Archive for the ‘SPAD Guest Speakers’ Category

2012Dec 6

SPAD is Sold on How Important Sales are to a Successful Career in the Sports Industry

By SPAD Blogger Brianne Pankoff

Welcome, SPAD Blog readers! I would like to start off by thanking you for your support of the SPAD program by staying updated in its ongoings through this website. The purpose of this post is to go over this past semester’s third year course “Championship Selling” and last-week’s wrap-up “GAME DAY™”, run by Tom Blake, SPAD Grad and CEO of Optimé International and Sprout. First, I will go into the background of the “Championship Selling” program, then talk about what our class worked on these past few months, and finally, how we applied our knowledge during the capstone GAME DAY™ experience.

Tom Blake (humbly referred to as Tom by his peers), has been teaching the specialized Championship Selling class for SPAD students for four years now, and it is the only class in North America of its kind.  Typically, Sales in the Sport Industry has been a fourth year course and this was the first year it was moved to third-year, as this solution gave third-year students the benefits of being better prepared for their internships and 4th year Consulting Trip presentations.

Now, how the class works is several weeks in a semester Tom travels back up to Laurentian for six-hour sessions with students to teach students three simple things:

– How to get a better job

– How to be better at the job

– And how to be better at life

Of course, these three things entail much more. Tom has taught us basic tools from using basic manners and opening with a purpose and an agenda, to his company’s trademarked “Playing Catch™” method of asking questions, to his 7-Step Sales Process, used by companies all over the world.

Finally, all our efforts this semester, led up to the ultimate sales test: GAME DAY™. On Friday November 30th, ten teams faced off in a real-life simulation of sales calls in which actual executives from prominent organizations such as Procter & Gamble, the CFL, PepsiCo, Molson-Coors, the Toronto Blue Jays, The Dominion Insurance, Sprout, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Smart Technology, and Optime, came to GAME DAY™ where the SPAD students act as the company and present a solution, as they act as their own company’s customer.  The teams are in contact with their “customers” leading up to GAME DAY™, where the students must apply what they’ve learned and are evaluated on their ability to Play Catch™ with their customers, and if they can execute the sales plan by offering them the best solution that both parties mutually confirm on.

Team Revised Class Inc. consisting of Mark Wiersma, Nick Andrews, Josh Dreith, Jon Ross, and Alonso Gutierrez, who sold to The Dominion were declared the Sales Champions of the day. Student Bryce Newton, who worked with P&G, assessed the event as “an experience that cannot be taught through textbooks. It is the closest to real life we will get in a school setting. We used our sharpened skills that we learned all year from Tom and proved that we had what it takes to sell like a champion.”

A huge thank you goes out to Tom, his assistant Jennifer for all of their hard work this semester, and to all of the customers and companies that came out to help run a successful GAME DAY™. From day one, every single person in that class improved themselves by becoming a better presenter, to being able to ask the right questions at the right time. Everything we practiced during the class was further emphasized, as we were able to transition our newfound knowledge into the game, and we can now move forward and succeed in our internships and future careers, based on what we have learned and demonstrated.

Now, that you have read about our classes’ experience with the Championship Selling and GAME DAY™ program, can you agree that these SPAD students have a better advantage to get better jobs, do better at these jobs, and be better at life?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Brianne wrote this article using Tom’s Seven-Step Sales Process. Hopefully you have now bought in to what an incredible experience and opportunity this is for our students.


2012Dec 4

SPAD Alumni Profile: Jamie Saull

SPAD Student Council President, Scott Rodgers (left) presents Jamie Saull (SPAD’12) with SPAD coasters as a thank you gift.

