Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cohort 32 & 11S Got It Done!

Members of Cohort 31 and 11S recently took a big step from being fans to becoming professionals. After two years of late night classes, presentations, research papers, group projects and internship meetings, these individuals have graduated with a Masters in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco. ConGRADulations!

The USF Sport Management program graduated over 60 students this spring. With the combination of both cohorts, USF alums have a significant presence in the sports industry. This spring’s graduates are spread across the bay area and southern California within different sports organizations including the Oakland Raiders, Stanford Athletics, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, TaylorMade Golf, Oakland A’s, Sacramento Kings, San Diego Chargers, Golden State Warriors, Cal Athletics, Aerial 7, Octagon, United States Golf Association and more. Not only do alumni work for great organizations in California, many of them have branched out to other states and other countries.

Mac Clonan (Cohort 31) and Brian Pierce (Cohort 11S) both recently moved to Australia to work for the Australian Baseball League. The two will be working in baseball operations and other on-field game aspects. The league is in its beginning stages of development and Brian and Mac have been brought over to help the organization grow. “This opportunity represents the chance to gain professional experience that, in combination with my foundation work in coaching, gives me a much broader set of options within the business of baseball. I have a particular interest in international baseball, globalization of the sport, the WBC and MLBAM all of which represent macro initiatives undertaken and overseen by MLB as a league,” says Mac. “I hope to work in the international space at the league level long term and hope to have the opportunity to continue to pursue opportunities in baseball frontiers like Australia and with the ABL.”

Joe Schaumburg (Cohort 31) obtained a job right after graduation as an Assistant Basketball Coach at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, just miles outside of Salem. His main responsibility will be to develop the camps and clinics into first class operations and find players to recruit. “In college, most of the work is off the court so the management skills from the Sport Management program are essential,” says Joe.

Megan Miller (Cohort 11S) moved up to San Francisco from southern California for her job with the United States Golf Association. She was fortunate enough to finish her last class with the northern California group and graduate on time with the rest of her cohort. She is now traveling around the country getting ready for the 2012 US Open.

Many other graduates this spring have moved on to be successful professionals in the sports industry. Not only have they achieved their dreams professionally, but they have also built strong friendships amongst each other and memories throughout the two years that will keep them connected forever. Congratulations Cohort 31 and 11S, you got it done!

Monday, May 16, 2011

See You at the Finish Line

Leah Schilling, one of the University of San Francisco Sport Management program’s soon to be graduates from Cohort 31, has been working for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as the company’s 'Team In Training Campaign Manager.’ LLS is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancer. Team in Training (TNT) is one of the largest sports endurance programs and happens to be one of the biggest fundraising arms for the organization. TNT provides a comprehensive program to help participants achieve their dream of completing a marathon, half marathon, triathlon or long-distance cycle ride. Since 1988, TNT has successfully trained over 400,000 athletes who have helped raise over $1 billion for cancer research nationwide. In addition to research, the fundraising dollars also go towards patient advocacy to make sure that their voices are heard at the local, state and national levels for important legislation, as well as patient services such as financial aid and support groups.

In a nutshell, TNT trains people to complete endurance events and participants fundraise in return. The great thing about TNT is that they guarantee 75% of all funds raised go back to the mission, which is 'To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.' This is far more than many of the other charity endurance training programs and TNT keeps it consistent.
Leah’s role as Campaign Manager is to make sure the training seasons run smoothly. There are four seasons a year that people can join to train for various events. The campaign manager is personally responsible for the cycle teams for three of the four seasons. Each season Leah is recruiting volunteer staff (coaches, mentors and captains) and working with them to develop a training program. She is also in charge of planning the entire event weekend which includes race entries, hotels, banquets and travel. Leah personally attends many of the weekly trainings to help keep her staff and participants motivated to reach their training and fundraising goals.

