Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 26 of MSBA 2013: Relationship-Building 101, Trip to Barclays Center & the NBA Draft

Post by Aaron Malave for June 27, 2013



Connect with Aaron on Twitter and Linkedin.

As the week winds down, it is beginning to hit me that the end of this week means the end of the first half of this summer’s Manhattan Sports Business Academy.

The MSBA staff warned us that the summer would fly by and with a month of the program complete, I wish they were wrong.

 With that in mind, I set a personal goal for myself to maximize the remaining month I have left in New York City. Since so much in the business world is about relationships, I began reaching out to professionals that I felt I couldn’t leave without speaking to.

This week I had the opportunity to meet with the Vice President of Marketing for Madison Square Garden, Adam Thier, who was one of the members on the panel for our first Friday Field Trip. We met up after work and I was fortunate enough to hear him speak in depth about the events he has put on for Madison Square Garden and the ins and outs of his 14-year career with MSG. More importantly, he allowed me to express both my professional and personal goals and gave me advice on how to achieve them. I am truly appreciative of the time Adam took to speak with me and I know this connection could not have been made had it not been for MSBA.
This summer I am interning at Catch-New York, working on the AND1 account. Yesterday, my boss asked me to sit in on a conference call regarding the social media plan going forward for the brand. After that conversation it was revealed to me that I will be running the company’s twitter handle for the rest of the summer. Being the social media/twitter junkie I am, I came away from the meeting extremely excited. Furthermore, I now expect all MSBA affiliates to follow @AND1basketball. This past Thursday night we were free from speakers and field trips so a couple of us decided to attend the NBA Draft at Barclays Center.

As a Heat fan, I was more than happy to sacrifice seeing my team make a draft pick live for last week’s Championship win. But still, I decided to tag along. It was the first time for all of us at a draft so we were all excited to see the workings of something we could previously only see on TV. I was especially excited for Chris Stathos, a Cavaliers fan, who had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see his favorite team make the first overall pick (even if no one has ever heard of him). We picked the right year for our first draft, because it was full of surprises. The Barclays Center was definitely on my list of must-sees this summer and it didn’t disappoint. When we got there I was astonished at the architecture of the newest arena in the NBA.

The buzz in the arena was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of; with fans checking twitter for all the latest trade news and speculation and sharing it with other fans. All in all, it was an electrifying atmosphere and I’m glad I got to bare witness on a night that young men’s dreams of playing in the National Basketball Association were realized. Four weeks down, four to go. As Dr. Seuss once pondered, “How did it get so late so soon?” Here’s to making the second half of MSBA more memorable than the first.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 25 of MSBA 2013: Moving Without The Ball

Post by Justin Vine for June 26, 2013



Connect with Justin on Twitter and Linkedin.

Move without the ball.

They are four words that I haven’t forgotten since they came out of ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell’s mouth on opening night. I understood the metaphor.

Being an avid basketball fan, I took the few short words upon myself and for three weeks straight I tried to live those words. Do more to separate from the clutter. Make yourself open so when the ball is passed to you, then you are free for an easy dunk.

This past Wednesday, I was nonstop busy — reviewing contracts, filling out applications and playing phone tag, trying to put together a proposal on an issue that that had us bogged down. After several hours, they were done. And it was lunchtime.

A fellow MSBA’er and I popped out of the office to get some fresh air. We got back sat down and I got on the Internet to see what I had missed all morning. Aaron Hernandez had been arrested and released by the New England Patriots. Someone on Twitter had posted a link to watch the Aaron Hernandez arraignment proceeding, which we decided to upload and follow along. At this time my employer and mentor, Jason Belzer (Founder of GAME Inc., and Forbes Contributing writer) questioned our productivity in watching videos on the Internet, only later to find out the significance of what we were watching.

Under a sense of urgency, Jason instructed me to drop everything I had been working on and focus solely on the arraignment. I was to write an article for Forbes on the legal ramifications of Hernandez being charged with first-degree murder. A morning of nonstop turned into an afternoon of nonstop, which culminated in a published article on Forbes. An opportunity like this doesn’t fall into everyone’s lap. But this opportunity wasn’t granted out of left field. It was built on trust. All of the small and unnoticed tasks over time allowed me to build a relationship with my mentor that revolves around trust, a trust that credits its support from moving without the ball. I took 20 minutes to enjoy this achievement, but had I achieved? I co-authored an article that was being reported by every major news outlet across the world. That’s nice but that’s not the kind of accolade or success that I have my dreams set on. Stay humble and hungry.

After work, the MSBA group met at Platinum Rye to hear from Senior Director of Marketing, Mark Zablow. To be blunt, I didn’t have the slightest clue what Platinum Rye or Mark were about. But to be frank, I walked away from his speech more moved and impressed than I was with any other speaker. Mark had a form of passion and enthusiasm about his job that I hadn’t noticed with other speakers. He discussed a similar path that we have all experienced in MSBA thus far in our lives. Mark had been the full time intern just like any one of us except he had proven his net worth was worth more being paid.