By SPAD Blogger Benoit Roy

The SPAD Speaker Series continued on November 29, 2012 with an appearance made by recent SPAD graduate and former SPAD Student Council President, Jamie Saull (SPAD’12).  Jamie is currently the Marketing Coordinator at TSN in charge of the national broadcaster’s social media presence.  He is also responsible for the marketing involved in TSN’s major productions such as the World Junior Hockey Championships, NHL on TSN, and the Grey Cup.  The journey he took to reach his current position may be considered untraditional, but with it came some unique stories and interesting experiences.  Jamie’s presentation on Thursday night to SPAD students and faculty veered off the beaten path because he actually created a Facebook page dedicated to his personal “Timeline” – the basis for his talk and eventual retelling of his experiences as a student and as an industry professional.  Each significant moment he experienced upon entering university, after leaving it (which really was recent!) and his working career is located on this Facebook page.  The onslaught of questions ensued about these experiences and how they collectively led up to where he is now.  Being both a producer and consumer of social media on a personal and corporate level, this certainly emphasized Jamie’s penchant for the marketing tool and for creating unique and memorable presentations.  Considering this, he even mentions one of his presentations during university which involved a water slide on UC hill in early April!  To view the page, visit

Presentation styles aside, the purpose of the SPAD Speaker Series is for students to gain insight into relevant sport business endeavours and the current strategies and tactics used by industry professionals.  Jamie’s background lies in event management and social media marketing, two very relevant areas of study for SPAD students.  Jamie began as a marketing and event specialist at CBC and worked on a number of productions such as Battle of the Blades, but later accepted his current position with TSN.  At TSN, Jamie took control as the lead of social media because he felt it was a missed opportunity, and his first project was the TSN Predictor App – an application allowing fans to predict scores of upcoming games through social media.  Eventually, Jamie was involved in creating the TSN Check-In App for Facebook to connect Canadian hockey fans during the World Junior’s, demonstrating the power of social media and the direction in which it’s headed.

Now, creating relevant content is the biggest challenge at TSN and for Jamie simply because of the amount of news, updates and scores that viewers are often inundated with.  The purpose of social media is more about creating an experience through live interaction and updates rather than reporting news.  Jamie states that fans create content because they are reacting to live in-game moments and talking about it on social media.  It’s then TSN’s goal to use what these fans are talking about to leverage the potential to build the follower-base of their social media outlets and ultimately create relationships through strong interactions with these fans.  A large follower-base is nothing without fan interaction and Jamie knows that if the fans are talking about it, TSN will be too.  We thank Jamie for taking the time to speak with us about the extremely significant world of sport and social media!

2012Nov 10

SPAD Across the Airwaves

By SPAD Blogger Benoit Roy

SPAD students have taken over the airwaves at Laurentian University with the inaugural run of On The Sidelines, a radio talk show discussing the goings-on of professional and amateur sports.  Hosted by SPAD students Kelly Turner and Connor Stevens who are in second and third year respectively, the gentlemen sought to create an alternate avenue on which to discuss their opinions on the matters that they are so passionate about in sport.  Laurentian University’s radio channel, 96.7 CKLU, took on the project in early October where the boys are currently in business and now broadcasting their show every Wednesday at 7 PM.

“It’s something I’ve always been at ease with, and is a sort of forum for me to talk about sports with people who share my passion,” states Turner, the creator of the project.  Having been inspired by a talk made by Rogers Sportsnet personality Rob Faulds to SPAD students, Turner has created an opportunity in a field often ignored by graduates of Sports Administration.  Kelly’s interest in radio broadcasting began in high school as he hosted a similar show on a channel dedicated to young sports broadcasters.  As for Connor Stevens, his first indulgence in radio broadcasting occurred more recently.  “Kel shared his idea of starting the show through social media, and this represented a pretty unique opportunity for me to get involved in something most SPAD students or students in general don’t often do.  The show allows myself, Kel and our guest hosts to share our opinions on the subjects we’re most passionate about to an interested audience which is a really great experience.”