Leah’s winter team just finished the Solvang Century on March 12th and her spring team is now training for the Death Ride which will be on July 9th (129 miles, 15,000 ft of climbing). The summer season kicks off on May 21st and the cycle teams are training for Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge Gran Fondo (103 mile ride) on October 1st in Santa Rosa, CA, as well as the Moab Century Tour (100 mile ride) on September 17th in Moab, UT. Team In Training also offers the Nike Women's Marathon, Kauai Half Marathon and Dublin Marathon with the Marathon teams and the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz, Pacific Grove Triathlon and Big Kahuna Triathlon for the Triathlon teams. Leah is an inspiration in many people’s lives and continues helps fight this war against cancer, one stroke at a time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I left my Seoul in South Korea

In Winter 2011, the USF Sport Management program offered a Global Sports Immersion elective taught by Professor Andrew Choi. Members from Cohort 31, 32 and 11S had the opportunity to spend seven days in the bustling city of Seoul, South Korea and learn about the global perspectives in sport management. Seoul is one of the few cities in the world that has hosted both the FIFA World Cup (2002) and Summer Olympics (1988) which are two of the largest sporting events in the world.

While in South Korea, students had the opportunity to visit different sport businesses and sporting venues such as SBS News Channel, Puma/Cobra Golf, Coca-Cola, Pyeong Chang Olympic Bidding Committee, Korean Basketball League, SK Wyverns Baseball Stadium, Olympic Museum, Seoul World Cup Stadium and many more. These businesses were kind enough to take everyone in and discuss current trends in Korean sport media and marketing. Seeing these stadiums gave students a better understanding of event management and operation issues for Korean professional and amateur sports teams, such as player recruiting, game day promotions and events, business models and sponsorships. Fan loyalty is a major aspect in Korean sports, not only to the team but also the players. Fans in Korea want to see native players compete onthe court or field rather than foreign players, regardless of the level of skill. In addition to visiting venues, the class had a chance to compete against the Samsung Badminton Team, which included professional and Olympic players.

After visiting different sites, many of the hosts were kind enough to treat everyone to a traditional Korean lunch or dinner. Traditional Korean dishes included items like Korean BBQ beef, kimchi (fermented cabbage side-dish dipped in red peppers), quail eggs, fish, rice, veggies and spicy be an sauce. Bim Bim Bam (steamed veggie rice bowl) and chicken noodle soup are also popular during the cold, winter season. Tea was served with every meal and most of the food is low in fat and high in nutrients.

Korean nightlife is unforgettable and extremely amusing. In Seoul, bars and clubs stay open all hours of the night. Koreans have a great sense of humor and a surprisingly high tolerance for alcohol, especially Soju, a liquor native to Korea that is made from rice. The locals are very warm and friendly but some females tend to keep to themselves.

This was demonstrated repeatedly by girls rejecting offers to dance, sorry Eric! Not only did everyone get the chance to make friends with the locals in Seoul, but they became closer friends amongst themselves. The trip to South Korea is the highlight of the USF Sport Management program for the students that went and an unforgettable experience. Thanks, Dr. Choi!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Texas Isn't So Big When You're a GIANT

On the night of November 2, 2010, San Francisco anxiously watched as Brian Wilson threw his final pitch in Game 5 against the Texas Rangers. The umpire calls it a strike and all the hearts left in San Francisco stop beating for a crucial 5 seconds. The emotions felt after were uncontrollable. It was a big night for the Giants and all of their fans.

During the parade the fans cheered and supported "fear the beard" all the way to Civic Center while the lights on Coit Tower were changed from red to orange. It was one of the few moments in San Francisco when everyone from bums to business men came together and shared the same level of pride and excitement. We all know how it feels to be a fan of a winning team, but how does it feel to work for a winning team? Luckily we have an insider's perspective from current students and alumni from the USF Sport Management program who worked for the Giants during the World Series.

