merican sports on the planet, not be ‘merican anymore?  Well, the BCS has found a way to do it.
Many of us here at Drexel are either on co-op or preparing for summer vacation, and some of us may be looking build a little reading list for free time.  Yes a reading list, don’t tell me I’m the only nerd here.  If you want a good college football read, or a good sports business read in general, I highly recommend Death to the BCS.  Wetzel, Peter, and Passan are all award winning writers, Wetzel being one of the best investigative journalists in the business right now.  Their research really shines through, which you can appreciate even if you are for some reason on the BCS’s side in this matter.  Death to the BCS is a must for college football fans and highly recommended for sports business fanatics.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Go where the jobs are!

Recently, a career services colleague of mine asked me how the job market is looking for graduates with Sport Management degrees.  I paused for a second as I contemplated giving some economy or recession cop out answer.  The truth of the matter is that the Sports Industry remained fairly steady over the last few years.  The notion that is out there is that “sports are recession-proof” and while that isn’t entirely true, it isn’t that far off base either.  The sports industry did take a hit over the last few years- there have been hiring freezes and layoffs across the board.  At the same time, companies like Teamwork Online, Turnkey Sports and Entertainment,, Ascension Sports Partners, and Prodigy Sports all seem to have job boards that are overflowing with great opportunities.  So how is the job market for graduates with Sport Management degrees?
It depends.  It depends on your geographical limitations.  It depends on your specific job preferences.  It depends on your track record.
Let’s start with the location first.  Being mobile in the Sports Industry is a must.  That doesn’t mean that you have to move all over the country (or internationally); nor does it mean you have to move every 3-5 years.  You simply must be open to the idea that for the right job, you’d be willing to consider leaving “home” least temporarily.  As Bon Jovi said, “Who Says You Can't Go Home?”  If you are not willing to do so, others will.  My suggestion- at the very least be open to a specific area of the country.  For example, if you live in Philadelphia, be open to anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic and/or New England.  That grows your professional, minor league, and college prospects from a few dozen to a few hundred opportunities.
That takes us to our next point about your specific job preferences.  I cringe when I hear a student tell me that they only want to work for a specific team, in a specific league, doing a specific task- it goes something like this “I want to work for the Philadelphia Phillies doing Marketing.”  Well if I had to guess I’d say there are about five of those positions that exist, so good luck.  I’d rather hear “I want to work in Ticket, Group, or Premium Ticket Sales in any of the four major sports on the West Coast.”  All of a sudden the blinders aren’t on and the number of possibilities available to you just tripled or quadrupled!
Finally, let’s look at your background or track record.  If you want to work in Ticket Sales, it would be helpful to have made a cold call before.  If you want to work in Marketing, but don’t know what the four P's (aka, the marketing mix) are, you might be in trouble.  When graduating, you have to realize that there are going to be many other candidates with Sport Management or Sport Marketing degrees.  While the diploma and your 3.5 GPA are great, what separates you is the practical (and relevant!) work experience that you bring to the table.
So the job market for those graduating with Sport Management degrees is not that bad but you have to be flexible.  You have to be willing to adjust your thinking a little bit and just for the time being put the “dream job” on the backburner.  That will come with time…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Chase for Lord Stanley's Cup: The Money Battles

The NHL Playoffs are underway, and we’ve already had enough excitement for an entire season for many fans in the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series, High scoring games, violent, passionate fights, spectacular saves, suspensions between bitter rivals, let alone the other fourteen teams still playing hockey.

Nevertheless, the battle behind the games wages on. The NHL is on the cusp of another CBA negotiation period—last time the NHLPA and Board of Governors met to renegotiate the CBA, there was a lockout that wiped out the entire 05-06 season, damaging the league’s standing as one of the “Big Four” sports.
Nontraditional markets like Los Angeles (leading Vancouver 3-0), Florida (leading New Jersey 2-1), Nashville (leading Detroit 2-1), and Phoenix (leading Chicago 2-1) are doing quite well this postseason. The question is: is this good for the NHL? One of the major concerns going into the 2004 lockout was parity—small market teams felt as if they did not have as good a chance to compete with the large market teams (the New York Rangers especially).

