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Students Meet Sport Industry in L.A.

On Immersion Trip, Sport Management Students Feel ‘The Passion to Give Back and Grow the Next Generation’
A large group is posed in front of the Rose Bowl entrance

Department of Sport Management students spent their 2022 Spring Break immersed in the Los Angeles sports culture and visited several sports venues, including this trip to the Rose Bowl. In the front row from left are Jayke Pastis, Noah Wagner, Allison Rosen, Liana Wong-Wright, Nyah Jones and Ethan Letwat. In the back row from left are Mitch Bereznay, Aksel Odmark, Josh Friedman, Aaron Cohen, Max Schofield, Preston Klaus, Zach Palfey, Logan Harris, Blake Taub, Sydney Orszulak and Faith Porter.

How’s this for a Spring Break:

Seven days in Los Angeles, meeting more than 70 executives from 23 sports-related organizations, and riding at 125 mph in an official NASCAR pace car!

That’s how Allison Rosen ’24 and 17 of her Department of Sport Management classmates from Falk College spent Spring Break as they immersed themselves in LA’s sports industry.

“If I had to sum up the 2022 Los Angeles Immersion Trip in one word, that word would be INCREDIBLE!” Rosen wrote.

The trip to Southern California is part of a course (SPM 358) that allows students to interact with industry executives and practitioners from nearly every sector of the industry. The course explores business practices, marketing strategies, branding initiatives, social media outreach and the organizational culture of competing sports franchises and entities in the greater Los Angeles market.

“This course exposes students to the many differences of managing sports entities on the West Coast compared to the East,” said Michael Veley, director and chair of Sport Management and Rhonda S. Falk Endowed Professor who teaches the SPM 358 course. “Los Angeles has become the sports capital of the world and markets to an extremely diverse population of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. More than a dozen students who have taken this course have obtained jobs based on professional networking connections made on the LA Immersion trip.”

Two students are holding t-shirts and posed with Bill Walton
One of the highlights of the LA Immersion Trip was a visit with NBA legend (and Grateful Dead fanatic) Bill Walton, shown here with Allison Rosen (right) and Sydney Orszulak displaying SU-themed Grateful Dead T-shirts.

Los Angeles is home to 11 professional sports teams and host of the 2022 Super Bowl, 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship Game and 2028 Summer Olympics, among other major sporting events.

A student perspective:

We asked Rosen to share her experiences and thoughts about the Los Angeles Immersion Trip, and this is what she wrote:

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to take this trip after COVID-19 put a two-year halt to it. None of it would have been possible had it not been for our incredible donors, Jeff and Andrea Lomasky. On behalf of everyone on this trip, we thank the Lomasky family for their generosity.

“We met with more than 20 organizations and 70 executives across different aspects of the sport industry over the course of our trip. It was somehow both exhausting and energizing at the same time! As someone who dreams of working in soccer, visiting LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) and the LA Galaxy were two highlights for me.

“Other organizations we met with included the LA Rams, Hoag Classic, LA Clippers, LA Dodgers, LA Marathon, Legends, AEG, the Rose Bowl, and even NASCAR. We also met with (NBA legend) Bill Walton, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I loved learning about what makes each sport unique and comparing the sport industry on the West Coast to that on the East Coast.

“Top experiences included walking on the ice before an LA Kings game at Arena; being on the NFL Network; riding at 125 mph in an official NASCAR pace car (not my mom’s favorite part to hear about!); touring SoFi Stadium; eating tacos about two feet from the beach in Santa Monica; and walking through the LA Marathon setup at Dodger Stadium. Another highlight, which was by chance and not part of our itinerary, was running into U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team head coach Gregg Berhalter at O’Hare Airport (in Chicago) before catching our connecting flight to Syracuse.

A large group is posed with a NASCAR pace car on a track

The students visited the Auto Club Speedway and rode at 125 mph in an official NASCAR pace car.
“From a business perspective, we learned about the importance of embracing your community, differentiating yourself in a saturated market, target audiences, and the impact social media has had on the industry. In addition to career advice, we received life experience advice.

“One of my favorite pieces of advice came from Martin Jarmond, director of athletics at UCLA. He said, ‘You can’t lead others until you lead yourself.’ This really stuck with me as this is something people need to hear more often. It falls in the same category as leading by example and self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to?

“Across the board, whether the industry professionals were SU (some even LA Trip) alumni or not, something I noticed was the passion to give back and grow the next generation. Everyone was so welcoming and, as a woman who wants to work in the industry, it was encouraging to have so many females in our meetings. Someday, wherever I end up, I hope there’s an immersion trip headed my way because I will 100 percent participate and host students at my office.

“We all owe a big thank you to Sport Management Director Michael Veley, Sport Management Internship Placement Coordinator Lisa Liparulo, and all of the executives we met with for making it such a worthwhile experience.”

During their trip, the students visited the Hoag Classic Country Club, Los Angeles Dodgers, UCLA Athletics, Los Angeles Football Club, NFL Network, Los Angeles Rams, So-Fi Stadium, Anheuser-Busch, Los Angeles Kings, Anschutz Entertainment Group, LA Sports & Entertainment Commission, Los Angeles Clippers, Auto Club Speedway, Rose Bowl, Dignity Health Sports Park, Westwood One Radio, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Marathon, Arena and Legends.

To learn more about the students’ experiences, check out their 2022 Los Angeles Immersion Blog.

Allison Rosen is a Sport Management major and Public Communications Studies minor who is a current member and former communications co-chair for Women In Sports and Events (WISE) at Syracuse University; a student manager and photographer/content creator for the University’s women’s soccer team; an intern for Syracuse University Athletic Department Creative Services; and chair of the Syracuse Sport Management Club’s Charity Sport Auction Donations Committee.