2016Oct 4

SPAD Frosh Day 2016

froshAfter a summer full of internships, friends, and fun, it was time to head back to the books for SPAD student during their first week back to school. For first-year SPAD students, it meant it was time to get acquainted with Laurentian University and the Sports Administration (SPAD) program. Founded in 1972, the SPAD program has been a tradition-rich program since it’s early years at Laurentian. An annual tradition for first-year SPAD students is the SPAD Frosh Day.

SPAD Student Council welcomed the program’s newest students, bright and early at the Laurentian Track and Field Stadium. Upon check-in, each first-year student received their first pieces of SPAD swag. After a few quick introductions, the group got into some ice-breaker activities and learned about each other’s most embarrassing stories, competed in a laundry line race, and even participated in a few Harambe memorial chants. Although ice-breaker activities can be a little awkward at first, it is only a matter of time before this group of frosh look back and have a few good laughs at the activities that transpired.

After a quick lunch courtesy of Topper’s Pizza, the first-year students boarded the bus for Dodge This Paintball. Frosh and Student Council members were divided into teams upon arrival at the paintball park for a classic, Frosh Day battle. The troops participated in games such as capture the flag, free-for-all, and a clan battle on the various maps on the Dodge This Paintball campus. Council member, Josh Bousada, put together a fantastic video which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJHCXYcjUtI.

Upon returning to school, the first-year students were given some time to wash all the paint off and freshen up for a new tradition, the SPAD Program’s Meet N’ Greet. SPAD faculty and SPAD students were brought together to reconnect after a long summer away for some food, music, and laughs. Congratulations to first-year student Julian Hull who won the raffle grand prize for a custom sports jersey of his choice.

SPAD Students’ Council would also like to thank all who attended and hope to see you soon at our next SPAD event. To all the SPAD Frosh, welcome to the family. Get ready for the most amazing four years of your life here at Laurentian University!

2016Jul 18

Queen’s Sports Industry Conference

QSICThe sport business industry is one of the most difficult and competitive industries to break into. As a result, building a diverse and resourceful network of industry professionals is a core lesson taught to SPAD students upon their first moments in the program. From January 22nd to the 24th, seven SPAD students applied these lessons at the 11th annual Queen’s Sports Industry Conference (QSIC). The seven representatives of Laurentian University were among 120 delegates selected from a 500 student pool all of whom applied to attend this year’s conference.

The conference opened Thursday with a keynote address from Gord Hendren, President and CEO of Charlton Strategic Research. Hendren, a Queen’s Commerce graduate, shared his over 20 years of experience in providing strategic insights and marketing advice with the delegates. The Queen’s graduate was instrumental in the feasibility studies conducted prior to the expansion of the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, and most recently Toronto FC. Upon completion of the keynote, delegates commuted to the Four Points Hotel where the second keynote of the evening was held. Thursday evening featured Jim Barker, General Manager of the Toronto Argonauts to share his experiences both on and off the football field with QSIC delegates.

Friday was highlighted by the Breaking into Sports Panel which featured company representatives from Gatorade, MLSE, Eventcorp, S&E, and the Smith School of Business. Panelists shared their experiences in the industry and each provided tips on how delegates could make a lasting impression with potential employers. Delegates then moved into the Gatorade Case Classic where Gatorade representatives challenged delegates to create a marketing plan for a specific target market. In just under two hours, delegates formed a detailed marketing plan with the winning team awarded a trip to watch a Toronto Raptors game in the Gatorade suite with company executives.

The highlight of Saturday was the 2016 Baseball Free Agency simulation. Delegates were separated into three categories: players, agents and MLB team representatives. Each role brought along specific objectives that delegates were to obtain when negotiating player contracts. The simulation was presented by Sportsnet with data assistance from the Toronto Blue Jays Analytics team. Upon completion of the simulation, delegates reconnected for the closing keynote address from Bob Nicholson, former President and Chief Operating Officer of the Toronto Blue Jays.

