Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Archive for the 'SIM Students' Category

 

Dec 18 2013

Georgetown Sports Industry Management students orchestrate national media blitz for Gallaudet University football team

by at 11:33 am


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

by Sam Atkinson, Gallaudet University Sports Information Director

WASHINGTON – A trio of Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management (SIM) students organized and successfully ran a national public relations campaign for the Gallaudet University football team this past fall semester. Gallaudet, the only deaf and hard of hearing University in the world, experienced its best football season in the storied history of the Bison program dating back to 1883.

Pictured left to right: Shad Sommers, Sam Atkinson and Sarah FitzPatrick on Gallaudet's campus outside Hotchkiss Field.

Pictured left to right: Shad Sommers, Sam Atkinson and Sarah FitzPatrick on Gallaudet’s campus outside Hotchkiss Field.

The Bison started the season 9-0, won a school record 11 consecutive games dating back to last season, secured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) championship since the conference formed in 2009 and punched their first-ever ticket to the NCAA Division III tournament. GU’s football team became the first male team to ever go to the NCAA tournament in the 149-year history of the school. Along the way the team garnered unprecedented national media exposure, usually reserved for the upper echelon of Division I, and had over 50 stories written, broadcasted or talked about through every media means possible in one month’s time.

Behind the scenes Gallaudet’s Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Sam Atkinson, a May 2013 graduate of SIM, and two current SIM students Sarah FitzPatrick and Shad Sommers, working as interns, controlled and facilitated the media frenzy set upon the Gallaudet campus.

Georgetown SIM intern Sarah FitzPatrick (left) escorted Washington Redskins starter Reed Doughty, Gallaudet's honorary captain on Nov. 9, around the field before the final regular season home game at Hotchkiss Field.

Georgetown SIM intern Sarah FitzPatrick (left) escorted Washington Redskins starter Reed Doughty, Gallaudet’s honorary captain on Nov. 9, around the field before the final regular season home game at Hotchkiss Field.

“The unexpected media attention greatly impacted my internship. It is not an experience that can be guaranteed at a Division III school,” said FitzPatrick, who graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Denver. “The media presence that came along with the football team’s success gave me an incredible opportunity to learn how to work with the media in a sports environment and network with media professionals.”

For several weeks in November the Bison football team became the media darlings of college football. A game winning blocked field goal returned 70 yards for a touchdown, with no time remaining, on Nov. 2 on the road against Becker College became an instant highlight on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Things escalated a week later when ESPN and other national media outlets came out to cover the Bison as they headed into their final home game of the regular-season primed to win the ECFC championship.

Washington NBC 4 sports reporter Jason Pugh (left) interviews Gallaudet's quarterback Todd Bonheyo during one of the numerous press interviews Gallaudet football received this fall. Top right, Shad Sommers overseas the interview in progress to make sure what is being said is correct and things communicated clearly.

Washington NBC 4 sports reporter Jason Pugh (left) interviews Gallaudet’s quarterback Todd Bonheyo during one of the numerous press interviews Gallaudet football received this fall. Top right, Shad Sommers overseas the interview in progress to make sure what is being said is correct and things communicated clearly.

“We knew we had a good story that could go national but the excellent play of the team on the field and the blocked field goal play took things to another level,” said Atkinson, who earned his master’s degree as a part-time student, as he enters his fifth year at Gallaudet. “Our goal was to get our story out to as many news outlets as possible, not overburden the coaching staff and student-athletes and educate the reporters about the deaf and hard of hearing community in the process.”

From the Classroom to the Real World
The immediate crush of local and national media forced Atkinson and his interns to prioritize their day-to-day responsibilities as the media relations office for Gallaudet’s 13 varsity sports. The trio still had to attend the home events for the women’s soccer and volleyball teams while writing stories about the men’s and women’s cross country teams and prepare for the winter slate of sports including men’s and women’s basketball and swimming. The Bison Sports Information Office also had to organize the flow of the various media interviews, work with the head coaches’ practice and personal schedule, the class schedules for the various student-athletes and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter schedules.

The Gallaudet Sports Information Office working the final home regular-season game for the Bison on Nov. 9 while an ESPN cameraman films next to them. At their final game two national television outlets and three local news stations were present as GU won its 11th straight game, dating back to last season, and clinched the ECFC championship. Pictured in the foreground is Shad Sommers, Sam Atkinson and Sarah FitzPatrick (white hat).

