Business of Soccer – UofSC News & Events | Whuff News


Football is the most popular sport in the United States, and there is no better place to launch a career in the business side of the game than the College of Hospitality, Four shop and University of South Carolina Sports. The College’s Sports and Recreation Department is recognized as one of the best and largest programs of its kind, and the combination of specialized training, business connections with higher education have created a prime training ground for football business leaders. .

“I said, ‘Hey, I know I’m not going to college to play sports, but I definitely want to work in sports.’ I did my research and found that South Carolina has a very high-ranking sports and recreation management program. It turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” said alumnus Aaron Henderson, who now represents several NFL players.

The soccer industry is a powerful economy that continues to grow. NFL teams are worth 14% more in 2022 than in 2021, an average of $3.48 billion per team. The league is on track to reach its goal of $25 billion in annual revenue by 2027.

Football’s dominance in the sports industry is not limited to success. College football generated a record revenue of $1.16 billion in 2021 and is the second most popular in the US based on attendance and viewership, surpassing the Major League Baseball and college and NBA basketball.

Graduates from the university’s sports and entertainment degree programs are employed by more than half of the NFL’s 32 teams and the home of the league – with leaders ranging from scouting to team operations to ticketing and marketing. Alumni also hold college football executive positions across the country (with many living in their hometown to work and the Gamecocks).

“It goes back to the integration of education and experience. That’s what makes our college,” said Athletics and Recreation Department Chair Matt Brown. “Our students can compete in the dream-job market because they are learning from top coaches and getting real-world experiences that prepare them for the rigors of working in football.”

Alexa Hill is standing on the NFL's Los Angeles Rams football field with confetti raining down on her.
2019 sports and entertainment management alumna Alexandria Hill now works for the LA Rams in football.

In the classroom, students are taught specific courses such as sports marketing, sports marketing and facility management from a combination of world-class faculty who are presidents of teams and athletics. Outside of the classroom students are learning by doing – helping to officiate SEC College Football Playoffs, bowl games, the College Football Playoff and America’s biggest sports game, the Super Bowl. And with all students required to complete two projects, lessons are quickly implemented.

“What gave me an edge over the other candidates in my college recruiting class was the experience I gained by modeling the needs of the sport and entertainment programs,” the said Maddie Ballengee, who currently works as a paramedic. director with Legends Hospitality at AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys). “Our field is very hands-on and having experience under two major organizations before I graduated was ten steps ahead of me in the transition to my career in the sports industry. I also appreciated the fact that many of my professors built our course work around the most relevant things, things related to business and presentations.

The staff of the Department of Sports and Recreation are leaders in sports studies, with specialized facilities and scholars specializing in college sports, ticketing, sports law, experience, gambling, economic effects, business management and other things. Although research covers the spectrum of sports and entertainment, soccer is often the focus. For example, Associate Professor Tom Regan has conducted more than 80 economic impact studies for organizations including the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, as well as the Gamecocks football team.

Group of UofSC alumni standing on the football field with professor Danny Morrison.
Danny Morrison, 4th from right, teaches sports management training at UofSC and provides students and alumni with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the Charlotte Sports Foundation where he serves as executive director.

Having research-led teachers shape lessons in the classroom. Professors integrate the teaching with the latest research as well as the integration of current events that are happening in real time. If a topic related to the business side of football is in the news, it is discussed and debated on campus at Columbia, usually by business leaders.

The Department of Sport and Recreation’s reputation for academic excellence has attracted a roster of highly qualified faculty and business partners. Former Carolina Panthers and current Charlotte Sports Foundation President, Danny Morrison, joined the school in 2017.

“It was an easy decision to choose South Carolina,” said Morrison, who is now a professor of education majoring in sports management. . “I was amazed at the caliber of students from the program who came to work for the Panthers, and the coaching and the quality of the work they do is outstanding.”

The popularity of the program also contributed to the decision of David and Nicole Tepper, owners of the Panthers, to create the Tepper Scholars program in South Carolina in 2020. The popular scholarship and career development is designed to attract have the best and most interesting games with fun management. students with an emphasis on supporting underrepresented students.

Increasing diversity and inclusion in sport management was the aim of the programme. In addition to the many special scholarships, student clubs and mentorship opportunities for students who are not exposed, the doors continue to open for anyone who is willing to work hard to have a career in football, to including those whose doors were previously closed.

“How many Asians do you see in soccer? Nobody looked like me in the NFL growing up, so I hope that one day, there’s an Asian girl or boy who looks at me and says, ‘I I want to be like KJ, he’s my role model,’ ” said 2020 sports and entertainment management major Kjahna O, who is now the coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.

Kjahna O on the field with the Atlanta Falcons player and coach.

Kjahna O graduated from UofSC with a master’s degree in sports and recreation and is now the coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.

An important part of creating employment opportunities for a growing and diverse student population is the use of the full range of careers. about football. As part of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Marketing and Sports Management, the sports and recreation program has a strong connection with research areas in hospitality, tourism and marketing – and that synergy is on full display on any game day. Alumni from across the college have found open doors in football related to successful careers with places, teams, leagues and companies such as Fanatics, ESPN, DraftKings, Learfield, CSC, Under Armour, Legends Hospitality and others.

Alumnus Brandon Ruth is the director of operations for the Falcons. Gabriela Beavers is the manager of club marketing in the NFL’s league office. Catherine Saulino is an associate merchandiser for women’s and children’s NFL apparel for Fanatics. Job titles are varied and vary from ticketing and sales support to corporate communications, business analysis, marketing, sales, equipment management, and more.

“What gave me an edge over the other candidates in my college recruiting class was the experience I was fortunate to have gained through the athletic training and entertainment management program. .”

Maddie Ballengee

“HRSM helped launch my career in a way I never imagined,” said alumnus Glen Ivol who received his degree in business analytics and is now with the New York Jets. same – you just have to focus on finding the right fit to help you grow but don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith.”

Although the career paths are different and the teams are often competitive, the South Carolina seniors who work in the football industry all share the same passion for the sports industry. And when passion meets preparation and opportunity – there are setbacks in the works.

“South Carolina’s program is unmatched in terms of opportunities for its students. The school really cares about the student and their career, both on campus and beyond,” said 2017 sports and recreation management alumna Lindsey Zybrick, who is now director of corporate communications. for the Jacksonville Jaguars.” They put an emphasis on building and nurturing relationships in and out of the classroom, especially in a business that is so small. I felt ready to walk into a new space, because of the personal testimony from professors, adults and peers, who were more than willing to offer guidance.”



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