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CSL Daily

September 21, 2018

CSL Visits Richmond Raceway

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

Richmond Raceway is hosting a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series playoff race for the first time on September 21st and 22nd. About 48 hours before the big race, CSL students were on a behind-the-scenes tour of the track.

Dan Schmitt, president of RMC Events, led the tour. RMC Events is an event staffing service headquartered here in Richmond.  They will have 1,800 staff members working the race this Saturday.  The company has grown dramatically over the last 19 years, starting with just eight employees in 1999.  In 2018, RMC Events has 2,000 staff members and will work 10,000 events.

In addition to giving the tour, Schmitt shared his own success story and offered some advice to CSL students.

“You are on a launching pad to success right now. Try everything you can do, learn what you like, learn what you don’t like.”

From the amphitheater to the “Front Porch,” a premium mezzanine seating level of the track, CSL students rode golf carts all over the raceway grounds.  Schmitt explained every aspect of the raceway and shared each step of the process for planning and running an event with tens of thousands of people.

Schmitt emphasized how important it is to say yes to opportunity, especially for our grad students. “Start at yes and work backwards.”

Schmitt worked as an unpaid intern at Richmond Coliseum doing everything from writing press releases and booking events to spreading mulch and painting ice.  Through this experience, Schmitt learned what he liked most about the industry: being around people.

Now as the president of his own company, Schmitt left CSL students with his own words of wisdom. “Be excellent and don’t settle for average.”

September 19, 2018

Sales & Development Class Visits UR

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

Athletic rivalry aside, the University of Richmond has always been one of our strongest allies.  Students in the cohort work for Richmond Athletics in various departments each year and gain incredible, hands on experience.

On Wednesday, students in Sales & Development had the opportunity to learn from some of the department’s key players: Carolyn Center, general manager for Spider IMG Sports Marketing, Lindsay Biggs, Spider Club operations coordinator (and CSL alum) and Jasmonn Coleman, assistant athletic director for development.

CSL students learned about Richmond’s fundraising and corporate sponsorship strategies.  Afterwards, they were able to put their networking skills to the test when some of the 10 CSL alums working at UR stopped by:

  • Lindsay Biggs ’13 – Spider Club Operations Coordinator
  • Crystal (Williams) Brown ’13 – Director of Basketball Operations
  • Justin Cliff ’05 – Director of Equipment Operations
  • Chaz Coleman ’16 – Director of Football Operations
  • Mark Driscoll ’10 – Director of Ticket Operations
  • Courtney Hughes ’07 – Associate Director of Academics/Disability Services Coordinator
  • Chaney Manganello ’15 – Assistant Field Hockey Coach
  • Adam Richardson ’18 – Assistant Business Manager
  • Shannon St. Pierre ’12 – Associate Director of Academic Support/Director for Football Academic Performance
  • Marti Tomlin ’04 – Director of University Recreation

Biggs, a part of the Spider Club team since 2016, works closely with athletic donors, as well as coordinating marketing and communications strategies.  She spoke about plans to push for stronger communication and relationships with young alumni from the university and some of the philanthropical changes the athletic department will undergo with their new athletic director, John Hardt.

Coleman, a former UR football player, found his way back to his alma mater in 2008. He is responsible for leading the fundraising efforts for Spider Athletics.  Coleman emphasized how important networking and using his connections were in building his career, something that CSL students can relate to.  Relationship building is one of Coleman’s favorite aspects of the job, but he also focuses on strategic development and ways to bring in new donors.

Center, an adjunct professor for the CSL, handles corporate sponsorship and selling multimedia rights for Richmond Athletics.  She outlined the process of getting new sponsors, why certain companies would want to partner with UR and what the most valuable assets are working in her field.  “The work that we do is an art, not science.”

September 18, 2018

LeCrom Featured in Richmond Magazine

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

If you’re flipping through this month’s issue of Richmond Magazine, you may see a familiar face. CSL Executive Director Dr. Carrie LeCrom is featured for her Fulbright Scholarship and pending trip to South Africa.

Dr. LeCrom’s area of expertise is Sport for Development, how sport creates social change. That’s what she will be doing for most of 2019, creating a soccer coach training program for at risk girls in Stellenbosch.

She hopes the program will empower young women to participate in a traditionally male-dominated sport.

You can read the entire article here.

September 18, 2018

Hat Tip Tuesday

Every Tuesday, we highlight alumni who have received new career opportunities, promotions or professional achievement. If you know of a CSL graduate who should be recognized, email Greg Burton


September 17, 2018

CSL Students Learn About Mindset

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

“Are you going to look at something in front of you and say ‘I can’t do it,’ or see it as an opportunity for growth?”

That was the message Dr. Brendan Dwyer gave to CSL students when it comes to facing a challenge during our supplemental lecture on Mindset. Dr. Dwyer spoke about fixed and growth mindsets, a concept that came from the book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.

A fixed mindset sees effort as a weakness, will shy away from a challenge and has the attitude that “I am either good at it or I’m not.” Dr. Dwyer encouraged CSL students to embrace the opposite: a growth mindset. This sees intentional effort as the “key to mastery” of any skill, especially in the professional and educational world. “Every bump in the road is an opportunity for growth… by struggling through it, I’m going to learn and get better from it.”

Dweck’s book was previously assigned to CSL students because of its valuable messages on skill development. With a year of exciting challenge ahead of the current cohort, this book highlights the importance on taking the time to develop professional skills.

Having a growth mindset takes mental toughness, the drive to overcome challenge, and the ability to understand your weaknesses. “You should not be afraid of your weaknesses, you should know what they are.”

When kids are given a particularly challenging puzzle, they get excited and fired up. Dr. Dwyer believes adults need to adopt that mindset and approach challenge with enthusiasm, even if you fail. “Educationally, you guys are in the top 20% of North America with a master’s degree… education should be a fun challenge.”

September 17, 2018

CSL Graduate Featured in NY Times

The CSL was actually Plan B for Jason Martin ’11.

““Had I not gone, I’m not sure where I’d be.”

Now a senior consultant at C Space, a market research and consulting agency in Boston. Martin was featured in a recent New York Times article talking about his decision to enroll at the Center for Sport Leadership in 2009. Martin was originally interviewed by the newspaper 10 years ago at the height of the economic downturn, along with hundreds of other unemployed Americans,. Martin was one of five people tracked down by the New York Times to see how they were doing 10 years after the Great Recession.

When he couldn’t find a job after graduating from his undergraduate institution, he decided to attend grad school.

“I don’t regret it,” he said. “I felt like I needed to get some more seasoning. Four years of college wasn’t really enough to prepare myself for the job market.”

You can read the entire article here.