Sport Mangement

Sport Venue and Event Management Master’s program graduates its sixth class

SVEM Class of 2018 posed on field in DomeThe Department of Sport Management’s master’s program in Sport Venue and Event Management (SVEM) welcomed its sixth class of graduate students to campus in July 2017. The program comprises 36 credit hours of intensive classroom learning, skill development and experiential opportunities in settings like SU’s Carrier Dome.

The 2017-18 cohort included 13 students, with a diverse mix of educational backgrounds and from a variety of geographic locations. Students will complete their practicum work in the Summer and Fall 2018 semesters with organizations such as Live Nation, Special Olympics, the Indianapolis Colts, MetLife Stadium and Los Angeles Rams.

In July 2017, the students began in an immersive nature, working three days at the Musselman Triathlon in the Finger Lakes region during the first week of the program, followed by an immersion experience at the Buffalo Bills preseason training camp.

The graduate students also took part in professional development seminars conducted by Sport Management internship placement coordinators on the topics of networking, cover letters and resumes, strategic interviewing, salary negotiation, career guidance and using LinkedIn.

In the Fall 2017 semester, SVEM graduate students helped to plan and execute the annual Coming Back Together Celebrity Classic, which brings former student-athletes and fans together for a fun evening of remembering and reminiscing.

In the Spring 2018 semester, students worked with SPM associate professor Dr. Gina Pauline in the advanced event management course to plan a charity golf classic benefiting Vera House. Read more about the event.

Students in the first six cohorts have immersed themselves in the program’s academic and experiential opportunities, and leveraged relationships to launch their careers in the industry. Graduates have secured positions within McFetridge Sports Center in Chicago, Dover Speedway, Brown University, Spectra Venue Management, Legends Hospitality, Spartan Race Inc., Country Music Hall of Fame, Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome, Boston Celtics, University of Virginia Athletics, Boise State University, and Tulsa Sports Commission, among others.

The seventh SVEM graduate class began in July 2017.

Learn more about the graduate program

Congratulations to the Class of 2018

group of students pose with awards
These eight students were presented awards during the Sport Management senior reception on May 11. From left are Christopher Henderson, Destiny Castro, Kelsey Meisenzahl, Christina Myers, William Kniesner, Elise Lagerweij, Alex Wood, and Elijah Newsome.
On May 12, 2018, the David B. Falk College celebrated its Class of 2018 Convocation ceremony at Manley Field House. Eighty-one Sport Management undergraduates and 14 Sport Venue and Event Management master’s students took part in the ceremony.

The 2018 Sport Management Marshals were Alex Wood (undergraduate) and Paige Hammond (graduate). Destiny Castro, Chris Henderson and Alex Wood were named Falk College Scholars.

Thirty-five Sport Management students in the Class of 2018 graduated with honors with a GPA of 3.4 or higher. Eighteen students graduated Magna Cum Laude (GPA of 3.6 or higher) and seven graduated Summa Cum Laude, (GPA of 3.8 or higher).

The Department of Sport Management’s traditional celebration of its graduates on Commencement weekend continued this year, with more than 200 parents, family members, friends, faculty and staff gathering in Falk College on May 11 to celebrate the accomplishments of the Sport Management undergraduates and Sport Venue and Event Management master’s students.

This year’s awards ceremony featured remarks by Sport Management director and chair Michael D. Veley, College benefactor David B. Falk, and Syracuse University Trustee and Chicago Cubs minority owner Andrew Berlin. SPM undergraduate director Dr. Gina Pauline led the awards ceremony to honor the Class of 2018.

Awards presented included:

  • Director’s Award – Alex Wood
  • Academic Excellence Award – William Kniesner
  • Matt Brodsky Philanthropic Award – Christina Myers
  • Sport Management VIP Award – Destiny Castro
  • Professional Engagement Award – Christopher Henderson
  • Jason Morales Perseverance in Sport Award – Elise Lagerweij
  • Academic Promise Award – Elijah Newsome
  • Graduate student award – Kelsey Meisenzahl

Nine students received the Director’s Academic Achievement Award for earning a GPA of 3.4 or higher for each of their seven consecutive semesters at Syracuse University. Those students were: Keith Bremer, Destiny Castro, Christopher Henderson, Jeffrey Kent, William Kniesner, Kyle O’Connor, Matthew Potolski, Erik Weiss and Alex Wood.

