Next month, five students from Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business will travel to Tampa, Florida, to gain invaluable work experience during the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game.
While the top two teams in college football battle for the championship, the students, who are all members of the Sport Business Club (SBC), will work with and learn from the organizers of this event, which in 2015 drew more than 75,000 attendees and 23 million TV viewers.
Over the course of their time in Tampa, which runs from Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, through Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, the group will work several events in the days leading up to the game, as well as during the game itself, which is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. The students will work directly with representatives from the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
“The mission of the Sport Business Club is to provide its members with invaluable experience and knowledge within the field of sport management,” said master of business administration student and SBC Co-President Casey Edsall ’16, ’17. “This trip will give us real-world experience and allow us to see how sport management professionals organize and operate one of the largest sport events in the world.”
The students will gain experience by observing and learning from professionals while performing tasks related to media credentialing, hospitality and fan experience. They’ll be assigned event operations responsibilities over the course of 12 hours on the day of the championship game.
The five students, led by Assistant Dean of Student Affairs & Professor of Sports Management Fritz G. Polite, Ph.D., include Edsall, as well as senior sport management major and SBC Co-President Cassandra Tabarini ’17, senior business administration major and SBC Director of Administration Matthew Laird ’17, junior sport management major Malik Henry ’18 and sophomore sport management major Laura Pearson ’19.
“Dr. Polite has given us a great amount of responsibility for getting this off the ground, so from the beginning, it has been students planning the trip,” said Laird. “We have learned a lot from this planning process, and it will be exciting to see how the professionals at the game apply the same kind of process, but on a much larger scale.”
This trip to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship is the first of many major-event, experiential learning opportunities for business school students.
“This is a great example of the power of partnerships between the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, the Student Government Association and the Office of Student Engagement,” said Dr. Polite.