Sport & Entertainment Management

From the Director

William Sutton

Education2Sport: Episode #75:
What is the future of the sport industry in the academic world?
Listen here:

2017 is proving to be the most amazing year in the history of the program – and we still have 4 months to go!!! The biggest news is the announcement that on September 26, we officially changed our name (and logo) to the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program. We are beyond thrilled to be able to be identified as a graduate program with a family as innovative and dynamic as the Viniks.

In November, we are taking the second year class to London – our first international experience where we are the travelers and not the hosts. All of the students and faculty will be going on the trip, which will provide sport, cultural and historical learning opportunities. We see this as the next logical step in making the Vinik program truly global. Speaking of which, this year (our first year of eligibility) our graduate program was ranked 19th in the world, by Sports Business International – while we are glad to be on the list, #19 is not where we plan to be next year.

As of September 5, we stand at 108 out of our 112 graduates employed to date (4 members of the entering Class of '18 accepted employment this summer after completing their MBAs). We have 25 new students comprising the Class of '19 and are already recruiting the Class of '20 – so if you know some talented prospective candidates – please send them our way.

Our lecture series is being planned for October 9 in the Sun Dome. In its fifth year, we will discuss "What Tomorrow Might Look Like" featuring industry leaders Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets, Time Leiweke CEO of Oak View Group, Brendan Donohue, managing director of the NBA 2K League set to launch in 2018.

We are planning an Alumni Symposium to celebrate the first five graduating classes and we will be holding that in conjunction with the SEAC Analytics Conference Powered by Ticketmaster in April. We have an alumni advisory group working on the event – look for more details and a save the date announcement later this fall.

We continue to practice what we preach – as experiential learning will always remain the lynchpin of our graduate program. Last year, Michelle Harrolle's Applied Market Research course conducted a season ticket holder study for the Baltimore Ravens and this year will be conducting a study for Valspar. This year's sport marketing class will once again be part of Fox Sports University and the activation project will be working with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The sports analytics class uses real data from the Lightning and Bucs to help predict ticketing demand and pricing for both organizations. In 2016, Janelle Wells' Global Environment of Sport course conducted a market analysis of Europe for Feld Entertainment and this year will be conducting a landscape analysis of the China market for Wasserman Media Group.

We are working on developing two new websites – a Vinik program alumni website and a Sutton Alumni website – that will link the Vinik program with students I have had over the years at a variety of institutions – sort of our answer to another graduate program that has an alumni directory. So please make sure we have all of your current information.

It is our hope that we will see many of you this year whether it is at the Alumni Symposium in April 2018, or through the course of our travels.

We hope that life is going well and remember that regardless of where you are or what you do – you are always family.

All the best,
Doc S (on behalf of the faculty – that I can assure is much better than 19th in the world)