CSL Daily

November 30, 2016

Students Present Marketing Plans


For most of the semester, our students have been working in small groups to developing a marketing plan for a local sports organization. Today, those presentations were delivered in front of representatives from four partners: Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference, Chesterfield County Sports Tourism and Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.

Each group was instructed to develop a marketing strategy for a specific event or initiative for the organization. The group, consisting of Wes Chappell, Leon Clarke, Mike Donovan, Vincent Greene and Jenna Orner worked on a plan to promote the ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship, which will take place in Richmond in late April. The partnership with the ACC was established thanks to CSL alum Ashley Champigny, the league’s Director of Championships.


The group of Kara Bacile, Tre Brummell, Jordan Burgess, Abby Flower and Kiara Porter developed a strategy to generate exposure and increase ticket sales for the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament, hosted by the Richmond Coliseum in March. A10 Director of Operations Tom Watterman represented the conference today.

Students Kenny Brown, Neil Farrell, Eliza Foresti and Dan Johnson worked with Chesterfield County Sports Tourism to create a plan for the River City Sportsplex. CSL alum Danny Bonifas is the sports tourism coordinator for Chesterfield County.


The group of Evan Charles, Gabby Dyer and Natalie Pollard developed a marketing plan for a new aquatics program at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, working with Club Director Hugh Jones, Development Director Matt Pochily and Communications Manager Aimee Turner.

The remaining students will present their marketing plans next week.

img_4281 img_4270 img_4259



November 29, 2016

The Heart of Leadership


by Maggie Brocklebank, Betsy Cutler, Michael Donovan and Paul Keyes Jr


Four CSL graduate students believe who they are contributes to the kind of leader they strive to be


Betsy Cutler:

I have always explained my leadership style as “Humanistic”. What I mean by that, is to engage my team where we all connect: our humanity, not just a hierarchical relationship. I feel as a “Leader” it is important to show the team we are all humans and desire all the same things; love, acceptance, encouragement and yes, success. If my team members feel that I genuinely want the best for each one of them, we begin in place of honesty and authenticity, what a great place to start! If in the onset of our relationship they understand; the collectively, “we” want the same things, I believe any goal can be obtained.

As I consider how I would like to grow as a leader, several things come to mind I must improve. I want to be the kind of leader that lets people make mistakes even if I see them coming. I want to be the kind of leader that listens to ALL angles before making a decision. I want to be a leader that lets those around her have ultimate control of a project and learn not to micromanage. If I keep myself aware of these improvements, then I will strengthen these traits every day and grow into the leader I know I am called to be.


Mike Donovan

When I think of leadership and the type of leader I want to be, the first word that comes to mind is charismatic. Having the ability to be compelling and inspire others is something that sticks out to me from other leaders and it’s a characteristic that I strive to mold my style after. Furthermore, the best compliment you could give me is to call me a good teammate. Therefore, I want to be able to lead others, however at the same time I believe it is extremely important to be a good teammate and cohesive as a unit. I believe being approachable and personable as a leader is extremely important and it’s something I always try to emphasize through my personality to others. Finally, the last thing I like to embody as a leader is being calm and collected in any situations, whether everything is going 100 mph or if everything’s under control. Being even-keel is something that my dad always preached to me and I believe it is valuable to exercise that skill as a leader too.


Maggie Brocklebank:

I think it’s important as a leader to reflect and think, “would I like to be led in the same way that I lead others?” When you take the time to reflect on your own leadership qualities, you can grow and get better. When I think about becoming a positive leader, I also think about the importance of not being a pushover. Although it is important to me to maintain a positive environment in order to mitigate stress levels, it’s also important to have the respect of your peers and respect them in return. Finding a balance between an efficient and a nurturing work environment would be ideal in my quest to becoming the best leader that I can be.

I would like to be the type of leader that encourages and empowers those around them by recognizing their accomplishments and helping them to overcome their weaknesses. Although everybody responds differently, I prefer to use positive feedback to let others know that their work is appreciated. By creating a positive culture, I would hope that my colleagues would feel comfortable coming to me for help and advice when they need it so that there can be a strong sense of teamwork amongst us.