The guys of On The Sidelines know that “sitting in a SPAD classroom is a lot like sitting in the studio for On The Sidelines.  Everyone involved has a passion for sports, and we all love sharing our thoughts on hotly debated topics.  SPAD has broadened our knowledge of sports, and has made it easier to have intellectual conversations on a variety of sports topics,” making the radio show more engaging for the listener and comfortable for the broadcaster.   Despite the material covered in SPAD classes pertaining more towards theoretical and analytical topics in sport business, the ground work created in class sets up the hosts for turning their opinions into fact-based arguments.  Topics such as the current NHL lockout, weekly NFL picks and fantasy predictions have been covered on On The Sidelines, among other areas of interest including current news on Laurentian Athletics and SPAD Events hosted throughout the year.

SPAD students are encouraged to join Kelly, Connor, and their more frequent guest hosts Ross Wallen, Sean Meyers and Cameron Baker in the studio or through call-ins to talk about the world of sports or to provide insight into what’s going on at Laurentian and in Sports Administration.  Tune in to 96.7 CKLU in Sudbury or online at on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM and be sure to follow the show on Twitter (@0nTheSidelines) and like it on Facebook (On The Sidelines).

2012Oct 22

SPAD Speaker Series: Graham Sage & PepsiCo

PepsiCo leaders (including Graham Sage, SPAD’07, third from the right) and SPAD student leaders.

By SPAD Blogger Cameron Brooks

On Tuesday, October 16th the School of Sports Administration had its first installment of the 2012-2013 SPAD Speaker Series, featuring various leaders from PepsiCo. The group was led by 2007 SPAD Grad Graham Sage, who has been with the company for 5 years and has already been promoted twice. The presentation was roughly an hour long and focused on the different sales positions and opportunities offered by PepsiCo. The presentation had a real focus on leadership and how, when it comes to being in sales, the organization really looks for people who are leaders, and constantly promote young people into more leadership roles, as we see in Graham’s time with the company.

When asked why he wanted to come back to speak with current SPAD students, Graham’s response was “I don’t know what it exactly is, but for some reason SPAD Grads seem to be a good fit for our organization. It could be because many of our marketing plans are based around sports, we don’t actually know what the actual answer is, but for whatever reason they just seem to be a good fit.” One of these fits with PepsiCo has been Tom Greco (SPAD ’81), currently the President of Frito Lay North America, who has been one of the more successful SPAD grads in the program’s forty years.

Graham is also a good example of how the sports industry sometimes isn’t always going to work out for a person, which stresses the commerce degree aspect of SPAD. “I did actually start out in the sports industry with Tennis Canada, so I worked there for two summers. To be completely honest they didn’t have a lot of full-time positions, so I had friends who worked with Frito Lay for the summer, tell me about the job, and it seemed like an exciting fit for me.” The aspect of PepsiCo that was similar to the SPAD program was the real emphasis on interactions between co-workers and creating a tight knit environment within the organization. “Once I got into the company I got kind of addicted, and it’s the people that make that happen. It’s the people that you work with every day that are giving you those opportunities and they are all pretty positive people and it’s just a great work environment.” SPAD students and alumni know that the program and the people in it are like your family, so it’s clear to see that a positive and encouraging work environment is very attractive to our students (more…)

2012Sep 28

SPAD Alumni Profile: Darryl Dionne

Darryl Dionne

By SPAD Blogger Adam Johnston

Last year, the students in The Business of Hockey course were privileged to listen to Darryl Dionne (SPAD ’04) explain his path to success in the sports industry. When listening to Darryl’s interesting path, I thought that the rest of the SPAD community would benefit, as well as be interested in hearing his story.

Can you provide us with a brief summary of your career path since you graduated from SPAD

About a month after graduating from SPAD in 2004, I was hired by a SPAD Grad, Mike Flanagan, to work in the sales department at Frito Lay Canada.  I left Frito Lay after a year to pursue an MBA and a Master of Sports Administration degree from Ohio University.  Shortly before graduation, one of my SPAD classmates, Andrew Johnston, told me about a potential job opportunity with the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, which is where he worked at the time.  I submitted my resume to the Executive Director, came in for an interview during my Spring Break, and started with the PHPA shortly thereafter.

