Students standing in Locker Room.

Industry Insights

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 CorporationCase 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 WarriorsCase 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 WarriorsCase 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 AirlinesCase 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.

Academia

Name Title Company
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

 Sport Agencies

Name Title Company
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

 Apparel

Name Title Company
John Wilson President Stance Socks

 MLB

Name Title Company
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

 eSports

Name Title Company
Lisa Jenkins Director of Events VY Esports

 NBA

Name Title Company
Mike Kitts Vice President, Corporate Partnerships Golden State Warriors
Dom Lucq Manager, Partnership Sales Golden State Warriors

 Entrepreneurship

Name Title Company
Ariel Fajerman Founder Footgolf San Diego
Rebecca Kingsbury Founder Shaper Studios

 Analytics

Name Title Company
Russell Scibetti President, KORE Planning & Insights KORE Software
Kate Bartkiewicz Co-Founder Clickvoyant.com

 NHL

Name Title Company
Cole Cook Senior Manager, Business Analytics Arizona Coyotes
Amy Wesson PPG Account Specialist Pittsburgh Penguins
Neda Tabatabaie VP, Business Intelligence San Jose Sharks