Living the Division III life in the press box at Hotchkiss Field. On a rainy Oct. 12 day the Gallaudet Sports Information Office had to improvise with the wet weather and keeps things dry in the open air set-up. Pictured left to right: Gallaudet SID student-workers Jordan Webb, Jeremy Warshaw, Sam Atkinson, Sarah FitzPatrick and Shad Sommers.

“There were several instances in which my internship responsibilities correlated with my classwork,” said FitzPatrick. “With all the attention the football team received, it was necessary to be active on the university’s athletic social media platforms. Plus, I was given the opportunity to prepare media kits for local and national media guests, work that was relevant to what I was learning in school.”

Sommers concurs with FitzPatrick about taking lessons learned in the SIM classrooms and applying them to everyday life at Gallaudet.

“The media frenzy definitely shook things up during the season. I knew the team was having a special season but when you have ESPN come to campus for a feature story that they want to showcase on SportsCenter it definitely takes it to another level,” said Sommers, who recently graduated from Columbia University where he started on the football team. “For about a month straight we would have calls and e-mails come in from national and local outlets weekly wanting to chronicle GU’s story and journey this season. Personally, I helped escort some of the local reporters around campus, watched over interviews being conducted and created media information packets for all of the incoming reporters.”

This was not the first time Gallaudet athletics had burst onto the national media stage as its women’s basketball team garnered lots of attention during the 2010-11 season when the Bison started the year 20-0 and were ranked for the first time in a decade.

“I could not have been able to balance everything without the excellent work done by Sarah and Shad. The pair went above and beyond the call of duty as an intern and we are grateful for their service to Bison athletics,” said Atkinson.

Living the Division III life in the press box at Hotchkiss Field. On a rainy Oct. 12 day the Gallaudet Sports Information Office had to improvise with the wet weather and keeps things dry in the open air set-up. Pictured left to right: Gallaudet SID student-workers Jordan Webb, Jeremy Warshaw, Sam Atkinson, Sarah FitzPatrick and Shad Sommers.

The Gallaudet Sports Information Office working the final home regular-season game for the Bison on Nov. 9 while an ESPN cameraman films next to them. At their final game two national television outlets and three local news stations were present as GU won its 11th straight game, dating back to last season, and clinched the ECFC championship. Pictured in the foreground is Shad Sommers, Sam Atkinson and Sarah FitzPatrick (white hat).

Communicating with your hands

During their internship FitzPatrick and Sommers learned ASL in addition to being trained the day-to-day life of working in a Sports Information Office. The new challenge of learning a new language and working in a different environment was accepted with open arms from the two SIM interns. This is the fourth year Gallaudet’s Sports Information Office has used SIM interns, as 10 interns have completed internships with Atkinson since the Fall 2010.

“Communicating in ASL was challenging, but also rewarding. It is important for people who would like to intern at Gallaudet to be willing to attempt to communicate in ASL and put what they learn into practice,” said FitzPatrick.

Now their hands will have some added “bling” as the duo will receive ECFC championship rings this spring from head coach Chuck Goldstein as a token of appreciation for their hard work promoting Gallaudet athletics and supporting the media frenzy that encompassed the football program.

“I would definitely recommend this internship to others. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of a community I had no real previous experience with,” said Sommers. “I believe that stepping out of your comfort zone is an important part of developing yourself as a person and there is no doubt in my mind that this internship did that for me.”

gallaudet-sid-interns2

ESPN Feature Story Video – The Gallaudet Way

About Georgetown MPS SIM Program

Georgetown’s graduate degree program in Sports Industry Management embraces real-world learning. Learn about the latest practices in sports management from industry leaders. Work in a hands-on internship with one of the program’s strategic organizational partners (including major league teams and leading sports-industry businesses and nonprofit entities). Complete a Capstone Project that lets you demonstrate real experience addressing key challenges and opportunities in the industry. Learn more by visiting:

http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/14/master-of-professional-studies-in-sports-industry-management.

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students,Student Internships | Tags:

Nov 14 2012

The Fastest Growing Sport…ON THE PLANET-PART II

by at 3:01 pm


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

So, I last left you with my decision to try out the fabled Crossfit, and whether or not I survived her infamous workout….