In the six (not counting this season) years since the lockout, we’ve seen six different champions between 10 different franchises. In the six seasons before the lockout, nine different teams made the Stanley Cup Finals, with 5 different champions. Since the lockout only two non-traditional market teams (Carolina in 05-06 and Anaheim in 06-07) have won the Cup. In the six seasons before the lockout, four nontraditional franchises made the finals (Anaheim, Dallas, Carolina, and Tampa Bay) made the finals, with two champions (Dallas in 1998-99, Tampa Bay in 2003-04). For all intents and purposes, there’s not been a remarkable difference.

The lockout has done little to help smaller/non-traditional market franchises. New Jersey, Florida, Columbus, New York Islanders, and Phoenix are all struggling financially, while two franchises (Phoenix and the now relocated Atlanta) have struggled to find ownership groups to solidify their futures financially.

Daniel Kaplan’s April 16 SBJ article, he discusses two first round foes, the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers, who have struggled to break even this past year. Without deep playoff runs, both are expected to finish millions in the red. This can partially be contributed to poor TV ratings. Florida’s 0.21 and New Jersey’s 0.34 ratings this past season ranked 30th and 27th in the entire NHL. To make matters worse, the teams average percentage of arena capacity at home games ranked 24th (86.6%) and 23rd (87.6%) in the league. Only one other playoff team, Phoenix (dead last, at 72.5%), had below 95% home attendance this season.
The league cannot continue to have franchises struggle so mightily. Something has to change. A major TV contract would go a long way, but the current NBC Universal deal leaves much to be desired compared to the other major sports. There has been very little progress on CBA negotiations thus far. The league cannot afford another season-damaging lockout.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Tim Tebow Effect

With the NFL's offseason training programs beginning this week, much of the focus seems to be on New York Jets "backup" QB Tim Tebow. Tebow was traded for a fourth round pick this offseason and is expected to bring a new dimension to the Jets offense. Tebow however brings much more to the Jets then just a Wildcat QB. Tim Tebow is a brand. With the signing the Jets will endure double the amount of media and Tebow believers all across the nation. Tebow was a hero at the University of Florida, winning two national championship and a Heisman Trophy in his sophomore season. Since the day he was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos, football experts as well as critics say that Tebow can't throw the ball correctly or isn't your typical NFL QB. Now, Tebow may not have a Peyton Manning type arm but he has all the intangibles that make a great NFL QB. Tebow has leadership, pride, and most importantly belief in himself. He led the Broncos to the playoffs last year and a first round victory over the feared defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So no, Tebow may not be the ideal QB from a mechanics standpoint but he is an NFL QB.

Although Tebow is only the backup QB for the Jets, expect him to have a huge impact this year. Tebow will not only make it difficult for opposing defenses to scheme against him but also repair the broken locker room of the New York Jets. Tebow will show the often selfish players of the Jets what it is like to be a team player and perform for the team and not for the individua statistics. Being a lifelong Jets fan I am confident in Tebow and know he will be the positive force that this team needs to succeed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The NBA Age Limit

The NBA age limit for entering the draft has been in the news a little bit lately, as it usually pops up upon the conclusion of the NCAA basketball season.  Depending on who you ask, you are going to get a good amount of different opinions on the matter.  Many times when you boil it down it comes to either raise it or get rid of it. 

For a good bit of time I myself was on the side in favor of raising it.  However, the more I actually took time to think about, the more I started to think that it should be abolished.  I understand that the NBA requires a more mature physical presence and mental stability than that of a high school graduate.  But is that one year of “college” really that eye-opening? 

All the age limit does is offer protection.  It offers the young men protection against making a bad decision.  I would argue that the only way to learn is to make mistakes.  If a young man doesn’t make it in the NBA after making the jump from high school, I don’t think that a magical spell is cast over them that doesn’t allow them to go to school or do something with the marketability they made for themselves in the NBA Draft process.  But what do I know, I’ve never done it.  You live and you learn, but if rules are prohibiting you from living then you aren’t learning. 

