Sport Management Student Organizations
Baseball Statistics and Sabermetrics Club
Sabermetrics is the study of advanced baseball statistics. And who better to study that than Syracuse University Sport Analytics students? The student-led club formed during the Spring 2013 semester with Sport Analytics professor Dr. Rodney Paul as its faculty advisor. The club conducts in-depth discussions about baseball statistics and sabermetrics. Members take part in a fantasy baseball league and guest speakers are brought in on a variety of topics throughout the year.
In Spring 2020, for the sixth straight year, Syracuse University Sabermetrics Club members participated in the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) Analytics’ Spring Diamond Dollars Case Competition. Due to COVID-19, the students did not travel in March 2020 to Phoenix, Arizona, but instead presented virtually from SU’s campus. The competition is for undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the country to compete against each other by researching and presenting on a baseball analytics topic.
Four SU teams competed in 2020, with two teams winning their respective divisions. Students on SU’s winning teams were: Steven DiMaria, Hughston Preston, Ben Ayers, Joey Deaton and Cameron Mitchell; as well as Joe Pickering, Sean Kenney, Brendan McKeown, Cooper Shawver and Drake Mills.
Their assignment was to analyze the factors that contribute to a starting pitcher’s effectiveness when navigating a lineup for the third time in a game. Teams made their presentations by using programs such as R, Excel, and Tableau. They virtually presented their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges that included executives from Major League Baseball.
With the help of gifts from Falk College donors Jeff and Andrea Lomasky and Andrew Berlin, 20 Syracuse University sport analytics students competed at this prestigious event. The students are guided in their research during the academic year by Dr. Rodney Paul and sport analytics assistant professor Dr. Jeremy Losak. Read more about the 2020 SABR event.
In Spring 2019, Club members Charles “CB” Garrett IV ’19, Cody Barbuto ’19 and Kyle Liotta ’20 published a research paper in conjunction with Dr. Paul on how minor league baseball player Tim Tebow affected attendance for teams during the 2017 season. The paper, titled “Celebrity Attraction in the Minors: The Case of Tim Tebow,” was published in the Journal of Economics and Finance. Tebow played for the Syracuse Mets during the 2019 season.
Since 2015, SU SABR club members have competed in the prestigious SABR Diamond Dollars Case Competition at NYU, and winning best presentation in 2017. Students are given a topic and then given five days to collect data, create a model, and prepare a 30-minute presentation on the topic to be given in New York City in front of Major League Baseball executives. In Fall 2019, the teams were asked to project performances for Major League Baseball players Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso, or Luis Severino and Noah Syndergaard, over the next five seasons. Students also had to predict the likelihood that one player will outperform the other.
“We are very proud of the way our students compete at these events,” Paul said. “It’s a terrific way for them to showcase their research in front of industry professionals as well as gain experience outside of the classroom.”
The Club has also had its research (“The Effects of Atmospheric Conditions on Pitchers”) published in ESPN The Magazine.
“Having a Sabermetrics club at Syracuse is important as it allows for students to study in-depth advanced baseball statistics to create a better understanding of the game and of player value,” Paul said. “Students will learn the origins and uses of sabermetric statistics and then discuss and debate their usage. The goal of the club is to inform and encourage the use of advanced baseball statistics for a variety of uses in the industry.”
The club hears from numerous guest speakers throughout the year via in-person visits or virtual presentations, including TJ Barra, senior data quality analyst for Major League Baseball; Max Vogel-Freedman, analyst of player development and international scouting for the New York Mets; Justin Perline, quantitative analyst for the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline; and Jesus Lantigua, coordinator of Dominican Republic scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Officers for the 2020-2021 academic year are Steven DiMaria, president; Brendan McKeown, vice president; Hughston Preston, director of research; Brianne Quinlan, director of outreach; and Seth Warner, fiscal agent. The Club meets weekly on campus during the academic year. Email Dr. Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or DiMaria at email@example.com for more information.
Check out the video by NCC (Newhouse Communications Center) News featuring the SPM Sabermetrics club and its passion for baseball statistics.
