Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Freshman Files: Greg Monforte

Name: Greg Monforte

Current Year: Pre-Junior

Freshman Dorm: Commuted

Co-Ops: Daddis Fight Camps

Area of Interest: Marketing/Sponsorship Sales

What is your favorite memory from freshman year?
My favorite memory was becoming friends with people in my major that I am still close with today.  This makes classes easier when you get to take classes with your friends.

What is the most important thing that you learned about sport management and the sports industry?
The most important thing that I learned is networking is so important in our field.  Every teacher drills this into your head and they do it for a reason.  Try to stay in touch with guest speakers that come in and talk to your class.  This can help you later at Drexel when you are looking for Co-Ops.

What advice would you give to the freshman based on your experience?
My advice to the freshman would be to go to as many events as possible your freshman year.  Go to every guest speaker that the SMT program sets up.  Not only will a lot of your classes give you extra credit you also get to meet people from so many different backgrounds that can tell you their own personal experiences in the field.

If you could do it all over again, what would you do different?
If I could do it all over again, I would have been more involved in the program.  I would have jumped on any independent research opportunities that professors offered and tried to do more than just what was required.  I have tried to make up for this now but it would have been much easier if I started sooner.   

On Deck: Hayley Zedeck
Previous: Ryan Pratt
Previous: Kevin Giordano

Freshman Files: Ryan Pratt

 Name: Ryan Pratt
Current Year
: Junior
Freshman Dorm: Race
Co-Ops: UPenn Athletic Communications, American Association for Cancer Research (Development office)
Area of Interest: Athletic fundraising

What is your favorite memory from freshman year?
The complete change of scenery from what I was used to, moving into a big city. All the experiences from freshman year laid the foundation for all I’ve been able to do since then.

What is the most important thing that you learned about sport management and the sports industry?
Networking is the key to success. Working with and meeting other people is this industry, and the more people who know you, the better. Connections, both in the classroom and through work experience are invaluable to learning about and breaking into the industry.

What advice would you give to the freshmen based on your experiences?
You need to jump in immediately and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves. There are infinite opportunities to gain experience in the sports industry, and most freshmen students sit back and wait for something to come to them. Get involved in student organizations, ask if you can help a professor with a research project, or be a game-day volunteer for a local sports team. Putting yourself out there, in whatever way you decide, is a key to figuring out what you like and don’t like in the industry. Plus, the lessons you will learn and the people you meet can help you find co-op and other job opportunities in the future.

If you could do freshman year all over again, what would you do differently?
I probably would have looked into the research opportunities of the STAR Program to do research with one of the SMT professors or applied to be an Orientation Leader. I used my only summer to catch up with my friends from home and enjoy the last little bit of summer freedom. In hindsight, I missed out on a great opportunity to add an important piece to my resume. If I had to do it all over again, I also probably would have also applied to be a Student Ambassador while I still had time in my life to do so. Nevertheless, I’m happy with how things DID go, as it got me where I am today.

Previous: Kevin Giordano
On Deck: Greg Monforte

Monday, October 29, 2012

Freshman Files: Kevin Giordano

Name: Kevin Giordano
Current Year: Junior
Freshman Dorm: Van R
Co-Ops: Nelligan Sports Marketing (Penn Athletics/the Penn Relays), Two Affix
Area of Interest: Sports Marketing, Branding

What is your favorite memory from freshman year?
Meeting a new group of people from differing walks of life.
What is the most important thing that you learned about sport management and the sports industry?
That the industry is more vast and profound from an outsider's perspective.
What advice would you give to the freshmen based on your experiences?
 Utilize your summer between freshman and sophomore years to find an internship and gain valuable industry-related experience. Jump at opportunities to gain experience offered by the program. They will provide you with experience, the opportunity to network with industry professionals, and material for your resume.
If you could do freshman year all over again, what would you do different?
 I would have approached a professor to work on an independent research project. Freshman year afforded more time to take opportunities and jump through several open doors. As I progressed through the years, I've been fortunate to find ways to be involved in the industry. However, I've always wanted to work on a research project and really only had the time to do so freshman year.

On Deck: Josh Brackett

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SMTSU Sports Quizzo TONIGHT!

WHAT: SMTSU Sports Quizzo

WHEN: TONIGHT! From 7-8pm

WHERE: Drexel Plaza Seminar Room 004

WHO: YOU and other knowledgeable Drexel Sport Management students

WHY: Test your sports business and general sports knowledge against the most knowledgeable sports fans at Drexel!  There will be 4 to 6 teams in a quizzo style competition. 

The winning team will receive an SMTSU drawstring bag!

There will be pizza, soda and Insomnia cookies.

Grab a friend and join us TONIGHT to test your sports knowledge with us!

Global Scope: World Soccer's Awards

We are getting closer to the end of the year and at the end of every year there are a few international awards for top players, coaches, and teams in the wide world of football. One of the most prestigious of these awards is given out by the British magazine World Soccer. Well regarded as the world's top magazine for international football fans, they give out an award every year for the best player, young player, manager, and team of the year. One of the main reason's as to why their awards are so special for players is because it is 100% decided by fans. Fans will vote on the magazine's website and the results are out on the magazine's January edition (released to the public in December).