Nick Tanza, from Cohort 31, grew up in Northern California and has been an avid Giants fan for 20 years. He started the USF Sport Management program with his mind set on working for the Giants. In the first year into the program, Nick landed a job in the Community Relations Department where he managed donation requests, assisted with field visits and helped with player appearances. He also worked with Giants Enterprises, assisting with non-baseball events.

There seemed to be a dark cloud looming over the office ever since the Giants were one game away from winning the World Series in 2002, but when Nick walked into the office on his first day of work in March he realized there was something special going on. "I never thought I would be on the field in Arlington when the Giants finally won and then be in the parade two days later,” said Nick. "There was a lot of emotion during all of these times and I think it stemmed from all the hard work the staff had put in during the season. The best part was sharing these moments with co-workers and friends."

Ty Glauser, Cohort 32, was able to work the sponsorship side and promotions side of the Giants business. Once there was knowledge around MLB that the Giants had a shot for the playoffs, Ty was able to deal with peaking interest from sponsors who wanted to add more promotions to their season agreement. “Besides being able to witness the Giants win in Texas, the most beneficial experience I gained was being able to network with VP's and executives for MLB while working hand in hand with them from the NLCS and World Series,” said Ty.

Other current students were lucky enough to get internships right before all of the excitement. The roller coaster season for the Giants kept the anticipation up around the office. "This was going to be a great experience whether they made the playoffs or not,” said Chris Davis, Cohort 32. “When they finally clinched in that last game, however, I was standing in the locker room watching the players spray champagne on one another and watching Freddy Sanchez dance. I was wondering if I should challenge him to a dance off and soon realized again why I chose this path," said Chris.

A very crucial step in becoming a professional in the sports industry is separating the identity between being a fan and a professional. With all the excitement going around it was hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere. “Everyone was professional and seemed to have a lot of pride working for the team. Moreover, everyone seemed to be having fun what they were doing, but at the same time were professional and realized they had a job to do,” said Ryan Jagoe, Cohort 33. The whole experience blended the line between professionalism and fan but Giants employees stayed poised and could not have asked for any better season.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Celebrity Servers

USF Sport Management’s very own Fayne Cohen, with Octagon Football, helped host the Celebrity Servers event to help raise funds to benefit the John Ricksen fund of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland. San Francisco 49er’s Takeo Spikes, Patrick Willis and Travis LaBoy, Oakland Raiders’ Lamarr Houston, and special guest server Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors helped raise money and awareness for cancer research. The Plumpkack Group and Octagon Football Bay Area professional athletes served guests from behind the bar while signing autographs and mingling with the crowd. Fayne, a current member of Cohort 33, was assisting with raffle tickets for autographed footballs, tickets to games, special travel packages and sports memorabilia. A portion of the proceeds from the drinks poured and raffle tickets sold went directly to cancer patient treatment and research at Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland. In total, the servers were estimated to raise around $10,000 for the cause.

Fayne recently started working with Octagon Sports as the Football Marketing Intern. She helps agents, the director of client services and the director of public relations with sponsorship research, marketing ideas and booking player appearances. Fayne was lucky enough to have her opportunity waiting for her in front of Professor Cellini’s office. “I was in the program office one day and happened to meet CJ LaBoy (an NFL agent with Octagon and alum from our program) as we were both waiting to meet with Cellini,” explained Fayne. “CJ overheard me asking about Octagon and said that he worked there. I have always loved Octagon since I went to their headquarters in DC during my undergrad at University of Maryland. We started talking and then I did an informational interview with CJ for Cellini’s class, and he had mentioned their upcoming fall internship. I was in heavy competition for the internship and without USF I wouldn’t have gotten it!”

Fayne is also assisting with some of the charity efforts for the players such as the Marshawn Lynch Turkey Drive that will take place in Oakland in November and Justin Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy program. She plans to continue working with Octagon Football in hopes to work for the east coast office one day. We look forward to upcoming events, keep up the good work, Fayne!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Orange Is The New Pink

On August 27th, Amanda Nichols (Cohort 29) and Kelly Readinger (Cohort 31) hosted the 1st Annual Women’s Professional Networking Night at AT&T Park. The event was organized to help women mingle with other professionals and network while enjoying a Giants themed cocktail or two. The night consisted of music and a live panel of four distinguished female executives from the Giants organization and other partner organizations, followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and seek advice.