He had broken through with a certain level of that PHD mentality that embodies the best; the desire to learn and build a recognized brand name not because he is the first born son of XYZ but rather with his own two hands. Mark had swagger; he knew what he was doing and was confident that he was good at it but never displayed any arrogance. This brings me to one of the prophecies he lives by — “Eat your own shit.” Be proud of what you do and wear it on your shirt. It clung to me. When I originally joined MSBA, I had my doubts. All in all, I was paying money to be provided a free internship. Let me repeat that; I was paying tuition and receiving an unpaid internship. Obviously there were other benefits that came with the program as well, but this stuck out. 

However, looking back at the four weeks I have been involved in this program, I can gladly say “I eat my own shit.” To start, I may have even paid more money for the jumpstart in my career MSBA has provided. In that time, I have written articles for Forbes, had two unbelievable experiences working for the Nets and Game Inc, and met a great group of peers that I will one day call my colleagues. I eat my own shit. If hearing Mark speak wasn’t enjoyable enough, Mark left us with Duracell Powermat’s that would be attached to all NBA draftees phones on Friday night. The hashtag is #takecharge. It sure seems suitable for what I took away from Mark’s speech.

Day 24 of MSBA 2013: Grand Opening of Prince Tennis Store in Wimbledon Village, Trip to Arthur Ashe Stadium

Post by Nicole Cho for June 25, 2013



Connect with Nicole on Linkedin.

Week 3 was a complete whirlwind for me, especially since I’m lucky enough to have two internships this summer with NPM | PR and Harlem Junior Tennis. Throughout the week, I continued my work with Natalie from NPM | PR for Prince Tennis.

With the grand opening of their retail store in Wimbledon Village approaching (took place this past weekend), right before Day 1 of Wimbledon, Natalie and I were completely wrapped up with contacting media outlets in London to alert them of the event. Considering my passion for PR, MSBA couldn’t have placed me in a more perfect internship than with NPM | PR.

I’ve quickly realized that one of the main benefits of interning with a smaller independent company is that I’m able to be part of a process from start to finish rather than being one of the countless assisting hands on a given project and not being able to see the end product or result. Regarding the grand opening of Prince Tennis’ store in Wimbledon Village, I got to see firsthand how publicists such as Natalie reach out to major media outlets and organize for reporters to make an appearance at a given event, resulting in valuable media coverage and publicity for the company/brand.

One of the major British media outlets I contacted on behalf of Natalie was Sky Sports, who responded that they were interested in sending one of their reporters to the event. It was really interesting seeing Natalie arrange for the Sky Sports reporter to have a private interview with renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri of the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, as he was making a guest appearance at the grand opening along with John Isner and the Bryan brothers. Monday was an extremely rewarding day as lots of positive media coverage was published about the opening of Prince Tennis’ Wimbledon Village Store by major media outlets, such as Sports Business Daily’s Global Edition.

With Prince Tennis looking to generate new excitement and global attention around their brand and determined to stay a step ahead of their competitors, I could see how crucial it was to have a PR team or publicist who could ensure that the rest of the world heard and took notice of the company’s latest endeavors. As for my internship at Harlem Junior Tennis, I got the unbelievable opportunity to work at their 41st Anniversary Celebration gala and Celebrity Pro-AM tennis tournament. At the gala, I got to check in influential individuals such as Patrick McEnroe and Herb Williams; it was amazing being in the presence of people such as them and to hear personal stories from the students of Harlem Junior Tennis about what the program has done to improve their lives on and off the court.

The day after the gala was Harlem Junior Tennis’ Celebrity tennis tournament, which took place at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center out in Flushing Meadows. The best moment of working the tennis tournament was having the once in a lifetime experience of standing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, right in the middle of center court. Since I idolize players such as Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova that have played and won the U.S. Open on the very court I got the opportunity to stand on, it was a moment that I knew I’d never forget. I can easily say after my first three weeks in MSBA that each new week continues to top the last.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 23 of MSBA 2013: Networking 101 with MSBA Founder, Ben Sturner

Post by Alex Mise for June 24, 2013



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Before starting my summer with the MSBA, the one skill I had already resolved to improve upon was my networking abilities. I’ve never been particularly good at juggling all sorts of contacts, staying in touch with people, or actively seeking out individuals I knew could help me get where I wanted to go.

With all the people I was going to meet over the summer, whether through my job, the various speakers, or my fellow MSBA class members, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to finally start making an effort to be better at networking.

At the start of our 4th week (can’t believe it’s going so quickly) we got a lesson in networking from the man himself, Ben Sturner, the Founder of Leverage Agency and the MSBA. Ben invited the whole MSBA crew down to Leverage and gave us a presentation on some of the finer points of networking. When Ben showed us his binders full of business cards from various industry leaders, it was clear that he knows a thing or two about making connections and utilizing them to their fullest potential.

