CSL Daily

March 20, 2017

CSL Prepares for 1st “Day of Play”

by Jordan Burke, CSL graduate student

As part of the Sport Entertainment and Event Development class, Center for Sport Leadership graduate students create events that highlight social issues through sport.  The first event, Day of Play, will be held on March 25, 2017 at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

In collaboration with the Richmond Police Department, students have developed this event with a mission to build positive relationships between police and the inner city youth of Richmond. In a time when police brutality is a pertinent issue across America, the students wanted to create an opportunity for youth to learn more about what police do and how they serve the surrounding communities. The idea for Day of Play was born from a student’s social action plan assignment from the CSL Sociology of Sport class.

The event will feature stations that allow kids and police to positively interact with one another. Each station will involve a sport and an educational component.  Lacrosse, soccer, whiffle ball, basketball, and kickball will all be offered.

Students have been working with Sergeant Carol Adams along with other officers from the Richmond Police Department to plan the event. “As the Sergeant of the Community Care Unit, my job allows me to create opportunities to bridge any existing gaps of communication or interactions between the police and communities. So, I take pride in creating activities and events to show the public that ‘we the police’ are just human beings like everyone else,” said Sergeant Adams.

Bojangles will be on-site to provide meals for participants, police and volunteers. Richmond Police Officer Farrhard El-Amin, will be spinning tunes as the event DJ. There will also be other vendors and activities available such as the SWAT unit and a forensic unit.


March 17, 2017

Redskins Rodgers Talks Non-Profit Development

Jane Rodgers is the executive director of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. She spoke to our Sales & Development class about non-profit management and development. CSL graduate student Wes Chappell provides a recap of Jane’s message.

Jane emphasized the importance of the Mission serving as a driver and focal point in non-profit/foundation work. The mission is key to driving programs, fundraising, the message, and volunteer leadership in the Redskins Charitable Foundation. The mission of this organization keeps them focused on their program silos – reading programs, health and wellness, and feeding families – which Jane mentioned is difficult to do. Having a mission also allows you to create goals and objectives, and allows you to measure your success based on how well you achieve those objectives.

Jane also emphasized focusing on “sacred cows” in the organization, in this case, the programs which have the most traction, get the best response from the community, and are most well-known, but not settling on doing the same thing over and over. She talked about the role SWOT analysis and reviewing these programs play in improving them, and in turn making their organization stronger and more successful. By focusing on the sacred cows, and improving them, you’re creating a competitive advantage by improving what you do best and creating a culture and identity around your organization.

Jane also talked a lot about transparency. For foundations like the Redskins Charitable Foundation, it’s important that your stakeholders (sponsors, donors, community partners, etc) are in tune with the foundation, aware of what they are doing, and where money is going. It not only adds to the legitimacy of the work by the foundation, but also makes the stakeholders feel more comfortable with their involvement, creates trust, and allows for the opportunity for them to provide feedback that will ultimately help move the organization forward. For example, the Redskins’ foundation has an Education Advisory Board, consisting of leaders in education around the DC/Maryland/Virginia metro area, that provides a channel for feedback and suggestions to improve the education programs, such as the Redskins Read Playbook and Redskins FITT programs that have become extremely successful through the collaboration with stakeholders and community leaders.

The most important message I pulled from Jane Rodgers’ talk was that it’s important to understand how the true business side of community relations and foundations work. There needs to be a focus on sales and marketing, creating a consistent and improving stream of revenues. She mentioned that she has to say “no” to many ideas because they won’t be good for the business of the non-profit. They won’t embark on new programs simply because of the good image that they will give the Redskins organization for being involved in the community, as this only creates a façade. They want to establish programs that not only make a measurable impact in the community, and help improve the lives of children and families in the DC area, but also will be sustainable, and generate revenue for the foundation for a prolonged period of time. Jane’s focus on creating a sustainable and successful business model within the foundation drew a parallel to the need for being well-versed in sales and marketing. Jane indeed confirmed Pink’s message that everyone is in sales, even within the foundation/development area, as they are constantly selling – whether it’s soliciting donations, signing deals with community partners/sponsors, or convincing the community to participate in their programs.


March 13, 2017

Krieger (’13) Talks Gender Issues

Gender roles and issues in professional, college and amateur sports have generated much conversation and discussion in our classrooms. Monday, A CSL alum shared her insight. Hannah Krieger is the Director of Strategic Partnerships with the Alliance of Women Coaches, the premier organization dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources and unparalleled events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members. Previously, Hannah was the executive director of Sportswomen of Colorado, so she has significant experience in empowering and encouraging females in sports, which she shared with our graduate students. Krieger graduated from the CSL’s Distance Learning program. 