The rule also offers protection to the NBA franchise owners against making bad decisions.  This one blows my mind the most.  I can see the argument for the young men because a young man’s life is fragile in many ways.  But the owners?  If they are scared of picking the guy who mentally implodes or god forbid turns out to be a bust, then why would you even draft him in the first place?  I may be more of a conservative type, but if I was an owner I can’t see myself drafting a guy out of high school unless he was a sure-fire LeBron James pick.  None of this drafting-off-of-potential garbage that gets teams in trouble.  Only draft off of what a young man has and shows.  There’s your protection, you don’t have to hide behind the rules. 

I am going to refrain from the “this is America and in just about every other field you are free to make stupid mistakes and allowed to make decisions straight out of high school” argument because it’s too obvious.  I am also going to refrain from listing all of the things that you can do or HAVE to do or are trusted with when you turn 18, the age that you most likely are or approaching as you conclude high school because that argument is too obvious. 

We come from an age that has seen high school players allowed to make the jump to the NBA, and the NBA survived.  Yea, some teams made terrible decisions but I’m sure that they learned from it.  A majority of the high school players who tried to make the jump, failed.  I bet their failures set the example for some young men to go to college, play basketball, and get an education (in theory).  So why do we still hide behind this rule that doesn’t allow these young men make their own life decisions? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday's 5 Thoughts

After another eventful week in sports and in the industry, I would be honored to start your day of right with five thoughts straight from yours truly. Away we go:

1. Hubba-Hubba Bubba! Bubba Watson took home the green jacket at the Masters last weekend. Is he actually at the top of the golf world to stay or will he wallow away?

2. Joe Vitt has been announced as the Saint's interim HC. Still, he is suspended the first six games of the season. Can we stop the bickering about the past and focus on the football? The NFL still expects to hand down disciplinary action to players for their role in the bounty program. Will all this Saints talk and suspensions overtake the yearly spectacle that is the NFL Draft?

3. The NHL playoffs are here and my oh my, overtime is the new black in the National Hockey League. So many exciting games and superb play. Can the playoffs maintain this level of excitement or will it eventually fizzle?

4. MLS expansion talk is heating up. The league, now at 19 teams, is looking to expand to the neat and tidy number of 20 and even beyond. MLS President Mark Abbott said the league expects another team in the New York market to be team number 20, while expansion in the southeast is likely for expansion beyond. But, who will pay the $100 million buy-in price for a second team in the New York market?

5. The NBA playoffs are right around the corner. Who is gearing for a run and who is in line to get run-over?

Ah, so many questions and mysteries. It's the beauty of sports that leaves us all guessing. Think I missed something or want to throw in your thoughts? Tell me in the comments section and perhaps I will even weigh-in.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Skip Bayless: F'real or Fraud?

It seems that no matter what newsworthy topic is floating around the sports industry, Skip Bayless’s name is attached to in some way.  His name is usually connected to sports news because he takes already extreme opinions to a whole new level.  The reason for this, which may be more fact than simply my personal opinion, is that Skip Bayless is a fraud. 

The fact that Skip Bayless is considered a sports journalist should be insulting to anybody who has any association to the field.  In a time where journalism ethics are unclear at best, Bayless takes it a step further by blatantly lying.  Don’t believe me?  If you haven’t already seen it, check out Jalen Rose calling out Bayless for lying. 

The man is known for his extreme opinions on controversial topics.  His outward, on-air expressions of love for Tim Tebow are graphic and disturbing to say the least.  His strong opinions of LeBron are also worth mentioning. 

So what is Skip Bayless really?  Basically, Skip Bayless is a glorified sports talk radio host (if you don’t know that a majority of sports talk radio hosts simply take the opposite opinion of the masses in an attempt to get angry rebuttals from callers, then you are living quite a sheltered life).  He’s not an analyst.  He’s on an ESPN morning television talk show.  You know, sort of like The View, just sports instead.

Everything he says is in an effort to drive ratings, just like talk radio.  The show is during a time when many people are at work or in school.  So Bayless and his friends at ESPN have to make some noise somehow, which is exactly where Skip and his overly biased views come in.  I think you could go as far to say that even ESPN notices this.  How can you tell?  When is Skip Bayless ever on during primetime?  When guys are good on television, they get promoted to better times.  Bayless has been in the same time slot for as far back as I can remember. 

