Sport Management Snapshots

UCONN’s Men’s Basketball Head Manager Experience

UCONN’s Men’s Basketball Head Manager Experience

Written By Konnor Bachman, Class of 2017

Throughout my time at UConn, whether it be undergrad or grad school, I have had the opportunity to travel to some very cool places and see some very exciting things through working with the basketball team. One such experience was going down to North Texas to witness a National Championship. There are very few events that I have had the opportunity to witness that were bigger than the Final Four. As a pure basketball fan, it was an opportunity to see our team go up against some of the best competition in the country. We ended up beating Florida (the number one overall seed on a 20+ game winning streak) in the national semifinal, and Kentucky (nearly an entire roster of players who would leave for the NBA Draft that year or the following year) in the final.

As a young professional aspiring to work in basketball, though, it was even more special for me. I got to see how much work goes into such an event, and how structured and specific everything has to be. Everywhere we went, there was a set schedule with a very specific time limit as to when we were allowed to do things. For example, each team was allotted a 90-minute practice – anything above that would result in a technical foul. There were very precise amounts of time in which the media was allowed into our locker room to interview our student athletes and coaches. Everywhere we went, the NCAA typically had some type of regulation as to what we were supposed to be doing and when we were supposed to be doing it.

To all those who enjoy watching and experiencing college basketball, I would recommend getting to a Final Four at some point in your life. It is so much more than just the ending of a basketball tournament – it’s a life experience. There are concerts, games, and tons of activities on top of watching some extremely competitive and fun basketball games. Hopefully we get back to the Final Four next year!

Sport Management Snapshots: Pack it. Load it. Transport it – Husky Football Equipment Management.

Pack it. Load it. Transport it – Husky Football Equipment Management.

Home or away, before the UConn Husky Football team can run on to the field, another team has already put in hours of work behind the scenes prior to the fans filling the stadium – the UConn Football Equipment Team. How do you equip over 100 players, and roughly 50 coaches and support personnel with everything they need to perform to the best of their abilities on the field? Enter the Equipment Staff, made up of full time and student managers, who pack and transport a few thousand pounds of equipment to Rentschler Field for home games and across the country for away games.

For an operation this complex, days or weeks can be involved in the planning, organizing, and shipping of equipment. A typical home game for the equipment staff looks like this: the players pack their equipment, including their shoulder pads and other protective pads, two pairs of cleats, gloves, and various other accessories in their game equipment bag, two days before the game. The equipment staff packs everything else for them, including uniforms, helmets, undergarments, cold weather apparel, if the forecast calls for it, and anything else that is deemed necessary for a given game. They also pack a game wardrobe for all coaches and main support staff including pants, polo shirts, jackets, rain gear, hats, gloves, shoes, and the like. The equipment truck, which is provided and driven by Lippincott Van Lines, per contract, is packed up and heads to Rentschler on the day before the game, where the staff unpacks everything and sets up the locker room ahead of the best day of the week.

Game Day: the truck carries all of the equipment necessary for all aspects of the program, including equipment used by Sports Performance, Video Services, Athletic Training, the Coaches’ headset communication system, and WTIC-1080 radio broadcast team. On game day, the equipment staff arrives approximately four and a half hours prior to kickoff and works to ensure that the locker room, field, sideline, and coaches’ booth are all up and ready to go when the team arrives two hours prior to kickoff. After that, all focus is on various pre-game and in-game responsibilities, followed by roughly one and a half hours of clean-up post-game and truck packing for the return trip to Storrs. Once back home at the Burton Family Football Complex, the clean-up and initial preparations for the next game begin almost immediately.

Good luck to the UConn Husky Football Team as they kick-off the 2015 season!

Origin BJJ – American Made Gi

Weave it. Stitch it. Trim it. Born in the USA.

Origin BJJ is an innovative sporting & lifestyle apparel company that is one-of-a-kind in the industry of the design and manufacturing of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competition gear (known as a ‘gi’) in America. How did this come about? Inspired by uncomfortable and ill-fitting gis, Origin owner and BJJ black belt athlete/instructor Pete Roberts decided to design gis tailored specifically for the needs of a BJJ fighter – but more importantly, to manufacture and produce them in his local community in Industry, Maine. Today, not only does Origin produce the only fully American-made BJJ competition gear, they have taken the manufacturing of gis to a new level by rescuing a cotton loom from a dilapidated textile factory, refurbishing it, and are now able to weave their own American pearl cotton fabric, dye it, cut it, stitch it, trim it and deliver professional-grade sporting equipment for BJJ practitioners in the USA and around the world.

For more information, check out “Cotton and Snow” – see how they rescued the “Dragon”, the loom from which they weave their fabric.

Sport Management Snapshots : Venue Inspection

INSPECT IT. MAP IT. PLAN IT. PREPARING A STADIUM FOR ACTION.

From bid to event delivery, a large scale international event can take years to properly plan and prepare for. Does the proposed infrastructure support the vision of the size and scope of the event they are aiming to deliver? Do any physical alterations need to be made, or will the vision have to change to fit the functional reality? Where are the most efficient areas to allocate offices for technical operations? To answer these and many other questions, one of the first tasks for the competition organizers is to assess the venue’s viability by visiting and physically inspecting the sporting facilities proposed to host the event, mapping out the infrastructure and determining the best way to apply the general operational plans to the individual structure.

Main Operations Center – Keeping the games on course

Observe it. Coordinate it. Manage it. Keep the Games on course.

Coordinating operations across venues can be difficult for any sporting event organizer, but it is often difficult to find more challenging environments than those in the Olympic world. Case in point: the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG) managed 14 different venues (several with multiple sporting facilities within each) in order to deliver events for 28 international sport federations in a time span of less than two weeks. How to manage so many events at the same time? Enter the Main Operations Center (MOC), with hi-tech communications tools connecting it with each of the Venue Operations Centers (VOCs) across the city, thus allowing the operational management team to observe, coordinate and efficiently lead multiple venues concurrently in the successful delivery of the 2014 Nanjing YOG.

Sport as a tool for social change – suicide prevention

Run With Your Pack 5K for Suicide Awareness & Prevention.

During Suicide Prevention Week 2014, Active Minds and the UConn Suicide Prevention Committee organized the “Run With Your Pack 5K” to to raise awareness of mental health advocacy and suicide prevention on campus.

Let’s face it – speaking about suicide is not an easy or comfortable topic. Nevertheless, it’s an important one in society in general, but universities in particular. Did you know that it is the 2nd leading cause of college student deaths? Scary. Putting suicide in the context of sport makes it easier for us all to acknowledge – awareness events like the “Run With Your Pack 5k” become an integral way for us to address uncomfortable topics.

So hey, you read this – speak about it today with your friends, peers, and classmates. Whether you are student or professor, you can make a difference – the simple message is: talk to people, help is there. If you are struggling, there are people and resources right here on campus to help.

For everyone else, we ask you to just bring it up in conversation with someone. If we all speak about it, people who struggle with depression may be more willing to speak up or seek help. A side conversation with a friend might be all the encouragement someone needs. So do your part – speak up. You may never know it, but you might save a life today just by having a chat. http://www.suicideprevention.uconn.edu