CSL Daily

April 28, 2017

CSL in Europe-Day 6: Nimes, France

by Mackenzie Keyes and Jenn Moss, CSL graduate students

Our first stop of the day was at the Union Sportive des Anciens du MontDuplan (USAM) Nimes Handball Academy, where Franck Maurice, the head coach of the professional team at the academy, greeted us.

The Handball federation operates on a tiered system, similar to European professional soccer, which include promotion and relegation.  USAM Nimes Gard, also known as “The Green Team”, plays in the Lidl Star Ligue and is currently a level one team, where as the Division II team is currently a level four team. Along with the two professional teams, therenare several youth teams within the academy.

Over the years France has won 5 World Championships, 3 European Championships and the Olympics twice.  Half of the Nimes Handball team’s 3,2 million euro budget is provided by the city of Nimes. Their budget is the 9th lowest in their league of 14 teams but they are currently ranked 5th.   The Handball Academy has a division committed to its youth teams where they learn the skills of handball along with going to school.  Last year the Academy added a girls youth team although they do not have a professional women’s team.

The Green Team shared their core values of patience, confidence building, editing, and evaluation. I found this interesting because I was able to relate them to our core values at the Center for Sport Leadership that we practice everyday. Our core values include, global mindedness, collaboration, authenticity, accountability, and empowerment.

After we travelled to the Pont du Gard, a roman aqueduct that was built in 58 AD. It took 5 years to build and still stands today.  It was one of the largest aqueducts built by the Romans.

After a delightful group lunch, our tour guide Claudia accompanied us through the city of Nimes, which is a former Roman colony.  The city was founded in the 1st century BC and had approximately 20,000 inhabitants.  Today the city holds 150,000 inhabitants.  Over the years the city was built on top of the older buildings so there is a mix of Roman, medieval, and modern architecture.  Because the city was founded by the Romans there is an Arena that is modeled after the Roman Coliseum. During the 19th century there were Spanish bullfights in the stadium and the tradition continues today with bullfighting festivals on June and September.  

We saw several different historic sites during the visit, but one of the most interesting was the town hall building. Four crocodiles were hanging from one of the stairwells in the building. The crocodiles represented Nime’s triumph over Cleopatra and the Egyptians, which is when the symbol of Nimes emerged. The symbol consists of a crocodile chained to a palm tree to represent Nimes’ power over Egypt.  We also saw the Maison Carrée, an ancient Roman temple built 2000 years ago.  Across from the museum is an art museum that was built in the 1990’s that has a glass front so the reflection of the Maison Carrée can be seen by everyone in the area. 


April 28, 2017

CSL in Europe-Day 5: Yacht Club de Monaco & Olympique de Marseille

by Dani Ellis and Matt Kim, CSL graduate students

Our morning began brisk and overcast, like the morning before, as we said au Revoir to Nice. We made the 50 minute bus ride back to Monaco and we were all excited for our first tour and lecture of the day at the world famous Yacht Club de Monaco.

Our guides, Olivier and Damien took us around the Club, which was a 5 story building shaped like a yacht and furnished with multiple restaurants and bars for the elite members. For a background of the club, there are only 2,000 members, who pay an annual fee of 5,000 euros and come from a range of 66 different ethnicities. The President of the club is Prince Albert II of Monaco. He makes most of the decisions, including what 25 guests can get of of the waiting list each year.

Apart from the marketing, communications, sponsorship and events departments, the mot unique sector of the club is their education department. Within the last 2 years they have created 10 different schools in the office space next to the club. These schools include Master Service classes, Deck Hand classes, Cartography classes and a simulator room for people who want to become captains. In addition to educating these individuals, the yacht club also offers sailing classes and competitive teams for their youth members.

One of the most prized possessions of the club is the Boat of the Prince. This is a wooden boat which was built back in the start of the last century. It is only one of 4 in the world, so the Yacht Club of Monaco treasures it deeply. To keep it’s high standards and public vision, the YCM hosts an event every 2 months. These can range from private parties, to opening ceremonies for new members, all the way to international racing championships. This means the events, communications and marketing department have a very short turnover from one even to the next, so they must remain organized at all times.

