Archive for November, 2014

2014Nov 24

SPAD Month in Review – October 2014  

By Blog Contributor David Maika

The calendar has flipped to November and winter has begun to show signs of life at Laurentian. Snow is on the ground (sigh) and parkas can be spotted across campus.  For Sports Administration students, the thought of outdoor rinks and ski hills entice the majority of students. Okay maybe not the majority, but at least some are excited for winter! Moving on, the SPAD Blog looks back at the month of October for current SPAD students.


First Year

It was a busy second month for the first-years, with a variety of guest speakers, events and class work. Earlier in October, LA Kings scout Clay Leibel came into the first year class to talk to them about his experiences. “The experience was eye opening, he created opportunity for a chance in his line of work,” said first year Bradley Case.

The frosh also received their first taste of the valuable group work they will be exposed to over their tenure in SPAD. In their ‘Introduction to Sports Administration’ course, students were given the task to research various professional leagues regarding topics of finance, ethics, sociology, current news, and general information. The students then presented to their classmates, in what will be their first of many group presentations throughout their tenure in SPAD.


Second Year

Core year has posed a challenge for second year students, but SPAD is known for its ability to rise to the occasion. Over the month of October, students were involved with a marketing simulation revolving around the business operations of a golf course. The simulation specifically looked at optimizing market share, profitability and percentage of revenue change.

Second year Kevin Miller had this to say: “It was a really fun and educational way to combine the theory we learn in class to a realistic sport environment. Working in small groups created interesting dialogue that we will have to expect in the real world.”


Third Year

 This month saw a group of third year students run the inaugural Ultimate Frisbee LU Tournament. Six teams competed for ultimate supremacy in a fun, exciting and new event.


(L to R) Organizers Kevin Murphy, Sara Campbell, and Nathan Phillips pose in front of the Ultimate Frisbee Banner.

Sara Campbell, one of the tournament organizers, commented on the event: “It was a really great time. The weather was nice. We had about 75 participants come out and tons of sponsors so most participants got prizes and had a fun time. We had some community teams come out and other programs such as ADVL (Outdoor Adventure Leadership). We had a great turnout for the skills competition and there were many activities throughout the day that enticed the teams to stick around.”

Up next is the Third Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament! For more information, check out the Facebook page and follow them on Twitter (@LU_Basketball33). November also saw the start of ‘The League’, an ice hockey league run by third-year students. For more information, stats, schedules and more, go to or follow them on Facebook or Twitter (@TheLeagueLU).


Fourth Year

Though students on internship can’t enjoy the fun events run by SPAD, they strive to make the most of their opportunities in the field. Sean Meyers, former SPAD Student Council President, is currently the Media Relations Intern for the Toronto Maple Leafs. When asked about his time with the Leafs, Sean had this to say: “The opportunity to work at MLSE with the Leafs organization has been unbelievable.  The experience of getting to go to work every day and network with industry leaders of the NHL has been great in assisting me to learn about the business of hockey.  The knowledge obtained throughout the first three years of the SPAD program has turned out to be extremely invaluable allowing me to smoothly transition from student to a professional within the sports industry.”


Program-Wide Notes

  • SPAD ventured to Montreal from November 6-8 to attend the John Molson Sports Marketing Conference. Students gained access to various panels of speakers including Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and LA Dodgers former GM and current Senior Advisor, Ned Colletti. Stay tuned for related articles!
  • SPAD bowling took place on November 1st, where students took a break from their busy work schedules to throw some strikes and network with their peers.


The current leaders of the SPAD hockey pool are:

  1. Robbie McLellan
  2. Sam Dodington
  3. Ben Whyte
2014Nov 3

The Link Between Sport & Business – Mark Cecchetto

By Blog Contributor Alex Saunders

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.


Mark Cecchetto, a 1998 SPAD graduate and current Vice-President (Marketing Frozen Food/Pizza) at Nestlé Canada, stood amidst a group of eager and curious SPAD students. This was the second opportunity for many of the current SPAD students to hear from this successful alumnus, as Cecchetto had previously visited SPAD classes. In addition to providing invaluable insight into marketing for the members of the second year marketing class, the topic of the day’s second discussion focussed primarily on providing students with relatable and relevant professional advice stemming from lessons learned from Cecchetto’s professional journey.


Since graduating 16 years ago, Cecchetto has worked for Onyx Marketing Group Inc, and Weston Bakeries before joining the ranks at Nestlé Canada in 2004 as a Marketing Manager. This former SPAD student has been very successful, as demonstrated by his rise from a Marketing Manager to becoming Vice-President of Marketing for the Frozen Food/Pizza division.


While Cecchetto’s work experience and professional successes have been outside of the sport industry, the link between sport and business was a prevalent theme throughout the discussion. “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” was a tagline referred to often in the discussion as Cecchetto made the link between the competitive side of business and sport.  He pointed often to his disdain for losing and how in order to be a success in the business industry, one must have that same competitive edge that is present in the world of sport. In order to even receive the opportunity to be that competitive force in either the sport or business industry, Cecchetto made it clear that experience is crucial in gaining employment and may vary depending on what current SPAD students consider to be valuable experience.


Cecchetto, pictured here, visits 2nd Year Sports Administration students in 2013.

Every single day is an experience. Don’t confuse my definition of ‘experience’ as just job experience. You have a million experiences. You have to make the most of them and get what you can from them.” Cecchetto further explained, “If you call somebody up and ask for 30 minutes of their time to pick their brain, you will be stunned by the number of people who say that they would love to help you out. Finding the confidence to do that is difficult. It is hard and you will get rejected but you will still be stunned by the amount of people who want to help you.


Cecchetto found success through his own initiative after graduating from SPAD. Faxing hundreds of resumés and applications to potential employers resulted in only a single positive response for Cecchetto. While he was slightly deterred, he received the job because of his experience and ability to perform the job effectively and efficiently. While fax machines may not be as relevant today, the lesson in the story still rings true. Today, Cecchetto is an incredibly successful example of what current and prospective SPAD students need to do in order to find similar success down the road. Taking advantage of each and every day to move forward and accumulate new experiences is infinitely valuable.


You’re surrounded by opportunity. You just don’t always know it.”


The SPAD students of today were given an invaluable opportunity to hear from someone who knows what it takes to be successful within the business industry while also being given the chance to have their own personal questions answered by someone with an abundance of relevant experience. On behalf of all SPAD students, we would like to send our thanks and appreciation to Mark Cecchetto for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak to students who are in the same position he was in not too long ago.