Hands-on Learning Opportunities for McCormack Students Chronicled in Top Industry Journal
March 30, 2017
A recent article in the leading industry trade journal SportsBusiness Journal by McCormack Department of Sport Management senior lecturer and internship director Tony Lachowetz and Sam Todd,* underscores the value of experiential learning for sport management students. Hands-on learning experiences, write the authors, “can make the difference with entry-level employment opportunities.”
Before arriving at Isenberg in 2008, Lachowetz worked with Todd at Georgia Southern University in developing game-changing learning opportunities for its sport management students. The authors, notes the article, collaborated with the GSU athletic department to create a student-run sport marketing agency that coordinated on-field entertainment during home baseball games and operated an in-stadium store that sold licensed hats, sweat shirts, and other branded offerings. In addition, Lachowetz and Todd co-taught an experiential sales class that generated substantial ticket revenues for GSU athletics.
Since joining Isenberg, Lachowetz has fostered like-minded entrepreneurial and experiential opportunities for McCormack students. Working with the McCormack Student Leaders Club, he has created fertile ground for four student-run revenue-generating events. Described in the SBJ article, an elite junior hockey tournament, a 22-team high school basketball showcase, and a high school golf tournament have raised McCormack’s profile in the local and regional communities. In addition, a student-run Future Leaders Conference at McCormack annually immerses students in challenging casework and brings them insights from young industry professionals.
Annual income from the four events have defrayed expenses by McCormack students on networking trips to the annual winter baseball meetings and to employment centers like New York City, where they have met with alumni at Madison Square Garden, IMG, NBC Sports, and other venues. Opportunities like those combined with experiential learning itself can give students a powerful edge in the marketplace, emphasize the authors. Experiential learning, they insist, gives job applicants “incredible talking points” during job and internship interviews—insights that differentiate them from the competition and demonstrate their commitment to the industry.
*Professor of Sport Management, Georgia Southern University