Upon entering the first box I tried (in the Crossfit world, a “box” equates to a gym), what struck me first was not the lack of exercise machinery, but the fact that there were no mirrors. However, I quickly realized that the ethos of Crossfit was in leaving your ego at home, and performing each exercise to the best of your ability with the appropriate weight. I don’t know about you, but every regular gym I have been to consisted of several overly muscular meatheads who would spend more time hogging the weight rack and staring at themselves in the mirror than actually getting any serious exercise done. The fact that this box was devoid of mirrors was oddly reassuring.

After a quick introduction with the coaches, I stepped right into my first w.o.d. (workout of the day). This began with a warmup that included some handstands, lunges holding a weight plate over my head, and plenty of burpees. I was then directed toward a giant whiteboard that had the w.o.d. posted, along with several names, weights, and times for the day. I was given a rundown of the correct form for each exercise, and before I knew it, the timer on the wall was counting down from 00:10. This wasn’t going to be a workout session where I might do some work, grab some water, chat briefly to someone, and then carry on. This was going to be a flat-out, work your tail off, heart pumping monster.

Now, I consider myself to be a generally fit, active, and healthy person. I’ve played competitive sports from a young age, and was a collegiate athlete. But I can honestly say, I had never experienced a tougher, excruciating, and fulfilling workout. I started off with 30 box jumps on to a 20 inch box, before quickly moving on to 20 pull ups. There was no time for rest, or so I thought. As the workout continued, I tackled several different exercises, including wall balls (squatting down with a 20 lb. medicine ball, before exploding up off your feet and launching the ball high against a wall), back extensions, and the jump rope. The notion of no rest quickly evaporated, along with the air in my lungs. I found myself having to take 30 seconds here and there for a quick sip of water and to catch my breath, all the while sweat was pouring from my forehead and veins threatening to explode out of my arms. When it came to the last exercise, 4 rope climbs, I succumbed, and collapsed on the floor, spent for the day.

Although my preparation for the w.o.d. could have been a LOT better, I was astonished on how much variety and work could be done in such little time. When I finally managed to drag my broken body to the shower, and eventually dress myself to step out of the gym, I began to experience an incredible high that comes with completing (or almost completing) intense exercise. Needless to say, I was hooked.

I am now two months in to my Crossfit career, and I am still experiencing the high. Granted, some of the exercises are complicated and can be frustrating (handstand pushups and clean and jerks are a real pain), and the cost of gym membership is high (around $150 for students), there is NO way I am going back to a regular gym. I have lost weight, packed on muscle, and feel more flexible and generally fit for everyday tasks.

Stay tuned for another update on my Crossfit experience!

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students | Tags: , ,

Oct 26 2012

“I Totally Agree” – College Football and NBA/NHL Franchise Relocation

by at 2:12 pm


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Click Here to listen to Episode 17 of “I Totally Agree”

In this episode, Chris and Gene talk about season-swinging games on this weekend’s college football slate as well as impending franchise relocation in the NHL and NBA. Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy!

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students,Sports News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 12 2012

What exactly is moneyball?

by at 6:10 pm


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Now since the novel by Michael Lewis has been published and the movie starring A-list actors was a hit, this word “moneyball” has become prevalent in mainstream society but the question is, do most people know what this really is? Of course, avid baseball fans are well aware of this phenomenon innovated by Billy Beane, who was the general manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1997. In my Sports Leadership & Management curriculum, I recently was reading about how the concept of moneyball was born due to MLB franchise values and the disparity between large market and small market teams. Due to the fact that the MLB doesn’t share local TV revenue (meaning that they don’t make money off of how many viewers tune into ballgames), it causes large “media market teams” such as the New York Yankees to earn more revenue compared to the Colorado Rockies. This causes a disadvantage and a potential monopoly among major league teams and the possibility of losing top notch players because salary requirements can’t be met. During the 1990’s when Billy Beane was a professional scout, he realized this discrepancy and developed a concept of building a team on a low budget while using sabermetrics, a concept of analyzing baseball through objective evidence and then it evolved into the word “moneyball”.  The whole idea of moneyball is to have a winning team without having to recruit high profile players with high salary demands. This idea that Beane invented and enacted as a GM after the 1997 season with the A’s was to focus primarily on the statistics of players and to use quantitative analysis of baseball, rather than just recruiting talented baseball players who had a high batting average or a low ERA. Beane wanted to draft intelligently and hired statistician Bill James to analyze mathematical theories to put together a team that would consistently win. Now, teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox have utilized “moneyball”. To sum it up, a professional baseball franchise doesn’t need to have a large amount of revenue to recruit skilled baseball players but rather have the capability to analyze statistics, probability, and to draft players who are worth it.

