On Saturday, September 12, the Center for Sport Leadership (CSL) attended the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Students assisted race day officials in collecting consumer information and were also charged with overseeing the silent auction. After working during the day, students were given pit passes so they could gain a close-up look at pre-race preparations. This experience allowed students to gain a behind the scene perspective of a NASCAR event and helped to strengthen their perceptions of this sport.
While exploring the pits, students had the opportunity to speak to CSL alumni Dustin Bass, the Manager of Marketing Partnerships for International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Bass shared vital insight on how to succeed in the sporting industry, outlining his career path since graduating from the CSL, his major responsibilities, and his future goals. His enthusiasm for what he does was evident and the students were very appreciative of his making time to speak with them. Jay Selwood, a current CSL student, stated, “The Center for Sport Leadership’s trip to Richmond International Raceway was informative and educational. The chance to work with the employees of RIR was once in a lifetime.”
Students were also paid a surprise visit from Miss Sprint Cup, Anne-Marie Rhodes. Miss Rhodes talked to the students about the demands of her job and concluded with how much she loves what she does. After a few pictures with students, she resumed her very busy schedule of meeting with CEOs and various crew chiefs.
For some CSL students, this was the first NASCAR event they had attended. The experience was overwhelming for some and others commented on how many people were there. Over 100,000 people attended the race and most arrived earlier in the week to camp and spend time with family and friends. “NASCAR is a sport experience like no other; I have never seen so many devoted fans. The excitement and anticipation as the race was about to begin was exhilarating. You could feel the buzz as the cars raced around the track; it was an intense event that everyone should take part in!” commented CSL student Sarah Copeland.
Overall, students were overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to attend this event and are looking forward to future events including working the Washington Wizards exhibition game on October 6th against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Siegel Center and an upcoming trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to meet with the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, U.S. National Whitewater Center, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and much more!