Wednesday, May 30, 2012

UEFA Euro Is Coming

The UEFA Eurocup is rapidly approaching, and for the first time ever the most prestigious European soccer tournament will be hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. It was a bold move by UEFA president Michl Platini, who has made it clear that one of his goals for his tenure as president is to dive einto less explored markets. Everything seemed to be coming along smoothly, with Poland building four new beautiful stadiums in the cities of Gdansk, Warsaw, Poznan, and Wroclaw. Over the past two years, Ukraine has built two stadiums, opened four airports, and unveiled a fleet of high-speed trains. It has spent $14.5 billion on preparations for the Euro 2012 football championships, a whopping sum for a small GDP country. Workmen have been tidying up outside Kiev's impressive web-roofed Olympic stadium, the venue for the July 1st final.  

However, on the eve of the continental tournament, the Ukraine is staring at a public relations disaster that is almost out of control. Jailed opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, launched a hunger strike in April of 2011 after saying she was beaten by prison officials. Yulia V. Tymoshenko used to be the Prime Minister of the Ukraine and was regarded as a hero of the country’s “Orange Revolution.” The Orange Revolution used to be the party that opposed current president Viktor Yushchenko, a former Kremlin who seems to be stuck in Russian communist ideals. German chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to boycott the games in the Ukraine (where Germany will play most of its games) and there might be other western leaders who will follow suit.

History has shown us how sports and major sporting events can change the future of a nation and of the people involved, with a perfect example being the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa where the national rugby team played a major role in ending with the apartheid. Instead of “punishing” the Ukraine with what will likely not help with the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, leaders should be working on making the Eurocup 2012’s legacy a very positive one for two nations that have been struggling with poverty and corruption since their communist days.

By: Kevis G. Pinto

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chasing the Giant: Finding the Answer to SportsCenter

Quick! Name a television program distributed to a national audience dedicated exclusively to sports news and highlights… NOT named SportsCenter.

Can’t do it? That’s because there isn’t one—Over 30 years since ESPN’s founding and their flagship program stands as the only nationally-broadcasted sports news show. Are you as weirded out by this as I am? I know Fred Bucher is—his recent SBJ op-ed piece looks into Fox’ attempt to create a national sports network to serve as a rival to the ESPN superpower.

Could the ESPN juggernaut be matched by whatever brainchild Fox can muster? Bucher seems to think that any rival network (whether Fox, NBC Sports, or upstarts like Google or YouTube) would need an answer for the currently un-matched SportsCenter.

Can anyone create another national sports news channel? Could such a channel draw the lifeblood of this industry—live events? The NFL is well-entrenched as ESPN’s main squeeze. It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds in the coming months/years.

What do you think? Post your comments below!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Special Kind Of Promotion

This past Memorial Day weekend featured one of the most thoughtful and most special kinds of promotions.  Shown on ESPN throughout the weekend was the clip of a father surprising his children at home plate after a special run around the bases type promotion.  However, the catch was that the kids had not seen their father in months because he was fighting for our country over in Afghanistan.  It was an emotional moment for the family involved and a moment that almost everybody watching could find a way to relate to.

My question becomes why were the Minnesota Twins the only team to do this?  We have seen these types of reuniting before and they typically seem to be a huge hit.  Just because the promotion does not directly bring in added revenue makes no reason that more teams should not run promotions like this.  They cost virtually no money to run and the media eats them up.  If you are running a sports organization, then why not get your name out there in the best possible way by reuniting military families on Memorial Day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Art of Streaking

Last night while the Philadelphia Phillies were playing the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis at Busch Stadium, the game was interupted by a streaker running across the field.  As you can see in the candid shot above, sponsor signage does happen to get associated with incidents like this. Side note: the "Walk Off A Hero" sign was also seen over and over in the camera shot of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tearing his ACL. 

Do you think that this is a negative from a branding perspective?  Also, do you ever see it fit for a company to use branded streakers as a source of ambush marketing, if you will?

