Sport & Entertainment Management
USF's Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Fellowship Program is unique in content compared to other MBA graduate programs in Sport and Entertainment. The program is designed to serve as a co-op program for graduate students in their second year of study. Students will attend classes two days per week and work three days per week for a sport or entertainment organization in the greater Tampa/St. Petersburg SMA.
The fellowship program is multifaceted in its design and intent. It is designed to:
- Place the student in a professional environment where they can learn, grow, and contribute
while gaining professional experience that will assist in identifying their career
goals and gaining meaningful employment
- Integrate students, faculty, and personnel from the sport/entertainment entity in
both learning situations for the students and contributing situations for faculty
and students to work with the entity to employ the latest innovations and best practices
that they have assimilated from their classroom work, research, and consulting practices
- To generate an intensive in-depth experience for the students to enable them to determine the best possible career focus upon graduation
In exchange for their participation in the program, students are paid a stipend based upon 20 hours of work per week, as well as health insurance and a tuition waiver for the semester they are participating in the program – usually two – but in some cases they might begin the fellowship program earlier if there is an opportunity and a need on the part of the sponsoring organization.
The fellowship concept was first envisioned by CEO Tod Leiweke of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment and presented to the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program faculty at USF. According to Leiweke, "It is an honor for the Tampa Bay Lightning to team up with the University of South Florida and this MBA Degree Program in Sport and Entertainment Management. Bill Sutton is the world-class leader capable of making this a world-class program where students will begin their journey. Students will not be placed merely in an intern role but instead become true fellowship and internal consultants at the Lightning, helping our business become better each day and preparing to become the next great leaders in the sport and entertainment industry".
The organizations listed below are a representative sample of the types of enterprises participating in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Fellowship Program:
- Cross Roads Consulting
- FELD Entertainment
- Florida Hospital
- FOX Sports Florida
- Hard Rock Casino
- Ironman Triathlon, Inc.
- Lakeland Magic
- Minor League Baseball
- Positive Coaching Alliance
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment (including the Tampa Bay Lightning)
- Tampa Bay Sports Commission
- University of South Florida Athletics