All SPAD students were thoroughly impressed with the conference. “QSIC was a very well run, engaging conference that allowed students to network with professionals while also featuring the opportunity to experience a present day problem case competition,” said second year SPAD student Ryley Robinson. When asked about attending the conference in 2017, Robinson said “that’s a given”.

The Sports Administration program would like to thank the Smith School of Business and the entire Queen’s Sports Industry Conference organizing committee for their hospitality during the conference. The countdown is on for QSIC 2017!

2016Jul 18

41st Annual SPAD Hockey Tournament

45b550_f8fb883e3c4e4fc1abccb11530d971e8One of the most highly anticipated events of the year has come and gone. Marking its 41st anniversary, the SPAD Hockey Tournament presented by Skater’s Edge was one to remember. The tournament ran from Wednesday, January 20th to Friday, January 22nd at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in the South End of Sudbury. The tournament featured 22 teams competing, 19 recreational and 3 competitive.

Tournament organizer Colin Gagnier was ecstatic when asked to talk about his experience managing the event. “The tournament went well and with the generous support of our various sponsors and supporters we were able to provide our participants with a great entertainment and hospitality experience.”

This year the SPAD Hockey Tournament teamed up with the Canadian Cancer Society to do a prize game with all proceeds being donated to support cancer research. Through the help of the tournament’s generous sponsors and supporters the organizing committee assembled a variety of prize items that were used to help our charity bag campaign. With the help of the Cancer Society the organizing committee made 200 charity bags that included a variety of Canadian Cancer Society branded merchandise to be sold for $5 a bag. Each charity bag contained a number that would correspond with one of the tournament prize items. And after a successful campaign, the SPAD Hockey Tournament was pleased to donate $900 to a great cause.

With plenty of coffee provided by Old Rock and snacks from PepsiCo and Cliff Bar, everyone was ready for the early morning and our favorite pastime; hockey. On the first day it was all about the round robin games! Overall, there were 18 round robin games played between both ice pads, with intense battles and slick goals throughout. The first day ran very smoothly, with plenty of excitement generated from the games and the sheer exhilaration that comes with the tournament. Everyone was also welcome to check out the Molson Canadian lounge where we had more snacks, drinks and a PlayStation 4 where anyone could play NHL 16. The second day consisted of another 18 games, with the thrill of playoffs looming for many teams. Teams each and every day were treated to pizza courtesy of one of our sponsors, Toppers Pizza. The third day of hockey started off with four hard fought quarter final games in the recreational division then followed by each division semi finals. At the end of the day when the dust settled, and the Zamboni took its final sweep around the ice, we had two back to back champions. The Brew Crew took home the Recreational Conference Championship, while the Backdoor Bandits captured the Competitive Division title again for the second straight year. Congratulations to both squads and to all the teams for making the tournament a great one!

On Friday the tournament was host to two marquee events beginning with the Staff Vs Faculty game brought to us by Laurentian University. It was hard fought battle in which the Faculty edged out the staff 6-5. Next was the New HOT 93.5 Skills Competition. This event was hosted by G-Rant (Andrew Elliot) and Sherri K from the New HOT 93.5, and wow how cool it was to have real announcers for the event. The skills that were tested during the competition were fastest skater, hardest shot and shootout where the most creative scorer would win. The events were won by Mike Macdonald, Jordan Ouellette, and Jason Maeda respectively. Each winner was presented a new CCM stick courtesy of the tournaments title sponsor Skater’s Edge. While the competition was largely based on individual effort, the participants were split into two teams; team Justin Bieber and team Selena Gomez. After the competition was over team Bieber was the victor and members of the winning team were presented with Coors Light prize packs.

The tournament organizers, Aric Henry, Charlie Hewak, Colin Gagnier, Matthew Sallows, Rachel Doerrie, and Shannon Brooks would like to thank all the volunteers and teams that participated in the tournament, as well as all of the tournament sponsors and supporters:

Skater’s Edge, The New HOT 93.5, Molson Canadian, Toppers Pizza, Cliff Bar, SGA, Laurentian University, Cambrian Ford, Gloria’s, MLSE, the Toronto Blue Jays, Home Depot, the Canadian Cancer Society, Old Rock, Costco, Journal Printing, Positive Inception, Golf Town, The Sudbury Wolves, Desjardins, Mark Anthony Brands, Goodlife, the Windsor Spitfires, and City Taxi.