Paul Keyes:
When thinking about leadership, and the type of leader I want to be, there is one word that comes to mind, compassion.  I believe most leaders understand the importance of strength.  Most leaders understand that they must be organized.  And almost all leaders know how important it is to be able to communicate.  But not all leaders understand the role compassion plays in becoming a good leader.  Compassion is an interesting trait, and is usually difficult to act on daily.  However, the healthy mix of a compassionately-strong leader is perhaps one of the most important characteristics one could have.
Being able to look at your teammates or coworkers and show them you understand and can empathize with what they may be going through is a very easy way to earn their respect.  Sure, anyone can be a loud or passionate leader, but the ability to let your team know that you truly care will get you a whole lot further in life.  People can spot a fake just as easy as they can spot the truth.  Trust and respect are usually earned, but showing your group that you are compassionate is the best way a leader can begin to build his or her relationships.


Although we are four different people who have different leadership strengths and weaknesses, we each reflected on how would we want to be treated by a team leader. Interestingly, we all started with the Golden Rule. Each of us began our leadership reflection by looking at what is important to us as human beings: what motivate us, encourages us and makes us trust others. Several different traits were expressed but each of them speak to a kind of authenticity and genuineness we believe should be the heart of exceptional leaders. As we develop and fine tune our own leadership style, we assert if we ALWAYS begin at the heart of who we are, we will successfully lead others into their own success.


November 28, 2016

Core Values Podcast: Collaborative (Ep. 3)



Each week, Center for Sport Leadership students will gather to discuss one of our five Core Values. The podcast, part of an assignment for our Media & Communications class, was recorded at ESPN 950 studios in Richmond. This week, graduate students Andy Hogue, Jalen Manning, Zack Freesman & Neil Farrell discuss Collaborative.







November 23, 2016

A Thanskgiving Tradition

Some people have asked why Appreciation isn’t one of our core values. Good question. The five core values are the pillars in which we build the foundation of the program and elevate its stature. Appreciation is more than a core value to us. It’s a requirement for daily life. It’s a prerequisite for any leader to be successful.  It is our expectation that each graduate student arrive on campus already instilled with the importance of expressing appreciation and they will continue to share their gratitude to the many people who will help them during their CSL journey and beyond.

Each Thanksgiving, we allow our student the opportunity to share thanks and gratitude. We post these videos during the days leading up to Thanksgiving to remind them and us that expressing gratitude and appreciation should be a daily ritual.


November 23, 2016

Asking Tough Leadership Questions


by Aleyha Johnson, Eliza Foresti, Miles Hayter, Travis Wallace

“The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders” –Vince Lombardi

Want to be a leader? Wow, those are some big shoes to fill. When thinking about becoming a leader, this may seem like a big, arduous, and at times an overwhelming task. How can one just become a leader? After these first few months of graduate school in the Center of Sport Leadership, we have learned that becoming a leader is not only about looking inside ourselves and searching for our personal leadership strengths, but also what are the people who were are trying to lead looking for in a leader. How can we effectively lead someone if we are giving them something that is not relevant to them?

Even though we are all interested in sports, we are also interested in different areas of athletics; from coaching, to marketing, to academics. Is there a common leadership trait that is consistently wanted by different audiences in these fields? Does the trait differ between ages, environments or situations?  We took the opportunity to survey the people around us in our graduate assistantships to find out. Here are some of our findings:


What are the most important traits in a leader according to an 18 year-old college student athletes?
Having empathy, leading by example, selflessness, being courageous, hard working, confidence, honesty.


What is the most important trait in a leader according to an Assistant Director for Marketing?
A leader should be smart, knowledgeable about your product, empathic and able to listen to your staff.


What is the most important trait in a leader according to an Assistant Director of Ticketing?As a leader you need to be able to make decisions based on what is best for the organization. These decisions may be unpopular with some, but as long as it is beneficial to the whole, the correct choice was made.


Not only did this question generate conversations but, it also broadened our understanding on how our work and colleagues operate. Some of these traits may have been obvious to us, and validated why we are drawn to that field of interest. Other traits may have come as a surprise, and we can reflect and adjust accordingly. Knowing this information from our colleagues will help us make more informed decisions in our assistantships, but also grow as better leaders in general. It also showed us how important it is to take a step back sometimes and take a pulse of where we are presently. By asking this simple question, we will not only better ourselves, but better our work as a whole.








November 22, 2016

Core Values Podcast: Empowering (Ep. 2)


Each week, Center for Sport Leadership students will gather to discuss one of our five Core Values. The podcast, part of an assignment for our Media & Communications class, was recorded at ESPN 950 studios in Richmond. This week, graduate students Kiara Porter, Evan Charles and Leon Clarke discuss Empowering.