2013Feb 12

SPAD and the Wolves: Sudbury’s Two Great Sport Franchises Working Together

sudbury-wolves-logoBy SPAD Blogger Cameron Brooks

Over the course of a SPAD degree, most of the classes taken help to teach students how to manage sport from the business side of things. Marketing, finance, and media are just some of the specific classes taken in order to prepare students for the working life once the degree is over. Throughout the event management class, students are designated to organize campus-wide events, giving them the responsibility to run the events independently and successfully. Over the past number of years within SPAD, many students have taken these responsibilities one step further to get a better understanding on what it is like to run the operations of an event on a larger scale. For 34 nights of the year, the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves trust a select group of SPAD students enrolled in the Independent Projects class to help them with their ever important game day operations.

Throughout the game day operation for the Wolves, the students helping out are split up into two groups, one group down at the ground level and another up in the boxes behind the fans. “Working behind the scenes for the Wolves has provided a great learning experience for me,” said Brady Scott. “There are a lot of things that I never appreciated as a fan that I now see as being very important to making the fan experience more enjoyable.” For those down on the ground level, the night begins early as they have to be at the arena two hours prior to game time to help prepare any sponsorship activations for the game. Old posters from previous games are taken down and replaced by new ones that promote sponsors of the team, as well as preview Sudbury’s next home game. After completing their pre-game duties, students take up their positions in the stadium to help accomplish all the job they need to do while the game is going on. These tasks include completing any in-game promotions and giveaways the team is doing, as well as collecting some stats and send the wolf across the rafters whenever the home team scores.

For the two students up in the boxes however, their jobs are significantly different from the others. The two students who help here are constantly on the computer throughout the game for stats purposes. One of the students is constantly updating the Wolves’ stats on the OHL website, while the second does live game tracking for the coaching staff using a computer program called “Steva”. The information collected by these students is vital to helping the team improve as the season goes on, making their jobs very specific and extremely important.

Beyond all of these jobs however, there twice has been an opportunity for one individual to make a name for himself in another area of the game. “On top of all the other responsibilities, I had the unique opportunity to commentate two of the games online.” said enthusiastic SPAD student Robert McLellan. “It was a very cool experience and I’ve definitely gained a new appreciation for professional commentators.” Despite the mispronunciation of a few names, Robbie’s first commentating duties have been deemed successful by both his coworkers and superiors, and he looks forward to the opportunity to do it once more before the season is out.

At the end of the day, both the Sports Administration program and the Sudbury Wolves are greatly benefiting from the partnership formed a number of years ago. The students participating in the operations clearly gain valuable experience to take with them into their internships at the end of the year, while the Wolves receive a group of strong working volunteers for their organization. This is by far one of the best opportunities to work with a sport team while still being in Sudbury, and all those who have done this job in the past would highly recommend it to any student who comes into the SPAD program.

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