Trinity and the University of the Incarnate Word (TX) co-hosted the South Texas Sport Management Symposium on March 28th in order to give students interested in sports careers the opportunity to hear leaders in the industry present their views on what it takes to work in the field.
An intriguing and unusual keynote speech was delivered by C. Keith Harrison, Ed.D, Chief Academic Officer and Associate Professor for the DeVos Sport Business Management graduate program at the University of Central Florida. He presented a discussion and study of how sport management students and professionals can learn from lessons obtained from the world of hip-hop music.
“Sports and entertainment have always been intertwined,” said Harrison, who was introduced by Tiger football Head Coach Jerheme Urban ‘03.
Harrison went on to delineate 10 lessons from hip-hop which can be applied to the business of sports: Nostalgia, authenticity, fashion, sales, branding/marketing, innovation, failure and risk-taking, youth, diversity and inclusion, and women as a demographic.
The co-organizer of the event was Jacob Tingle ‘95, Ed.D, the director of Trinity’s Sport Management minor. He also serves as Trinity’s Director of Experiential Learning and as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. Randall Griffiths, Ph.D., is the associate director of the University of the Incarnate Word’s sport management program and played a major role in the development of the symposium.
Tingle teaches a sport management class titled “Hip-Hop, Innovation, and Sport,” based on a similar course developed by Harrison at Central Florida.
“If you want to learn and understand the sports business world, a good place to look is the business of the world of hip-hop,” Tingle said. “How can I, as a sport management professional, learn from hip-hop? For example, talking about diversity and inclusion, hip-hop has always been about including all cultures and all peoples. Think about how branding in hip-hop comes to sports. Hip-hop artists have positive creative outlets for their energies.”
After the keynote speech, attendees were able to interact with “table hosts”, which were all top professionals in the field of sport management and communication. A number of the table hosts were Trinity graduates, including Allison Hawk ‘88, owner of AHC Consulting, LLC in St. Louis, Missouri.
“I recommend getting solid experience in an internship prior to graduating,” Hawk said to the students at her table. “Attend as many events as possible and take a class or two in school that offers hands-on experience.”
Mary Ullmann Japhet ‘84 is Senior Vice President for Communications and Community Engagement at San Antonio Sports. Japhet emphasized the need of students to widen their view of the world of sports.
“I want them to understand the possibilities of sport,” Japhet said. “It’s not just working for a pro team. There are many entry points. If you have the passion and drive, there is probably a place for you. You have to make the opportunity for yourself.”
Liza Southwick ‘17 is Research Coordinator for San Antonio Spurs Sports & Entertainment. A three-time Trinity women’s tennis All-American, Southwick stressed the importance of networking.
“As soon as you meet people, follow up,” Southwick said. “Dr. Tingle told me my freshman year, ‘follow up, follow up, follow up.’ It’s really all about relationships, especially in sports. Also, be open to any opportunity within the organization.”
Trinity senior Justin Ventura is a business administration-marketing major and minors in sport management. His career aspirations are to work in the sport industry, either with a professional sports organization or with an athletic clothing/merchandising company.
“A big takeaway for me is to continue to network with individuals and foster those connections,” Ventura said of the symposium. “Don’t interact because of wanting something, but offer that person something you can give them.”
Sarah Heidt is a sophomore and plans to major in management with a minor in sport management and ancient Mediterranean studies. She plans on attending graduate school and would like a career as an administrator in an athletics office.
“The symposium was helpful in trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my future career,” Heidt said. “I learned a lot from the table hosts about getting into and working in the sport industry. I realized there is more than one way to achieve my goal.”
The distinguished group of table hosts also included:
Andrew Chadick; Campus Recreation, Senior Associate Director of Programs and Assessment at the University of Texas at San Antonio
Chris Dial; founding president of The Basketball Embassy
Richard Duran; Deputy Director of Athletics at the University of the Incarnate Word
Brian D. Wickstrom, Ed. D.; Director of Athletics at the University of the Incarnate Word