Trinity and UIW to host Sport Management Symposium

Students who are interested in a career in sport management and students who just love sports are invited to attend the 2015 South Texas Sport Management Symposium.

This year marks the fifth year of the symposium coordinated by Trinity and the University of the Incarnate Word.

“What I view this symposium as is an opportunity for students to see what’s out there in terms of the sports industry and how broadly it’s defined,” said Jacob Tingle, assistant professor of the practice in business administration and director of the sport management minor.

In the past, the symposium has included a keynote speaker and a panel of professionals in the sports industry that would speak to students about their experience. This year, the keynote will be held in the form of an informal interview, and there will be table-hosts from different sports organizations that will be able to speak to students on a more personal basis.

“One of the things I’m hoping to do if people RSVP is to try to seat them at a table that has a table-host from an organization they’re interested in or a field they’re interested in working in,” Tingle said.

Individuals from Spurs Sports and Entertainment, San Antonio Scorpions, San Antonio Sports, the Valero Alamo Bowl and USAA will be among the table-hosts in attendance.

“All the table-hosts are volunteering their time and are people who love engaging with Trinity students,” Tingle said. “It’s great that they’re going to give up three hours of their night to come be with us.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Frank Supovitz, the CEO of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment and former senior vice president of events for the NFL. He is an award-winning event producer of live sports and entertainment events such as the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the NFL Draft.

Senior sport management minor Jesse Gamble is working with Supovitz ahead of time to coordinate interview questions and topics. Some of these topics include crisis management, the NFL draft, fan engagement, and how sports is a form of entertainment.

“Frank wanted it to be in the form of an interview because he wants there to be structure from the students about what they’re interested in and he wants to talk about what they’re curious about,” Gamble said.

Supovitz, who started off as an usher at Radio City Music Hall, will also speak about his professional experience and how it led him into the prestigious positions he has held in the sports industry.

“Seeing someone who started out as an usher””which is not a glamorous job at all and not necessarily what people would think is the way into sports””really shows where you can go from there,” Gamble said. “Frank really wants to encourage students to be open to different opportunities and new possibilities more than anything else.”

A dinner will be served following the keynote speaker. There will also be time for networking before the close of the event.

Junior sport management minor Lucky Byas will be attending the symposium for the first time this year.

“What I’m most excited about is the speaker,” Byas said. “I’m just excited to learn more about the sports industry from him.”

Byas is also looking forward to networking opportunities that will be provided.

“Networking is a huge benefit,” Byas said. “The people who go into it with an open mind and wanting to get the most out of the experience have the opportunity to meet a lot of brilliant people.”

In the past, students have been charged an entry fee, but this year the event is sponsored by Bracewell & Giuliani along with Trinity University’s Lecturers and Visiting Scholars Committee and the departments of business administration, communication and finance and decision sciences, so admission for students is  completely free.

Tingle is hoping to have close to 90 attendees at the symposium this year.

“It’s neat for our students to get engagement with someone of Frank’s caliber and with his professional experience and pedigree,” Tingle said. “You don’t normally get someone with 30 years of experience who wants to be here and talk with students so badly.”

Gamble believes that anyone interested in any of the different facets of sport management can benefit from the symposium.

“One of the benefits is that it allows you to see the real world of sports and you get to interact with people who are making their living in sport management,” Gamble said. “Obviously there’s a variety of different forms, but there’s a lot of different professionals who will come in and offer their perspectives.”

The symposium will be held in Chapman Great Hall at 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday, March 30. To RSVP, contact Jacob Tingle at [email protected] by Friday, March 27.