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 sports executives 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. Additionally, students have had the opportunity to work on homework projects and deliver their ideas to alumni directly.
Examples of Case Studies offered by visiting Alumni
Walter Franco (SMBA ’14) – Victus Advisors – Case Study
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
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
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
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
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.
Sports MBA 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||Associate Professor of Practice in Management & Associate Director of MBA Programs at Chinese University||The Chinese University of Hong Kong|
|Pedro Díaz Ridao||Professor of Management||Universidad Europea|
|Jenny Bramer||Executive Associate Athletic Director||San Diego State University|
|Jason Masherah||President||The Upper Deck Company|
|Rebecca Kingsbury||Business Development||Competitor Group|
|Travis Ricks||Senior Programs Manager & Athlete Relations||Challenged Athletes Foundation|
|Jason Meyers||Social Media & Digital Director||Wasserman Media Group|
|John Wilson||President||Stance Socks|
|Ronda Sedillo||Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer||San Diego Padres|
|Roberto Castro||Event Operation Manager||San Diego Padres|
|Matt Sullivan||Manager of Business Strategy & Analytics||San Diego Padres|
|Lisa Jenkins||Director of Events||VY Esports|
|Mike Kitts||Vice President, Corporate Partnerships||Golden State Warriors|
|Dom Lucq||Manager, Partnership Sales||Golden State Warriors|
|Ariel Fajerman||Founder||Footgolf San Diego|
|Rebecca Kingsbury||Founder||Shaper Studios|
|Russell Scibetti||President, KORE Planning & Insights||KORE Software|
|Cole Cook||Senior Manager, Business Analytics||Arizona Coyotes|
|Amy Wesson||PPG Account Specialist||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Neda Tabatabaie||VP, Business Intelligence||San Jose Sharks|