The biggest thing that I took away from Ben’s presentation, which covered topics from researching someone before meeting them to avoiding becoming the person at a conference that people can’t stand, was the networking is not just some activity that you do every once in awhile. It is a constant activity, with opportunities springing up all the time.

You have to be able to keep an eye out for your chance to connect with and make an impression upon someone. Ben talked about having an “elevator pitch” ready at all times. He meant that, given just 30 seconds or so, would you be able to pitch who you are and leave a good impression on someone? It was a level of preparation and anticipation that I hadn’t even thought of; I now realize that it takes that level of dedication to succeed and stand out from the clutter.

Finally, I liked the fact that Ben told us to stay away from treating networking like some cold exercise. He urged us to be genuinely interested in people and to take the time to build a real relationship. All in all it was a lot of great information and tips for how I can get the most out of my MSBA experience. I’m excited to expand my horizons using all the connections I make this summer through networking.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 22 of MSBA 2013: Inside Access to the National Lacrosse League

Post by Adam Daroff for June 23, 2013



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Although it feels like we just arrived, MSBA is now heading into its fourth week. The time has flown by but I have done as much networking in these three weeks as I’ve probably done in the last year. We have a very busy schedule in the program and that is allowing us to maximize our eight week stay in NYC. I am interning with the National Lacrosse League, the premier North American men’s professional indoor lacrosse league.

The league headquarters are at 36th Street and 6th Avenue. The league currently has nine teams in the United States and Canada and unlike most lacrosse leagues, the NLL plays in the winter and spring. Because there are only four employees and three interns in the office, I have been able to wear a few different “hats” thus far.

I am primarily working for Brian Lemon, VP of Lacrosse Operations, but he works in Florida so most of my work with him is surrounding NLL conference calls with owners, general managers, and head coaches. Since it is the NLL’s off-season, I am spending a lot of time working on preparations for the league’s fall entry draft. The NLL’s draft is similar to those in other leagues and I am currently preparing a list of all the graduating college seniors that played NCAA lacrosse for distribution to the teams. This will serve as part of their list of draft-eligible players.

Additionally, I have and am working on some competitive analyses for Justin Rubino, Director of Business and Administrative Operations. Two examples have been comparing the NLL’s attendance versus that of NCAA lacrosse at the Division I level and Major League Lacrosse, which is an outdoor summer professional league. Lastly, I worked on an assignment which required me to put together a list of all the players that participate in both the NLL and MLL. Because the league schedules do not overlap (except for maybe two weeks), many players participate in the NLL and then the MLL in the summer. My experience at the NLL has been fantastic so far and I look forward to spending the rest of my summer there.

When not interning or participating in the awesome MSBA speakers and events, I’ve been able to network and either meet up or talk with some fantastic people in sports. I’ve had the chance to speak with some of our MSBA speakers a few days after they spoke and have arranged to meet up with a few others in the coming weeks. With networking being such a vital part of the industry, I have really taken Ben’s motivation to do so to heart. Additionally, I was able to meet my MSBA mentor, Matt Lacks, for the first time last week, as we met for lunch and discussed my interests, his career, and some of the advice he had for me.

I look forward to meeting and talking with him more the coming weeks and hopefully months and years as he is a wealth of knowledge and seemed extremely interested in helping me as I hopefully soon enter the industry. With five more weeks to go, I cannot wait to see what else Ben, David and the rest of the MSBA staff have in store for us. I’m most looking forward to the diverse speakers and our usual Friday field trips as they both give us an experience that no one outside of MSBA may ever have the chance to be a part of.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Contagious: Why Wharton Marketing Professor, Jonah Berger, Catches On

Post by Myles Robinson



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When I initially received the email that our MSBA group would be traveling to the MLB Fan Cave I was pretty happy. Then I saw we would be hearing from the renowned Jonah Berger and I suddenly couldn’t control my excitement. Have you ever read a great article, watched an interesting YouTube video, or seen an inspirational tweet you just had to share?

I vividly remember sitting on my bed back home in Birmingham, AL watching this video as I was preparing to come up to NYC for the summer. I was so inspired by what I saw that I naturally shared it on my Facebook page. I also began to watch the video every day for a week. I would have it playing as I was doing mindless tasks like brushing my teeth, browsing the Internet during the day, etc. I could almost quote the first half of the video by the time I arrived for MSBA.

Little did I know that I was learning my first lesson in marketing 101: top of mind means tip of tongue. Meeting Jonah in person was quite an experience. The MLB Fan Cave, located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village on 4th Street and Broadway, was very elaborately decorated and a haven for baseball fans. Instead of a traditional speech about his background, Jonah gave a presentation about his New York Times Best Seller: Contagious: Why Things Catch On. In the book he talks about how to get more word of mouth using these key six STEPPS: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value, and stories.