Basketball Analytics Club
The Syracuse University Basketball Analytics Club concluded its fourth year in 2019-2020 with more than 40 members who strive to uncover fascinating statistical trends in basketball through research as well as maintaining a fun environment to discuss and debate all things basketball. As COVID-19 cut the Spring 2020 semester short, the club continued to meet via Zoom and collaboratively work remotely on projects.
The organization was assembled to conduct analysis on the NBA, NCAA, and high school basketball and has expedited the process of recording large sums of data at an efficient pace. Club members are working on research such as “Does College Experience Affect NBA Success?” and have created an NBA player database used for data matching across public data websites. Find examples of the club’s research on Twitter @CuseAnalytics.
The club also attended “tailgate” events sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association before SU men’s basketball games where students discussed their research with alumni, as well as stats for the players that season.
The club often hosts guest speakers on campus or via Skype and Zoom. In 2019-2020, they heard from several NBA analytics executives, including Calvin Floyd, Sacramento Kings operations analyst, Nick Fleder, Indiana Pacers data analyst, and David Sparks, Boston Celtics director of analytics, among others.
In February 2019, club members Jonathan Bosch, Nick Riccardi, Zach Anhalt, Alejandro Pesantez, Fletcher Wilson, Isaiah Freedman, and John Litchenstein attended the McCormack Sport Analytics Trade Deadline conference at UMass. They acted as GMs in a simulation of the NBA trade deadline. Attendees were broken into groups and assigned an NBA franchise. The groups then began trading and transforming their rosters for the duration of the day. The event gave students the opportunity to practice first-hand what takes place during NBA trade negotiations in regard to trade rules, salary cap management, and the CBA, among others.
In Fall 2019, club members Dax Speakman ’21 and Jon Bosch ’21 presented their research, titled “Estimating (Four) Factor Values in the NBA: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression Analysis,” at the Midwest Sports Analytics Meeting at Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Club members annually participate in the Falk College Research Celebration.
Bosch served as club president for 2019-20. Officers for the 2020-2021 academic year are president Davis Showell, executive vice president James Hyman, vice president of marketing Jimmy Beck, director of social media Dominic Samangy, and senior project coordinators Bosch, Preston Klaus, Brendan McKeown and Alejandro Pesantez. Contact Davis Showell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Football Analytics ClubThe Football Analytics Club was established during the 2017-18 academic year and became an officially recognized Syracuse University student organization in Fall 2019. The club started with four members, grew to 40 the next year, and then to more than 100 members in 2019-20. The club meets weekly discussing all things related to football, conducting research, competing in trivia contests, and welcoming guest speakers, among other activities.
During the Fall 2020 semester, club members took part in a Mock Case Competition. The students were divided into groups and tasked with projecting the contracts and future performance for certain NFL free agents. The groups presented their findings to a panel of upperclassmen and faculty.
In Fall 2019 and 2018, club members attended a Buffalo Bills game, where members met with Syracuse University Sport Analytics alumnus Evan Weiss ’19, who was a football analytics intern with the Bills at that time. Weiss was also the founder and first president of SU’s Football Analytics Club. He gave students valuable career advice on how to break into the NFL analytics world.
The Football Analytics Club has also formed a close partnership with the XFL since the new spring football league was founded. Club members collected data from NFL, AAF and CFL games that would later be used by a small group of club members to research potential changes to the game of football. This group worked with Sport Management alumnus Bryan Kilmeade ’18 to reach conclusions that the XFL used to help formulate its rules.
Club members have also worked on many research projects over the past few years, exploring topics such as “Do NFL Players Perform Worse After Receiving a Large Free Agent Contract;” “Do NFL Referees Display Bias Towards Certain Calls or Teams;” “How Winning/Losing Streaks Impact Future Winning Chances and Betting Lines;” and “How Player Arrests Affect Team Winning Percentage in the NFL.” Also, club members participated in the NFL’s first-ever analytics competition, the 2019 Big Data Bowl. SU’s group was awarded an honorable mention for finishing in the top eight out of more than 50 entries.