That reason is exactly why ESPN is losing respect in the eyes of many.  ESPN is biased.  ESPN is only looking out for their own interests, not the interest of looking out for the masses like they lead you to believe.  Skip Bayless is essentially doing the same exact thing.  Skip Bayless is a fraud.

Skip Bayless is truly a polarizing figure.  What is your opinion about him?  We want to know!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Miami's New Do

The Miami Marlins may still have the foundation of the Florida Marlins, but with a quick glance you’d think otherwise. A new manager, a new stadium, a new name, a new shortstop (and therefore a new third baseman), and a new logo. Major League Baseball is a creature of habit and tradition. Teams rarely make major changes because of the repercussions to their brand and reputation if not done properly. The Marlins decided to be extremely bold this off-season and revamp their image. They took on the risk that their fans wouldn’t appreciate the changes and lose faith in the team.

After 28 months of back-and-forth decisions between MLB licensors, Marlins front office personnel, and expert branding partners finally agreed upon the “warm red”, “sunshine yellow”, “nightclub black”, and “energy silver” sunset “M”. Within an hour after the launch of the new logo, there were already critics and fans speaking negatively about that change. If so many people are speaking out about their disapproval of the new logo, then why is it number #2 on the charts for best sales of MLB teams licensed products behind only the Yankees?

On the contrary, the on-the-field issues for the Marlins may still exist. Their Opening Day loss to the Cardinals ended with the home fans chanting “Let’s Go Heat” as their NBA counterparts took on Oklahoma City simultaneously down the road.

With the influx of a new brand, stadium, location, and team personnel, can the Miami Marlins fulfill the ultimate goal of “butts-in-seats”? How do you see the Marlins sales doing this season? Please share your comments.

-Written by Hayley Zedeck

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bubba's Amen Corner Prayers Are Answered

On Sunday, the world saw Bubba Watson win The Masters for his first career PGA Tour major victory.  Starting the final round three shots off the lead, the hard hitting left hander seemed to be a popular pick among analysts to make the comeback and get the win.  Fittingly, the University of Georgia alum’s first major victory came in Augusta, Georgia, the same state as his alma mater.  Bubba Watson’s popularity has already risen exponentially over the past couple of days with many people talking about “The Shot” and the raw emotions he displayed just moments after his Masters clinching putt on the last playoff hole against South African Louis Oosthuizen.

As far as sports business is concerned, you could look at the near $1.5 million that Bubba brought in for spending four competition days on a golf course that many outsiders would give their first born to play.  More importantly, you could look at an interesting decision made by PING immediately following the tournament.  PING, who sponsors Bubba Watson, announced that they have no immediate plans to produce the pink driver that Bubba made so popular in the last week.  As part of a deal with PING, Bubba uses the pink driver as well as pink highlight points on his clothes and PING donates $300 to Bubba Watson’s charity every time he hits a 300 yard drive. 

I wonder why PING would not at least try to capitalize on this.  What is the harm in releasing even a limited number of the now well-known drivers to see what the demand would be?  My immediate reaction is that they would draw some kind of consumer attention in the market.  PING could even take the approach that some of the money made off of the drivers would go to Bubba’s charity.  People jump at chances to visibly support good causes and this is a great way to spread the word.  I think that PING is making a big mistake here.  What do you think?

Bubba Watson loves doing charity work so much that he did this music video with Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, and Ben Crane!  For this, Farmers donates $1000 for every 100,000 views.

Want to learn more about Bubba Watson, Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million charity challenger, and the rest of his outstanding charity work? Check out

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Gregg Williams Fiasco

Gregg Williams has been suspended indefinitely for his role as orchestrator of a bounty program when he was the Saints' Defensive Coordinator. Roger Goodell, the NFL's man-in-charge, handed down the suspension but has said he will review the matter at the end of the season. Essentially, Goodell has suspended Williams for the season and will decide if he wants to bring Williams back next season.

At the tail end of last week, an audio recording of Williams talking to his defense the night prior to the Saint's loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs was released. In this recording, Williams is brutal. He makes references to injuring specific players on the 49ers, using heinous phrases and sickening remarks.

We must, however, examine the context of these remarks and put them into perspective. As an everyday person, I found the audio recording to be disgusting. But, I am not an NFL athlete. Was this speech, on the eve of a massive playoff game, typical banter in NFL locker rooms? Did Williams cross-the-line or was he behaving in a similar to other coaches? I do not have the answers, however, almost every former NFL great has been asked for their opinion on the matter.

