2017’s Inaugural Sport Business Conference

A Student Perspective: Crucial Takeaway’s from the UConn Sport Business Conference

The University of Connecticut Sport Business Conference was held on Saturday, Jan. 28 and was organized by students in the Sport Management program. The conference welcomed students from schools throughout New England and speakers from organizations including ESPN, New York Mets, Major League Baseball, FOX Sports and many more. The event offered a unique opportunity for students to listen to keynote speakers and panels, network with professionals in the sport industry and participate in workshops with other students focused on specific aspects of the business.

Students utilize teamwork skills and collaboration while preparing for a presentation for one of the Sport Business Conference workshops on Jan. 28.Network, network, network! Approaching professionals in the sport industry tends to be somewhat intimidating and nerve-wracking, especially as a student who one day hopes to pursue a career in their field of expertise. Despite the difficulties of doing so, it is important to remember that starting a conversation offers significant potential and has the ability to form the foundation for a beneficial professional relationship. In events like the Sport Business Conference, it is vital that students take advantage of the minimal time they have with these mentors. Don’t be afraid to take a chance – no potential connections can be made if there is no initial conversation.

Don’t compete, collaborate.  At the conference, students were given the opportunity to learn about the importance of working as a group, and coming together with people who may be unfamiliar, to achieve a goal. Students at the conference participated in workshops focused on sales, event planning, communications and many others, to create proposals and presentations that the mentors would eventually evaluate and critique. Although it is tempting to view other students as competitors for job and internship opportunities, it is vital to remember that networking with students with similar interests and goals can be as valuable as doing so with professionals.

Sport Management professor and advisor, Dr. Laura Burton, speaks at a panel at the Sport Business Conference on Jan. 28. Follow up. It is always beneficial to thank people for taking the time to talk with you by sending a quick email about how much you valued their words and insight. The mentors and professionals in the sport industry are the people that you can learn the most from, so it is worth a shot to reach out and ask questions about the path that they took to lead them to wear they are now. Remember, your path may be very similar to theirs, so any advice or knowledge they can give you about their own experience is something of value that has great potential to help you along the way.

UConn Sport Management Faculty/Student Presentation at NASSS Conference

UConn Sport Management Faculty/Student Presentation at NASSS Conference

The North American Society for the Sociology of Sport holds an annual conference in varying locations. This year the conference was a held in the delightful town of Santa Fe and took the thematic approach of Sports at / on the Borderlands: Translations, Transitions, and Transgressions. From November 4th through the 7th sport sociologists gathered to share ideas, see old friends, and make new connections. Every year the conference plays host to a number of young scholars and well-seasoned faculty members to congregate and share ideas ranging from Environmental, racial, gender, youth, violence, current events, and new / old media the conference provides something of interest for everyone.

Representing from the University of Connecticut’s Sport Management program we had Dr. Joseph Cooper and first year masters student Charles Macaulay. Charles and Dr. Cooper collaborated and presented a piece discussing the challenges and processes researchers face and should use when working with racially similar and dissimilar ethnic groups. Using poststructuralist theory to examine the socially constructed nature of racial identities we posed an approach for disengaging institutionally imposed racial identities with the hopes of providing participants an opportunity to articulate their own identities in academic research.

In addition, Dr. Cooper presented two pieces discussing the prominence and downfall of the Negro Leagues and gave a presentation on Collective Uplift. Every presentation was well attended and received ensuring UConn was once again well represented. Hopefully in the coming years we can increase our presence at NASSS as it is a wonderful opportunity to expand networks and share ideas that are pertinent across the athletic world.

NACWAA Project – “How women are contributing to success in intercollegiate athletics”


NACWAA Project – “How women are contributing to success in intercollegiate athletics”

From October 12-14, 2014, Laura Burton (Associate Professor, Sport Management) and sport management research colleagues Meg Hancock (University of Louisville), Janelle Wells (University of South Florida), and Heidi Grappendorf (University of Cincinnati) attended the annual conference of the National Association of Collegiate Woman Athletic Administrators (NACWAA).

Prof Burton joined her colleagues on a project, supported by NACWAA, that examined how women are contributing to success in intercollegiate athletics. At the conference, the research team conducted six focus groups with women working in all areas of intercollegiate athletic administration. The topics discussed during the focus groups included the resources needed to be a successful athletic administrator, the challenges and constraints of being an athletic administrator, and how to define a successful intercollegiate athletic department. The results of the research project will be provided to the NACWAA Board of Directors in January of 2015. For more information about NACWAA, visit their website at Women Leaders in College Sport.

“Rethinking Leadership” with Massey University Prof. Sarah Leberman


“Rethinking Leadership” with Massey University’s Prof. Sarah Leberman

During the week of September 18, 2014, the UConn Sport Management Program was delighted to host Sarah Leberman, Professor in Sport Management and Head of the School of Management at Masey University in New Zealand – a recognized scholar in the field of sport management with a focus on issues of gender and leadership in sport organizations.

During her time at UConn, Prof. Leberman led a discussion seminar with graduate and undergraduate students in sport management. The seminar, entitled “Rethinking Leadership”, challenged students and faculty to bring an understanding of self into leadership and think about the process of leadership as it occurs in sport organization. Also during her time at UConn, Prof. Leberman visited with EDLR 3547 Introduction to Sport Based Youth Development and toured sites supported by Husky Sport in Hartford, CT.

Creativity & Leadership Workshop for UConn Alumni & Students – October 8


Leadership Development Workshop Series

Leadership Greater Hartford, one of the largest, most diverse community leadership organizations in the country, will be offering three non-credit certificate workshops on the Greater Hartford Campus exclusively to UConn alumni, students and staff.

From lighting the fire of creativity to planning and managing change and developing a sense of serving before leading, these seminars will assist you in fulfilling your leadership potential. Take this opportunity to expand your leadership skills and network with fellow Huskies.

The focus of the first event is ‘Creativity & Leadership‘:
October 8, 2014 | 7:45 a.m. – 9 a.m.
UConn Greater Hartford Campus

Presented by: Ted Carroll, ’76 (CLAS), ’80 MSW, President, Leadership Greater Hartford

Register today!

International Sport-Based Youth Development Panel – October 7




UConn’s Global Training and Development Institute (GTDI) and Sport Management Program welcome 10 fellows and two faculty members from the University of the Western Cape to UConn as part of a 2-way professional exchange funded by the U.S. Department of State, SportsUnited Division. These fellows work in the field of sport-based youth development, using sport to help teach life skills, academic success and resilience, and peaceful resolution to children in South Africa.

Please join us for a panel discussion on October 11, 2014 from 11:00-12:15, followed by lunch. It’s certain to be an interesting and informative morning!

Dr. Cooper to speak at Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Dr. Joseph Cooper to speak at the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series on November 11, 2014

Each month faculty and staff members are invited by the Graduate School of the University of Connecticut to give an interactive lecture on “lessons learned” during their journey in and outside of academia.

The session on Tuesday, November 11 will feature the Sport Management Program’s Joseph Cooper – don’t miss it! At the conclusion of the lecture graduate students are invited to engage the faculty in an informal question and answer session. Please bring your lunch, a friend and plenty of questions. This is guaranteed to be a great time!

RSVP today by clicking HERE!

Featuring Dr. Joseph Cooper
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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