Elijah Newsome was noted as a McNair Scholar and Angela Marsh-Coan as a David Bing Scholar. Peter Nagle (Sport Management and History) and William Kniesner (Sport Management and Economics) were noted as dual majors.

Students bask in Australia’s sport, history and culture

2018 SPM 300 members in posed near bay in AustraliaFalk College Endowed Professor of Sport Management Rick Burton took 12 students to Australia from June 13-30 as part of a three-credit course titled SPM 300 – Australia: Sport, History and Culture. The course is cross-listed as SOC 300 and much of the focus of this year’s trip was on the narrative of race in sports. It was the seventh time the course was offered.

The students stayed in each city approximately five days and along with classroom work enjoyed cultural studies with trips to the rainforest and in-depth study of indigenous communities. The group visited Melbourne, Sydney, and Cairns (the Great Barrier Reef), taking in professional football and basketball, as well as snorkeling, scuba diving and “jungle surfing” in the Daintree National Park. The group visited the Queen Victoria Markets, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the famed MCG), Australia’s Sporting Hall of Fame, Sydney Harbour and Cape Tribulation, where British explorer James Cook ran aground in 1770.

Students benefitted from scholarly lectures (at top Australian universities such as Victoria University, University of Technology Sydney and James Cook University), site visits, and meetings/interactions with Australian university professors, students and industry professionals.

“From learning to play Australian Rules Football to visiting the aboriginal community, all the lectures and activities were enriching and eye opening,” said Sport Management major Jocelyn Mong ’19. “Through this trip, I met amazing people from different colleges at SU. We bonded over everything Aussie-related: food, rugby, and kangaroos, and have memories that will stick with us forever.”

Burton, who previously worked in Australia as the commissioner of the Australian National Basketball League, said the purpose of the trip is to expose American students to a different country’s sport, history and culture.

“It’s exciting for our students to get embedded in an unfamiliar setting and see the unique way in which Australia embraces its sporting culture,” Burton said. “This trip gives SU students the opportunity to see a vibrant sports culture that is different from what they see in the U.S.”

Read the trip blog

SPM Charity Golf Classic Benefits Vera House

Golf Classic members pose for a photoThe Sport Venue and Event Management (SVEM) graduate program raised $20,000 during a charity golf tournament to benefit Vera House on May 7 at Drumlins Country Club in Syracuse. The event, which was sponsored by Key Bank, included more than 100 golfers, lunch, a dinner reception, silent auction, guest speakers, and raffle prizes.

Monies raised will support Vera House’s domestic and sexual violence program, providing shelter, advocacy, education, and counseling for women, children, and men.

“The Charity Golf Classic provides our students with a unique opportunity to learn, plan, and execute a sporting event,” said Sport Venue and Event Management graduate program director Dr. Jeff Pauline. “In addition to their professional development, students learn the importance of social responsibility.”

This event connected event management courses, including experiential learning opportunities, and social responsibility, which are hallmarks of the academic programs across Falk College. The execution of this tournament is part of the SVEM curriculum that requires students to organize an event to gain a direct, hands-on learning experience working in all facets of the sports industry.

“Having the opportunity to be involved in all facets of the event planning and management process was a great way to learn and develop as industry professionals,” said Sport Venue and Event Management graduate student Kelsey Meisenzahl ’18. “The hands-on experience we gained is truly invaluable. Vera House is such a deserving partner and we really enjoyed furthering their efforts in bringing awareness to domestic and relationship violence.”

The students worked on the event as part of their SPM 665 Advanced Event Management class and SPM 635 Marketing Sport Venues and Events class. Students were responsible for all aspects of the tournament including selecting the community partner, course operations, marketing, hospitality, fundraising, and sponsorships.

“The students took the framework of this event and worked hard to expand upon various areas to make the event unique,” said Dr. Gina Pauline, Sport Management associate professor and undergraduate director. “The result was the creation of a top-notch experience for attendees that included golf, specialty food, music, contests, and an incredible keynote speaker.”

Batter Up! Sport Analytics seniors’ research published by Baseball America

Portrait of CB Garrett and Justin PerlineSport Analytics students Justin Perline ’19 and Charles “CB” Garrett ’19 have been invited to attend the European Sports Economics Association (ESEA) conference in Liverpool, England, in August 2018. The seniors were notified in Spring 2018 that their research was accepted for presentation at the international conference.