2016Jul 18

SPAD Speaker Series – Richard Peddie

Richard PeddieOn March 1, 2016, SPAD was pleased to welcome as a guest speaker, former MLSE President and established writer Richard Peddie. Richard made his way up to Sudbury to share his numerous experiences in his journey to becoming a sport executive as well as some key leadership lessons that he learned over his successful career. On behalf of SPAD, thank you to Ryley Robinson for organizing this event. Richard was adamant when he said how impressed he was with the initiative that Ryley showed. And from that Ryley had this to say “After this experience, I saw first had the power of social media. I was able to reach out to Mr. Peddie through twitter and he immediately responded to me. He was very interested in coming to Sudbury and speaking with SPAD students. It was a pleasure working with a true professional, considering his flexibility and battling the weather (Welcome to Sudbury!). I really enjoyed organizing this event because both Mr. Peddie, the SPAD faculty, and the students were all very passionate about the event.”

Richard started his talk by going over how powerful he believes the millennial workforce is now and has the potential to be. He believes that visiting universities like he did here at Laurentian is an excellent way to develop young sport leaders; the sport leaders that SPAD strives to build every day. Richard’s talk largely revolved around his “leadership gym bag”. A concept that involves putting every leadership lesson in the bag and when you need them the most pull them out and use them. To get his point across of how important this gym bag was he went over 7 key leadership lessons that he felt would reflect well on the audience. The lesson that struck the audience the most was lesson 5; which is getting your ticket punched. What this lesson teaches is that to be successful you need to do multiple jobs and get many experiences before you are ready for the big leagues; this is a lesson that all SPAD students should keep in mind as they develop themselves into sport business professionals.

After Richard’s talk he opened the floor to questions and challenged the audience to ask good articulate questions and SPAD did not disappoint. In response to a question about how students can make themselves more marketable, his answer showed how much he believes in his leadership lessons. He reiterated the importance of having a vision, having vales, and getting engaged: “everything you do, do it to make yourself better and you will become more marketable.” Another good question was asked about how to translate leadership skills into entry level jobs when new grads aren’t given many leadership opportunities when they are first starting out. Richard answered beautifully by saying that even if the opportunities don’t present themselves, go out and make the opportunities yourself; brainstorm new ideas and always look to solve problems. After an excellent Q & A session Richard was kind enough to stay behind and sign autographs and take pictures with the audience thus making the experience more memorable.

Richard Peddie provided the group with a unique learning experience along with some valuable advice and insight that students do not have the opportunity to get every day. On behalf of SPAD, we would like to thank Richard for taking the time to talk with us and providing some great examples of true leadership in action. 

2016Jul 18

SPAD Student Profile: Jennifer and Dania go to Austria

Kufstein, Austria

Kufstein, Austria

Second year SPAD students Jennifer Thomas and Dania Johanson will be embarking on SPAD’s first international exchange for their third year studies. Jennifer and Dania, through their busy schedules, were able to give us some insight on the impact an international exchange will have on their education and in their lives.

SB: Why don’t we start with a small introduction to who you are and what you are passionate about?

JT: I’m Jennifer Thomas, a second year SPAD student. I am an avid soccer fan and am passionate about enjoying the experiences that life has to offer. I am also very passionate about being able to expand my cultural knowledge through education and real life experiences.

DJ: My name is Dania Johanson, I am a second year SPAD student from a small town in Northern Ontario. I am a (Canadian) basketball enthusiast with the hope of pursuing a career in basketball in the future. I also have a strong passion for travelling and I am always avid to take on any opportunities to further myself both academically and professionally.

SB: You both talked about how you have a passion for traveling and culture. In your opinion how do you believe culture affects sport as a whole and how do you believe having an extended cultural knowledge can develop yourself and sport?

JT: I believe different cultures affect sport as a whole because of the different views and perspectives people have for different sports. For example, football (soccer) is viewed much differently in Europe than it is in North America due to the culture and history of the game in European countries. I believe having an extended cultural knowledge can develop myself as a person to being more open in potential internship and post graduation jobs that may be available in something that I am not familiar with.

