CSL Daily

November 16, 2018

CSL Students learn about IMG Sport Marketing

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

Carolyn Center, general manager for Spider IMG sport marketing, came across town this time to speak to the entire cohort about multimedia rights and her strategies in sales.  Earlier this semester, CSL students enrolled in sales & development heard Center and her colleagues speak at the University of Richmond.

Center shared a little about what she does with IMG and what her main goals are.  Center sells sponsorships and manages all the multimedia rights for the University of Richmond.  “If you want to be associated with the university and what they stand for, you have to go through me. You can’t just use a logo, you have to buy the rights to it.  There’s value to logos.”

IMG gives Center a sales goal to meet each year, and she told our grad students the key to meeting this goal is understanding the culture of the athletic department. “The culture at VCU is different from U of R.  Every department is different.  Understanding how your department operates and what the fan base is like will get you where you need to be.”

Center offered her insight into the future of Richmond Athletics and sport marketing as a whole.  “The challenges we face are to become more creative. It’s not just selling a sign. We’re selling a story.”

”Personally, I want to be a team player.  I want to add value to the athletic department in any way that I can.”

November 13, 2018

Hat Tip Tuesday

November 7, 2018

CSL alum Nicky Gordon Gives Sales Tips to Sales & Development Class

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

“Connections, relationships, research, overcoming objectives, and follow ups are the name of the game,” CSL alum Nicky Gordon told our grad students in sales & development via Skype.  Gordon, account manager, premium sales for the Miami Dolphins, shared his journey through pro sports and offered some valuable sales tips.

Gordon talked about the differences and similarities between working in the NHL and NFL.  The biggest similarity is the hours.  “It’s a grind. You work a lot of nights and weekends.  For the Lightning, Gordon sold season tickets.  Now with the Dolphins, Gordon is selling $100,000 suites and working with a $100,000,000 revenue goal.  “The pressure is higher, expectations are higher.”

”The NFL has a lot of money and a lot of opportunity. It’s pretty exciting to be a part of.”  Gordon shared some of his sales tricks with our grad students.  “The biggest way to deal with objections is to get in front of them.”  The key is finding what’s truly keeping someone from purchasing tickets or a suite, then analyzing the need of that person or company.

The follow up is the most important part of the sales process, according to Gordon.  He emphasized how important hand written notes can be and finding ways to make clients feel cared for is.  Doing your research on every prospect and making sure you understand their industry and culture is another trick.  “I’ll never be a lawyer or a doctor, but you get the opportunity to interact with all these people and learn about their industry.”

”When you’re doing what you love, long days don’t feel like work.  It’s been a fun challenge so far.”

November 4, 2018

Sport Tourism Experts Share Insight

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

In recent years, sport tourism has blossomed in the city of Richmond.  Sports bring in 45% of tourists to the River City.  Our grad students had the opportunity to learn from Sports Tourism Coordinator for Chesterfield County and CSL alum Danny Bonifas ’12 and Lee Corrigan, President of Corrigan Sports Enterprises.

“Sports tourism is the driver of the facility,” Bonifas told CSL students as he spoke about the River City Sportsplex, one of the largest collections of synthetic turf fields in the United States.  “The River City Sportsplex is the gem of Chesterfield County.”

The Sportsplex hosts 26 major sport tourism specific events a year and 36 tournaments, bringing in visitors from over 30 states.  It’s best utilized for sports such as soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and flag football.

The River City Sportsplex and Corrigan Sports Enterprises began a strong partnership when Lee was looking for the perfect facility to host a major women’s lacrosse tournament.  The Sportsplex served as such a strong host for the tournament that Corrigan Sports now uses it for 5 major events a year.

Corrigan Sports Enterprises was established in 1991 with the goal of creating, managing and implementing sports and event marketing opportunities for the corporate community.

Lee offered some advice to CSL students regarding what’s expected of young professionals.  “I want intelligent, hardworking people to work for me.  I appreciate any kind of hard work.”

October 31, 2018

ENVEST Fact Sheet

ENVEST Fact Sheet

  • ENVEST, which stands for Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training, is a series of sports diplomacy missions aimed at ways sport can create social change.
  • The grant funding this program is provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through their Sports Diplomacy Division.
  • The grant was awarded to the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU (CSL), a graduate program which teaches the business and impact of the sport industry. The CSL was recently ranked among the top 15 sports management programs in the world.
  • ENVEST will operate under the leadership of Dr. Carrie LeCrom, a recent Fulbright Scholar recipient who has been awarded more than $2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of State and has partnered with ECA to lead sport-for-development missions in Ethiopia, China and South Africa.
  • ENVEST consists of four separate cultural exchanges with countries in South and Central Asia. Those countries are Kazakhstan, India, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan.
  • Exchange 4 will take place between delegations from Richmond, Virginia and Turkmenistan. The programming will center around adaptive sports and creating recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities and visual impairments.
  • Exchange 4 international partner will be Turkmenistan’s recently created Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs. A delegation of 20 ambassadors, coaches and athletes from Turkmenistan will travel to the United States on November 1, 2018 through November 8, 2018.
  • A return trip to Turkmenistan by the U.S. delegation is scheduled for March 2019
  • Exchange 4 domestic partner will be Sportable, an adaptive sport organization based in Richmond, VA


The goals of ENVEST are:

1) Harness the power of sport as a teaching tool to increase mutual understanding
between people of the United States and people of South and Central Asia;

2) Provide opportunities for sport coaches, administrators, and youth to learn and
develop in ways that will benefit their home communities;

3) Engage multiple groups in creating action plans around clearly identified social issues;

4) Create an ongoing dialogue and open lines of communication between all participants
to promote the exchange of ideas before, during, and after completion of the program,
which will support the program’s long-term sustainability and multiplier effect.


October 31, 2018

CSL to Host Turkmenistan Delegation for ENVEST

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU, in partnership with the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, will host a delegation from Turkmenistan in November to exchange ideas and best practices for adaptive sport programming and opportunities. The CSL will work with Sportable, an award-winning, Richmond based adaptive sports organization to engage athletes, coaches and administrators from Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs during their trip to the United States.

“We are excited to welcome our partners from Turkmenistan to the United States,” said Carrie LeCrom, Executive Director of the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU.  “Adaptive sports are growing in our country and around the world. Through our partners at Sportable, we believe we can generate new ideas and opportunities to create additional recreational programming for adaptive sport athletes.”

The cultural exchange, which will take place from November 1-8 in Richmond, Virginia and Washington D.C., is Phase 4 of a broader sport-for-development program called ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training). ENVEST is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy Division.  Three previous sport diplomacy missions have already been completed in Kazakhstan, India and Sri Lanka.

ENVEST will operate under the leadership of Carrie LeCrom, Ph.D. who has been awarded more than $2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of State, leading sport-for-development missions in Ethiopia, China and South Africa.

“We have been working on ENVEST for nearly two years. This final phase with our partners from Turkmenistan will complete the most ambitious sport-for-development initiative we have led,” said LeCrom. “The impact made in Kazakhstan, Indian, Sri Lanka and soon Turkmenistan is further validation that sport can create social change.”