The Football Analytics Club routinely welcomes sport industry guest speakers such as Neil Hornsby, founder and CEO of Pro Football Focus; Bryan Kilmeade and Sam Schwartzstein, of the XFL’s football operations department; Tucker Zeleny, director of sports analytics at the University of Nebraska; JT Busco, Syracuse University football assistant coach; and Ryan Smith, analyst and account manager at Pro Football Focus. These speakers, among others, gave students insight into the use of analytics in both professional and college football.
Club officers for the 2020-21 academic year are Zak Koeppel (president), Cameron Mitchell (vice president), Will Friedeman (director of research), Joe Pickering (director of operations), and Preston Klaus (treasurer). The Football Analytics Club meets weekly during the academic year. All Syracuse University students are welcome to attend. For more information, email Koeppel at email@example.com.
Hockey Analytics Club
The Hockey Analytics Club is a student-run organization that meets weekly during the academic year to discuss trends and events in the world of hockey. The Club also conducts analytical research and has worked with the Syracuse University women’s ice hockey team, the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, and the Tennity Adult League. Through these connections, several club members have secured hockey statistician internships.
In Fall 2020, club members discussed and analyzed the unique 2020 NHL playoffs.
The club meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays during the academic year both online and in person (Falk 100) and is always looking for new members. The club uses analytics in research and discussions, but don’t worry if you don’t have an analytical background. The club is open to all SU students and recognizes that students from all academic backgrounds can positively contribute to its growth. Contact Freson for more information. Join us to gain analytical research skills, learn from industry leaders, and talk hockey with fellow fanatics.
The Sport Management Sales Club was established in 2015 to act as a medium for earning members hands-on experience in the sport sales industry. In a job market with increasing demands for preliminary experience, students can add practical sales experience to their resumes. The club welcomes guest speakers in person and virtually each semester, while also pairing with Syracuse University Athletics to help sell tickets.
During the Fall 2020 semester, the Sales Club partnered with the Boston Red Sox for its first-ever “Red Sox Premium Sales Project.” SPM alumnus Sandor Kopitz ’15, who is the manager of the Red Sox Sales Academy, helped form the partnership between the students and the organization. Club members were split into groups and asked to research a specific business in the greater Boston area. Students then created and presented a 10-minute sales deck on why that business should purchase premium seats with the Red Sox. This allowed club members to practice their real-world research and sales skills. Students usually pair with Syracuse University Athletics each Fall to help sell tickets for SU football, and men’s and women’s basketball games. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not able to happen in Fall 2020.
“It was great to partner with the SU Sport Sales Club this Fall to provide their members hands-on sales presentation experience,” Kopitz said. “My goal was to share a bit about our sales process here with the Red Sox and give SU Sales Club members a taste of what premium season ticket sales are like, how we sell and market them at Fenway Park, and highlight the tactics we use to build value during a sales presentation. I hope each member was able to take away one or two things that they can use as they graduate and launch their careers in the sports industry.”
During the Fall 2019 semester, club members cold-called businesses near and far to solicit table sponsorships for the Department’s 15th Annual Charity Sports Auction benefiting Make-A-Wish Central New York. After weeks of hard work, members accumulated 20 table sponsorships, the most ever for the auction. These sponsorships resulted in a donation of $1,775 to Make-A-Wish.
The focus of the Spring 2020 semester was on bringing the first-ever sales combine to Syracuse University. In a collaboration with BSE Global, the full-day event kicked off with panel discussions featuring Benjamin Neistat, manager of group sales, and Janaki Cash, manager of inside sales, of the Brooklyn Nets. After lunch, students returned for sales training followed by head-to-head, scenario-based competition in the format of a combine. The winner, Ian Benepe ’22, walked away with a signed Caris Levert jersey.
In February 2020, club members had the opportunity to get face-to-face selling experience through the annual Select-A-Seat event hosted by Syracuse University Athletics. Fans in attendance had the ability to try out and select seats for the upcoming football season. SPM Sales Club members were on hand to qualify buyers and walk them through the process.