After we left Monaco, we had a 2 hour bus ride to Marseille before we toured Olympique de Marseilles. This facility holds 3 grass practice fields for the Ligue 1 professional team, and 2 synthetic turf fields for their youth programs. This facility is used by the professional team as a practice facility and for game day walk-through before making the 15 minute drive to the team’s stadium. The pro team’s building was composed of a gym, the locker room, saunas and the medical department on the ground floor. The second floor was strictly designed for team bonding. The top floor is composed of bedrooms for the players to nap in between training sessions.

In the back of the property, there was a building designed for their youth team. We learned about the kids that live, attend classes, and train year round at the OM training facility. It was interesting to hear about the shift that they have gone through in terms of putting an emphasis on education first instead of focusing all efforts on training for soccer. It makes sense that a teenager getting injured would not have recourse if they only focused on soccer without providing adequate educational support.

The most impressive part about the facility, apart from the team actually playing while we were there, was the media room they had on the property. They are the only club in France to have their own tv channel filmed and broadcasted at their own headquarters. They are putting out news and specials 24/7, and the only two shows not filmed in the facility are the pre and post game reports. We learned that they get about half their revenue each year from TV rights and the other half from their direct marketing and sales department. The 50-60 million Euros from the TV rights vary pending on the team’s success, premium game broadcasts, and how they match up with different criteria as they can earn or lose points compared to other teams in the league. The other half of their revenue comes from ticketing, commercial and sponsorships, and selling products or merchandise. With their revenue, it was fascinating to learn that 90% went into the salary for the players.

After the training facility, we made our way to downtown Marseille to tour the Orange Velodrome, the club’s home stadium. The first stadium was built in 1937 for the first World Cup. They just recently finished the stadium’s third renovation. This project added 26,000 seats, 6,000 of which are in the new suits. The biggest accomplishments were completing the cover to protect players and fans from the winds which can reach up to 60 miles per hour, and the underground tunnel under the whole stadium. The roof cover makes the stadium almost completely self-sufficient. If it rains in Marseilles, the water hits the roof and collects into a canal under the stadium, where the water is the stored and recycled for bathrooms, and plumbing in concessions. The wind is also blocked and then collected and used as energy for the stadium. Before the renovations, if you wanted to get to the other side of the stadium, you would’ve had to take a metro ride, but not the stadium is completely connected. Underground there is now a tunnel for paramedics to be able to reach any entrance of the pitch, which provides a lot more safety and medical attention to the players. The progression of this stadium was impressive to see. Marseilles is the oldest city in France at 2,600 years old, but has some of the most passionate fans in all of France because they have been the only French team to win a UEFA championship. For now we are headed to Nimes and are planning to rest up for another big day tomorrow!

April 26, 2017

CSL in Europe-Day 4: “The Mother of All Sports”

by Maggie Brocklebank, Kenny Brown & Mike Donovan, CSL graduate students

The fourth day of our Europe trip was filled with a ton of activities and site seeing as we began the day gathering for breakfast at our hotel in Nice, France. After breakfast, we all boarded our luxurious bus and made the short trip to Monaco to meet with the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the Shooting Federation of Monaco.

We start at the IAAF, the world governing body for track and field which is based in Monaco since 1993. We heard from four members of their leadership team: Olivier Gers, CEO, Chris Turner, Deputy Director-PR, Paul Hardy, Director of Operations and Carina Kostovic, Director of Human Resources. 

Gers called athletics, more commonly known as track & field in the U.S. as the “mother of all sports”, since it’s disciplines of running, throwing and jumping are at the core of all athletic competitions. To offer some perspective on the scope of IAAF, Gers stated that he United Nations recognizes 198 countries, while the IAAF is made up of 215 member federations. The organization really focuses on their global presence, or what they called their “circus”, the six to eight events they organize around the world each year.

Each of the speakers addressed their area of expertise and tried to share their vision for the future of the IAAF. They were transparent about the organization’s current state and on and how they will ensure the company’s future success.

Paul Hardy left us with some great advice when pursuing jobs in the sports industry, which is a process we have all started in the weeks leading up to our trip. He told us that we need to control our own destiny, do our research on all of the different organizations and jobs available, get our foot in the door with either internships or by volunteering, and lastly to just work hard. That is how we will see positive results.

Following our meeting with the IAAF and after eating the abundance of delicious pastries they provided, our class made the trek across town to meet and tour the Shooting Federation of Monaco. Upon arrival we met our tour guide, fittingly named Virginia who introduced us to Fabienne Diato-Pasetti, a six time Olympic rifle shooter. We toured the facility which features four different shooting ranges. We were able to see an indoor 25m range, an indoor 50m range, and then a virtual shooting range used for training for the police. After the tour it was very intriguing to hear some of the facts related to Monaco, its police and military, and how few crimes are committed in the country.