Weigh in below in the comments section.  Remember the last day to comment on posts with a chance to win an SMTSU prize pack is next THURSDAY!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Effect of a Successful New York Sports Team

New York is one of the biggest markets in the world. With its variety of tourist attractions and cultural value, New York is unlike any other city in the world. Part of the success of NY is greatly because of its sports teams. NY is home to the Rangers, Knicks, Nets, Mets, Yankees, Jets, and Giants. With the recent success of the Rangers and the Knicks, New York City has been thriving. The Knicks and Rangers both made the playoffs this year which only increased the amount of revenue at MSG this spring/summer. Although the Knicks took an early exit in the first round, the team showed a lot of promise and based on ticket sales, fans believed in this team which did not have the biggest expectations entering the playoffs. In terms of the Rangers, they are currently still in the playoffs and are only two victories away from a trip to the Stanley Cup finals against the Los Angeles Kings. Rangers fans, as well as hockey fans in general are extremely passionate about their team. The Rangers clinched first place in the East thus giving them home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Rangers have been involved in two Game 7 series with the Ottowa Senators and Washington Capitals, which only further boost ticket sales. Prices for Game 7's at Madison Square Garden range from $110-$900 depending upon the seats. As the Rangers continue their playoff journey it will be interesting to track the price of ticket sales and, the streak of MSG sellouts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On The Move To San Francisco

NBA fans are definitely used to change by now, since in the past 10 years there have been three franchise moves and one new expansion franchise, and the moves are not likely to end soon. The Golden State Warriors are planning a move back to San Francisco. It was announced on Tuesday by NBA commissioner David Stern, the Warriors ownership, and San Francisco mayor Ed Lee that the team will be playing at a brand new arena in 2017 in the city of San Francisco. The team will have to wait five years to move into its new location, because it is the only time they can get out of their lease with Oracle Arena. Making the news even more exciting for Bay Area fans, the Warriors unveiled part of the plans for the privately funded, estimated at $500 million arena. Ownership has proposed a deal where the city will provide the scenic location by Pier 30 – 32 and the franchise will commit to repairing the piers at a cost of $75-100 million.

Ever since the current ownership group purchased the Warriors in 2010 for a league record $450 million they have been working on moving the team back to the city of San Francisco. Team owner Joe Lacob said the move makes perfect sense, and that it will not hurt the fan base because the majority of season ticket holders are already located in San Francisco. If there is one aspect that the Warriors have not struggled with is fan support, being the 10th best franchise in the league attendance wise in 2010. The Bay Area basketball fans take pride in being one of the most loyal fans in the country, and whether the Warriors are winning or losing does not matter to them, the support will be there. In the past 18 seasons the Warriors have made the playoffs only once, in 2007, where they defeated the number 1 seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round, closing the series out in six games. Whether or not this move will benefit the Warriors on the court is yet to be seen, but if nothing else it will give basketball fans a state of the art new arena in a unique location with a fantastic view!

San Francisco Warriors (1962-63 to 1970-71)
9 Seasons
Golden State Warriors (1971-72 to Present)
41 Seasons
Seasons over .500
Seasons under .500
Playoff Appearances
Finals Appearances

By: Kevis Pinto

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sixers Sales

As the Philadelphia 76ers continue through the NBA playoffs looking to survive the Boston Celtics for a chance to play in the Eastern Conference Championship, ownership hopes that the on-court success can translate off-court.  This summer will be a big offseason for the team because it will be the first full offseason for Adam Aron, Josh Harris, and the rest of the new 76ers ownership group.

This season saw the team earn the 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.  The 76ers capitalized on the playoff berth by beating the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs to win its first playoff series since 2003.  The on-court accomplishments have been impressive, but the off-court accomplishments have been even better.

According the Terry Lefton in this week’s Sports Business Journal, the 76ers ticket sales were outstanding for the first season under the new ownership group.  Average attendance at the Wells Fargo Center jumped from 14,751 to 17,503 this season, which was good for moving up from 25 to 14 in NBA.  The statistic that I found most interesting was the fact that the 76ers sold more paid tickets in lockout shortened 66 game season than they did in the full 82 game season last year.  Season tickets have also seen improvement with a jump from 3,294 this season to 5,438 next season with CEO Adam Aron’s prediction that next season’s number will end somewhere around 6,500.