A Wharton Marketing Professor by profession, Jonah gave all of us a lesson of why things catch on and go viral. I found it interesting that through Jonah’s extensive research more things go viral through word of mouth than traditional advertising.

For the marketing nerds like myself in the audience, Jonah challenged us to understand the psychology rather than the technology of what makes things “remarkable.” With the example of this Panda Cheese commercial we also learned the “currency of conversation” is stories. I finally realized why I like certain commercials more than others. Like the Panda Cheese example, great marketing messages, Jonah explained, have a moral hidden inside the story that takes the brand along for the ride.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jonah. The visit to the MLB Fan Cave was easily one of my top three experiences thus far this summer. I’m learning that sports business is just that…business. Knowing the nuances behind sports is a great, but when one begins to explore other avenues outside of the industry, it makes it fun to “connect the dots” back to sports later. As Jonah mentioned after his presentation, what makes sports so great is that its principles are applicable to many subjects.

I recommend the below articles by Jonah for all aspiring sports business professionals seeking to learn more about viral marketing.

Jonah Berger: Twitter Therapist (via Fast Company)
Viral’s Secret Formula (via the Huffington Post)
How to Make Your Personal Brand Sizzle (via LinkedIn)



Day 21 of MSBA 2013: In-Depth Look at the '360-Degree' MSBA Experience

Post by Daniel Kaplan for June 22, 2013



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Before entering MSBA this summer, I had a feeling the best part of the program would be the impressive line-up of guest speakers. We are three weeks in and that premonition has come true. The diversity of perspectives we have been exposed to from Rob Simmelkjaer, Erik Martin, Jonathan Blue, Carlos Fleming, the guys at MSG, and others has been unbelievable. That access is simply something you can’t get anywhere else.

It may be cliché, but sometimes the best way to learn is to be a sponge and absorb everything around you. For me, so far, so good on that front. Last Monday, after a long day of research and meetings at Lagardère Unlimited, former CMO of Eastman Kodak Jeffrey Hayzlett came to the EHS Library to discuss all things business. We were all fortunate enough to receive a copy of Hayzlett’s latest book Running the Gauntlet. Hayzlett was as much a motivational speaker as a seasoned business professional.

It was impossible not to feel motivated after Hayzlett described the dizzying array of appearances, book signings, speeches, meetings, and consulting ventures his team schedules on a daily basis. Hayzlett has quite literally created a business empire solely around his self-dubbed moniker as a “Global Business Celebrity”. In many ways, Hayzlett is a living example of what tireless work, coupled with a strong vision, can achieve. The Hayzlett Group’s appearance at EHS hammered home the desire of the MSBA leadership team to offer a wide range of experiences to the students. Quite simply, MSBA does not pigeonhole the student experience into just sports business.

We gain insight from speakers that have experience in all areas of business, marketing, broadcasting, sports, social media, and entrepreneurship. That is what a “360 degree” experience refers to. After only 3 chapters of Hayzlett’s book, I have gained an entirely new perspective on business, leadership, and decision-making. The rumor is some people in the MSBA program even put 4 pages of notes from Running the Gauntlet in their “important things folder”. I cannot stress enough how candid Hayzlett, and almost all other speakers, are during our conversations.

The investment these accomplished professionals seem to have in our program has been one of the pleasant surprises of MSBA. On Wednesday night, Spira CEO Andy Krafsur, an old friend of Ben's, came in to talk to MSBA about the challenges of entrepreneurship. Andy’s plight in the industry is unique because of the radical change he made in his career at a time when most wouldn’t have had the courage. After founding a successful law firm of 20 attorneys, Andy suddenly quit his law practice to start a shoe company utilizing revolutionary “WaveSpring” technology developed by his brother, David Krafsur. Andy did not sugar-coat the struggles of entrepreneurship. His stories about trying to break into an ultra-competitive footwear business dominated by powerhouse brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Asics illuminated just how difficult it is for a start-up to gain a loyal base of customers. Andy is well on his way, though, towards gaining 22 more loyal customers after providing the entire MSBA team with free Stinger XLT running shoes.

This Friday afternoon we took a little bit of a different approach to our Friday Field Trip. The MSBA team headed all the way down to Basketball City in Pier 36 to play ball with the High School of Sports Management. While this was technically supposed to be a mentor-mentee event, it just turned into a bunch of sports fans enjoying good times, laughs, and basketball. Even though we are supposed to be the mentors in this case, on the basketball court, the High School of Sports Management was able to teach MSBA a thing or two. After three weeks of constant work, internships, speakers, and networking, it was nice to finally be able to catch our collective breath. Looking back at the end of MSBA, I think our trips to Basketball City to unwind and link up with the High School of Sports Management will be up there among my favorite memories.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 20 of MSBA 2013: Highlights from a Summer in NYC

Post by Lindsay Newman for June 21, 2013



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This last week I was fortunate enough to have a fellow Tar Heel speak to the women of our MSBA program and hear Dr. Deborah Stroman, a Professor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science speak about what it means to be a woman in sports.

