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Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program Grad Students Help Stage Esports Competition

By Keith Morelli

Students at Esports Competition

TAMPA (July 13, 2021) -- Students with the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program got a taste last month of what it’s like to stage an esports competition, serving as production assistants, social media assistants and stream supporters, all paid positions in the inaugural Tampa Beasley Gaming Series Tournament.

“They learned about the event operations side of esports,” said Derek Watford, co-founder of High Point Gamer, a consultancy that supports the esports industry. “They were able to put their social media knowledge to use and operate the capture and posting of content. They were able to see how tournament software is used to organize and record the competition and they saw how a big media company like Beasley Media Group used esports as an activation to sell to their sponsors.

“They were able to experience how influencers are used to host an esports event.”

Four graduate students participated in the event.

“We were pleased to work with USF students to produce an esports activation for our client Beasley Media Group,” Watford said. “This was the first Esports event for all of the students involved. Their professionalism and eagerness to work helped us create an event that exceeded the expectations of the client and participating gamers."

Michelle Harrolle, director of the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, said the tournament provided a perfect outside-the-classroom experience our students need to be successful after graduation.

“This was the first in-person esports gaming event some of our MBA students worked in the burgeoning esports industry,” Harrolle said.