On ESPN's First Take, Cardinals kicker Jay Feely argued the league is coming down too heavily on Williams and that, while he crossed the line in his speech, this is common talk amongst coaches in NFL locker rooms. Just today, former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton told ESPN radio in Chicago that Williams should never be allowed to coach in the NFL again.

Still, the jury is out. Williams has been mum on the subject, apparently cooperating with the league office. Perhaps Williams' best strategy at this point. may be to look to the UFL for employment.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Leaving Your Mark: “Professionalism: It's not the job you do, it’s how you do the job”

Recently, I’ve done three presentations and workshops on the topics of professionalism, communication, and business etiquette to undergraduate and graduate students.  These topics are tricky since they mostly revolve around soft skills and things that most students think are “common sense”.  I would argue the opposite is true…those topics are not that common!

As a Co-op, intern, volunteer, or work-study student, you have to consider that your current job is essentially an extended, several week/month/year job interview.  The company is observing you, they are taking mental notes, and they are constantly evaluating you to see if you would be a fit with their organization and if you are worth a full-time offer.  Therefore, it is crucial to dress professionally, communicate clearly and formally via email and phone, be punctual, and go the extra mile. 

In the sports industry, perhaps more than any other industry, if you cannot execute these things well, the team, league, or agency will simply move on to the next candidate.  If you can’t do it, someone else will.  And not just anyone else- a long line of hundreds of other candidates are chomping at the bit to get their foot in the door.

This ties directly to first impressions and references.  There is no such thing as a second impression.  The first impression can make or break any opportunity.  When I was at Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, we had an intern candidate show up without a suit on and he clearly hadn’t shaved in about a week.  He knocked the interview out of the park but unfortunately, we couldn’t get past the fact that he didn’t address his appearance and it came off as not caring- how could we put him in front of a client or customer?  As for references, I always laugh at the notion of checking references that I was given by a candidate.  Those references are meant to be perfect and it is hard to dig up any dirt; in fact, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve received negative feedback from a candidate-supplied reference.  Therefore, be aware that future employers may contact people not on your reference list to get a true read on you as a candidate.  Things like LinkedIn have made this process much easier- I can see who you are connected to and I can also see who worked at the same organization as you during a specific period of time.  So be on your game at all times and don’t assume someone won’t be a future reference!

To conclude- do the little things right, put your professional hat on when you go to work, and communicate “as if”- as if you were the Vice President or President of the firm.  Don’t think of yourself as the college kid or the intern; act "as if" you are a full-time, salaried employee.

"Leaving Your Mark" is a bi-weekly column authored by Mark Gress Jr. Mark is the Employer Relations Coordinator at Drexel University's Steinbright Career Development Center. His previous work experience includes time with Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Drexel University Athletics.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

America's Pastime Is Back

On the day that the most historic and storied golf tournament in the United States kicks off in Augusta, Georgia, America’s true pastime gets underway with games across the country.  Major League Baseball’s 2012 regular season starts up today and America couldn’t be happier.

This may be one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory, mostly due to one of the biggest off-seasons in years.  After Jason Motte threw the final pitch of 2011 and the St. Louis Cardinals were crowned the World Series champions, storyline are storyline unfolded in a seemingly endless four month stretch. 

Free Agency

This past offseason boasted perhaps the most talented and most decorated group of players ever seen in one year.  Albert Pujols made the whole mega best-free-agent-of-all-time thing cool even before Peyton Manning.  And if you really want to compare apples to oranges, I would argue that Pujols being a free agent was a bigger deal than Manning because A) Pujols didn’t have a potential career threatening injury and B) Pujols has more prime playing days left in the tank based on age.  As we all know, Pujols went from being the savior of St. Louis, a god-like figure in the city, to a greedy sellout moving to the LA Angels because of their large financial offerings.  Of course, not everybody feels that way (we can discuss that another time if you’d like), but he did move teams. 