She was very enlightening and reminded us to have specific goals — both personal and professional — and to not be afraid to ask and reach for those.

Over these last three weeks, MSBA has been honored to have different speakers come in across the entire industry to talk to us about their experience and how they each got their start. No story is the same and each person sheds new light on another area of the business world. It has been an honor and a privilege to hear each and every one of these speakers and am extremely appreciative of the effort and time the MSBA team has put in to make this such an amazing summer.

We are not even half way done but have had opportunities that most people will not get in a lifetime. I am working with a product development company this summer on the sports marketing side. Each day I am learning something new about the entire process and the time and effort it takes to make the product and the steps you need to take to get to the final product.

These are some things I would never even think of if I wasn’t there helping! This summer has hit all of my expectations so far. I am very excited to see what is in store for me at not only at my internship but also what other amazing speakers and events I get to see and hear thanks to the great team at MSBA.

Day 19 of MSBA 2013: Recap of Internship at IMG

Post by Alexandria Bernard for June 20, 2013



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I didn’t know what to expect from the sports industry before coming to New York City this summer. After three weeks at MSBA and my internship with IMG, I have come to realize that the sports industry is more competitive and diverse than I previously imagined.

My first three weeks in New York have been defined by the whirlwind of new information coming at me each and every day. I’ve had the opportunity to hear from top executives within IMG and other sports business entities.

I have heard more than 15 professionals speak about the business of sports thus far. These speeches have approached topics ranging from the speaker’s personal experience of entering the sports industry to what the speaker’s do in their line of work on a daily basis. I am already more familiar with topics, such as marketing licensing, consulting, and media after three weeks. I came to New York with a personal goal to listen and soak up as much information and take advantage of every opportunity provided by IMG and MSBA. I have succeeded in carrying out my goal thus far.

IMG has exceeded my expectations as well. It has shown me that those who love their jobs can have it all. Every person that I’ve encountered at IMG is passionate about their work and willing to give advice. Employees of IMG are collaborative and are constantly working together on projects, which helps promote a healthy office environment. I work with five other interns, and we are encouraged to explore new ideas and think outside of the box throughout our daily duties. We are also given the opportunity to meet with IMG executives.

An example of an IMG executive who intrigued me is Hilary Mandel. Hilary is Senior Vice President of IMG Media and she spoke to me about how she started at IMG, and I was intrigued to hear from a woman who has had great success in the sports industry. Her passion goes beyond sports. Her passion is for her job and the work she does every single day. I leave to continue to listen to even more speakers at MSBA after each work day at IMG. I am not only excited to see what’s in store from each MSBA speaker but I am also happy to see my colleagues each day. There have been a lot of excellent speakers that have been extremely knowledgeable and were generous enough to share their knowledge with our group. My favorite speaker thus far has been Richard Weiss, Publisher of the Sports Business Journal.

He fascinated me because he had a passion for sports business and did everything possible and worked diligently to start SBJ. He had a vision and followed through on it to become successful. The information I have learned from both programs complement one another because I am able to apply what I learn at MSBA at by internship with IMG and vice versa. I have learned to be proactive and passionate about my work and I am so excited for the next five weeks at MSBA and IMG.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 18 of MSBA 2013: A Chat with Featured Speaker, Andy Krafsur, CEO of Spira Footwear

Post by Ryan McKenna for June 19, 2013



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We are already cruising through Week 3 but it feels like just yesterday that we were all moving into the dorms to begin the best summer of our lives. For the most part, we have adjusted to the hustle and bustle of the New York City lifestyle. We have also comfortable with our internships after a small adjustment period. 

My internship is with Platinum Rye Entertainment, where I work as Marketing Research Intern for the Sports Department. Platinum Rye is a talent procurement agency that works to broker sponsorship and endorsement deals between many Fortune 500 companies and celebrities, athletes, models, and entertainers. 

With nine offices located around the globe, Platinum Rye Entertainment is the world’s largest broker of celebrity talent, models, recording artists, sports figures, and other celebrities for advertising campaigns and public relations events, according to Forbes magazine.

Sine I'm in the sports department, I specifically work to help broker deals between brands and professional athletes. This internship is everything I could have hoped for and more. On any given day, I could be listening in on calls between my bosses and a premier professional athlete’s agent. Some days I can even sit in on face-to-face meetings between clients and Platinum Rye. This past week, I conducted research to help identify a potential match for a very well-known brand and a professional basketball player. All of the projects I work on are confidential in nature but keep your eyes peeled to the television this summer and you may be able to pick up on who I am talking about!