This summer will be the test for the marketing arm of the 76ers.  The team looks to use the momentum from the on-court performance and attendance increases to build stronger sponsorship deals.  Four of the bigger categories of 76ers sponsorship inventory are up for renewal this offseason including beer, healthcare, quick service restaurant, and wireless provider.

One element that may really be holding the organization back sponsorship wise is their lack of signature inventory.  A solution may be on its way because the team is moving its offices out of the Wells Fargo Center and into office space at the Navy Yard.  The biggest plus to this move is the 76ers’ plan to build a practice facility there.  I think this would be huge for the organization because it would provide them a unique sponsorship inventory item and give one of their top sponsors a chance to further brand themself in the Philadelphia sports marketplace. 

I think that the success of the 76ers this past year will help them greatly in the area of sponsorship.  Not that companies looking to partner with the team will automatically throw truckloads of money at them (ignore the impossibility of the physical strength needed), but it will offer a little bit of friendly competition that could push the price up a little bit.  Every little bit counts for a team under new owners, even for new owners like Adam Aron and Josh Harris who have seen great success already.

Agree?  Disagree?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Abramovich Achieves Greatness

When billionaire Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea F.C. in June 2003, the club had been mediocre at best. Notoriously transparent, Abramovich set his sights on winning the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League, and the F.A. Cup. After a thriller on Saturday against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League Final, he finally achieved greatness.

Pouring ridiculous amounts of money into Chelsea has payed off for the Russian tycoon. The surprising note is the club has come under immense scrutiny due to their poor league play this season. Chelsea even failed to finish in the top 4, meaning had they not won the final on Saturday, they would have failed to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Still, the youthful and energetic Abramovich is on top of the world. His next challenges will be hiring a permanent coach for the club and determining the fate of his aging stars, including Didier Drogba.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Final Remark - SMTSU Networking Night

Two nights ago, on Wednesday, May 16, the Drexel University Sport Management Student Union and the Steinbright Career Development Center hosted what I believe was a very successful networking night and panel discussion.  I say that with all humility but also in praise of our SMTSU officers, our panelists, professors, administrators, and the students who were in attendance.  It proved to be a very engaging night with thoughtful questions and strong networking activities.

As part of the panel discussion and Q&A, many interesting points were made by our panelists.  In order to give proper credit, this panel included: Erik Rausch from the Philadelphia Eagles, Cara Angelucci from NFL Films, Carolyne Savini from Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, and Bryan Ford from Drexel University Athletics.

On the topic of networking and building relationships, they said: don’t burn bridges and leave a company on a sour note; be cognizant of the fact your classmates/peers are currently and in the future will be “your network”; network with alumni and faculty as they are “low-hanging fruit”; be genuine and show interest when networking and building relationships because if you don’t, the other person will see right through it.

On the topic of resumes, cover letters, and interviewing, they said: for the most part, stay away from objectives as they are an unnecessary part of your resume; tailor your resume to each job you are applying for; use your cover letter not only as an introduction to your resume but also as the place to “state your case”; do not address cover letters “To whom it may concern”, name drop early in the cover letter, and do not regurgitate your resume; do your homework and conduct research before the interview; ask thought-provoking questions and pay attention to the answers that are given by the employer.

On the topic of once you get the job, they said: do the little things right first and do them with a positive attitude; you will not be given major projects or the “keys to the company” on the first day; meet the other people in your department and outside of your department; learn how the moving parts of the organization fit and work together; while it is ok to progress in your career, be careful about being labeled as a “job-hopper” as this will call into question your loyalty and your success at a given company.