The top player award was first handed out in 1982 for Juventus and Italy's Paolo Rossi who received 23% of the votes. In 1982 Rossi won the Italian first division (Serie A) with Juventus FC and the FIFA World Cup with the Italian national team where he was the competition's top goal scorer (6 goals), and scored one of the three goals in the final versus West Germany. After Rossi the award moved forward, passing through players such as Zico, Maradona, Maldini, and many other legends until it was last handed out to Lionel Messi. In 2011 Messi was awarded top player for the second time, first being in 2009, and with a record breaking percentage of 60.2%. The awards for coach of the year, young player of the year, and world team of the year were last awarded to Josep Guardiola (Barcelona), Neymar (Santos), and FC Barcelona respectively.

This year's list of finalists for the awards really do represent what fans have been watching in international football and is filled with interesting stories. The finalists for top player are Drogba (Chelsea/Shanghai Shenhua), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Lille/Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Neymar Junior (Santos), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), and Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona). There really is a case to be made for every one of those players to win the top player award, but it is likely that it will end with Messi, Ronaldo, or Iniesta. Messi had a fantastic scoring record last season with 73 goals in 60 appearances with Barcelona, while Ronaldo and Iniesta led their teams to success in the Spanish First Division and the Eurocup 2012.

The finalists for the award of best coach of the year travels the globe from South America, to Europe, and to Africa. The ten coaches in the mix are Marcelo Bielsa (Athletic Bilbao), Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea), Rene Girard (Montpellier), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Luis Tena (Mexico Olympic Team), Tite (Corinthians), Herve Renard (Zambia). There are so many interesting and successful story lines in this mix that it is tough to only pick one, so I'll pick three. The Italian Roberto Di Matteo, who is a Chelsea former player, was brought in to fill the gap left by Andre Villas-Boas he led his squad to win the UEFA Champions League for the first time. Jose Mourinho was able to finally stay ahead of FC Barcelona and win the Spanish First Division with Real Madrid after four years, where Barcelona won for three years in a row. There is also Tite, the coach of Brazilian side Corinthians FC, who last season won the Brazilian league and this year the Copa Libertadores da America (equivalent to the UEFA Champions League in South America) for the first time. There is also a very special mention to be left for French head coach of the Zambian national team Herve Renard. He was able to take a fragile Zambian squad to their first ever African Cup of Nations title win in 2012. Zambia beat favorites Senegal in the group stages and then defeated Ghana in the semi finals and the Ivory Coast in the final. The win was made even more special when the team dedicated this historic accomplishment to the 18 players who died in a plane crash in April of 1993.

Finally, up for the award for best world team of the year are Atletico Madrid (Spain), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Chelsea (England), Corinthians (Brazil), Juventus (Italy), Mexico, Montpellier (France), Spain, Universidad de Chile (Chile), and Zambia. In this list again they are all well deserving of this award. Chelsea winning their first ever Champions League, Dortmund with back to back league titles, and even Universidad de Chile with an impressive Copa Sul Americana win. However I am going to pick three teams to keep the same pattern. The favorite for this award is Spain, winning their third major title consecutively and consolidating their place in history. Following not too far behind is Juventus FC who bounced back after a few tough years and won the Italian first division (Serie A) in undefeated fashion. Finally, the third candidate would be the incredible Zambian national team. Beating African powerhouses on their way to Nations Cup success for the first time ever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Political Athletics: The New Era

It makes sense that campaign planners for presidential candidates would take advantage of all of the major sporting events occurring in these months and weeks prior to the 2012 Presidential Election. This past summer, London hosted one of the most successful Olympic Games in modern times, but it was especially successful for the United States. With the United Kingdom a permanently stable ally in Europe, it was easy for many American companies to penetrate the market overseas, but more importantly, these companies spent A LOT of money on advertising in the USA. Other events, such as the MLB Playoffs, College Football, and the NFL have also attracted a lot of spending from corporate partners. One thing that has made this year so unique is how politicians, and their lobbyists have used the major stages of these huge sporting events to portray their political messages nationwide.

In Florida, since the beginning of August, both parties have combined to spend $5.7 million dollars on advertising spots during sporting events in the states five largest markets; Over $3.5 million has been spent in Ohio in just three cities during the past 10 weeks.

There are many things that shape political landscapes and the mind of the voter, and sports is definitely one of them. When you are a die-hard Texas Longhorns fan and you see Paul Ryan at a Longhorns game, you are going to associate their success and your love for the team with a more open-mind toward Ryan. When you see Joe Biden at a Phillies game every other week with his hat and 7 bodyguards, you are going to be less objective when trying to question his political motives.

In the 21 markets that have been focused on by the planners of the respective parties throughout battleground states, nearly $10 million has been spent on sport advertising alone. Obama has outspent Romney by $5.1 million to $4 million, but is only ahead by 67 commercial or advertising spots.