The club welcomed numerous guest speakers this past year, including Nick Szpur, New York Mets; Rachel Shor, New York Islanders; Steve McMahon, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment; SPM alumnus Sam Spector, Prudential Center; John Madden, New York Yankees; Janaki Cash, Brooklyn Nets; and Foster Baker, Paycom, among others.
New in 2019-20 was a mentorship program for club members where industry professionals acted as mentors, or resources members could turn to for sales advice, industry insight, professional development tips, etc. The mentors were: Drew Fischer, manager of regional sales, Tailgate Guys; Benjamin Neistat, manager of group sales, BSE Global; and Mark Bloom, senior manager of organizational business development, Cleveland Cavaliers.
Club officers for 2020-21 are Ian Benepe, president; Casey Millar, executive vice president; Sam Crampton, vice president of programming; Nick Costanzo, vice president of events; Alex Guo, vice president of membership; and Richie Clarke, vice president of administration.
The Sales Club meets weekly during the academic year in Falk 400 and online. For more information, contact Benepe at firstname.lastname@example.org or club advisor David Meluni at email@example.com. All Syracuse University students are welcome to attend.
Soccer Analytics Club
The Soccer Analytics Club, which was established during the 2018-19 academic year in the Department of Sport Management, meets weekly discussing all things related to soccer, including college and professionals teams, leagues and organizations.
In 2019-20, the club mainly focused on its research element, creating a model to predict outcomes of soccer games in the top five European Leagues and measured the success of the model against betting market odds. The club also continued its project of creating Real Plus Minus statistics for English Premier League players. Meetings feature guest speakers and industry executives.
Students are using various statistical methods, including logistic regression, to understand which factors aid the Le Moyne College men’s soccer team in scoring more goals and allowing less goals. The group will also assist the team by breaking games into different splits, including home versus away, and in conference versus out of conference, to further discover tendencies in performance.
Club members created visualizations about their research. Find examples on Twitter @CuseAnalytics.
Officers for the 2020-2021 academic year are Kushal Shah, president; Drew DiSanto, vice president; James Hyman, treasurer; and Dominic Samangy, social media manager. For more information, email Shah at firstname.lastname@example.org. The club meets weekly during the academic year, and meetings are open to all Syracuse University students.
Sport Analytics Women
Sport Analytics Women (SAW)
Formed in Fall 2020, the Sport Analytics Women (SAW) Club strives to create a group of like-minded women to build relationships, assemble a support system and study sport analytics during their time at Syracuse University and into their post-graduate careers. The club’s mission is to collaborate and serve as a positive advocate for women in sport analytics by connecting with each other as well as with professionals in the industry.
The goal of creating relevant opportunities for club members is achieved through tutorials on programs such as R, SQL, Python and Tableau, group research projects and hosting guest speakers. In Fall 2020, club members learned more about interactive pitch charts in tableau. They brainstormed ideas for research projects and decided to project how female college basketball players will fare in the WNBA. Data collection is underway.
In Fall 2020, the club welcomed several virtual guest speakers, including Olivia Stasiuk, Dallas Cowboys consumer insights strategist; Bria Grant, Brooklyn Nets senior manager of business intelligence; and Dafna Aaronson, a performance and people analytics specialist.
Club officers are president Mackenzie Mangos (email@example.com), vice president Bailie Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), secretary Jenna Elique (email@example.com) and director of outreach Kylie Dedrick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The club meets every other Wednesday during the academic year in Falk College. Students from all majors are welcome. Follow the club’s Instagram.
Sport Management Club
The Sport Management Club is a student-run organization in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics’ Department of Sport Management. Since its founding in 2005, the Club has raised more than $567,000 for local charities.
Under the guidance of SPM Director and Endowed Professor Michael Veley and dedicated student leaders, the Sport Management Club has provided countless students, regardless of major, invaluable experiential learning opportunities to expand their professional, academic, and social skillsets.
The Club’s signature event is its annual Charity Sports Auction to raise money for a Syracuse-area charity. The 16th annual auction was held online in November 2020. To support Meals on Wheels Syracuse, supporters placed bids online on hundreds of items, including sports memorabilia, gift certificates, household items, vacation packages, and electronics. More than $43,000 was raised. Previous beneficiaries of the club’s annual charity auction have included Make-A-Wish Central New York, Boys & Girls Clubs, Golisano Children’s Hospital at Upstate, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY, the Central New York SPCA, the Upstate Cancer Center, Special Olympics New York, Food Bank of CNY, the Salvation Army, Rescue Mission Alliance, American Diabetes Association, and McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. For more information about the annual Charity Auction, visit Twitter @SPMAuction as well as sucharitysportsauction.com.
During the academic year, the Club routinely hosts guest speakers, takes group trips, and volunteers in the community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Club mostly met virtually in Fall 2020 while also planning all aspects of the Charity Auction.
In Fall 2019, club members recorded more than 300 hours of community service, volunteering at places such as Meals on Wheels, Make-A-Wish Central New York, 3fifteen, Ronald McDonald House, OttoTHON, and New Castle Youth Basketball Association. The Club annually welcomes guest speakers in person and via Skype/Zoom from a variety of organizations such as Syracuse University Athletics, Learfield-IMG, NBA, United States Olympic Committee, Houston Astros, Phoenix Suns, Queensboro FC, University of Pittsburgh, and Fenway Sports Management, among others. Club members also hold professional development events throughout the year, helping students navigate applications, internships, cover letters, and resumes.
The Sport Management Club meets weekly during the academic year. Students from all majors are welcome. For more information, contact President Blake Taub (email@example.com), Executive Vice President Megan Monzo (firstname.lastname@example.org), Vice President of Membership Megan Sheehan (email@example.com), Vice President of Community Service Drew Schiffer (firstname.lastname@example.org), Vice President of Programming Alex Guo (email@example.com) or Vice President of Administration Max Schobel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sport Pros. of Color
Sport Professionals of Color
The Sport Management Sport Professionals of Color Club is an organization that strives to connect students who identify as people of color with sport professionals from across the industry.
The organization was formed during the 2014-15 academic year with the purpose of helping to guide young professionals in their pursuit of success and career establishment in the industry. The club strives to improve members’ professional skills, host speakers, foster networking growth, and take part in experiential learning opportunities.
In Fall 2020, the Club welcomed author/consultant Will Baggett, who spoke about his path to success and how minorities should navigate post-college life. Former NFL player Jed Collins also virtually spoke to the club. Committees are being formed to help the club grow its membership and campus presence.
The club is always looking for new members to take part in its activities and meetings. Past events include an NFL Draft watch party, co-hosting a panel discussion on women in sports titled “Competing to Win” with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., as well as hosting a Madison Square Garden internship panel. The club has welcomed guest speakers Arnold Malloy of the Syracuse Chiefs, Kevin Cooper of the Houston Texans, Davina Sutton of ESPN, CNN Atlanta/London, and Turner Sports, social media entrepreneur Eamonn Donlyn, and ESPN Information Specialist Francisco Ramos.
Meetings are open to all Syracuse University students. Email Noah Christian at email@example.com or call the Department of Sport Management at 315-443-9881 for more information.
Sport Venue and Event Management (SVEM) Club
Mission statement: To provide students specific knowledge and experience focused on managing and operating sport and entertainment facilities and events.
- Create an experiential learning opportunity for SU graduate students interested in sport venue and event management.
- Create activities that foster philanthropic and social responsibility associated with sport.
- Create career networking and educational field trip opportunities for members of the organization.
- Promote interest in the sport venue and facility management industry
Executive Board: comprised of four (4) members.
- Advisor (Faculty Member): Provide oversight and managerial direction; serve as the liaison between the Department of Sport Management and The SVEM Club; work directly with officers on communication, marketing, and financial matters; serve as co-chair of fundraising activities sponsored by the organization.
- President: Represent the club as primary contact with the Office of Graduate Student Organizations. The President will be responsible for running all meetings, programming and developing club activities such as coordinating guest speakers, fundraiser meetings and other social activities.
