|Students gain insight into world of sports management|
|Written by Dan Fox, Senior Staff|
|Sunday, 10 February 2013 16:20|
Students looking to go into the sports management industry had a chance to interact with experts and learn about their chosen career paths on Friday at ISU’s third annual Sports Management Symposium.
The day’s events included two separate panels of experts, lunch, a keynote speaker and an internship fair with vendors from local sport franchises.
Keynote speaker Pat Williams, senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, has worked for more than 45 years as general manager of major sports franchises, including teams in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Orlando.
In addition to being the author of more than 70 books, he was named one of the most influential people in NBA history and received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“He is one of the most accomplished and successful executives we have seen in professional basketball,” Nels Popp, assistant professor of sports management at ISU, said
“Dos Equis says they have ‘the most interesting man in the world’ — they never met this guy,” he added.
During Williams’ speech, he stressed the importance of knowing sports inside and out, reading, volunteering, getting a master’s degree, interning, interviewing, asking the question “what else can I do?” and public speaking.
“Every time you gallop people to a poll on fear in this country, the number one fear is never death, or snakes or spiders … the number one fear is always standing in front of a group of people and talking about anything,” Williams said.
Prior to Williams’ speech, there were two panels of experts fielding questions from attendees and the symposium’s M.C. Lance Lippert, a professor in the School of Communication.
Among the day’s nine panelists were ISU alum Phil Bedella, vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Chicago; Jay Blunk, executive vice president of the Chicago Blackhawks; and Eric Buchanan, general manager of the Texas A&M Sports Properties.
The panelists tackled questions concerning outsourcing, “paying your dues,” book recommendations, sponsorship and challenges their organizations face.
The day of activities concluded with an internship fair, which included representatives from local sport franchises including the Normal CornBelters, the Bloomington Flex, the Peoria Chiefs and the Peoria Rivermen.