On Wednesday, the work day at Platinum Rye wrapped up around 5:00 p.m., and I made the easy 20 minute subway commute back to the EHS dorms to prepare for the Featured Speaker of the night. We had the amazing opportunity to hear Andy Krafsur speak. Mr. Krafsur is the President and Founder of Spira Footwear. Spira is an up-and-coming footwear company that is very unique due to its patented “WaveSpring” technology that no other competitor has. Wavespring is a laterally stable, lightweight and compact spring that not only cushions but manages energy return better than traditional midsole materials. This results in far less strain on the body, reduced recovery time, and injury prevention. I highly recommend checking out his website and getting yourself a pair of Spira’s.

If you are interested and want to learn more about Spira check out their websiteI also want to take this time to thank Mr. Krafsur on behalf of the MSBA team being a sponsor to the program and providing all of us with a pair of Spira’s to try for ourselves. The shoes are great for all occasions, whether it be a jog through Central Park or a stroll down the streets of New York City. So far this summer has lived up to and far exceeded any expectations I had; I can’t wait to see what the remaining five weeks has in store.           

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 17 of MSBA 2013: NY Cosmos Travel to Newton, Connecticut for Charity Game


Post by Dan Forstot for June 18, 2013



Connect with Dan on Twitter as well as Linkedin.


As the days fly by, it becomes harder and harder for me to believe how quickly the summer is moving. Everyone I have talked to about MSBA always stressed how swiftly everything goes by, and we are now experiencing this effect first hand.

Hailing from just across the river in New Jersey, I visit New York City quite frequently. Although I have developed a certain familiarity with what is in my opinion the greatest city in the world, it has been a completely different experience actually getting to live here.

My internship this summer is in digital media with the recently re-born New York Cosmos soccer club. It has been a fascinating opportunity to see this once world-renowned team rise from the ashes right before my eyes as the first regular season game quickly approaches.

This past Tuesday night, I travelled up to Newtown, Connecticut, to see the Cosmos take on Newtown Pride FC of the Connecticut Soccer League. Newtown is known by most of us as the location of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a tragedy during which 26 innocent individuals lost their lives. The game was part of an event coined “Soccer Revolution” and all of the proceeds from the game were donated to the Newtown Parent Connection, a local charity designed to help young people with substance abuse problems, as well as the families affected by the shooting.
Due to the 80-mile trip taking an absurd four hours to complete, a number of my co-workers and I were unable to make it in time for kick-off. Nonetheless, I was able to help once I arrived by taking pictures of the coaches and players, conducting post-game interviews and writing a recap for the website.

This was the first time the Cosmos played in a competitive match since the club disbanded back in 1984. However, this night was not about that. It was about using sport to give back to the community. The world of sports has been expanding at a fleeting pace, especially over the last few years, and there is so much good to be done with its growing influence. It was incredible to be able to be part of such a special event.

This program is not only about our internships, but also networking, listening to captivating speakers and as a whole, getting to experience life in the fast lane. Possibly my favorite aspect has been listening to some of the most unique and brilliant minds in all of sports who have taken the time to come chat with us.

One of the speakers that stuck out to me was Reddit General Manager, Erik Martin. Erik stood out to me because I am a huge fan of Reddit.com and because his area of work, centering on providing digital content, is very much in line with what I hope to do with my life.

He had some very specific and helpful advice for me when I asked him a few questions during our discussion, so I decided to send him a follow-up e-mail to seek further insight.

Since Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012, I certainly did not expect to ever hear back from him. To my surprise, I had a new e-mail sitting in my inbox from the man himself in no more than half an hour.

We went back and forth a few times, as he inquired about my areas of interest. and he was able to offer plenty of helpful hints and pieces of advice that have really helped point me in the right direction. Even though our conversation had nothing to do with sports, I don't believe this exchange ever could have materialized without my participation in MSBA. Another one of the benefits of being in the program has been living with and getting to know 21 future stars of the industry that have similar goals and aspirations as I do. Just being able to sit down and talk sports with anyone involved is one part of being around them that I have truly enjoyed. More than that, getting to know such a great group of individuals has made it even more worthwhile.

It has been a phenomenal few weeks so far, and I cannot wait to see what amazing opportunities the rest of our time here will have to offer.

Day 16 of MSBA 2013: Lessons from the Cowboy and Global Business Celebrity, Jeff Hayzlett

Post by Aaron Bartko for June 17, 2013



Connect with Aaron on Twitter as well as Linkedin.

On Monday, June 17, the Manhattan Sport Business Academy Class of 2013 was able to hear Jeff Hayzlett, the former CMO of Kodak, and self titled Global Business Celebrity. Hayzlett now also runs The Hayzlett Group, which focuses on speaking engagements, consulting, and writing business related books, such as the New York Times Best Seller Running the Gauntlet.

During his speech, Hayzlett spoke about different topics such as his journey from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to becoming the Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak, where he led new marketing initiatives to land sponsorship deals with the PGA Tour and NASCAR, while also severing Kodak’s ties with the Summer Olympics. He also spoke about leaving Kodak to start The Hayzlett Group and how he made the transition to motivational speaker and best selling author.