What do you think was the most important thing the Sports Administration program taught you that you’ve carried through with you to a successful career?

The most important thing the SPAD program taught me was the power of making connections in the sport industry, as so many cool sport jobs are never even posted.  Timing often has to be right, and the people responsible to fill these positions have to know who you are.  The program also opened my eyes to a world of sport business that stretched beyond just hockey and Canada.


2012Jan 18

SPAD Speaker Series Presents: Gil Scott, Tim Fleiszer, and Andy Fantuz

SPAD interns and Andy Fantuz, Tim Fleiszer & Gil Scott

By SPAD Blogger Andrew Leach

On Monday, January 16th, the SPAD students at Laurentian University were honoured to welcome esteemed guests, Gil Scott, Tim Fleiszer, and Andy Fantuz, who shared their knowledge and industry experience with staff and students alike. The first of the guests to grace the podium was Tim Fleiszer, a Partner in Gil Scott Sports Management, and a former CFL defensive lineman. Mr. Fleiszer boasts an impressive resume, a Harvard graduate (’98), selected 1st overall in 1998 CFL draft, 4 Grey Cup Championships with 4 different teams, and finally, a business partner in well-respected sports management firm – Gil Scott Sport Management. Mr. Fleiszer was keen to share his experience with the students, and provided excellent insights into how students can gain advantages in the workplace, and help themselves further their careers. One of the tips expressed by Fleiszer was for students to “sell more than you can deliver ”. When new in an industry, hard work and dedication is critical to gaining the trust of partners, and by setting high goals, and striving to succeed, efforts will not go unnoticed. He also emphasized the power of the word “yes”. Tim’s experience has taught him that in order to succeed, one must accept the challenges presented to us, and embrace the opportunities that are presented along with such challenges.

A major focus of Fleiszer’s speech was the emphatic performance of the Interns: Chris Ackroyd, Kyla Csumrik, Meron Tecle, Alannah Della Vedova, and Antoine Ste- Marie. These SPAD students represented Gil Scott Sports Management over the past several months, and according to Mr. Fleiszer, exceeded all expectation. The students were burdened with challenging tasks that came hand in hand with large amounts of responsibility. In true SPAD style, the students did not disappoint, and left a lasting impression in the minds of all those involved in the organization.


2011Dec 20

Happy Holidays from @LU_SPAD!

Happy Holidays from SPAD

Hard to believe how fast the Fall 2011 term has gone by! As I write this post, students are finishing up final exams and heading home for the holidays. This fall SPAD welcomed the Class of 2015 and watched the SPAD Class of 2011 make their way into the sport world and join the @LU_SPAD alumni family.  SPAD students has enjoyed visits from SPAD alumni such as Matthew Jackson, @Legault_Phil,  Randy Pascal and Clay Leibel. Industry professionals like Rob Faulds @ConwayFraser and @ToddRobson helped ensure that our new Sport, Media and Communication class got started on the right foot.

The 4th year students are out on internships and the class is well on  its way to raising funds for the 2012 Field Trip to Denver. The 3rd SPAD students are taking Event Management to a new level this year in preparation for their trip next year. This fall saw the return of several annual SPAD events such as the SPAD Flag Football Tournament and the re-launch of the SPAD Alumni Golf Tournament. The SPAD Grey Cup Event moved to the Pub Down Under and a new partnership with Aramark Food Services provide a great food menu, including wings, nachos and ribs for the event.

I am pleased to say that SPAD has renewed its partnership with the SGA/AGE here on campus and have run some successful events as a part of this partnership. It is great to see groups on campus coming together for successful student engagement. We hope to continue to build this partnership as the year moves forward.

The SPAD student council organized another successful year of SPAD Wear and for the first time SPAD Alumni Wear, something that we hope to expand in the coming years. The council also arranged a successful trip to the JMSM conference in Montreal, a great Frosh Day and ran the 3rd Annual SPAD Frosh Scavenger Hunt.

