BG

CSL Daily

October 31, 2016

Ferry Part of VUU Championship

 

20161027_123228

In addition to working towards her doctorate degree with the Center for Sport Leadership, Melissa Ferry is working as an assistant coach for the Virginia Union University Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams. VUU competes at the Division Two level and is located just a few blocks from VCU.

Last week, the VUU men claimed the CIAA Men’s Cross Country Championship. The women came in second. As you can see, Coach Ferry was extremely proud of her athletes. Congrats to Melissa and the VUU Panthers.

20161027_123725

 

October 31, 2016

Guest Speakers Bring Value, Perspective to CSL

fullsizerender-8

We recently had two guest speakers that best illustrate the type of information and perspective we are trying to offer our graduate students.

Todd Parnell, or “Parney” as he is known throughout Minor League Baseball and all  around Richmond, is the VP, COO and GM of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Double-A affiliate for the San Francisco Giants. He has been honored as Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year and is regarded as one of the most innovative and dedicated front office managers in the baseball.  On this day, Parney was speaking to our Sports Marketing class. The CSL’s relationship with Parney and the Squirrels extends far beyond the classroom. He has provided tours and behind-the-scenes access at the ballpark. He has hired CSL alumni and offered graduate assistantships. He is a bona fide leader in sport who is invested in developing and empowering the next generation of leaders.

img_3453

Megan Schultz has a different yet equally valuable perspective to offer our graduate students. She sat where they are sitting, graduating from the CSL in 2007. A former college basketball All American at Randolph-Macon College, Megan was named the NCAA Division Three Female Athlete of the Year. Yet, when she enrolled at the CSL, she was unsure of her career path. She found her calling with SportsBackers, a Richmond based sports organizations that produces and supports nationally recognized quality sporting events and programs that motivate locals and visitors alike to be more active. In two weeks, Megan will be running the Richmond Marathon but on any given weekend, she is coordinating a variety of events. On the day she spoke to our students, she talked about the importance of managing staff and volunteers. She also offered insight on a career path that she didn’t necessarily envision ten years ago but now, couldn’t see herself doing anything else.

img_3451

 

October 24, 2016

Charlotte 2016: Carolina Panthers

img_3211

For several years, the Center for Sport Leadership has used Fall Break as an opportunity to introduce our graduate students to some of the best practices in the sport industry by taking a trip to Charlotte. Thanks to a combination of dedicated, successful alumni in the area and many long-standing partnerships with sports organizations in Charlotte, our students have behind-the-scenes access to collegiate and professional sports organizations and face-to-face mentoring from some of the most innovative and brightest minds in sports.

While the bye week may have come at a good time for the 1-5 Carolina Panthers, it was horrible timing for our visit. Over the years, the Center for Sport Leadership has developed strong relationships with the Panthers front office including Director of Broadcasting Henry Thomas and Dan LaTorraca, Manager of Digital Content and Strategy. They, like the rest of the front office and football staff, enjoyed some well-earned time off during the bye week. So while we were not able to connect with our friends during our visit, we still received a behind-the-scenes tour of Bank of America Stadium.

img_3225

img_3234 img_3246 img_3252

October 24, 2016

Charlotte 2016: Charlotte Hornets

fullsizerender-7

For several years, the Center for Sport Leadership has used Fall Break as an opportunity to introduce our graduate students to some of the best practices in the sport industry by taking a trip to Charlotte. Thanks to a combination of dedicated, successful alumni in the area and many long-standing partnerships with sports organizations in Charlotte, our students have behind-the-scenes access to collegiate and professional sports organizations and face-to-face mentoring from some of the most innovative and brightest minds in sports.

Our “scheduled” visit with the Charlotte Hornets was Friday morning but about a dozen students couldn’t wait. When they discovered the Hornets were playing the Miami Heat in an exhibition game on Thursday night at the Spectrum Center, our students bought tickets online, secured a few Uber rides and made the trip downtown to watch the game. This annual trip is often when the cohort first develops the bonds that will sustain them through the school year and keep them connected during their professional careers.

img_3178

It’s a good thing the student saw the arena set up for basketball on Thursday night because, by Friday morning, they were already changing it over for a Carrie Underwood concert that weekend. We were met by Hornets Sr. Manager of Luxury Sales & Service Alan Wheeling, a 2009 graduate of the CSL. He led a tour of the arena including places our students didn’t see the night before, like hospitality areas and luxury suites. Alan talked about the daily challenge to drive sales and offer a premium experience to season ticket and luxury suite holders.

img_3172

We were joined on the tour by Trista Langdon, Senior Director of Arena and Event Operations for the newly renamed Spectrum Center. She oversees the day-to-day operation of every event that takes place inside the building. She explained the challenges of running a busy venue, getting ready for the start of the NBA season while coordinating logistics for the other events (like the Carrie Underwood concert) that take place while the Hornets are away.

