The sports industry is constantly evolving, and SDSU Sports MBA keeps up with the latest industry trends through frequent classroom visits from top level sports business executives, including in-person and virtual visits from alumni on an almost weekly basis. The plethora of sports organizations located in San Diego means there’s a nearly unending supply of local executives available to visit the classroom.
Alumni are frequent visitors as well; many live and work in San Diego and visit campus or host students at their organizations for tours, while others scattered throughout the world are eager to return to America’s Finest City to visit with current students and share their insights.
While students gain valuable insight from any sports executive invited to speak to the class, alumni visits have a different tenor to them. These executives have been through the program, taken the same courses, and fondly remember their experience as students. Sports MBA alumni have a strong desire to give back to the program and contribute to the student experience by sharing specific details about their job. They can often be found in the classroom critiquing student résumés and giving frank advice on how to succeed in the sports industry. In 2016, students have had the opportunity to work on homework projects and deliver their ideas to alumni directly.
Alumni visiting us
Walter Franco (SMBA ’14) – Victus Advisors – Case Study, June 2016
Students learned about the marketing challenges LigaMX (professional soccer league in Mexico) faces in the U.S. Walter was accompanied by ESPN Deportes journalist Tom Marshall and Kim Tate, Head of new media in English/ international communications for Club Santos Laguna.
Alex Schulte (SMBA ’10) – International Speedway Corporation – Case Study, March, 2016
Brainstorming a title sponsorship for NASCAR and providing examples of activation ideas for the brand and the property.
Mike Kitts (SMBA ’07) – Golden State Warriors – Case Study, April, 2016
After learning of the new NBA rule allowing a corporate partner patch on in-game jerseys, students proposed ideas for a potential partner.
Dom Lucq (SMBA ’14) – Golden State Warriors – Case Study, July 2016
Students explored the other side of corporate partnerships; given a list of categories, they explored specific ideas for what brands would be the best partners for the club.
Kelley Winn (SMBA ’12) – Alaska Airlines – Case Study, May, 2016
As a follow-up to their work with behind the scenes at the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open, students in the Class of 2017 proposed activation ideas for Alaska Airlines to engage fans at the 2017 event at Torrey Pines. This was the first time Sports MBA students presented ideas to a property (Farmers Insurance Open), a creative agency (88 Marketing), and a brand (Alaska Airlines) at the same time, understanding the complex relationship between all parties involved in a sports sponsorship.
2016 Guest Speakers
In addition to our intensive business curriculum, the Sports MBA program offers students the opportunity to hear from industry practitioners through the year.
|Roger Levermore||Senior Lecturer & Associate Director (MBA Programs)||Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) Business School|
|Claire Kooperman||Brand Manager||Injinji®|
|Chris Codington||President||Sports Strategies, Inc.|
|Jenny Bramer||Executive Associate Athletic Director||San Diego State University|
|Marty Gorsich||Chief Operating Officer||The Century Club of San Diego / Farmers Insurance Open|
|Nicole Roberts||Communications Manager||SKLZ|
|Gema Tarango Deleon||Communications Manager||FOX Sports San Diego|
|Jason Masherah||President||The Upper Deck Company|
|Rebecca Kingsbury||Business Development||Competitor Group|
|Travis Ricks||Senior Programs Manager & Athlete Relations||Challenged Athletes Foundation|
|Ernie Hahn||General Manager||Valley View Casino Center|
|Alex West||Project - Production Assistant||ESPN|
|Court Berry-Tripp||Assistant Director, Baseball Information & Player Relations||Cleveland Indians|
|Kelley Winn||Brand Sponsorship & Partnership Marketing Manager||Alaska Airlines|
|Jason Meyers||Social Media & Digital Director||Wasserman Media Group|
|Jason Ju||Associate Manager, Properties||Wasserman Media Group|
|Irving Rein||Author||The Elusive Fan: Reinventing Sports in a Crowded Marketplace|
|John Wilson||President||Stance Socks|
|Alex Schulte||Partnership Sales Director||International Speedway Corporation (ISC)|
|Matt Hiler||Business Development & Licensing Partnerships||Performance Designed Products LLC|
|Ronda Sedillo||Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer||San Diego Padres|
|Fred Uhlman, Jr.||Vice President Baseball Operations, Assistant General Manager||San Diego Padres|
|Roberto Castro||Event Operations Manager||San Diego Padres|
|Vickie Saunders||Founder||The Sponsorship Consultants|
|Kristen Wentzel||Sponsorship Account Manager||Farmers Insurance|
|Lisa Jenkins||Senior Manager, National Events||Red Bull|
|Mike Kitts||Senior Director, Partnership Sales||Golden State Warriors|
|Dom Lucq||Manager, Partnership Sales||Golden State Warriors|
|Lex Gilette||USA Paralympic Athlete|
|Will Griffin||Owner||San Diego Growlers|
|Jenn Harris||Founder & CEO||High Heel Golfer|
|Tim Baron||Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations||Grand Canyon University|
|Steve Fuller||Trademarks and Licensing Manager||University of Southern California|
|Aaron Woods||Viejas Arena Events Manager||Associated Students of San Diego State University|
|Michael Rolnick||Strategic Partnerships Vice President||Bridgepoint Education|
|Ariel Fajerman||Founder||FootGolf San Diego|