Are you a sports enthusiast? If so, you would have LOVED the recent panel on The Business of Sports. Fuqua worked side-by-side with Wasserman Media Group (an international sports marketing company) to put on this special event that showcased an array of panelists who work in the world of sports. From working directly with athletes as a sports agent to engaging with the public during athletic events, each panelist had a unique perspective to share. The event was open to MMS students, as well as Duke MBA, MEM, law students, and undergrad juniors and seniors. There was a great turnout, and interest from students was high.

The Business of Sports panel.

We had the opportunity to hear from people in a variety of sports-related positions at notable companies. The panelists talked about their professional roles and provided industry insight. This event was especially beneficial for me because as a student-athlete, I have a natural interest in sports. Since I am exploring marketing careers, the panel was the perfect combination of my two interest areas, and I was able to learn about the opportunities and inner workings of this intersecting industry of sports marketing. The panelists included:

  • Thayer Lavielle, Vice President Consulting, Wasserman Media Group
  • Benjamin “BJ” Armstrong, Executive Vice President Basketball Management, Wasserman Media Group
  • Adam Harter, Vice President Consumer Engagement, Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages
  • David Rabin, Executive Director Marketing, Lenovo North America
  • Robbie Allen, Founder, CEO, StatSheet
  • Michael Wandell, Senior Vice President of Marketing Partnerships, Bobcats Sports and Entertainment

As a Fuqua Career Ambassador, I had the opportunity to do some of the behind-the-scenes work to put on the event. Detailed planning went into the event. Each panelist was paired with a career ambassador to ensure that they made it to the event smoothly. A couple hours before the event, we set up the panel room and waited for students and panelists to arrive. Once everyone arrived, the event began with a great start.

Thayer Lavielle served as the moderator and asked the panelists many interesting questions. One of the most interesting questions was “what was the most innovative idea you have seen in your career?” The answer to this question that I found most intriguing was from Adam Harter. He talked about the Kyrie Irving Uncle Drew commercial for Pepsi Max. It was the idea of a young marketer on the team, and it began as a YouTube campaign. It was such an innovative idea that caught so much interest that it was turned into a TV commercial. This just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you have a great idea, it can go very far.

The event ended with a question and answer session, and then broke out into a networking event. We had the opportunity to not only talk to the panelists, but also speak to other representatives from the Wasserman Media Group. As a follow-up to the panel event, there will be a Wasserman Case Competition, which will be another exciting opportunity for students to learn and engage with the business of sports.