Both Trista and Alan have earned promotions since joining the team, proving hard work pays off. Both also admit they never envisioned back in graduate school working in their current job but they found their true calling and passion along the way.

img_3204

img_3201

CSL graduate student Ashley Williams with Trista Langdon (’04)

img_3199

CSL graduate student Vincent Greene with Alan Wheeling (’09)

 

October 24, 2016

Charlotte 2016: U.S. National Whitewater Center & Alumni Panel

img_7559

For several years, the Center for Sport Leadership has used Fall Break as an opportunity to introduce our graduate students to some of the best practices in the sport industry by taking a trip to Charlotte. Thanks to a combination of dedicated, successful alumni in the area and many long-standing partnerships with sports organizations in Charlotte, our students have behind-the-scenes access to collegiate and professional sports organizations and face-to-face mentoring from some of the most innovative and brightest minds in sports.

 

One of the most impressive stops on our trip to Charlotte is the U.S. National Whitewater Center. It features the world’s largest man-made whitewater river, offering premier outdoor activities including whitewater rafting and kayaking. In addition, the complex sits on more than 11-hundred acres that also offers mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines, a canopy tour, rope courses and various team building activities.

Jeff Shelton, CFO of the USNWC, talked to our students about how this innovative vision became reality and how they continue to grow and expand to attract new visitors. Several of our students hit the rapids while others participated in the other outdoor activities offered on site.

img_3002

Before the outdoor fun, the students got to hear from a few successful CSL alumni that live in the Charlotte area. The alumni panel discussion was an opportunity for students to ask candid question to our alumni. Topics ranged from finding that first job to switching from one area of sport to another. We appreciate the alumni that took part in the panel discussion:

  • Brent Beam, Sales Director, Atlantic Coast Conference
  • Ashley Champigny: Director of Championships, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
  • Jeff Champigny: Director of Operations, Rhino Sports & Entertainment
  • Karlyn Dixon, Owner & CEO of The Elite Athlete Training
  • Kelsey Kearney, Asst Dir of Development, Western Carolina Univ
  • Kelsey Kraus, Events Intern, UNC Charlotte
  • Alex Ritter, Deacon Athletic Fund Intern, Wake Forest University
  • Zach Rutledge, Assistant Director of Events & Planning, UNC Charlotte
  • Pete Stuart, Director, Marketing Communications, NASCAR
  • Shannon Wighington , Marketing Assets Manager for Colleges, Coca-Cola

img_3143

Following the panel discussion, the CSL hosted an alumni reception for all of the alumni that live in the area. The state of North Carolina and specifically, Charlotte, is home to the largest pocket of CSL alumni outside of Richmond.

img_3016

img_2980

img_3023_2

(From clockwide) Greg Burton, Jeff Champigny, Greg Greenhalgh, Ashley Champigny, Carrie LeCrom

img_3155

Karlyn Dixon (’15), Justin Batts (’15) & Marie Davis Swepson (’16)

img_3153

Shannon Wighington (’05), Jarian Kerekes (’03), Pete Stuart (’05)

img_3152

Tommy Saunders (’04) & Alex Ritter (’16)

img_3031

Ashley Champigny (’09) & CSL graduate student Jenna Orner

img_3032

Shannon Wighington (’05) and CSL graduate student Vanessa Moore

img_3038

Karlyn Dixon (’15) and CSL graduate student Evan Charles

img_3042

CSL graduate student Andy Hogue and Zach Rutledge (’02)

img_3051

Pete Stuart (’04) and CSL graduate student Maggie Brocklebank

October 24, 2016

Charlotte 2016: Charlotte 49ers

img_2901

For several years, the Center for Sport Leadership has used Fall Break as an opportunity to introduce our graduate students to some of the best practices in the sport industry by taking a trip to Charlotte. Thanks to a combination of dedicated, successful alumni in the area and many long-standing partnerships with sports organizations in Charlotte, our students have behind-the-scenes access to collegiate and professional sports organizations and face-to-face mentoring from some of the most innovative and brightest minds in sports.

img_2919

Judy Rose with CSL graduate student Andy Hogue

She is one of the most accomplished and respected athletic director’s in the country. Judy Rose is in her 26th year leading the Charlotte 49ers. We couldn’t ask for a better leader to be the first guest speaker on this trip.

Rose was just the 3rd woman to lead a Division One athletic department when she was hired in 1990 and she was the first woman to serve on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee. She has overcome gender bias, stereotypes and resistance to change. Her secret is simple: work hard and be yourself.  She talked about what she looks for when hiring people and why the sports industry can be both a challenging and fulfilling career.

One of the biggest achievements in Rose’s career was the successful start of a Division One Football program at Charlotte. Senior Associate AD for Football Chris Thomasson, a CSL alum, took our group on a tour of the school’s football facility, which is named after Rose. Thomasson is one of four CSL alumni working at Charlotte: Zach Rutledge, Associate Director for Events & Planning; Jon Billings, Event Services Manager & Kelsey Kraus, Event Services Intern. There is also one future alum at Charlotte: assistant football coach Aaron Curry is currently enrolled in the CSL Distance Learning program ,working towards his master’s degree online.

img_2962

Senior Associate AD for Football and CSL alum Chris Thomasson with Class of 2017

img_2937

Executive Director Carrie LeCrom and Aaron Curry

img_2941

Thomasson and Curry talk to CSL students on tour of football facility