Archive for the ‘SPAD Students’ Category

2016Oct 24

Student Profile: Jennifer and Dania Arrive in Austria

14671343_10210505216844476_7860131875434533149_nLast year we spoke with SPAD students Jennifer Thomas and Dania Johanson who were chosen to be SPAD’s first ever exchange students. Jennifer and Dania have now settled down in Austria and have taken the time to chat with us about everything they’ve experienced since landing in Kufstein on September 27th.

SB: Being in another country who’s native tongue is so different from ours, do you find that there is a language barrier?

 

JT: We go to an International School that teaches its classes in English so everyone in the university knows how to speak the language to varying degrees. Though, for most people it isn’t their first language. When we speak in class our professors ask us to slow down because we’re speaking too fast.

 

DJ: In town it isn’t too bad. When we first landed, we went into town looking for amenities and it was really hard trying to communicate with people and find what we wanted. Most people know at least some basic English or have co-workers who can, and we eventually figure it all out.

 

We are trying to pick up on some of the language. We have learned some basic phrases and words such as “how are you” and “My name is Dania” but there are some sounds that we struggle to pronounce. Our favourite word is “Fachhochschule”, which is equivalent to the word University in English.

 

SB: What’s the coolest part of being at an international school?

 

JT and DJ: There are so many people from so many different countries. Our core group of friends consists of people from Finland, France, and Australia and we socialize more with people who can speak English fluently. It’s the same way for other people, most people hang around with the people who share their first language but not exclusively. Everyone is interested in each other’s cultures because we are all so different, we joke around and make fun of each other. There are lots of stereotypes; one of our friends keeps saying we’re from Nova Scotia.

 

SB: Culture has been said to have an affect on people’s preference in sport. How do you think this has affected your discussions in class?

 

JT: In class the other day we were talking about events and I used the World Cup of Hockey as an example and our whole class bursted out laughing. They make fun of us and hockey all of the time. Europeans have a lot of love for soccer so it’s what most people talk about.

 

SB: What is your overall class structure like for this year?

 

JT and DJ: Our first semester started in October and will end in February, although we will be home for a couple weeks for Christmas. After this semester, we have four weeks off in which we plan on backpacking around Europe. Our second semester starts in March and ends in July.

Our class schedule is very different than the one’s we would have at Laurentian. We never have a week with the same schedule, there could be a week when we have the same class Monday to Friday and then we end with an exam on the Saturday, others we have every couple of weeks.

 

SB: What is your favourite class?

 

JT and DJ: Austrian History and Culture. It’s a Saturday class and we basically go to different historic locations in Austria. The first week we went to the fortress that’s located in Kufstein, we can actually see it from our window. Tomorrow we’re going to Innsbruck, and in a couple of weeks were going to Salzburg. We get to see so many different cultures, the cities are so close together but they have such different cultures because of their differing history. It’s interesting because Austria’s history is so much older than Canada’s history; it’s all very new to us.

 

SB: What’s the best place you’ve been so far?

 

JT and DJ: Neuschwanstein Castle was awesome and the most impressive. It looked like something out of a story and was the castle that Disney first based their animated castles off of. Everything about it was surreal.

On the other hand, we went to a concentration camp in Germany and it was really eye opening. We felt weird the whole day after. The whole situation made us feel so emotional. People were crying and no one spoke. We just walked around and paid our respects.

 

SB: What is the best piece of advice you would give the Austrian exchange students that have joined SPAD in Sudbury for the year?

 

JT and DJ: Attend and join as many extra curricular activities as possible throughout Laurentian and the Sudbury community. At FH Kufstein, they don’t have structured intramurals like Laurentian does so they should take advantage of Laurentian’s and really get involved in the school, make the best of your time there. (more…)

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

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. 

 

 

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 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.

2015Nov 19

John Molson Sport Marketing Conference – SPAD Style

JMSM

30 #SPADbeauties out in force in Montreal

On November 5th, thirty SPAD students made their annual trip to Montreal for the 2015 John Molson Sport Marketing (JMSM) Conference hosted by the John Molson School of Business and Concordia University. Conference organizers were thrilled to announce that a record number of conference delegates attended the 20th anniversary of the event. SPAD students had the opportunity of networking with other schools from all over Canada and countless business professionals from the sport industry. 5 speaker panels, keynote speakers, a marketing case competition, a dinner gala, social outings each night of the conference, and for the first time ever – workshops, ensured the weekend was not only a busy but memorable one.

Thursday night kicked off with a panel discussion a first in JMSM history; Growing the Beautiful Game panel which featured executives from Major League Soccer and its Clubs where they discussed the quick rise and popularity of soccer in North America. Following the panel discussion, delegates moved into the adjacent room for a Networking Cocktail where we continued the discussion and met students from across North America. Thursday evening concluded with a night out at Hardwax Montreal. The JMSM classic of Rep Your Team was the theme of the night. Almost everyone in attendance showed up sporting their favourite team.