DJ: Culture has a major impact on all aspects of sport since sport as a business is geared to consumer appeal and culture has a significant impact on what appeals to consumers, how they celebrate, what they find ethical, and so on. Thus, being able to learn about the facets of sport from a different perspective will be extremely valuable.

SB: Different cultures definitely have an impact on sport and sport popularity. Now that we have established that cultural differences are a large part of sport I’d like to focus on what this experience will do for you. If you could break down your excitement to its core, what are you most excited about?

JT: Obviously there are multiple things to be excited about, but I would have to say that I am most excited to be able to travel around Europe on weekends, and on breaks. I know that Dania and I have already started to make a bucket list of things to do while we are there and with having almost a month off in between semesters hopefully we are able to check off most of the things on the list.

DJ: There are so many different aspects of the exchange that I am exited about! if I had to narrow it down I would say I am most excited about having the ability to travel around not only just Austria but all over Europe and have the opportunity to experience a variety of different cultures, architecture, cuisine, entertainment, and of course sporting events.

SB: Its great to hear of the plans the two of you are starting to make and it sounds like you will have a blast! Moving to university is a big change that both of you experienced last year and now you’re going to Austria. How do you think studying abroad will affect your life and/or your life style?

JT: I think that studying abroad will affect my lifestyle in a positive way by allowing me to experience different events, cultures and atmospheres. As well, I believe that studying abroad will allow me to understand myself to a deeper level and may direct me into what kind of career I want to pursue after graduation. Studying in Austria also allows for me to “put myself out there”, as Dania will be the only one that I know at the university and we will both have to find different ways and attend different events in order to create a similar friend base to what we have created at Laurentian and in SPAD.

DJ: I think that the transition to university is a fair comparison in respect to the impact of the change on our lifestyles that this exchange will have. Although the type of impact the exchange will likely have on our lifestyle is much different from the affect that moving to university had. This exchange will have implications on my day-to-day life through adapting to a new culture’s daily norms (dining, mannerisms, and so on) and on myself in general. As Jen mentioned this exchange requires us to “put ourselves out there” and take on new experiences and opportunities in a foreign environment.

SB: Now to rap things up could you talk about what kind of courses you will be taking and how these courses will help you in the future?

JT: Courses that we will be taking are similar to what any third year SPAD student takes except for the core content of the course is different due to the cultural atmosphere in Austria. As well we will be taking more focused business management courses that will allow us to experience a deeper understanding of the topics. Studying at FH Kufstein also allows us the opportunity to try different classes that are not offered at Laurentian, such as different simulation modelling courses and web business management courses. I believe that said courses (although what we are taking is not set in stone) will help me in the future to be able to look at a situation from different views. Most courses that we are enrolled in now focus mainly on North American sporting industries when using examples, and I know that when we go to Austria their main sporting industries are different forcing us out of our comfort zone.

DJ: We don’t have our class schedule picked out officially yet. However, we have had the chance to look through the content included in some of the courses we will be taking. The courses we will take are similar to those we would have at Laurentian (Sport Ethics, Sport Projects etc…) although the course content is much different in Austria. The main difference that I noticed was there was a major focus on the World Cup and on soccer operations in general which reflects on the culture of Europe in which soccer is a major aspect.

SPAD would like to thank Jennifer and Dania for taking the time to speak to us about their exciting future while studying abroad. It is an unbelievable opportunity for our current/prospective students to hear about some of the opportunities that SPAD offers its students.






2016Mar 15

SPAD Student Profile: Neal Steven – Mr. President

NealThird year SPAD student Neal Steven is this years SPAD Student Council President. After his first semester as president we wanted to take a look at why he chose to run for president and some insight on what the job is all about. Neal, through his busy schedule, was able to give us some insight on the role the president plays in SPAD.

SB: What are some of your duties as SPAD President? Tell the readers more about your role on council and within the program.

