Sport management advisory board draws experts from across the nation
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Graduating college students who want to go into sport management are always looking for an edge in what is becoming an increasingly competitive job market in sports. Defiance College students are about to get a distinctive advantage in that job market: a curriculum becoming progressively focused on precisely the kinds of experience and skills that major sports teams are looking to hire. In fact, the curriculum is now being regularly vetted by representatives of a wide range of sports teams, including the Detroit Lions, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Browns, and other professional teams, as well as representatives from companies like Nike, the Major League Baseball Alumni Association, Phizzle.com, and others.
Those are just some of the affiliations of the members of Defiance College’s new Sport Management Advisory Board which initiated its first curricular review in a recent meeting. “We are thrilled and honored to be receiving input and advice from representatives from such distinguished organizations,” said DC President Mark C. Gordon. “Their suggestions in terms of how to train our students – and their willingness to help in terms of networking and other support – will make a huge difference for Defiance College sport management students.”
Based on the recommendations of the Advisory Board members, Defiance College is developing a creative series of initiatives to provide the kinds of hands-on experience that employers in the field are looking for. “One of the things we are looking at seriously,” said Gordon, “is giving our sport management majors a significant role in actually running and managing our new field house. This would give them a level of experience that could help distinguish them in the market, and the suggestions of the members of the Advisory Board have given us some very creative ways to think about structuring that.”
“Defiance College’s plan in terms of providing increasingly responsible types of hands-on experience throughout a student’s four years at DC will provide a real benefit for DC students in the job market,” said Rob Held, an account executive at Nike serving on the Advisory Board. Cory Sipe, facility manager for the Philadelphia Phillies Florida Operation, agrees, noting that “the kinds of experience in managing a facility that DC is working to incorporate into its curriculum is precisely the kind of experience that sports teams are looking to hire.”
“It is clear that Defiance College is taking a very creative and entrepreneurial approach to helping prepare its students,” said Tom Hof, who spent 15 years on the Department of Athletics staff at Ohio State University before becoming a vice president at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “That should make a real difference for them in the job market.”
Members of the Sport Management Advisory Board include: Jon Niese, pitcher for the New York Mets; Scott Rourke, account executive for the Detroit Tigers; Nick Gesacion, director of new media for the Philadelphia 76ers; Jason Hervey, video coordinator for the Washington Wizards; Tom Hof, vice president of business development for the Columbus Zoo; Tony Dick, director of alumni relations for the Cleveland Browns; Jeff Ryznar, director of marketing for the Cleveland Cavaliers; Todd Yunker, corporate sponsorship and suite sales for the Detroit Lions; Neil Neukam, assistant general manager of the Toledo Mud Hens; Rob Held, Nike account executive; Krista Oberlander, director of merchandising for the Columbus Clippers; Ben Davis III, owner and CEO of phizzle.com; Mike Groll, director of special events for MLB Alumni Colorado; and Cory Sipe, facility manager for the Philadelphia Phillies Florida Operations.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
January 27, 2011