Friday kicked off with the blueprint for franchise for success panel which looked into the high-level strategies that two of the NHL’s elite teams implement for success on and off the ice. Geoff Molson talked about how even though he owned the Montreal Canadians, ultimately the team belonged to the fans. The importance of the fans was prevalent throughout this panel. Fans, and how you engage fans is very important in the sports world and I believe the SPAD students in attendance understood this fact – this is what our program is about – recognizing the importance of many different areas of sport. This interesting panel was followed by the backbone of franchise operations with Jason Faris and Ian Clarke. This panel dove into the strategies teams are implementing to achieve long-term sustainability and growth. From day-to-day operations, to costing, to new investments and development, this panel revealed how a sports franchise operates behind the scenes. As a student interested in the business of sport, it was inspiring to hear and learn how sport is run behind closed doors.

JMSM then launched their first ever workshops. SPAD students had the opportunity to attend 1 of 3 workshops of their choosing including; 1) the successful job applicant. In this workshop students learned how to stand out over the competition and what employers are looking for. 2) A new star rising: overview of the experience from re-building a hockey franchise (Part 1) where delegates had the opportunity to understand how to deal with the challenges a franchise can experience during change; and finally 3) how to get your foot in the door which was with two former JMSM executives who have successfully broken into the industry and how their experiences can help us do the same.

After this delegates had a short break then went to their second workshop. These workshops consisted of public relations & crisis management, where speakers talked about how every organization must deal with unexpected circumstances and learn how to plan and react in the eye of the public. The next option was a new star is rising: experiences from rebuilding a hockey franchise (Part 2). And finally the last workshop choice for this session was marketing through sport, where delegates learned how to create a successful business relationship with a sports organization, from the corporation’s perspective. Delegates then were treated to dinner at Les Rotisseries St-Hubert followed by a casual night out.

Saturday started off with the next panel, Engaging a New Generation. The panel discussed strategies teams are using to garner fan involvement and loyalty. This panel discussed many interesting topics, including how current trends are showing that fans want social media interactions more than they want an autograph. This proves how powerful social media is as a tool for fan engagement. The next panel was The Discretionary Dollar where the panel discussed top level management strategies for selling tickets and driving revenue while maintaining a healthy profit. A big discussion during this panel was regarding ticket pricing and the secondary ticket market. It was mentioned that the secondary ticket market can harm a team due to the fact that once the ticket goes on the secondary market the team can no longer control the brand image associated with the ticket.

Next was one of the best parts of the weekend which was a one on one with Ken Holland, who is arguably one of the most successful General Managers in NHL history. Ken shared some stories from his time as a player in the NHL all the way to his 4 Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. Ken touched on some very key points when running any organization and that is to develop people at their own pace, it’s the only way to tap into their potential, and how every organization needs difference makers.

SPAD students then went to their final workshop where they could choose from: The art of negotiations where delegates were given the chance to learn how to negotiate from the best, former MLB general manager, Ned Colletti. Other workshop topics included engaging a new generation which looked at the panel from earlier and put it into a more hands on context and finally delegates had the opportunity to attend a workshop focusing on “inside the sponsorship deal” where speakers illustrated the anatomy of a sponsorship deal and the importance of activation.

The night ended with a keynote closing address from Bill Clement during the conference gala. The annual JMSM conference is a great opportunity for SPAD students to socialize with other aspiring sports marketers, as well as gain insight from the industry’s top leaders in the historic city of Montréal. SPAD delegates can attest that the invaluable information gained and learned from attending this event over the last few years, and the wisdom shared from guest speakers has contributed to our knowledge and experience and elevates SPAD students – we are contenders and the future of the sports business industry.

2015Oct 20

SPAD Jays Game 2015

Jays GameWhile most students attend university between September and April, in SPAD it’s year-round excitement and a lifetime of networking. The next two posts on the SPAD Blog will describe some of the great summer traditions and opportunities for SPAD students.

On August 15th, approximately 70 Sports Administration students ventured to the Rogers Centre for the annual SPAD Blue Jays game hosted by SPAD Council. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining and the roof was open. It was going to be a great afternoon of baseball. The game was between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees, both teams neck and neck looking to win the American League East.

The game is an annual tradition where SPAD students can catch up with fellow classmates, and kickstart the new year. Like every year before, this is the first opportunity for upper-year students to meet some of the new SPAD Frosh. It’s also the frosh’s first chance to fully appreciate the SPAD experience and the strong network of students and alumni. Unfortunately for all the Jays fans in attendance, the experience wasn’t perfect, as the Blue Jays’ bats didn’t show up and they lost 4-1 to the Yankees.

Fortunately the festivities didn’t end there as a large number of the attending students walked down the street to Real Sports, North Americas premiere sports bar. It was a great time to share some laughs over dinner and drinks; a great day for all.

SPAD Council President, Neal Steven, was pleased with the excellent turnout and had this to say: “It was great to see so many SPAD students, alumni, and some excited new frosh come out and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of baseball.”

The annual SPAD Blue Jays game is always a great time for students. It has definitely made every one of us excited to head back up to Sudbury for another great year in SPAD.