NS: The most important duty I do on a day-to-day basis as SPAD President is represent the student’s best interests. I oversee and collaborate with the entire SPAD Council to plan a variety of events, some of which include a SPAD Blue Jays Game, SPAD Frosh Day, the JMSM Sports Conference in Montreal, and many more.  In the coming weeks we have two more great events we are running, the SPAD Voyageurs Game, and SPAD Bowling night. They should be a blast! Student Council also organizes SPAD Wear, which we chose to do with Roots this year. In addition to coordinating many events with Student Council, I sit as the Student Representative on the SPAD Faculty Meetings, in addition to Faculty of Management meetings.

SB: Why did you choose to run for this position and what made you want to represent the program as their Student Council President?

NS: I chose to run for this position because I believe strongly that SPAD is the best sport business program in Canada, and I want to represent the program and its students as best as I possibly can. I never would have thought I would run for this position coming into SPAD as a first year. However, the experiences the SPAD program has provided me with gave me the confidence and skills to apply for this role. I know what it was like to be a first year coming into the program and believe I utilize this role to help make the transition to SPAD as smooth as possible for first year students, in addition to making this year as fun and interactive as possible for all SPAD students.

SB: Tell us SPAD as a program and your experience in it and how it has shaped your brand.

NS: SPAD students as a whole are team players, great communicators, and extremely hard workers who can present effectively. Entering the program, I was relatively reserved and inexperienced from an employment standpoint. However, after countless group projects, making it through core year classes, and learning how to carry myself and present professionally, it has helped to shape my brand. Some experiences that really stand out as special to me would be the 2nd year Ottawa Senator’s consulting project, and the GameDay project in Tom Blake’s sales class. Both these experiences provided real-life problems and situations that will be extremely valuable to me moving forward. Coming to the SPAD Program has been one of the best decisions of my life.

SB: How has being on council prepared you in any additional way for your upcoming internship as a third year student, and the real world?

NS: Being on council has been an amazing experience, and one that I recommend for every SPAD student. It has definitely helped prepare me for my upcoming internship in many ways. Gaining experience planning events, organizing SPAD Wear, and attending additional meetings with Faculty gives you added responsibility to be accountable and organized every single day. Being able to prioritize, and learning how to be efficient with my time has definitely been something that will help prepare me for my upcoming internship, and the real world.

SB: What advice do you have to offer to those applying to SPAD and those coming to the program next year?

NS: The best advice I have for students applying to SPAD and coming to the program next year is to meet as many people as possible both in your own year and the years above you. There are so many opportunities to meet faculty and upper years, such as a SPAD Wide meet-and-greet we held this year as a part of Frosh Day. Additionally, there are numerous SPAD events that occur throughout the entire year, and I recommend you make an effort to either participate or volunteer for every one of them!

SPAD would like to thank Neal for taking the time to speak to us about his time as president. It’s always great to hear how our current students are being successful. 



2016Jan 5

SPAD Speaker Series: Joey Abrams

 montreal-que-january-28-2014-veteran-receiver-s-jOn December 14, SPAD was pleased to welcome former SPAD Grad Joey Abrams, who was the Assistant Director of Football Operations and Player Personnel for the Montreal Alouettes, had just been promoted days earlier to Assistant General Manager. Joey shared his numerous experiences in his journey to becoming a CFL Executive with some students interested in football operations. He talked about various jobs that got him to where he is today; a successful SPAD Grad. Joey Abrams has been with the Montreal Alouettes for almost 11 years, and most of his professional career.

Joey was adamant when saying that for SPAD students our vast alumni are our greatest tools; they all want to help support current and post grads, and he commented on the importance of Tom Blake’s new mentorship program that will be starting up soon. A big part of the talk we had with Joey was about how he took advantage of opportunities. When Joey graduated from SPAD he told us he took an internship with the Alouettes. moving from Sudbury to Montreal for the opportunity, even though it was unpaid and he was giving up a paid job in Sudbury. You might wonder why somebody would do that, but Joey explained it was because he had a dream, he was young, and he wanted to take advantage of the door that was opened for him. He always wanted to be a General Manager for a professional football team. Without that unpaid internship and taking that opportunity, he might not be where he is today.