Hayzlett elaborated on his sponsorship deal with Kodak with the P.G.A. Tour, specifically with their scoreboard signage at differing events. Also, he introduced the Kodak Challenge to the players on the P.G.A Tour where they would compete in a challenge comprised of 18 holes from 18 different golf courses for a $1 million prize at the end of the season. This provided Kodak value within their deal, while providing a cool, significant prize for the players. In addition, Hayzlett spoke about the Kodak sponsorship deal with Roger Penske Racing in NASCAR. He discussed how he only wanted Kodak ads on the racecar for eight races, but they were the most important eight races on the NASCAR circuit. Lastly, Hayzlett discussed the tough decision that he made right when he got to Kodak to end their sponsorship deal with the Summer Olympics, even though they were an original sponsor dating back to 1896. He preached the rule of 1/3’s, where one third of the organization will support you, one third will never support you, and one third might support you after time.
It cannot be denied that Hayzlett had many accomplishments in the business world, but he was not done after Kodak. He started The Hayzlett Group centered around public speaking appearances and writing books, which have gone on to become New York Times’ Best Sellers. In his speech to the MSBA class, he left some powerful parting words: network like crazy, take risks, and there is no such thing as a stupid question. He also preached that doing the little things really go a long way, such as something as simple as following someone back on twitter when they follow you. There are so many opportunities to connect with people and in this informational age, if you aren’t doing the little things, you are wasting your opportunities. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 15 of MSBA 2013: Sports Business Teachings from Dr. Deborah Stroman

Post by Mark Burns for June 16, 2013



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This past Sunday, the Manhattan Sports Business Academy Class of 2013 had the opportunity to hear Dr. Deborah Stroman, a Professor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science.

Dr. Stroman is the Faculty Advisor for the Sports Business Club and also concentrates in Entrepreneurship.

During the intimate coversation, she discussed "Golf: The Sport of Business" and how golf can be utilized as not only a networking tool, but also as a foundation for establishing future business with a client or company. She also educated all of the students for a few minutes on some of the particulars of golf.

Following the golf discussion, Dr. Stroman talked about personal and professional development. With personal development, she discussed the N.E.S.S. Model; with the four components — nutrition, exercise, sleep, and spirituality — Dr. Stroman stressed how all of the pieces operate together. To be fully functioning on a day-to-day basis, one must have proper nutrition, exercise a few times a week, sleep eight hours a night, and believe in some Higher power. For me personally, the sleep aspect of the N.E.S.S. Model is something I continuously need to work on, as I think a lot of people do as well. It boils down to being more efficient with your time and maximizing your 16-17 hour days.

Moving on from personal development, Dr. Stroman explained the P.I.E. Model of professional development; the model is based on the book, Empowering Yourself - The Organization Game Revealed, by Harvey Coleman. The three aspects of the model (Performance, Image, and Exposure) all coincide to form a basis for how to conduct yourself as you progress in your career.

I thought performance was the most important aspect of the model, but in fact, it was exposure. Dr. Stroman explained that it is important to have a support system of mentors and older sports business professionals who you interact with on a regular basis. They're the individuals who also can hold you accountable for the decisions you make and the actions you take. Dr. Stroman challenged all of us to find those three or four people like that (if we haven't already) and start building relationships with them. Overall, the dialogue was very inspiring. I think it allowed all of us the opportunity to reflect on our current career trajectories and whether or not we're really headed in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 14 of MSBA 2013: Eight Weeks In the Big Apple

Post by D'Bria Bradshaw for June 15, 2013



Connect with D'Bria on Twitter as well as Linkedin.

June 2nd this journey began for all 22 of us and now we’re two weeks into MSBA 2013. We’ve had some amazing guest speakers and wonderful visits from Richard Weiss, Publisher of the Sport Business Journal, to a Madison Square Garden Friday field trip.

We’ve managed to hear and see some of the best that New York City has to offer. This summer is all about building relationships with sport business industry leaders and gaining experience in an industry in which all of us will one day be the leaders of. With everything New York has to offer, the priceless advice from our guest speakers has been very valuable.

From Darren Rovell’s story of how he mailed his resume in a box when working towards landing his first job out of college, Madison Square Garden’s panel who spoke about how they got where they are by having a passion for sports and taking chances, to Robert Simmelkjaer's insight on the sports media industry and how it has developed into what it is today, we've had some great experiences thus far.

Erik Martin, General Manager of Reddit, discussed the importance of maintaining relationships and how a degree in a specific field does not define who you are.

IMG Vice President Carlos Fleming talked about being in the right place at the right time and having as much experience as possible and building the right relationships with professionals in the industry is key. Everything that we've learned so far resonates with me in everything I set out to do, not only this summer but in all of my future endeavors.