It was hard for me to come away from the event with just one or two key takeaways from the panelists.  However, I did notice a few things just from observing the students who attended.  There was a true passion and enthusiasm; people wanted to be there and wanted to get something valuable out of the experience.  Now comes the important part- what are you going to do with what you just learned and who you just met?  Are you going to incorporate those recommendations in your cover letter, resume, and interviews?  Are you going to email, call, or connect on LinkedIn with the panelists?  This part, the follow-up, is the crucial aspect that must be executed properly in order to be successful.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Co-Op Confidential - Hayley Zedeck

Name: Hayley Zedeck
Year: Sophomore
Company: Turnkey Intelligence
Location: Haddonfield, NJ

What is Turnkey Intelligence?
Turnkey Intelligence is one division of the parent company known as Turnkey Sports and Entertainment. The other division, Turnkey Search, is involved with executive recruiting for high profile sports properties and organizations. The Intelligence side of the company focuses on developing products that allow sports and entertainment teams and companies to be more efficient with their business practices. The three products and services Turnkey provides work with data reporting and analysis, lead scoring and data appends, and sponsorship management.

What are my responsibilities?
Personally, I work with our Surveyor software product which deals with data analysis and statistics for sports organizations. My basic responsibilities consist of data collection, entry, organization, coding, and analysis. I also take part in programming surveys, maintaining and updating databases, and putting together finalized reports for clients using SPSS and PowerPoint software.

Do you like it so far?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience thus far at Turnkey. There was a big learning curve at first, but I have hit the ground running since that point. The environment is very welcoming and engaging, and allows employees to gain a lot of knowledge and increase their network immensely in their time here. I was given the opportunity to prove myself and trusted with important tasks from the get-go, and I am looking forward to gaining a lot of experience at this company.

The only downside at this point in my experience is in regards to traveling. Often with traffic it may take me an hour to get to or from the office, and that can get tiring.

What are you looking forward to?
I look forward to receiving more responsibility and opportunities to show what I am capable of. I believe I can be very successful in this industry, and I am working towards proving that and reaching my potential during these six months. 

- Written By Hayley Zedeck

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

L.A. Kings Winning With Tweet Game

In the latest edition of “things Ryan finds cool” we go back to the NHL to see how the Los Angeles Kings are changing the social media game for pro sports, one Tweet at a time. Chris Botta’s SportsBusiness Journal article this week takes a look at the franchises’ official Twitter page, “@LAKings: irreverent, entertaining, sarcastic and controversial.”

Three years ago, LA ranked 29th out of 30 franchises in website engagement (calculated as “average time spent per user.”) According to the most recently league data, the franchise now ranks first in the league. The Twitter page has also added over 37,000 followers since April 1 of this year. This can largely be attributed to the social media staffers, who use Twitter as a fun way to engage with the fans. Over the years, official social media pages have given just facts and figures—consistently dry and lacking for engagement. The Kings are changing that by breaking the rules. Who’d expect to ever see smack talk from a team’s official Twitter? Certainly not me, but the Kings are giving fans just that. Twitter is aiding in adding some heat to their playoff series, on and off the ice (Ahahaha, I get it; the games are in Phoenix and LA. Hot. Funny!)

Regardless, I think this is good. Heaven knows the league needs something to talk about come Stanley Cup Finals time (I certainly don’t care about New Jersey or the Phoenix Red Jackets right now.) I like a little smack talk, especially when it’s witty. Just reading last night’s Tweets during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals made me chuckle—it’s akin to reading fans Tweeting about the game (but with less cursing and anger.) 

For example, “Not great at math, but #LAKings getting a whole bunch off PP time. They kind of need the practice anyway.”  @LAKings 10:41p.m.

It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s original, and it’s giving us all something to talk about. That’s a mix fit for royalty, don’t you think?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Things Rickie Fowler Brings to Golf

I posed a question last week, after Rickie Fowler won the Wells Fargo Championship, asking if people thought Fowler was here to stay or not at the top of the PGA Tour.  One week later, I think we are a little bit closer to our answer after he posted a tied for 2nd finish at The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.  Rickie Fowler brings together attributes that we have seen scattered among Tour players, but rarely in one single player.  Here are five (well maybe just four) things that make Rickie Fowler vital to the future success of the PGA Tour.