After our lectures, we were allowed to explore the area. Several of us started by finding a restaurant where we tried escargot for the first time. We then went to the famous Monte Carlo Casino, which has an entrance fee of ten euro due to the historical significance and beautiful bathrooms. A few students decided to risk some money in the slot machines and on the roulette table, but not all were lucky with their results. 

The country is beautiful as it is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. We stood on the hilltops and looked down at the yachts in the harbor and gazed up at the intimidating mountain side. Although, the scenery was something fresh out of a google image search, there was nothing that compared to the amount of sports cars and luxury automobiles, mainly Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentleys, Lotus, and Audis. To say the least, Monaco lived up to the hype. 

IAAF CEO Olivier Gers and CSL graduate student Tyler Dandridge

IAAF Director of Human Resources Carina Kostovic and CSL graduate student Leon Clarke

IAAF Deputy Director-PR Chris Turner and CSL graduate student Mackenzie Keyes

IAAF Director of Operations Paul Hardy and CSL graduate student Mike Donovan

April 26, 2017

CSL in Europe- Day 3: Power of Sport On Display in Milan

by Eliza Foresti and Vanessa Moore

It was an early morning start for the CSLers. With a hard departure time of 8:30, everyone fueled up on our new favorite breakfast selections of deli meats, bread and hard boiled eggs and got on the bus to start our day. Today was our scheduled day of service. With service learning being at the heart of the mission of the CSL, having a service learning component to this trip really brings it together.

Our site was a refugee center for males whose ages ranged from around their late teens to their early twenties. This is a first step program for refugees entering this county. This program helps these men fill out the correct paper work to move forward with their lives. When they are not filling out paper work, this program supports these men in several ways from giving them a place to sleep, food to eat and guide them to educational and vocational opportunities. To fill time, these men also enjoy playing soccer and running.

Our day today was about building genuine relationships. With language being a barrier, we used sport as a way to connect. These men are at a time in their lives where it is hard for them to hold on to something, because everything is so temporary; from friendships, to jobs, to location, to family. This sense of temporariness can be frustrating and will lead to men taking a longer time to want to move on. Recognizing this helped our class believe in our mission today even more.

After a quick tour of the center, we walked to the local park to get a few pick up games of soccer, volleyball and basketball up and running. We started off with about 40 men at the park, as time passed with 3 full games of soccer, a few volleyball matches and pick up basketball games later, this number easily doubled. Sport was used as the call, and these men answered. For the 3 hours we spent at the park, the men who participated whether it was physically in a game, being a fan on the sideline, trying a new sport like basketball, or just taking this time to talk to our class, these men felt a sense of belonging that is rare to come by for them. This can be beautifully synthesized by a quote from a man who was taking a break from playing basketball for the first time, “In this moment I am present. In this moment I am finally happy.”

Even though our experience of servant leadership only lasted a morning, hopefully the impact will effect both communities for the future.

April 24, 2017

CSL in Europe: Day 2-Milan

by Andy Hogue and Natalie Pollard, CSL graduate students

The first official morning in Milan consisted of jet lagged graduate students and CSL staff enjoying some complementary breakfast and cappuccinos to get ready for the second day in Europe. The grad students were relieved with the news that they could spend the day in their athletic clothes – aside from their normal business casual wardrobes. Plans for the day included an itinerary of two lectures at the hotel, a tour of the Monza Circuit and a visit at the Vero Volley Club.

The two lectures started with Aaron Deckers, who is a Dutch sport journalist working in Italy. He informed the class about the scandals that have surrounded the Serie A Football in the early 2000s, known as “Calciopoli” – which means corruption in Italian. A man by the name of Luciano Moggi made his way up being president of Juventus, while starting his own agency within Serie A and “influenced” players to join Juventus. In addition to forcing players to give into ultimatums, he also appointed refs to his own games and rivalry games so he could have control over the league. The investigation started by phone tapping Juventus for PEDs allegation, but what started out as being one thing opened up an complete can of worms to one of the most well known European leagues in the world.