Everything that the Manhattan Sports Business Academy team has planned for us this summer is enhancing our knowledge and exposure to the world of sports. Interning at Leverage Agency is giving me first-hand experience on sponsorships, endorsements, and brand management which are the areas which I want to work in.
Being in a city where all the top sport and entertainment headquarters are located is daily inspiration and having my idol, Sean “Diddy” Comb’s Bad Boy Worldwide, five minutes from my internship is the icing on the cake for an exceptional summer. With six weeks left in this program, I cannot wait to see what else is in store for our young careers and who we will meet next in the sports industry that will positively impact our lives.

Day 13 of MSBA 2013: The Manhattan Sports Business Adventure

Post by Matt Hittinger for June 14, 2013



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As we recently wrapped up our second full week under the bright lights of New York City, my peers and I are thankful for the chance to finally catch our breath.

Being from a smaller town in Indiana, I quickly had to adapt to the life in the big city ranging from the confusing subways to the fast-paced lifestyle.

We have been basically going non-stop since we arrived two weeks ago in a blur of organized chaos. Between our own personal internships, fascinating guest speakers, and never-ending networking, it seems like we have had barely any time to sleep!

Having said all this, these first two weeks of the Manhattan Sports Business Academy have been two of the most intriguing and productive weeks of my life. Reading the blogs posted before and after mine, one can see the incredible opportunities and events that our team has already experienced and the potential memories that will last a lifetime.

Furthermore, last Friday ended my first full work week at my internship at Modell’s Sporting Goods. Interestingly enough, before my MSBA began this summer, I had never even heard of Modell’s, as its market is solely on the East Coast, let alone even set foot in one of their retail stores. Within my first three days of working at Modell’s, I had breakfast with the CEO, Mitchell Modell, went to three of their different stores throughout Manhattan Island, and currently work in their corporate office in Times Square. Again, all things that were only made possible by my participation in the Manhattan Sports Business Academy.

At Modell’s I assist the retail buyers and help on their e-commerce team. This position is benefiting because it is a very hands-on position as I visit Nike, Adidas, Sketchers, Etc. warehouses and corporate offices and sit in on the actual meetings where my Modell’s supervisors determine what products they think will best fit in their stores. The team views their products every week to determine their best sellers, growing products, and the psychological consumer habits as to why some products are selling better than others. Then based off the season, certain professional teams success, and hot players at that time, they determine what shoes, licensed goods, and apparel they think would sell the best. Needless to say, I’m learning a ton of information every day and gaining valuable workforce experience that is essential to preparing me for my career.

The last aspect of the program that has been my favorite part so far is simply the people I’m surrounded with every day. The 21 other classmates, the members from last year helping out, and the leaders of the program that I entered this journey with two weeks ago have quickly not just become colleagues or friends but true family. I think this connection was bound to form in a group of very similarly motivated, creative, and positive people. I think this is often overlooked in the workforce but the chemistry this group has is obvious. We support each other, we encourage each other, and we motivate each other to get the most out of these eight weeks. We all know each other’s stories, why we are here, and what goals we want to accomplish with the short amount of time we have.

I’m confident that not only will I have lifelong friends after this summer but also future business partners and colleagues in the industry who will forever bring up the many meals shared together, the Sundays in Central Park, and incredible adventures we are going to experience the rest of the summer.

Monday, June 17, 2013

NFL Fan Experience: Back to Football Photo Day

Guest Post by Chris Stathos



Connect with Chris on Twitter as well as Linkedin

Today is not my scheduled day to write for the MSBA blog, but I’m calling an audible and sharing an awesome experience that I had the privilege to be apart of last week.

The NFL, in addition to our official cap partners at New Era, held a Back To Football Photo Day featuring fans from all over the country. Literally, 32 fans modeled their favorite team’s gear for photos and video interviews which will be featured in future NFL and New Era ad campaigns in the teams’ respective markets.

After a long day of shooting, we gathered the fans for a group picture. What they did not know, however, was that the Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, would be joining them for the shot.

As an executive from the NFL was announcing our special guest, one or two fans caught a glimpse of the “Commish” and screamed like pre-teens at a Justin Bieber concert. I mean, you would have thought there was a Hollywood celebrity in the room the way the fans and their guests swarmed the Commissioner like TMZ paparazzi.

Once everything calmed down and the group picture was finally taken, the Commissioner took questions from the fans, two of which I’ll share with you. The very first question? “Can you announce me like a player at the NFL Draft?” asked the Tennessee Titans winner. Commissioner Goodell gladly obliged. “With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select…” The fans roared as if we were right there in Radio City Music Hall, and the newly drafted fan gave the Commissioner the traditional “bro hug.”

The last question came from the Carolina Panthers winner, a huge Tim Tebow fan. “Can you make a team sign him?” she begged. I think we found out the answer, as less than an hour later, SportsCenter first began reporting that Tebow would be signed by the New England Patriots. There’s a reason Roger Goodell is the most powerful man in sports.