Their paper, “Minor League Team Success and Its Impact on MLB Player Performance,” with Syracuse University Sport Analytics professor Dr. Rodney Paul as a co-author, is an academic treatment of the research by Perline and Garrett featured in Baseball America, which is a top website in the world of baseball.

The paper investigates positive externalities from minor league team success as it relates to marginal revenue product of a baseball player, measured by WAR (Wins Above Replacement). The results illustrate that winning has a positive impact on individual performance later in a player’s career and has economic implications for baseball teams and for the workplace in general.

In addition to this paper, Paul also had his paper titled “The Role of Uncertainty of Outcome and Team Success on Attendance Outside the NHL: Comparing the top Leagues in Europe to the Minor Leagues in North America” accepted for the ESEA conference.

Perline is a dual major in Sport Analytics and in Newspaper and Online Journalism. Garrett is a dual major in Sport Analytics and Broadcast and Digital Journalism.

The European Sports Economics Association Conference is the premier sports economics conference held annually in Europe. Sports economists present on a variety of theoretical and empirical models related to the economics of sports.

“As undergraduate students, the acceptance of the paper for the ESEA conference is especially impressive,” Dr. Paul said. “Justin and CB will gain valuable experience being able to present to a premier audience of researchers in sports economics and will gain valuable suggestions and ideas for both their current and future research from the conference participants. I think they will find the topics discussed at the conference to be thought-provoking and will benefit them in their future careers.

Read the article

Dumas, Emily

Many people believe it’s impossible to have a career in sports without being an athlete. For me, working in one of the four major leagues never crossed my mind. On my first day at Syracuse University in the Sport Venue and Event Management graduate program, I was told the easiest way to break into the industry was through sales. At that moment, I committed to gaining as much experience as possible while in graduate school.

While at SU, I interned in the sales departments for Syracuse Athletics, the Syracuse Crunch, and the Syracuse Chiefs. Those experiences opened many doors for me to get into one of the major four leagues. After interviewing with several teams, I had the most interest in the NBA. This league is quickly becoming the world’s premier and most innovative sports and lifestyle brand, which made it the perfect place to start my career.

So I moved from my hometown of Liverpool, New York, to start my career with the Phoenix Suns in Arizona. I am fortunate to be part of an accomplished and well-respected inside sales program. Quickly, I realized I had a true passion for building relationships and lasting memories for our fans, and my clients. After four months on the new business team, I was promoted to senior staff as a membership experience account executive. My experience with the Suns has helped me grow personally and professionally as I work closely with more than 500 accounts. My job is to grow revenue while ensuring fans have the best experience every time they come to our arena – and keep them coming back every season.

I plan to grow further within the Suns’ organization and to expand my impact on the business. If anyone reading this wants to work in the sports industry, my advice is to remember that the most important sale you will ever make is selling yourself. Always believe in yourself and trust your process. Work hard and good things will come!

Brennan, Christina

Shortly after graduating from Syracuse University in 2017, I began working as a junior sales associate for the New York Yankees. Within a few months, I was promoted to inside sales associate and managed a half million-dollar book of business. I learned how diligence and perseverance were keys to success in the sports industry.

I made more than 100 calls a day and worked every Yankees’ home game. The intensity and the requirement to think on my feet was the best learning experiences I could have received.

While working for the Yankees, I continued to expand my network and maintain relationships I had established. It was when I re-connected with Evan Morgenstein (SU ’87), who was the supervisor on my first sports internship, that my life changed. I was introduced to Evan in Professor Veley’s office when, as fate would have it, he accidently dialed his number and tossed me the phone. On the spot, I pitched myself as his virtual intern and worked for Evan for six months. Three years later, Evan asked me to come back to the company, in a newly created role of vice president of new business development at CelebExperts and PMG Sports. Having worked on several successful endorsements at Excel Sports Management during my senior Capstone, I knew it was an opportunity too good to pass up.

Every day I get to work with amazing talent like Instagram icon Jen Selter, 12-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres, and Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz. I also consult for companies across many industries and am constantly meeting stars of the future. There is never a dull moment as this position is the challenge I was hoping for. I am always learning and honing my skills.