SPAD students have continued to excel and many have received accolades and bursaries to support their studies. SPAD 3rd year student Kendra Lilly shared her experience as a competitive curler with other aspiring young athletes at the Sportlink Guts and Glory Lunch. SPAD students continued to contribute to Laurentian’s success in CIS sport, including the Men’s Soccer team (Patrick Smoke, Liam Dougherty, Cameron Brooks), the Women’s Soccer Team (Julie Lopez), the Women’s Cross Country Team (Gracie Tetzlaff), the Voyageur Golf Team (Geoff Wolfer, Brennan Doyle), the Lacrosse Team (Blaine Syme, Jack Somerville, Robert Pollock) and the Women’s Basketball Team (Katarina Schwabe, Danielle Harris).

The 2011 year has been a great ride and we are all looking forward to what 2012 will bring – look for a preview of 2012 in the next blog entry in early January. As always, follow us on Twitter @LU_SPAD for the latest news from SPAD.

We would like to thank all our partners and alumni for their continued support of SPAD and our students – without your involvement, we would not have the great program that we do.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us in SPAD.

2011Nov 10

SPAD Speaker Series Presents: Phil Legault SPAD’86

By SPAD Blogger Andy Leach

SPAD welcomes back Phil Legault SPAD'86

On November 9th, 2011, the Sports Administration students had the valuable opportunity to meet with Phil Legault SPAD ‘86 (@Legault_Phil), as he shared his experience from the communications industry. Mr. Legault has gained substantial experience during his 26 years working in communications, which started with a communications internship with the Ottawa Roughriders in 1986. From here, Legault began his steady elevation through his career, with positions of communications assistant for the Roughriders, followed by director of communications for the CSA. However, is was in the next chapter of his life that his career really took off, when he was hired by the Ottawa Senators in 1996. By 1998, Legault had become the Vice-President of Communications for the Senators, a position which he would hold until 2011. Today, he is the director of communications for Speed Skating Canada, a well-respected and successful Canadian sports organization.

With this impressive resume, Phil Legault was a perfect candidate to come in and share his communications knowledge with current students. He was able to elaborate on many communications issues present within society today that future SPAD graduates will have to deal with further into their careers. Some examples of these trends include: impact of social media, demand for volume vs. substance, and the impact of technology on communication methods.

The insights gained by students into these areas are the kind that can only arise from people such as Phil, who take time out of their busy schedules to pass on this insider knowledge. Two of the major areas of emphasis stressed by Legault were those of networking and volunteering. He believes that strong networks, made through relationships with employers, classmates, and acquaintances cannot be underestimated, and are a valuable trait to possess in the future. This is where volunteering plays its part, as it allows for networks to be built with organizations that can lead to permanent employment opportunities further down the line.

In closing, Mr. Legault was keen to state how obtaining a SPAD degree allowed him to keep his options open by providing him with knowledge in various areas of business. This has allowed him to find the career most suited to him, despite this path being unknown to him when he started his SPAD degree.

On behalf of the staff, students, and alumni, we wish Mr. Legault all the best in his endeavours with Speed Skating Canada, and look forward to hearing from him in the future.

2011Nov 3

SPAD Speaker Series Presents: Rob Faulds Sportsnet

By SPAD Blogger Andy Leach

On November 2nd, 2011 the SPAD students were pleased to welcome Mr. Rob Faulds to the stage, after being a highlight speaker at the 6thannual Guts and Glory Luncheon.

Rob Faulds shares his knowledge and experience with SPAD Students

Mr. Faulds began his broadcasting journey during his time at Western University (London, Ont), where he first started with the campus radio station. From here, Faulds moved to becoming an operator at a local radio station on a part time basis. This is where he learned many of the skills and tricks required to be successful in the field of broadcasting. From here, Faulds’ journey has led him to three Olympic Games including Vancouver 2010, and the upcoming 2012 London Games.  However, Faulds’ journey was not without setbacks, including two rejection letters he has kept to this day. His advice – keep trying. It was with the Sudbury Wolves that Faulds truly entered the sporting world, and this leads us into some of the lessons which Mr. Faulds was careful to emphasize to the students, as they progress through their education.