           1. Signature Style
You would be hard pressed to find one single word to describe Fowler’s style. He’s Southern California 23 year old extreme sport athlete and boy band singer turned professional golfer, there are no single words for that. His Oklahoma State orange is shining brighter and brighter every Sunday. His signature Puma hats have been a hit in golf retail stores all over the country. He isn’t your father’s golfer, yet he’s taking over your father’s game.

2. Marketability
Since the day he earned his PGA Tour card in 2010, Fowler’s name has been talked about week in and week out.  His signature style leads into his marketability.  He’s not only young; he has that sort of teenage flare that the Tour has lacked.  The college generation now who grew up watching golf had Tiger Woods.  The teenage demographic is looking for someone to latch on to.  Granted, Rickie Fowler hasn’t had Tiger Woods-esque success, but only few have.  The man is only 23 years old; he has time to win a few majors.  His unique style makes him marketable for now, and his game will soon catch up (and that is no knock on his game).
Fowler is part of the Golf Boys, who made that charity music video.  He was in the PGA Tour’s These Guys are Good marketing campaign.  He is currently a walking Puma advertisement.  In the bag he uses a bunch of different brands of clubs including Cobra (Puma’s golf company), Adams, Titlelist, and Scotty Cameron (via his personal website).

3. Diverse Demographic
Many don't know that Fowler is part Japanese, part Navajo Indian underneath that Puma hat and SoCal hair.  Golf is typically considered a “white man’s” sport, but ethnically intriguing golfers do have a tendency to create some buzz on the Tour (ah hem, you know who).  Do I think that Fowler’s presence will singlehandedly increase the number of Japanese and Native American golfers on the Tour?  No, not at all, but it does hammer home the point that he’s different. 
Most importantly, he brings golf to the younger generations.  Sports Business Journal published the demographic information of the PGA Tour’s fan base last year, which showed only 14% of fans were between the ages of 18 and 29.  Fowler fits right in the middle of that demographic.  I don’t think there is any question that if Fowler’s success continues, that number will rise.  Also, he hits the 18 and under demographic perfectly.  If you don’t believe me, then you haven’t spent much time on golf courses lately.  His presence is obvious.  That demographic is vital to the long term success of the game. 

4. Skill
After all this talk about what Rickie Fowler brings off the course you must remember that he is no slouch on the course either.  We are talking about a player who was the top amateur in the world in 2007 and 2008.  After earning his Tour card in 2010, Fowler wasted no time at all winning the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award.  His best finish at a major came in The Open Championship (British Open) in 2011 where he finished tied for 5th.  Fowler has been off to a blazing start in 2012 with his first career PGA Tour victory at the Wells Fargo Championship and a second place finish at this past weekend’s PLAYERS Championship.  He currently ranks in the top 25 in the World Golf Rankings (18).

5. One Talked About Mustache
Rickie Fowler may have the most talked about mustache on Tour (sorry Johnson Wagner).  He is nowhere near Rollie Fingers territory (right), probably closer to Derek Holland (bottom right), but that thing gets some serious press time.  Something tells me that the ‘stache is here to stay for a little while longer given his recent success, so only time will tell if he can bring it to the Aaron Rodgers level (bottom left).  Whatever the case may be, people are talking about Rickie Fowler.  See, I told you there are either 4 or 5 reasons depending on how you looked at it.

All jokes aside, Rickie Fowler represents a bright (and colorful) future for the PGA Tour.  He’s a young and already successful brand.  Now, as his game improves, he looks to be a contender week after week.  Ready or not, Rickie Fowler is here.
Agree?  Disagree?  Share your thoughts below.

Monday, May 14, 2012

SMTSU Networking Night

Who: Drexel Sport Management Student Union, Eagles, Turnkey, NFL Films, Drexel Athletics, and YOU
What: SMTSU Networking Night
Where: Sky View Room in McAlister
When: Wednesday May 16th at 6pm
Join the Sport Management Student Union for a night of networking. Drexel's own Mark Gress, Employer Relations Coordinator for the Steinbright Career Development Center will MC the night, focusing on developing your networking skills in sports. Hear firsthand from top spo...rts organizations in the area on what they look for when meeting potential employees.

Bring business cards to exchange with our panelists!