IMG_2811The small intimate setting in the new SPAD Learning Lab allowed for lots of interaction between Joey and the students, as Joey answered every one question and gave some very useful pointers such as needing to recognize that failure can be a better teacher than success. He also noted that during confrontations take nothing personally – it’s just business, and finally not to be afraid to disagree. He indicated that these points have proven to being crucial to him being successful in his career and in life.

A cool story that Joey told was about a coach with the Alouettes. This story was about the first team meeting every year where they would discuss plans for the upcoming season. Everyone expecting to see his new formations and tactics to win games and every year he goes up and writes “its a people business.” I think this relates to SPAD and what Joey was trying to tell those who attended. The message is about networking and how powerful it is; the more people you know the more doors that will open for you.

As a last takeaway from our talk with Joey I think the most important aspect of what he said was to set your goals, and to set them high. He gave us 3 steps; Where do you want to be in “x” number of years; how are you going to get there; and then once you are done you need to fight for it. I believe the students who attended got some great insight on how they can improve themselves everyday, and for that, thank you Joey Abrams.

Joey Abrams (SPAD ‘04) provided the group with a unique learning experience along with some advice and knowledge that students do not have the opportunity to get every day. On behalf of SPAD, we would like to thank him for taking the time to talk to us, and wish him good luck with the Montreal Alouettes.


2015Dec 17

Third Annual SPAD Poster Day

IMG_0021On Tuesday December 7, 2015, Dr. Vincent’s first year Sports Statistics students hosted the third annual “Poster Day.” The end of a semester for SPAD students can be both an exciting and stressful time with exams, projects, presentations, and much more. The presentations took place inside West Residence. During the course of the semester, student pairs conducted statistical research on a topic of their choice. The presentations were an opportunity for each of them to reveal the results of their research.

The assignment required students to test any sport hypotheses of their choosing. By gathering information on each of their respective topics, students were able to analyze results through the use of statistical models which they could prove/disprove using statistical skills learned in Dr. Vincent’s Sports Statistics class. During the two-hour session, upper year students, professors, and honored guests toured the room, visiting different poster stations. It’s during this time that every group had the opportunity to explain the results and context of their project.

Topics covered a wide variety of sports, testing everything from the correlation between attendance and winning streaks in the OHL, to the relationship between whether or not the Toronto Blue Jays win more with the Rogers Centre dome open or closed. The presentations were all quite impressive. It was apparent that every group took pride in their research, and it was reflected in the quality of each poster. This was the third year that poster day had been held with each year being as impressive as the next.

Next was time for the first years to receive the awards for their posters. This year there were 3 awards given. The first was for the IMG_0020most original title, won by Jason Small and Eddie Jones for “The Price is Right”. The second award given was for most original topic, which was won by Madison Chubbs and Siera Lombardo for their project “Put a Ring on it”. The third and final award given was for best presentation, won by Jay Dhankarand and Max Chiasson for their project “Weapons of Bat Destruction”.

At the end of the evening, students had a chance to debrief. The third annual poster day and presentations were definitely a great way for students to gain hands-on experience in statistical research. Being able to support arguments through the use of statistical models is something that will help these students throughout their post-secondary studies and into their professional lives.

Thank you first year students and Dr. Vincent for another great poster day!

2015Dec 7

Championship Selling: It’s GameDay

Good Morning everyone it’s GameDay! On Friday November 27, 2015, Tom Blake’s Championship Selling course came to an end, with the 7th Annual GameDay™ held in West residence. Eleven groups of third year SPAD students presented case solutions to eleven different high-profile companies. Students had the opportunity to put their sales skills to the test by presenting to representatives from companies that included: Sprout, TELUS, Bell, Rogers, Great West Life, American Standard, The Toronto Blue Jays, Bacardi, Proctor and Gamble, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

The Championship Selling course is unique to Laurentian University and the Sports Administration program. This is the 7th year that Tom Blake has run the course through the program, and it offers a totally unique experience to students. Every other week throughout the semester, Tom Blake makes the trip up to Sudbury from Toronto, to lead two, three hour sessions. During these sessions, Tom leads great hands-on activities, which enable students to practice their selling skills. Tom promised to teach willing students how to get a better job and how to be better at their job. Tom delivered on his promise. Getting a SPAD degree is the first step in becoming successful in the business world. However, it is experiences such as these that SPAD provides, that allows students to develop and demonstrate the skills necessary to make it in the sport industry.

