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2015 Darren Butler Sports Business Forum Recap

Wednesday, October 7 2015 12:00pm

#DBSBF15 Features a bigger than ever Career Fair, and a speaker series of sports business professionals highlighted by Oliver Luck

What began a few years ago as a simple speaker series for Ohio University Sport Management students continues to grow into one of the best professional development opportunities for sports business students in the region.

The 2015 Darren Butler Sports Business Forum featured a record number of organizations recruiting and interviewing students at the Career Fair. Lines formed early and students stayed late to meet with organizations right here in Ohio like the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Columbus Crew SC, as well as organizations like Legends which has sports and entertainment positions to fill around the nation.

Students also had the opportunity to learn about academic opportunities, like the annual San Diego Sports Consulting Project, international consulting projects, and working with the Southern Ohio Copperheads.

Louie Iglesias, Assistant Director for the Center for Sports Administration, was pleased was this year’s event and is looking forward to more growth in the future.

“This event really began as a small speaker series about a decade ago. Over the years it has grown into an extended Forum that, in addition to big name sport business speakers, has also attracted major sport properties (Professional and College) to take part in our ever growing Career Fair that has led to numerous employment and career opportunities for our students,” said Iglesias.

While the growth and expansion of the Career Fair has been a key objective, the formerly “small speaker series” has also continued to develop into an important resource on industry insights for students.

Five speakers made the trip to Athens for the Forum this year. Kicking off the series was Bob Hamer, who shared The Legends Way story with students, all while Twitter debated his place among the best hair in the industry.

After lunch Pat Nieser, who earned his Bachelor’s degree as well as his MBA & MSA from Ohio University, shared career experiences for students in any stage of their academic journey. Pat also provided insights into his principles of sponsorship that have helped him succeed in his career and role as Senior Manager of Corporate Partnership Sales for the Cincinnati Bengals.

"It was a pleasure to be a small part of the Sports Business Forum this fall.  The event continues to get better each year and I am proud to see Ohio University students continue to push for excellence both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Nieser after the event.

Russell Scibetti, Vice President of Product Strategy at KORE Software, talked about the basic principles of CRM and about how sports organizations are leveraging it to better engage their fans. 

Matt Lawson, Director of Partnership Marketing at the International Speedway Corporation, had lessons on hand for students about hard work and work-life balance going hand-in-hand for someone to succeed in the sports industry.

Concluding the #DBSBF15 Speaker Series and the days events, was Oliver Luck, the Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the NCAA.

Taking the approach of engaging in conversation with the ballroom full of students, Luck posed questions about the hypothetical impact of paying NCAA student athletes, the changing definition of amateurism, and how the NCAA should approach policy towards daily fantasy sports.

By the end of the day, students had been presented with an impressive array of career development and learning opportunities to take with them as they begin in the sports industry. With the continued dedication of the students, faculty, and partners the Darren Butler Sports Forum well positioned to keep improving on into the future.

Check out the slideshow below for a social media recap of the day's events and speakers:



Why Choose Ohio University Sports Administration?

1. The Curriculum: The MBA/MSA combination

The two-year MBA/MSA program prepares students for Yby Rankings 15leadership positions by combining the business teaching of the Ohio University MBA program with sport-specific knowledge during the MSA program. This degree combination recognizes the growing complexity of the sports, facility and entertainment industries, and reinforces Ohio University's commitment to preparing students for the leadership challenges of the future. SportBusiness International recently ranked the program the #1 Postgraduate Sports Course in the World.


The MBA phase of the program uses a problem-based learning style, immersing students in collaborative projects and working situations that are commonplace in the business world. Students learn basic business concepts in a real-life context, and develop skills in communication, collaboration and teamwork that are essential for success, while developing their ability to be creative, take initiative, and accept personal responsibility for their actions.


The MSA program combines classroom and practical experience to prepare individuals for leadership positions in the sport industry. An interdisciplinary approach gives students the freedom to choose courses of personal interest and build a foundation of knowledge in their desired career fields.


Click here to see more reasons to join our program!

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