The panel took a few moments to introduce themselves and their current titles. Renel Brooks-Moon, Public Address Announcer for the San Francisco Giants, Susie McCormick, Executive Publisher for 7X7 Magazine, Barbara Mark, CEO and Founder of Full Circle Institute and Marybeth LaMont, Executive Producer and host of television show Redcarpet SF all made a special guest appearance.
Each woman’s story was unique and captivating which pulled the attention of everyone in the room.

After the panel spoke, the audience members had an opportunity to ask questions
pertaining to their own careers or obstacles they were trying to overcome. Some women wanted to know how to become successful business owners and others wanted to know how to find that perfect balance between work and personal life. Although there is no single right answer to questions like these the panel still gave some inspiring advice. It is motivating to hear such great success stories and comforting to know the support is out there.

At the start of the game the ladies made their way into their very own seating area that was arranged for individuals attending the event allowing for more time to bond, network and enjoy each others company. Overall the event was a great success and a wonderful learning experience. Thank you, Amanda and Kelly, for organizing this night and for all your hard work!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Street Soccer USA

Although the World Cup may be over, the passion for soccer lives on. Rob Cann, Cohort 32, has been heavily involved in the development of Street Soccer USA (SSUSA), a program established in 2004, which aims at getting homeless people off the streets by “scoring goals on the field and achieving goals in life.” Rob and his brother, Lawrence Cann, Founder of Street Soccer USA, were inspired with this idea when learning about the international event the Homeless World Cup. Both former Division I soccer players and Lawrence, already a case-worker at a homeless service agency, started a team and Rob joined him less than a year later.

Rob is now the National Program Director for SSUSA and is involved in the development and implementation of the program and its curriculum with partner agencies. He came to the University of San Francisco Sport Management program to acquire the skills needed to effectively drive the organization into the next phase of development. Street Soccer USA is a social service agency first, engaged in changing the lives of the homeless forever, but is inherently a sports organization and a Master of Arts in Sport Management from USF will provide SSUSA the expertise to succeed in the sport industry. The Bay Area is a hot bed of creativity and innovation and is an ideal location to expand programming. Robs entry into the USF Sport Management network will be crucial as the Bay Area becomes the West Coast headquarters of SSUSA.

During the early development stages of the program, both Rob and Lawrence saw the major impact with players and felt compelled to spread their message of “soccer for social change”. They have gone on to create homeless soccer teams in 20 different cities across the nation, including San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver,New York and Seattle. Teams train two to three times a week and each year unite at the Street Soccer USA Cup where a national champion is crowned and eight men and eight women are selected to represent the country at the Homeless World Cup.

In addition to soccer practices, SSUSA aims at improving social skills, self esteem and mental and physical health to eliminate barriers to employment and self sufficiency for the homeless. All players as members of the team are required to set 3, 6 and 12 month goals and abide by team rules. Jobs Academies help with finding job placement and niche services like financial literacy, resume writing, legal service and workplace readiness workshops prepare the players for reintegration into mainstream society. SSUSA also heavily relies on volunteers, their motto is "ending homelessness is a team sport" and to that end they train volunteers as sports mentors and using the talents of the community to help players reach their goals.

The future vision for SSUSA is to be the leader in Sport Development in the Unites States and to be the primary source of research and experience based authority on Sport for Social Change. The organization seeks to expand into 50 cities over the next five years and effect social change by pushing public policy toward a more holistic approach to serving the homeless and impoverished among social service agencies.

Street Soccer USA players are playing for more than scoring goals and winning championships, to learn more about the values SSUSA players stand for visit www.iplayfor.org