Three months of hard work, client calls, and preparation lead up to GameDay™. Teams spent weeks preparing a case for each of their “clients”. The sales calls began after a quick motivational speech from Tom and his partner Hughes Gibeault at 9am, where teams would finally get to present to their respective customer. Teams had the responsibility of orchestrating two 30 minute meetings with their client(s), with emphasis on following Tom Blake’s “7-Step Championship Selling Process”. The first meeting required students to use a tactic known as “Playing Catch™” to gather important information from their client. The strategy encourages students to be good active listeners, and ask concise open-ended questions, in order to gain the information, they desire. With the information gathered in meeting one, students had to prepare a solution for the second meeting. The most important part of the second meeting was being able to present a solution that addressed both parties’ needs, and being able to “complete the play” in the end.

At the conclusion of both meetings, teams met with their respective clients, who offered constructive criticism on how to improve each student’s presentation/sales skills. SPAD Alumnus, Hughes Gibeault CEO of Optimé International was on-hand as a guest speaker for the event. Gibeault spoke passionately about his career, and how he arrived at where he is today at Optimé International. Hughes lead a debriefing exercise, where students stood at the front of the room to discuss their “ah ha” moment about the Championship Selling course. Everyone spoke about how Tom’s work has given them a new perspective on the business and sales industry, how to ask better questions and be a better listener, and about confidence. The knowledge and experience gained through this course is truly unique and invaluable.

All teams performed very well, and it was very difficult to choose the winning teams. Second place runner-up was “Integrity Solutions”, which presented to Proctor & Gamble and consisted of Martin Goudreault, Kristy Rousseau, Eman Alshehri, and Justin Lemieux. The first place team was team “J.E.G” who presented to Bell. The team consisted of Garret Elmes, Jake Wilson and Evan Paisley. When asked about his thoughts on GameDay™ 2015, Tom Blake had this to say: “We were blown away with the quality of your presentations and collateral material as well as the viable solutions. Students did a great job leading up to GameDay™, they showed great body language, eye contact, positive energy and engagement.  Students asked thoughtful questions and followed up with strong secondary probing questions to get the answer they want”.

Another successful GameDay™. Thank you to everyone who participated.


2015Dec 2

SPAD Student Profile: Ben Goodman

Ben GoodmanThird Year SPAD student Ben Goodman is the manager of team services and video coach  for the LU Varsity Men’s Hockey Team. Ben, through his busy schedule, was able to give us some insight into his role with LU Athletics and took the time to offer up some advice to future and current SPAD students on opportunities within SPAD and LU Athletics.

SB: Tell me about what you do for LU Hockey.

BG: My responsibilities with the Voyageurs are mostly broken down into two components: Hockey Operations and Team Services. On the hockey side, I’m responsible for coordinating all of the team’s video and game tape, as well as managing our statistics team. During each game I use a hockey specific game tape program that cuts the video of certain plays. It helps us find patterns and work on strategies as a coaching staff, which the coaches on the bench relay to the players during and after the game. I also review our opponents’ game tape with the coaching staff, which I download from the OUA’s database. Outside of our own games I scout as much junior hockey as I can, and create detailed reports on all the potential recruits for the next school year from leagues in Ontario to the East Coast.

The team services role involves a lot of collaboration with LU Athletics, and most of the work is done on campus. I highly prioritize student involvement, so I work closely with Athletics on anything from marketing to special events to ticket sales in order to increase the amount of students attending our games. I do all the posting and event creating for the men’s team on the Voyageurs Hockey Facebook page, and I also help our awesome social media crew of SPAD students with the other team accounts that they run.

SB: How did you get your job and what jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?

