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Students get a taste of sport management industry in senior capstone experience

Wednesday, April 27 2016 12:00am

This semester, 96 Business Bobcats acted as consultants to industry leaders—and then presented their findings at company headquarters.

By Brianna Wilson

Being a student at the internationally ranked second-best undergraduate sport management program according to SportBusiness International has its perks. This semester, for the first time, 96 undergraduate Business Bobcats acted as consultants for distinguished companies and franchises in the sport management industry as their capstone project. 

Over the course of the semester, they worked directly with companies like Gatorade, the Milwaukee Bucks, and Charlotte Motor Speedway on projects ranging from ticket sales to new business to event operations.

“To our knowledge, there is no other program that provides this type of opportunity to undergraduate students,” said Annie Brackley, instructor of sports administration. “It took a lot of time and dedication on behalf of faculty and students to prepare, but this is an opportunity they’ll never forget. That makes it all worth it.”

Student teams recently presented to their respective clients in Milwaukee, Wis., Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Ill., and Athens, Ohio.

“Being able to present to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of my capstone class was an amazing experience,” said Meg Sanderson, ‘16. “Not only did I get to network with and get feedback from prominent people in the sports industry, the project allowed me to put everything I've learned throughout my years in the program to use in a real world setting.”

Clients included The Big 10, the Milwaukee Bucks, Gatorade, Scarborough, Property Consulting Group, and Vivid Seats in Milwaukee and Chicago, and Charlotte Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Charlotte Sports Foundation, Queen City Soccer Co., Scholastic Sports Marketing, and GMR Marketing in Charlotte, and OHIO Bobcat Club, OHIO Women’s Field Hockey, and OHIO Men’s Wrestling in Athens, Ohio.

Though this was the first year seniors completed the capstone project, it will stay around for years to come.

“Companies were extremely satisfied with solutions the students presented,” said Norm O’Reilly, chair of sports administration and Richard P. & Joan S. professor of business. “We’re excited to continue expanding the program for future students, and could not have done it without the industry connections that our alumni provide.”