Some lucky attendees will also win an SMTSU PRIZE PACK - with a SMTSU branded shirt, water bottle, key chain, and draw-string bag!

Sports Organizations in Attendance:

Erik Rausch
Human Resources Coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles

Carolyne Savini
Director of Executive Recruiting, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment

Bryan Ford
Manager of Student/Member Services, Drexel Athletics

Cara Angelucci
Internship Coordinator, NFL Films

Business casual attire required. Finger foods and light refreshments will be provided.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The New York Mets 50th Anniversary

The New York Mets are often known as the "second" best baseball team in New York. This year however the Mets are trying to gain a bit more publicity as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary as a major league franchise. The Mets began in 1962 and over fifty years have accomplished two World Championships and a ton of heartache for fans. This year however, the organization plans to give its fans a world class celebration. In January the Mets launched their anniversary campaign of "Mets50". This campaign has in my opinion been marketed to excellence as the team branded its new 50th Anniversary logo in a very efficient way. The 50th Anniversary path is on all uniforms and hats, as well as a sign on the fence in left-center. Along with this logo, the Mets launched a series of anniversary merchandise and has had special events such as: alumni dinners, the "Greatest Mets of All-Time", and even special meet-and-greets for season ticket holders. 
Being in the same city as the Yankees often has its disadvantages. The Mets hope that this campaign will help their struggling ticket sales and bring fans into the stadium. So far the Mets find themselves with a 18-13 record, and only a half game behind the first place Nationals in the NL East.

More information for this campaign can be found at:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Co-Op Confidential - Brian Palmer

NameBrian Palmer
Year: Pre-Junior
CompanyPhiladelphia Freedoms
Location: Ambler, PA in the Offseason; Villanova –During the Season

Who are the Philadelphia Freedoms?
Co-founded by Billie Jean King, World Team Tennis is America 's only professional co-ed team sport. Tennis fans have the opportunity to watch world-class men and women professionals on the same team playing singles, doubles and mixed doubles in an exciting and unique format. This year we have James Blake, John McEnroe, Bryan Brothers and other outstanding tennis players coming to the Pavilion to showcase their talents.

What are my responsibilities?
I have a hand in most areas with the Freedoms, except for ticketing. I am working with the General Manager Barbara Perry, formerly Vice President of IMG, to gain corporate sponsors and sell corporate packages for the upcoming season. Also, I work with Jon Blitzer and Melissa Alpuche in operations in different aspects, from forming trade deals to working with our marketing agency. I have a hand in most things which only enhances my experience.

Do you like it so far?
I truly do enjoy my experience so far with the Freedoms. It has its ups and downs but I am gaining a valuable experience here. Working with Barbara Perry is truly a pleasure. She loves new and creative ideas and I try to find new ways of adding something to the company everyday. It is challenging and frustrating when someone does not return your call or email however, that’s part of the business. So far I enjoy my time here and I believe its only get better once the season begins.

The only downside for me is the cost of travel. Aside from that I really have no complaint because I am kept doing something at most points of the day.

What are you looking forward to?
I won’t lie and say that I am not looking forward to meeting tennis icons such as John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and James Blake. I’ve met Billie Jean King previously and it was a pleasure. It is not every day you get to meet someone who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America ’s highest civilian honor. So I can’t wait to see the many other stars that work through the Pavilion.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Is Rickie Fowler Here To Stay?

Rickie Fowler won his first event on the PGA Tour last Sunday when won a three way playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.  Many say that this was a great moment for golf because Fowler hits the younger demographics better than anybody in recent memory.  What are your thoughts: Is he good for the game of golf? Is Rickie Fowler here to stay at the top?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Co-Op Confidential - Kevin Rossi

Name: Kevin Rossi
Year: Sophomore
Company: Comcast-Spectacor
Location: Philadelphia, PA

What does Comcast-Spectacor do?
Comcast-Spectacor, not to be confused with “Comcast”, is the company that owns the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center.  Comcast-Spectacor also assists in some of the Philadelphia 76ers operations.  Also, Comcast-Spectacor has Global Spectrum, Ovations, New Era Tickets, Front Marketing, and others under their umbrella of companies.