March 9, 2017

CSL’s Chappell Attends Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

by Wes Chappell, CSL Graduate Student

The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) in Boston, MA. SSAC is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the intersection of analytics and the sports industry where fans, students, athletes, and professionals from around the world come together to show off innovative ways that technology and data are being used to advance every facet of sports. The stars of this year’s conference included Alan Silver, Mark Cuban, Daryl Morey, and Billy Beane, amongst many others. I arrived in Boston anxious and unsure of what to expect from my first SSAC, but I returned to Richmond inspired by all of the brilliant people I met and heard,
feeling even more anxious and excited for the future of the sports industry.

The experience was surreal and surpassed my expectations. You’re surrounded by media personalities (Jackie McMullan, Darren Rovell, and Nate Silver), professional athletes (Sue Bird and Shane Battier), GMs from the MLB, NBA, and NFL, as well as executives from companies involved in sports analytics. Almost everyone was very approachable and willing to chat with the attendees. I frequently saw Daryl Morey casually walking amongst the crowd throughout the weekend.

For example, I met a speaker from a panel on the future of soccer analytics, Hendrik Almstadt, who spent five years on the football operations group at Arsenal FC and currently works in player relations with the PGA European Tour. After picking his brain about soccer and Arsenal, he invited me to sit with him during the next panel on overcoming cognitive bias in player management, featuring Billy Beane. Beane emphasized the importance of making decisions based on objective data rather than subjective observations and gut feelings. These tactics led to his success as the EVP of the Oakland Athletics, as featured in the best-selling book and hit movie, Moneyball.

Some of my favorite panels and presentations I attended, in addition to Beane’s Moneymind: Overcoming Cognitive Bias, were Juggling Expectations: The Emergence of Soccer Analytics, Transforming Big Data into Compelling Insights by SAP, Shark vs Fox: Politics and Forecasting in the Time of the Hedgehog featuring the uncensored Mark Cuban, and Sustaining Greatness featuring Sue Bird. Bird explained how advanced technology and training techniques have helped extend her career, as she’s still competing at a high level in the WNBA at age 36. I particularly loved her response when asked how she felt about her prolonged career destroying the dreams of 21-year-old athletes hoping to break into the WNBA – she frankly exclaimed: “I don’t care!”.

In addition to the insightful and interesting presentations, SSAC serves as an excellent opportunity for networking and career development for young professionals and students. I took advantage of resume reviews and informal interview sessions where I connected with professionals from the NFL, Jacksonville Jaguars, The Madison Square Garden Company, and Monumental Sports and Entertainment. There are also research paper and case competitions available to graduate students. I hope to see the CSL competing in one of these competitions in the future!

Here is my biggest takeaway from the weekend: I can’t emphasize enough how important this conference is to the sports industry and how invaluable it is to anyone interested in sports regardless of whether they’re into analytics or not. This is the direction that we are headed with all aspects of the industry: coaching and player development, front office management, sports media, sales and marketing, merchandising, collegiate, professional, etc. I think anyone would leave SSAC with a positive outlook even if they aren’t well versed in statistics or have a strong technical background. I highly recommend SSAC to any sports-enthusiasts reading this post, ESPECIALLY future CSL students! Lastly, I can’t thank the CSL enough for giving me the opportunity to attend this conference. This will surely stand out as a highlight amongst the many real-world experiences I’ve had in my two years of the program!


March 7, 2017

Hat Tip Tuesday

On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities.

Army West Point Athletic Director Boo Corrigan (’11) has been selected as a 2016-17 Football Bowl Subdivision Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year recipient. Boo is in his 7th season at West Point. The award is given out each year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and will be presented to Corrigan at NACDA’s 52nd Annual Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando on June 13. Boo earned his Master’s Degree from the CSL’s Distance Learning Program. 

Michael Clarke (’14) has been appointed the Head Coach of the Edith Cowan University men’s basketball team for their 2017 campaign at the Western Unigames. They will compete for a spot at the Australian Unigames. Mike is currently the Head Coach for the Men’s SBL for the Kalamunda Eastern Suns. 

March 6, 2017

What Does #CSLnetwork Mean to You?

#CSLnetwork isn’t just a hashtag to us. It embodies the value and importance that we place on building relationships with our students, alumni and industry partners. Thanks to alumni Shannon Roberts, Johnathan Mayo and Paul Sterbenz for sharing what #CSLnetwork means to them.