Dual-degree (MBA/MS) Students Tackle Exciting “Real World” Consulting Projects
January 02, 2019
The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management has secured three high profile sport industry clients to participate in its 2019 MBA Practicum, the capstone experience to the grad-level dual-degree (MBA/MS) curriculum. Strategic management briefs have been crafted with The Oak View Group, Farmers Insurance, and Major League Rugby.
The Oak View Group will work with four McCormack MBAs to address the evolving, data-driven landscape of facility financing and development. Students will report in to Co-Chair Peter Luukko and VP of Global Partnerships Evan Levine, both McCormack alumni. Oak View Group Facilities, a division of the Oak View Group founded by Irving Azoff, Tim Leiweke and supported by Silverlake, is a full-service venue management company that creates customized management plans for each of their venues. The Group currently manages arenas, theaters, convention centers and amphitheaters nation-wide and specializes in event programming, venue assessments, and security protocol. Oak View Group Facilities seeks to create value along the sport facility and stadia supply chain, and students will be tasked with helping create pathways for the company to streamline resources, remain nimble as environmental and market factors shift, and communicate business intelligence to key municipal decision makers.
“We are excited to partner with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management and their students on an MBA Consulting Practicum,” said Peter Luukko, Co-Chair, Oak View Group, and a 1981 graduate of the University of Massachusetts. “These future leaders of our industry will offer us a highly strategic and multi-departmental view of how we may be able to further grow our business. Personally, it is a thrill to work closely with my alma mater and help mentor the next generation of sports management executives. I am looking forward to working closely with the students and seeing their insight impact our business.”
The second client, Major League Rugby, is excited to partner with the McCormack Department in pursuit of broad based fan acquisition and marketing recommendations, as the emerging U.S. sports league develops strategic commercial initiatives aimed at league sustainability and growth. Students will report in to Nishant Nereyeth, Operations & Marketing Manager and a MBA/MS McCormack alum, who comments, “With a successful first season completed and expansion to key growth markets planned for the next 2 years, Major League Rugby is ecstatic about partnering with a top sport management program in UMass as we hope to capitalize on attainable opportunities for sustainable business and fan growth. We hope to give the students an immersive experience working on the ground floor of an emerging sports league, and look forward to using their work to build our future."
Lastly, Farmers Insurance and client Nikki Jost (MBA/MS ’11) will involve McCormack students in a corporate sponsorship project related to the insurance company’s golf portfolio. Using recent brand and consumer insights planning as a baseline, students will work with the client to identify ways in which sponsorship can serve as a key leverage point in engaging target consumers and growing share of mind amidst category competitors. Students will be briefed on the Farmers brand position, current marketing campaign, and relevant market research on the consumer target in order to understand what sport sponsorship tactics may be most relevant in crafting their recommendations.
These three clients follow a distinguished list of past Practicum consulting clients, including but not limited to: Visa, Under Armour, The Madison Square Garden Company, Bank of America, ’47 Brand, Boston Cannons, Xenith Corporation, Major League Baseball International, The New York Red Bulls, The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Right To Play USA, and The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, among others.