The last thing on the fans mind when they turn on a sporting event is politics, and for good reason. No one wants to discuss something so serious in a passive and passionate environment such as the culture of sporting events. This is why it is so brilliant to place political advertisements during programming where a viewer may not expect to see one. This technique will help find the undecided voters that are hiding from the political talk shows elsewhere on TV. These live events grant the fan the ability to live in the moment, while watching a sport that they love, and the usage of political (often) propaganda during these events to sway one person to the other side of the party lines is not going away anytime soon. The sport fan must accept this flaw in the political advertising and campaigning structure for what it is and allow itself the time to think about the question placed in front of America: Who should be the next President of the United States? And who will he pick to win his NCAA March Madness Bracket next year? We know Obama is going to go for North Carolina, but Romney is still up-in-the-air, maybe he will just outsource his bracket.

Excuse the political puns, but follow me on Twitter: kevinj_murray

Monday, October 22, 2012

SMTSU Sports Quizzo

WHAT: SMTSU Sports Quizzo

WHEN: THIS THURSDAY October 25th 7-8pm

WHERE: Drexel Plaza Seminar Room 004

WHO: YOU and other knowledgeable Drexel Sport Management students

WHY: Test your sports business and general sports knowledge against the most knowledgeable sports fans at Drexel!  There will be 4 to 6 teams in a quizzo style competition. 

The winning team will receive an SMTSU drawstring bag!

There will be pizza, soda and Insomnia cookies.

Grab a friend and join us THURSDAY to test your sports knowledge with us!

Issues with Youth Sports

Youth sports have consistently provided an outlet for young children to develop their athletic and character traits, establish participation in fitness, and recognize enjoyable activities that they can share with their friends. As the importance of athletic performance has progressed in the last hundred years, sport-governing bodies are forced to handle the issues associated with youth sport activity. When one begins playing their designated sport at such a young age, their peers, coaches, and parents can easily be influential. As they continue to mature as athletes, scouts, college coaches, other family members, neighbors, and athletic directors may also choose to become stakeholders in their success. For many young athletes, the pressure put on them from all of these sources can be overbearing and overwhelming enough to ruin their chance of success.
According to Helen Jõesaar, Vello Hein, and Martin S. Hagger (2012) and their study “Youth athletes’ perception of autonomy support from the coach, peer motivational climate and intrinsic motivation in sport setting: One-year effects”, it has been proven that coach and peer relationships with an athlete can affect such athlete’s ability to make coherent decisions, influence their level of involvement and effort, and the understanding of their ability to directly affect success rates. More specifically, coaches have the ability to motivate a child to develop certain individual characteristics that lead to athletic performance. If a young athlete not only understands what it takes to be successful, but can also make a self-afflicting decision to attain those goals, they can determine their own opportunities. It is this realization about the significance of youth coaches that proves how they can have a negative or positive impact on a young athlete’s life. For youth sports, it is expected that coaches act more as teachers and mentors for young children as they acquire skills and knowledge to be successful in all aspects and activities in their lives.

Youth sports affect so many individuals throughout the country, and throughout the world, it is a catastrophe that it has dealt with number of problematic issues that it faces today. Sport organizations should begin to establish principles that bring them back to the original meaning behind youth sports. The future of our society is dependent on the young individuals developing their leadership, cooperative, and proactive qualities that can make an impact on their lives in the future. The parental, coaching, and peer pressures influencing children that winning is the most important quality is harming their social development and ability to reach their potential.

Follow on Twitter at @hzedeck

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What's next for the UFC and Anderson Silva?

This past weekend was UFC 153 who’s main event was Anderson Silva moving up to the 205 pound division to face Stephan Bonnar.  Bonnar had never been knocked out before and Silva quickly changed that in the first round.  Silva made quick work of Bonnar while at the same time toying with him for most of the fight.  This is the third time that Silva has fought at 205 and none of those fights have ever made it to the second round.  He has also dominated his own division of 185 pounds for years.  The only logical thing to do next, in my opinion and most other UFC fans’ opinion, is to set up a superfight between Jon Jones and Silva.

This fight has been talked about within the last year and a half ever since Jones started to dominate his weight division.  Both of these fighters are 1-2 in the pound for pound rankings of current fighters.  Not only would this fight be amazing for the fans to see it would also be great for the UFC.  The financial potential for this fight would be through the roof.

The highest gate revenue ever at a UFC event happened within the last couple months at UFC 148.  This event included Silva and had a revenue of almost 7 million.  The fight between Silva and Jones could easily surpass this no matter where the event is held.  The event could exceed the highest grossing Pay Per View total as well.  The current record is held by UFC 100 which featured 2 title fights and a matchup of Ultimate Fighter coaches.  The Silva-Jones fight could beat this just on its own so adding one other great fight could destroy the old record.  Finally sponsorship sales would be at record levels because of the potential record amounts of people viewing the event.  

Everyone who is a fan of the UFC hopes that this fight may one day happen but I doubt that it ever will.  After last weekend Silva said that he is done fighting at 205 forever.  If this fight were to happen it would not be until after Jones fights Chael Sonnen in April of 2013.  We are realistically looking at this fight at the earliest of July 2013, which is if the fight even happens at all.  As a fan I will continue to dream that this matchup happens one day in the future but I will not get my hopes up to high.