Pujols was not the only major player to switch teams.  Prince Fielder also became a $200 million man when he jumped from the small market Milwaukee Brewers to the Detroit Tigers.  Highly sought after shortstop Jose Reyes stayed in the National League East but moved to the warmer temperatures of South Florida when he jumped from the New York Mets’ sinking ship and onto the quickly rising rocket that is the Miami Marlins.  Lefty hurler Mark Buehrle followed in Reyes’ footsteps when he left his long time club, the Chicago White Sox, to join the Marlins.  CJ Wilson stayed in the American League West when he moved from the AL Pennant winning Texas Rangers to the revamped LA Angels.  Some older guys tried to latch on with teams to make one last push towards a World Series ring like Jim Thome signing with the Philadelphia Phillies and Manny Ramirez signing with the Oakland Athletics.  There will be no shortage of “same faces in new places” this season.


The first thing that comes to mind with offseason controversy this year has to be the Ryan Braun situation.  We all know the story.  The Hebrew Hammer tests positive for performance enhancing drugs.  His anonymity is breached when knowledge of his failed test is leaked to the media.  In the end, he gets off on a technicality in the rules.  This story carried a lot of weight in the sports media world, but could have been much bigger had the 50 game suspension been upheld.

This may be more sadness than controversy but I look back to the curious case of Josh Hamilton.  The Texas Rangers star centerfielder seemed to have his sobriety well under control and he was on his way to breaking the Rangers’ team bank after this upcoming season when he entered free agency.  Just when we thought he had won that battle, the devil of addiction made a furious comeback which resulted in a relapse in a Texas bar.  Hamilton quickly nipped the issue in the bud by showing his mental strength when he addressed the media head on and took full responsibility for his actions vowing that he is a changed man and it was merely a one time mishap.


How could we talk about the MLB offseason without mentioning the Los Angeles Dodgers?  With Frank McCourt deep in the depths of bankruptcy court being forced sell one of the most storied franchises in MLB history, a group comprised of Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and others swooped in and seized the unique opportunity.  The unique opportunity that is owning the storied LA Dodgers did come with quite a hefty price tag.  The $2.15 billion price tag that the new ownership group bought the Dodgers for is the most money ever paid for a North American sports franchise beating out the measly $1.1 billion Dolphins owner Stephen Ross paid for the team.  This new deal rocked the Major League Baseball world just days before the new season was about to start.  Only time will tell if the investment was well worth the massive dollar figure put in.

This offseason for Major League Baseball was unique.  Every offseason we see role players being signed, traded, designated for assignment, signing minor league contracts, and what have you.  It is not every offseason that we see a sure-fire future hall of fame player move teams.  It is not every offseason that we see one of the game’s best fall from greatness and then pick himself right back up with a simple appeal.  And it is definitely not every offseason that we see one of the leagues’ most historic franchises sold for close to the GDP of Somalia.  This past offseason made headlines, but now it is time to play ball.

Today’s Schedule:

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers – 1:00pm – Jon Lester vs. Justin Verlander

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets – 1:10pm – Tommy Hanson vs. Johan Santana

Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates – 1:35pm – Roy Halladay vs. Erik Bedard

Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs – 2:20pm – Stephen Strasburg vs. Ryan Dempster

Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians – 3:05pm – Ricky Romero vs. Justin Masterson

Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds – 4:00pm – Mark Buehrle vs. Jonny Cueto

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – 7:05pm – Clayton Kershaw vs. Edinson Volquez

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Internship Round-Up

As an ongoing theme, we will frequently be posting information on advertised internship opportunities available throughout the country. Whether you're a college student seeking a way to spend your summer or you're perusing for what companies are looking for in future interns, this is your stop for an internship round-up and highlights of the top opportunities. Grab hold of your seat and here we go:

New York Red Bulls - Coach Operations and Management Intern, Summer 2012 (Harrison, NJ)
Is coaching up your alley? How about coaching soccer? If you answered yes to either question, consider this opportunity. You'll be working with the coaches of the New York Red Bulls Training Programs to assist in day-to-day operations.

New Jersey Devils - Summer 2012 Internships (Newark, NJ)
Here's your chance to gain experience within an outstanding professional organization in one of the top hockey arenas in the country. Pardon my Devils bias, but putting this feather in your cap could be the difference between a great internship experience and a poor one.