The second lecture was presented by Luca Galvan about marketing for the Serie A Football Lega. Serie A was founded in 1946, and in 1988 they partnered up with their title sponsor – TIM, which is a telecommunications company. Now, you never see Serie A as a brand by itself, it is “Serie A TIM”. With partnering up with sponsors, they offer specific naming, brand identity/exposure, and exclusive rights for all of their cups and championships. Serie A also partners up with Nike as their official partner, where all teams in the lega receive 450 Nike Serie A TIM footballs – where an average fan would have to pay 120 euros for an official Nike ball. The third sponsor they partner with is a company named Panini, which is their official sticker and card company.

After sitting still for two hours, the group hopped on bikes to take a tour of the Autodromo Internazionale Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix.  Though they were unable to go at the customary pace of 180 mph, the students were able to learn a lot about the history and the hospitality available at Monza’s events from our tour guide, Allesandra.  Though some were still weary, the ride around the 3.6 mile course was able to provide a jolt of energy to the group.

The last stop of the day was Vero Volley, a consortium of volleyball clubs.  Ilaria Conciato, the consortium’s general manager, walked us through the Monza Arena and explained how they manage their youth and professional clubs.  Vero Volley has a value-driven philosophy, one that revolves around putting athlete well-being above winning and creating a shared project of sport culture.  After the lecture, students had the opportunity to provide Conciato with suggestions to help Vero Volley drive attendance and build its fan base. Following the lecture, we were treated to danishes and coffees/cappuccinos – which we could definitely not turn down after a full and eventful day.



April 23, 2017

CSL in Europe: Day 1-Milan

by Paul Keyes, Gabby Dyer and Evan Charles, CSL Graduate Students

An 8-hour flight is the only thing standing in between the CSL Class 0f ’17 and 10 days of our European escapade.  We will be arriving in Milan, Italy at roughly 8:30am, where we will then travel to our hotel before taking a walking tour of the city.  After the tour we head to the world famous San Sierro Stadium for a Serie A matchup between AC Milan and Empoli.

As anticipation builds we find ourselves reflecting back on the past year and the transformations we have made while beginning our careers in the sports industry.  After a quick bite to eat at the airport bdubs (while watching an unfortunate Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Semi-Final loss to Chelsea) we began our short layover while waiting to board.  Most of us are catching up on some much needed sleep, while others continue to work on SEED analysis papers after a successful and productive event schedule this spring.  But most importantly we are together sharing a few laughs and memories while we learn the ins and outs of European sports.

Our first full day in Europe started off strong! We landed in Milan around 8:30am, met up with our guide Sjoerd from LanCon, and headed off to enjoy breakfast in a snazzy hotel lounge that reminded several of us of the eccentric Quirk Hotel back home in Richmond. After fueling up and quickly changing for the day, we drove to the Centro Storico to meet our tour guide, a local woman named Michaela. We not only toured the ancient Castello Sforzesco, but went on to see the famous Duomo di Milano, walk down the picturesque Via Monte Napoleone, and gawked at the upscale shops in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The highlight of the day had to be taking a turn at spinning on the tile bull featured on the Turin Coat of Arms. Michaela went on to fill us in on the historical significance of this strange tradition. The Galleria was built 1877 by Giuseppe Mengoni. Sadly, Mengoni plummeted to his death from the scaffolding just weeks before the 14-year project was completed. So, to ward off evil spirits and similar bad luck, passerby’s are instructed to put their right heel on the bull’s testicular region and spin counterclockwise three times, which is said to bring good luck. There was actually a deep hole from where so many visitors and even locals have participated in this silly tradition. If this luck follows us, hopefully we’ll be able to hang onto the beautiful 70-degree weather for the rest of the trip!

In the afternoon, we attended a soccer game between AC Milan and Empoli at San Siro Stadium. This was a truly memorable experience as San Siro Stadium is the largest stadium in Italy and provided an awesome match day atmosphere. San Siro stadium seats just over 80,000 fans and has hosted both World Cup and European Cup games. Although Milan ended up losing 2-1, the game was as dramatic and exciting as they come and we enjoyed soaking in the atmosphere with the local fans. Almost half of our students left decked out in customized AC Milan gear!

One main takeaways was developing an understanding about both the history and social activities of the Milanese people. The Milanese are very proud of their heritage and they have a unique culture including aperitivo time and the love of soccer. Aperitivo time is an extended happy hour from about 7-9 p.m. featuring drinks and cocktails at a reduced price and free small appetizer platters. In Milan, meals are a social aspect which often includes less attention from the waiter and a longer meal time.