BG: Getting the position I have now was more of a step-by-step process that started in first year. I started working for the team as a Game Day Operations volunteer. I did stats, scorekeeping, playing music…even had to be the mascot a couple of times. Over the course of that year I acquainted myself with Craig (the head coach) and the rest of the coaching staff which led to conversations about what the program needed help with and how I could be more involved. At the end of our first season Craig asked me to be the video coach of the team, since game tape analysis was the most important thing we lacked at the time. I ended up using the position as a PHED internship, which was really convenient. Being the video coach, I spent a lot more time with the team, especially the coaching staff, which gave me the opportunity to be a part of their meetings and contributing my opinion on certain club decisions. As the year went on I gained more responsibilities and even started to travel with the team during our first playoff run. By the end of second year I was having more conversations with Craig about what else I could do to help the program, which led us to creating the position that I have now.

SB: Can you suggest some ways a SPAD student could obtain this necessary experience?

Volunteer! When it comes to gaining initial experience with anything, volunteering your time is the best thing to do. Hockey teams at the university, junior and minor levels will almost never say no to free work. I know that as a program in just its third year, we’re always looking for help.

SB: What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your job? What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging? What do you like and not like about working in the hockey industry?

BG: The best part of my job is simply just being a part of the team. The relationships that I’ve been able to make with players, coaches and staff is invaluable not only to my hockey experience but also my university experience as a whole. Hockey is as much of a team sport off the ice as it is on the ice. We have an amazing group of people here, and they motivate me to be the best that I can be.

The most challenging part of my job is prioritizing ideas. Obviously we want our team to run like it’s an NHL franchise but there’s only so much we can do when it comes to marketing or special events or game day stuff. I try my best to create realistic goals for our team so that no one, including Athletics and myself, is being spread too thin.

I enjoy working in hockey because I love the game. That’s really all it boils down to. I’ve been around hockey my entire life and it never ceases to excite and inspire me.

If there’s one thing that I dislike about working in hockey, it’s that you’re often working when everyone else isn’t. Working for a university hockey team that has a more student-tailored schedule is definitely an upside, but it’s still pretty demanding…from October to March you’re working every Friday and Saturday night with the exception of the December exam freeze. As a student it’s really great to have breaks like reading week and Thanksgiving too, but if you work for a hockey team you often don’t get that luxury.

SB: Are you optimistic about the team’s future and your future?

BG: I’m more than optimistic when it comes to this team. Looking at what we’ve been able to accomplish in just two seasons of existence shows how quickly our core group has meshed, and by adding skill and depth from this year’s recruiting class we look like a true contender…competing for a CIS National Championship is not as unrealistic of a goal as some would think over these next few years.

I believe that my future in the game is bright. I try my best to take advantage of every opportunity given to me, but I also know that patience is very important, especially since I aspire to be working in professional hockey at some point. I’m really excited for things to come, but my main focus right now is the Laurentian Voyageurs and helping this hockey program achieve at its highest potential.

SB: How has your job affected your lifestyle and how do you balance work and SPAD?

BG: As I mentioned before, a hockey schedule is demanding and to be honest, the game has had more of an impact on my lifestyle over the last few years than school or friends and family have. I think I went out with my friends on the weekend maybe four or five times over my first two years of university because every Friday or Saturday I was either working, scouting or catching up on schoolwork that I hadn’t done because I was doing one of those two things during the week. I also help run a junior hockey league in the summer so I’m surrounded by the game for 11 months out of the year. I may have missed out on some quality university experience but I wouldn’t change it for the world…I know exactly what I want to do and I’m going to do everything in my power to try and make it happen.

It’s definitely a challenge to balance such a competitive and academically sound program with a full time hockey job, but I’ve always found a way to keep my head above water. The professors are incredibly understanding as well, and they’ve accommodated for missed class time or rescheduled exams because we were on the road. I like how there’s a relationship between the program and the Voyageurs and I really hope it continues to grow so that the next generation of students get the opportunities that I have had.

SPAD would like to thank Ben for taking the time to speak to us about her past and current experiences. It is an unbelievable opportunity for our current/prospective students to hear about some of the internships and jobs available to SPAD students.