Dallas Cowboys - Cheerleading Intern (Irving, TX)
Alright gents, this one's for you. Never thought you'd see an internship like this, huh? The likelihood they hire a male is probably low, but there's no harm in trying!

Continue browsing sports job sites for more internship opportunities and check back next week for another round-up of the most notable opportunities.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Week of The Masters

Amen Corner - 12th Hole at Augusta National
For one weekend every April, the sports world slows down.  Everybody turns to a sport that they probably rarely watch but attempt to play every once in a great while.  The sports world turns to the game of golf and perhaps the most prestigious tournament on the PGA Tour’s yearly schedule, The Masters. 

In a culture that seems to be more drawn to the action of the National Football League and mixed martial arts, the game of golf often seems to get lost in the mix.  Many watch and nod off quickly.  Others watch and claim that anybody can play the game.  “All you have to do is put the ball in the hole, it is that simple” is a statement that is often thrown around when talking about the game of golf.  Yet when many attempt to play and are met with failure, their shortcoming is followed by something along the lines of, “this game is stupid anyway”.  They just don’t understand.

For one weekend every April, people are reminded of golf’s difficulty and sheer beauty.  The professionals that play the game make the game look smooth.  They make it look easy.  But for this one weekend, people don’t throw around the same ignorant statements.  Everybody sits back and enjoys the game of golf.  They enjoy the history.  They enjoy the simple thrill of the round-by-round, hole-by-hole, shot-by-shot competition. 

As the week in Augusta, Georgia rolls on and the four days of competition draw closer and closer, mainstream media will try to spin The Masters into what they want it to be.  They want it to be Tiger’s return to greatness and the top of the PGA Tour’s majors.  They want it to be Tiger chasing down the Golden Bear’s place in history.  They want it to be Lefty and Tiger and Rory versus the field. 

However, that is not The Masters.  The Masters is a celebration, a celebration of the game of golf and its long history.  The Masters is a symbol, a symbol of the beauty of the game of golf.  The Masters is an embodiment, an embodiment of both the simplicity and sophisticated nuances of the game of golf.  The green jacket is much more than a green jacket.  This is The Masters.  This is what people come to see.  Sure the stories that the mainstream media decide to talk about are enthralling, but what the people really come for is much bigger, much deeper than the media leads us to believe.  People come to see what sports are really all about.  

The Masters is a very interesting sport business case study.  Saying that membership at Augusta National is exclusive may be a bit of an understatement.  The private course only has about 300 members and we aren’t talking about any old Georgia resident.  We are talking Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and T. Boone Pickens just to name a few.  Aside from being a big name in the world, membership at Augusta National has one other defining characteristic: There are no woman members.  Sure women can golf as guests of members, but they are not members themselves.  There is some controversy this year swirling around Augusta National and IBM’s new CEO Virginia Rometty.  Virginia Rometty is a woman.  Augusta National, historically, offers membership to IBM’s CEO.  We shall see how the historic course handles the situation and possible controversy. 

When it comes to Augusta National and corporate sponsorship for The Masters, sponsorship presence is minimal except for a few accepted areas.  Due to the high profile membership base of the course and high ticket prices for the prestigious event, they bring in more money than they could imagine spending in a given year.  This allows the course minimize commercialization of the tournament.  In this day and age when over-commercialization in sports has become the expected norm, The Masters and Augusta National give a breath of fresh air when it comes to sponsorship suffocation, however short it may seem. 

When The Masters is airing throughout the week, tune in and take a quick look.  The Masters is the essence of sports and competition.  Take a step back from your action-packed, trying-to-be-something-that-it’s-not sports and check out a sport that is what it is.  Plain and simple, the game of golf is an every-man-for-himself competition that is beautiful for its simplicity and beautiful for its difficulty.  Do yourself a favor this weekend and turn on The Masters to see what sports are really all about.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Discussion with Andrew Brandt - Archived Video

A month ago (from yesterday, to be exact), former Green Bay Packers VP, Andrew Brandt, came to Drexel University to share his past experiences in the industry and offer advice to current Sport Management students.

For those unable to attend the event or for those wishing to view it again, we're pleased to announce that the link to the recorded lecture is now live. 

Please follow the link below to re-experience A Discussion with Andrew Brandt: