Everything College Sports

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You’ve Got to Understand Database Marketing in Today’s Sport Climate


This post was authored by Brandon Steffek, a 2009 Ohio University Sport Management graduate. Since graduation, he has been working for Full House Entertainment Database Marketing as Sales and Marketing Consultant.

Full House Entertainment Database Marketing provides targeted sales leads for direct marketing campaigns (direct mail, telemarketing, email). Over 600 sports teams and entertainment organizations have used Full House to find new business and residential customers. Full House works exclusively with sports and entertainment organizations to target businesses and consumers most likely to buy season tickets, group tickets and premium seating (suites, club seating, VIP clubs).

The following is intended to provide a brief overview of how teams use database marketing to improve their organization and generate new revenue. Whether it is professional or college sports; the principles are the same.

Database marketing from my experience can be defined as identifying new customers who possess similar characteristics of sport teams’ existing customers. Whether it’s a particular business industry, or demographic profile of a residential consumer, database marketing can be used to build custom databases of potential new prospects that can be reached through direct marketing campaigns. Database marketing can also be used to collect and market to existing customers. Continue reading

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Marketing, Ohio University, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | 1 Comment

Lessons From a Recent Sport Management Grad

We have begun our 2009-2010 Blogging and welcome your comments!

The first contribution comes recent Ohio University Sport Management grad Ian Davie. I asked Ian to share his thoughts and tips for students as the new school year begins. I know students can hear it from their professors a million times, but sometimes it takes hearing it from someone in their shoes for it to sink in. Ian has certainly paid his dues in the sport industry since graduation. His life path since June 2008 includes:

-Staying in Athens, OH for 2 months to work with the Southern Ohio Copperheads (summer baseball league team)

– Living in Baltimore for 3 months and completing a PGA TOUR Internship with the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship

-Living in Bonita Springs, FL for 7 months looking for a job

-FINALLY, landing a great job with the Phoenix Suns as a Sales Consultant for past 3 months.

Getting a job is tough right now. You have to put yourself in the best position to succeed in a time when the job market is tough. Currently, my goal is to make 100 outbound phone calls a day. The point being; I talk to a lot of people and learn that many of them are unemployed right now.

Continue reading

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Ohio University, Working in College Sports | 1 Comment

The Job/Internship Search

It is the time of year when graduating students begin to panic if they haven’t received their dream job offer or even an offer for an internship. If you are one of those still looking for a position, HANG IN THERE. One of the best interns I ever had told me he sent out over 100 applications before he landed the internship with me (4 years later, he is now the Director of Marketing at a Division I institution). So, it will happen – it just might not happen tomorrow. Keep doing the right things to set yourself up to be successful, including;

1. Volunteer with a sport organization. It might be that your resume isn’t quite solid enough to land the job you are hoping for.

2. APPLY. APPLY. APPLY. Until you have a job, your job is finding a job. So, treat the job search like a job. You must get out of bed before noon and search for jobs and then jump through all the application hoops to apply. Sometimes, the application process is difficult and time consuming to weed out those that are not serious. Continue reading

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | 3 Comments

The Guy in the Pink Jeans

I’ll admit before I even get going that this is slightly off topic, but hang in there reading it because it is definitely sport related. Many of you have probably experienced something similar so I thought I would share a story that happened to me tonight.

Let me set the stage… I have been in San Antonio for  a few days at the Sport and Recreation Law Association Conference, which was very very cool by the way. Today (March 7th), I flew from San Antonio to San Francisco where I am speaking to a class at Berkeley on Monday. In San Antonio, I was surrounded by some very smart people (attorneys, professors, and attorneys who are professors) who are totally up-to-date on current sport law and pretty much everything else that has to do with youth, intercollegiate, professional, and international sport. I’ll have to write about specifics of the conference another time. Continue reading

March 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | 3 Comments

There’s Not One, Single Career Path

I’m working on a book for which I came up with the idea in 2004. (I finally convinced a former professor to join me in writing it.) As part of the research, I’m interviewing quite a few successful people in the sports industry. I recently interviewed a classmate and he brought up a very good point that I think is worth writing about here, especially considering the emails I get asking how to break into the sports industry.

If you want to be a doctor or an accountant or a teacher, it’s pretty clear what steps you need to take to get there. Even when you’re in junior high or high school, you have an idea of what you need to do. At that same age, you may know that you enjoy sports and want to work in the sports industry, but what’s the career path? The answer is that there’s not one clear career path. There may be similarities, but there aren’t any hard core specific paths. Continue reading

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | 1 Comment

Five Keys to the Game

In all my interaction over the years with students, whether it was during my time with the Portland Trail Blazers or events hosted by Sports Career Consulting (SCC), the question I get asked most frequently is focused on what steps are necessary for pursuing a career in sports.  It is a great question to be sure, and obviously one that many students would like to see answered.  It is not, however, one that is answered easily, nor is it one with any “correct” answer or  a magical solution.  The good news is that there are several key pieces of advice anyone interested in a career in sports should be aware of and we’ll share them in today’s blog post.  Rest assured that this is not any complex formula by any stretch, but one that I can assure you is paramount to breaking into the industry.  Here are our five keys to the game…

Five Keys to the Game

Key #1:  Be Passionate

Regardless of which career path you choose (sports, entertainment or otherwise), find something you can be passionate about.  Passion is one of the primary, underlying characteristics shared by the majority of people who find success in their chosen field.  Take Kobe Bryant for example…one could argue that very few have played the game of basketball with more passion.  It is that passion that drives Kobe to be one of the best (if not the best) basketball player in the world today.

Do not think for a second, however, that you need to be an athlete to be passionate about something. Consider Phil Knight, founder of Nike, who used his passion for running to fuel a passion for developing (and later selling) the perfect running shoe.  His passion turned into a multi-billion dollar global brand. Knight’s passion was one of the key ingredients in the recipe for Nike’s success. Continue reading

February 26, 2009 Posted by | College Sports Business, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | , | Leave a comment

On the Value of Experience…

The following was written by Matt Lynch, Assistant Director of Media Relations at Boston College and posted with his permission.

I was asked by my friends at Ohio University to comment on the value of experience when looking for a job in college athletics. Since this is the season that Spring graduates are looking for jobs, I thought this was a good topic to present and I feel it cannot be stressed enough to students. Now that I am in a position where I look at resumes of those trying to get jobs and/or internships, I have realized that many students do not set themselves up to be successful after they graduate. There are a lot of different ways to “break in” to college sports and one way is not any better than another, however one thing is constant; you must get experience in an athletic department! Merely having a degree in sport management, journalism, communications, or business is not enough anymore if you want to work in college sports. Continue reading

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | Leave a comment

Networking Heaven

This past weekend a group of 10 first year Ohio University MBA/MSA students attended the NCAA convention. Christina Wright, a former NCAA intern, did an excellent job planning the weekend by getting everyone an NCAA mentor, setting up several meetings with people from the NCAA, Athletic Administrators from around the country, and organizing an incredible weekend for her classmates. I can’t thank Christina enough for everything she put into planning this weekend and providing us with such great opportunities. The weekend certainly didn’t disappoint!

After having had time to sit down and reflect on the weekend, I have realized just how much my classmates and I have taken away from the weekend. In my opinion the most beneficial part off the weekend was the one on one time we were able to get with several successful individuals in the world of college athletics. To put it in perspective, over a 3 day period we had the pleasure of meeting with Bernard Muir (Georgetown Director of Athletics), Steve Watson (St. Bonaventure Director of Athletics), Craig Keilitz (High Point Director of Athletics), Troy Watson (Longwood Director of Athletics), Keith Gill (American Director of Athletics), and Athena Argyropoulos (American Associate AD/SWA. To have the opportunity to meet with that many successful individuals in a 72 hour period could only be possible at the NCAA convention. The best part was, that only scratches the surface.

In addition to the above mentioned people we were able to meet with several other alumni who are currently working for Universities and Conferences around the country and many people from the NCAA. From their career paths to their professional advice and knowledge, we picked their brains every chance that we had and learned a great deal.

Not only did we have the opportunity to network but we were also able to attend several education sessions put on by the NCAA. We learned about the process of adopting or overriding NCAA legislation, saw the State of the Association Address, listened to the inspiring Billie Jean King speak, and toured the amazing Museum in Washington D.C. There is no doubt in my mind every individual that attended the NCAA convention benefited a great deal from it. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student looking to get into college athletics, the best $50 investment you can make is to register for next year’s NCAA Convention in Atlanta.

Lastly, spending the weekend with nine of my classmates was the most fun I have had in a long time. I learned a great deal more about them and enjoyed sharing such an amazing experience with them. I guess nothing really brings a group together like a walking around a hectic Washington D.C. to see the monuments and listen to Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seager rehearse for the concert for President Obama’s Inauguration on the steps of Lincoln Memorial in a 10 below windchill.

January 21, 2009 Posted by | NCAA, Ohio University, Sports Administration, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | Leave a comment

An NCAA Homecoming

As the former diversity and inclusion intern at the NCAA, I knew sharing the 2009 NCAA Convention with my colleagues as a professional development trip opportunity would help strengthen their network and define their direction in the industry, especially as we search for summer internships. For me, being able to experience Convention as a delegate rather than a staff member was an interesting twist to my young professional career.

Due to our MBA class schedule and responsibilities, our first day at Convention was Thursday. After attending NCAA educational sessions, checking out the vendors at the Trade Show, listening to the State of the Association speech, watching Billie Jean King receive the NCAA’s Gerald R. Ford award, and attending the Honors and Delegates Celebration at the Newseum, I was already overwhelmed with nostalgia and a sense of homecoming. This time last year I was working with the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in Nashville, Tennessee.

Friday presented another full schedule. The Division I Issues and Legislative Forums, lunch with alumni, and a meet-and-greet reception with various professionals filled our day. I was able to share a unique experience with my colleagues on how Division I legislation is passed or overridden. Most people think that the NCAA has the power to create and implement legislation. False! It’s actually the membership who drives legislative decisions and now I have 9 other graduate students as witnesses.

Anyway, for the fourth consecutive year, Division I was faced with another override vote regarding men’s basketball coaches observing nonscholastic events in April. High profile delegate, Damon Evans (chair of the Division I Leadership Council and University of Georgia athletic director) led the discussion on why Division I delegates should oppose the override. Army athletic director and chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Issues Committee, Kevin Anderson, and Kerry Kenny, outgoing Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, also opposed the override. As a former Patriot League student-athlete, seeing Mr. Anderson and Mr. Kenny be two of the four speakers on the floor persuading the other delegates to oppose the override made me proud. Mr. Anderson’s statement, “We have to send a message, and if we don’t send a message we might as well take the ‘student’ off ‘student-athlete,’ ” reaffirmed why I believe there is magic in intercollegiate athletics.

As a young professional, I have found a common theme in working in intercollegiate athletics: service. If you are in this industry and aren’t in it to serve, you will have a short-lived career. With that mindset, we spent our Saturday morning helping NCAA staff finish up the Division II and III business sessions. We spent the evening touring the monuments and dinner in Georgetown with athletic administrators from my alma mater, American University. The city was buzzing in anticipation of the Presidential Inauguration events. We even saw the dress rehearsal for the actual event at the Lincoln Memorial.

Continue reading

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Basketball, College Sports Business, NCAA, Ohio University, Sports Administration, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | 1 Comment

Ohio Univ. Students Grab Attention at NCAA Convention

Check out two of our own, Christina Wright and Sean Phifer at the 2009 NCAA Convention. A huge thank you to the NCAA staff and the NCAA Double-A Zone Blog for featuring these graduate students in their video. More about the Convention later.

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Ohio University, Sports Administration, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | Leave a comment