My advice to students: Keep networking and maintaining relationships. Your network is the key to opportunity!

Thomas, Akeem

Upon graduating from Syracuse University in 2011, I began my professional career with the New York Yankees as an inside sales ticket representative. I spent one year with the Yankees selling season ticket and premium seating packages to fans and businesses in the Tri-State area. After my stint with the Yankees, I started a career in advertising sales at ESPN, which has been my professional home for the last six years.

My first opportunity with ESPN arose by maintaining a strong relationship with the primary recruiter who originally offered me a job at ESPN right out of college. I turned down the position to pursue the opportunity with the Yankees. That ongoing relationship with the recruiter ultimately opened the door a year later for my first opportunity with ESPN in their New York office.

I started at ESPN in July 2012 as a sales assistant and have gradually worked my way up the ranks over the last six years. I have held four positions during my tenure and recently received a promotion to multimedia account executive in Los Angeles. My responsibilities include managing and growing a $150,000,000 account list that includes clients such as Apple, AT&T, and Google, among others.

My experience at ESPN has been tremendous thus far. ESPN is an incredibly fun and dynamic place to work each day and I am very excited for the future of the company in a media industry that is constantly evolving. Syracuse University is proudly represented in the hallways at ESPN with a large amount of alumni working here.

Ross, Michael

When I enrolled at Syracuse University, the Sport Management program did not yet exist. Fortunately, that changed in the fall of 2005 when the program was established, and I was part of SPM’s first graduating class.

I always wanted to become an NFL scout. My journey to obtain a full-time position in the NFL wasn’t the easiest, but through hard work and perseverance it worked out. Knowing I did not have the skill set to play at the collegiate level, I took a different path to stay involved with football. I was fortunate to work with the SU football team as a student manager, which gave me the opportunity to network internally with the coaching and support staffs and externally with NFL personnel when they came to campus.

I completed my senior Capstone with the SU football operations department on campus and at training camp with the Indianapolis Colts.

After graduation, I had a decision to make with two internship opportunities: Atlanta Falcons or Buffalo Bills. I picked Atlanta and I haven’t looked back.

I am approaching my 10th season with the Falcons and have held various positions, including training camp intern, seasonal personnel assistant, scouting assistant, pro scout and area scout.

This is my third season covering schools in the Southwest, a region that covers Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Nebraska. Prior to the Southwest, I covered the Midwest (two seasons) and Northeast (two seasons) on the college side of personnel and then one season as a pro scout.

My role as an area scout is to be an expert in my area and gain as much information as I can for upper management. I have been fortunate to attend the Super Bowl and I look forward to finally bringing the Lombardi Trophy home to Atlanta!

Widell, Heather

When I transferred into Sport Management as a sophomore, I had very little idea what to expect out of the program, but I must admit I had visions of Jerry Maguire in my head. I always played sports competitively throughout my life but in college that changed as I realized I had no hope in going pro in any of my athletic ventures.

I did still crave the competitive nature, the thrill of the game, the challenge, that all go hand-in-hand with sports. “Syracuse athletics are top notch,” I assured myself, “I’m sure this program will sculpt me into a fierce super sports agent.” And I began my career in SPM.

At some point during my senior Capstone, reality kicked in and I realized to be an agent I would need to further my education and attend either business school or law school. I chose law school. And about 10 minutes into my first law class something clicked: I didn’t want to be an agent at all. Managing the lives and contracts of diva athletes sounded like a nightmare. Had I wasted all my training at Syracuse? What would I do now? But then it hit me; with the skills I cultivated in the SPM program, law school could still provide me with a connection to my competitive spirit: I would bec08ome a trial attorney.

I redirected my law school focus on trial advocacy and the courtroom became my playing field. I passed the bar exam and in August 2014, I began working for a small criminal defense law firm. My life suddenly turned into episodes of “Law & Order.” And I loved every second it. I now own that law firm (my boss sold it to me after he was appointed to be a judge) and I took over 150 clients, as well as the attorneys and staff in the office.

I know that I could not have gotten to where I am today without the support and skill sets I gained in the SPM program at Syracuse. So while I may have chosen a different career path than most who graduate from SPM, I still have sports in my life. Trial law is my sport … and I’m here to win the game.