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students | Tags: , ,

Oct 10 2012

Escape From Reality

by at 2:09 pm


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

I think that it is safe to say that everyone in this program loves sports, but have we really thought of why? Most of us have probably played many years of sports, and our professional dreams of playing are most likely over. Since that is the case why do we still want to be around the industry? One of the biggest reasons I think people do this, and the main reason I know I do, is because sports provide us with an escape from reality.

Everybody has struggles in their lives, whether that is at work, with their family, or in a relationship. At different points in our lives things are difficult, and we feel that life is not going exactly the way we would like it. Sports give us something to fall back on. Maybe your week isn’t going well at all, but when your football team wins on Sunday it gives you a spark that maybe things are going to turn around. That is what sports do for us. It gives us reason to believe that there is something out there for us to feel a real connection to, and gives us hope that there are things out there worth holding on to.

I also believe that it is human nature to want to be a part of something bigger than just an individual, and that is something that sports supply us with. When our team, in any sport, is winning, somehow it makes us feel like we are winning as well. When we forge relationships with a specific team or university it is the same exact way we forge relationships with other people. We feel loyal towards them, and invest a lot of time to follow them through the ups and downs of their existence.

At the end of the day, our lives do not hinder on whether our favorite teams win, but for some reason it feels like that. Personally, I know that whenever my team is in a close battle with another, especially in a big game, I feel nervous and anxious the same way that I do in normal every day life. Deep down, I know that the next day I’ll wake up, and I’ll go about my day no matter if my team wins or loses, but it still feels like when my team is playing so I am.

That is what is so special about sports, and why I believe the sport’s business industry is so special. As sport’s business professionals we get the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives. Not only do we get the opportunity to make the obvious difference by providing chances for underprivileged individuals to a better life, but also we get to give everyone an escape from reality. We get to give everyone who loves sports the chance to say, “Man, my week hasn’t been great, but my team is playing tonight, so at least I have that going for me!” That may not seem like a lot to some people, but to me that is the reason I want to work in the field.

Sports give individuals an outlet, maybe for only one night a week, but that is why it is so special. Because in a world where everyone is searching for something to call their own, and struggling to really figure out who they are, sports provide us with the opportunity to escape.

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students

Sep 12 2012

Notre Dame to the ACC – What Does it Mean?

by at 9:00 pm


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Click Here to listen to Episode 15 of “I Totally Agree”

“I Totally Agree” is a podcast recorded and produced by Georgetown Sports Industry Management students Gene Horlbeck and Chris Yortsos. The podcast touches on relevant topics in the sports industry as well as individual insights into the business of the industry.

In this episode, Chris and Gene breakdown today’s surprising news of Notre Dame joining the ACC.  Is this a good move for both parties?  What is the effect on the other major conferences?  Listen in for all the answers.

 

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students,Sports News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 07 2012

One Athlete’s Broken Hockey Stick: Another Man’s Chair?

by at 9:45 am


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

The NHL off-season is always a tough time for hockey fans (especially when there is a lockout threat). I decided to avoid my frustration about the potential lockout and instead use that energy for good. Take lemons and make lemonade. And that is what this blog post is all about. One Georgetown SIM student who has done just that!

Jonathan Merrill, a recent SIM graduate, started a business (Creative Collectibles) building furniture out of… wait for it…hockey sticks.

Although Jonathan is just getting started, he already sold a Capitals repurposed hockey-stick chair online for $800. Pretty cool, right?

Other creative collectibles include a coat rack made out of stick blades and picture frames/puck holders made from broken sticks.

When I asked Jonathan about how he got started creating household items out of hockey equipment, he cited his internship from his time in the Georgetown SIM program, “While interning with a NHL team and running their memorabilia game auctions, I noticed that players were always breaking sticks and they were being thrown away.”

Jonathan saw this ‘trash’ as the beginning of a innovative project. You know what they say, one man’s broken hockey stick is another man’s treasure.

According to Jonathan, “After doing some research online, I realized that some pretty cool stuff can be created from recycled sports equipment. I didn’t come up with idea for many of the things I have made, but when most people see Creative Collectibles for the first time they act like I invented the wheel.”

His company, “Creative Collectibles” has a new facebook page, twitter page, and he is available for orders if you email him at jm885@georgetown.edu.

No responses yet | Categories: SIM Students | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/commons/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524