What are your responsibilities?
I'm an intern in the Technology Solutions department; however, I usually just tell people that I work in the market research department because that sums up my job easier.  The game day interns during the season administered surveys at games and basically my job is to now clean up the surveys.  This requires a lot of time spent on Excel.  The ultimate goal is to get the information prepared for the end-of-season report that will be presented to the stakeholders.  After this big project is done, my job will be changing a lot.  Since there isn’t as much to do during the offseason, I will be jumping from department to department helping out where needed.  I’m actually looking forward to that because I’ll be able to meet some more people and get closer to figuring out what I want to do with my career.

Do you like it so far?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my co-op experience thus far.  I have connected with a bunch of people so far which will be extremely beneficial down the road.  Never too early to start building up a network!  Some of the information is interesting, but I am getting valuable experience in an extremely valuable field.  One of my projects required me to research into different customer relations management (CRM) systems.  On the surface it isn’t too exciting, but it is beneficial to get familiar with all of the different options out there.

Are there any downsides?
Sitting at a computer for most of the day is tough.  Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not very good at sitting still.  I’m more of the up-and-at-‘em type.

What are you looking forward to?
The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is jumping around from department to department.  When that time comes I will meet a lot more people and learn a lot more about the business.  Considering I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with my career, this experience and networking will be extremely valuable in trying to figure things out.  Plus, I love learning, so learning anything new is always a huge positive. 

Interested in sharing your co-op experience?  Contact for details!

Friday, May 4, 2012

“Facebook for professionals”

It seems a little odd to me to be writing about other social media on a blog but the topic of LinkedIn comes up often in my daily life working in Drexel’s Career Center.  LinkedIn, in my opinion, is one of the best networking tools that nobody really uses…or at least uses effectively. 

I was first introduced to LinkedIn as an Executive Recruiter at Turnkey Sports and Entertainment.  As a recruiter, having a tool like this at our finger tips made our job ten times easier.  Before LinkedIn, we would rummage through team media guides, we would make hundreds of calls, and we would review hundreds of resumes- all for one search.  We liked to believe that we knew everyone in the sports industry and if we didn’t, we knew someone who knew that person (confused yet?).  The bottom line was that we were very good but not great networkers.  Something was missing.  When we first stumbled upon LinkedIn, we, as recruiters, figured that it was simply a place to store your online resume or your professional profile and allow others to view it.  So that’s what we did- we looked people up and we recruited them.  What we found is that it was a place much more valuable than that!

For a professional in any industry, but especially in sports, whether you are or are not be an active job seeker, LinkedIn is as necessary of a tool as a cover letter, resume, reference list, or samples of your work.  Yes it is where you post your educational experience, work experience, personal or company website, achievements, and skills.  However, that is just the start.  You can get your recommendations displayed (reference list), add networking contacts (business cards), join relevant groups (associations or chambers of commerce), and perform search functions for jobs, companies, or people (search engines, job sites, classifieds, databases).

As a job seeker, what I recommend to my students is very basic.  First, create a profile.  Make sure it is accurate and up-to-date.  Second, begin adding contacts.  Start with me, continue with professors, and then look to add former/current bosses or co-workers.  Add clients, add classmates, add alumni of your high school.  This is the essence of networking.  Third, join groups that are pertinent to you; my shameless plug is always for them to join the Drexel University Sport Management group.  But there are more out there- sports groups, Drexel groups, school alumni group, and job searching groups.

The second and the third suggestion are great, in theory, but must also be executed properly.  Not only do you need to add contacts but you need to keep in touch with them, even when you don’t need something.  When you are adding someone out-of-the-blue as a contact, introduce yourself and explain why you want to connect.  When joining a group, participate in discussions, reply to posts, and be an active member.

Being a professional and a job seeker (active or passive) is different now than it ever has been before.  However, you are at an advantage if you have prepared accordingly and utilize every tool at your disposal.  If you aren’t on LinkedIn, join.  If you are on LinkedIn, use it!