- Vice President: Responsible for assisting the president in developing meetings and club activities, maintaining attendance of meetings, collecting membership dues, and other miscellaneous tasks.
- Treasurer: Responsible for keeping financial records of funds and allocation of disbursements subject to board approval, and as outlined by the Office of Graduate Student Organizations.
Membership: Any graduate student in the M.S. Sport Venue and Event Management Program in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University is eligible to be an active member and may hold office. All active members must submit annual dues of five ($5) dollars.
Meetings: General club meetings will be held on a bi-weekly schedule, as determined by the President and Advisory Faculty Member and voted on by the membership. All general meetings are required among all members. Executive Board meetings will be held a minimum of once per month.
Women in Sports and Events (WISE)
Students in WISE are involved with numerous events and activities over the course of the academic year, including networking trips, fundraisers, interview workshops, professional development seminars, community service, and assisting with SPM alumni events on campus.
In January 2020, partnering with Syracuse University women’s basketball, WISE co-hosted a “Professional Women of Syracuse” event at the Carrier Dome featuring panelists who shared their insights on working in athletics. Event attendees then watched SU take on Virginia Tech. Panelists included Jen Albanese, director of marketing, Syracuse University Athletics; Katie Berger, director of business operations and merchandise, Syracuse Mets; Megan Cahill, director of public relations and digital media, Syracuse Crunch; and Andrea Marino, director of corporate partnerships, Syracuse Crunch.
During the Spring 2020 semester, group members also job-shadowed the front-office female leaders at the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.
In Fall 2019, the club organized a two-day trip to Pittsburgh to network and learn from industry professionals. The group met with executives from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Diamond Kinetics, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and WISE Pitt. They toured Heinz Field, PNC Park, and PPG Paints Arena, and attended a Penguins NHL game.
WISE members often volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Syracuse to cook and serve meals to families staying at the facility. The group also co-hosts workshops focusing on campus resources and resumes; partners with Witty Wicks, a homemade candle company, and Chipotle, to fundraise for future networking trips and events; and welcomes numerous guest speakers to campus or via Skype.
“We all enjoy volunteering with WISE, to give back to the community we call home for four years,” said Devan Dachisen, vice president of programming and recruitment. “At SU, we have so many incredible opportunities to grow in our careers, it only makes sense to give back to the community that we live in.”
In Fall 2018, the club went to Philadelphia, where they met with the Philadelphia Phillies, Sixers, Flyers and the University of Pennsylvania. The women toured Citizens Bank Park, Wells Fargo Center, and University of Pennsylvania athletic facilities, speaking with women who work throughout different sectors of the sports organizations. Students also attended the UPenn vs. Columbia volleyball game and Flyers vs. Golden Knights NHL game. Past groups traveled to Colgate for a tour of its athletic facilities, attended espnW’s Campus Conversations hosted by SU Athletics, and collected monies for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. They co-hosted professional development workshops on salary negotiation and interview preparation.
“WISE provides a fantastic way for young women to hold leadership positions and create opportunities for members, such as hosting events or collaborating with other on-campus groups,” said WISE co-advisor Nicole Cost, who is also an internship placement coordinator in the Department of Sport Management. “These are great talking points when networking as well as on interviews, not to mention a solid way to learn skills for when they leave campus.”
Keep up with SU’s WISE Club on Social Media: Twitter: @WISE_SU; Instagram: WISE_Cuse; and Facebook: Women in Sports and Events at Syracuse University.
The club officers for 2021 are Devan Dachisen, president; Caroline Dorfman, vice president; Paula Ostrowska, treasurer/co-chair of fundraising; Sydney Rosenbaum, secretary/co-chair of fundraising; Allie Rosen, communications committee/social media content; Sydney Topper, communications committee/strategy and engagement; and Maddy Huzjak, communications committee/strategy and engagement.
The WISE Club includes women from all majors on campus interested in pursuing careers in sports and events. For more information, email WISE co-advisors Nicole Cost (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lisa Liparulo (email@example.com) or club president Devan Dachisen (firstname.lastname@example.org).