Firstly, a key message expressed was “Don’t put your blinders on”. He encouraged students to remain open to new opportunities despite how much they may desire a set goal. By doing this, it leaves you with options and contingency plans should a barrier come into play. Mr. Faulds credits some of his achievements to his versatility within his profession, by remaining versatile, as well as open to new pathways; he was able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him throughout his career.

To conclude, Mr. Faulds was keen to emphasize how broadcasting was an ‘ever expanding empire, sometimes for the good; sometimes for the bad’ and how people are insatiable for the knowledge presented by broadcasters in all fields.

On behalf of the entire SPAD community, we would like to thank Mr. Faulds for sharing his valuable experiences with us, providing some good advice and we wish him all the best as he continues to broadcast our favorite sports.


2011Oct 31

The Story Thus Far…

By SPAD Blogger Andy Leach

The First half of the Term Recap

As we reach the mid-point of the semester, it is time to look back upon the story so far, and recap the SPAD experiences enjoyed by staff, students, and alumni alike. To begin, we welcomed the latest crop of talent which SPAD has to offer – the frosh. The frosh had an excellent day of bonding with each other through paintballing, and food, as well as having a chance to meet the students and professors that will help guide them through their time at Laurentian University.

Shortly after the frosh were settling in, the SPAD council launched the latest line of SPAD Wear. This year’s SPAD Wear is all Reebok apparel, and includes sweaters, polo’s, t-shirts, hats, tracksuits, as well as a new addition – women’s apparel. The SPAD community eagerly awaits the arrival of their orders show that students, faculty, and alumni alike can show their pride for the SPAD program.

Thus far, we have been lucky to welcome three guest speakers. These speakers have all been able to offer students insight into various career fields, and offer words of wisdom and advice to students as they progress throughout their education and future careers. The first of the speaker series welcome Mr.’s Conway Fraser and Todd Robson to centre stage. The duo offered students firsthand knowledge of media relations, public relations, as well as insight into how the news world operates. The third speaker to grace us with his presence was SPAD alumni Mr. Matthew Jackson. Jackson has had the privilege of working for 5 Olympic Games, including Sydney 2000, and Vancouver 2010. He brought a great perspective towards the event management and was keen to stress the importance of good networking skills to the students. On November 2nd, SPAD will welcome its fourth guest speaker this term, Mr. Rob Faulds, Sportsnet Broadcaster.

This semester brought about the re-launch of the Annual SPAD Alumni Golf Tournament.  The event, held at Shawneeki Golf Course (Newmarket, On.) was a great success, with a good time being had by students and alumni alike. At the end of the warm, sunny day of competition, the team consisting of Cole Julien, Mike Leblanc, and Mike Ondevilla emerged as the winning three-some. The evening was capped off by a steak dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate the individual and team performances of the participants. The event also served as a successful fundraiser for the 4th year sport consulting trip to Denver, Colorado.

Finally, the first of the third-year run events kicked off – the Annual SPAD Flag Football tournament. The tournament saw a weekend of terrible weather, and intense competition. The participants were not deterred by the weather and battled through two days of games with the hopes of reaching the final, which was played under the stadium lights. In the end, the victorious team of Laurentian University students walked away with 12 tickets for the Toronto Argonauts game on October 21st.

Looking ahead, we have the second of the third- year events with the SGA Halloween Party taking place after the reading break. The event – held on Halloween, will take place at the `Pub Downunder` at Laurentian University with all proceeds going towards next year’s field trip.

To cap off, we wish the hosts of the Halloween Party a successful evening, and wish everyone the best of luck with midterm results.

Here’s to ensuring that the rest of the semester is as eventful and successful as the first half was for students, faculty, staff and alumni alike.