First-ever Sports Business Symposium takes care of … well, business

The Sports Business Club and Sports Management program held their first ever Sports Business Symposium on April 6. The symposium was a huge success with over 150 students, faculty and professionals in attendance. It also consisted of two different sets of panelists and one Keynote Speaker. Some of the panelists and the speaker are alumni of Loras College, graduating from 1967 all the way up to 2015.

The first panelist consisted of Courtney Boyd (’15), the Learfield Partnership Services Coordinator for Mizzou Sports Properties; Andy Campbell, the Director of Marketing for Impakt Athletics; Denise Stillman, the President/CEO for the Field of Dreams movie site; and Kevin Walsh (’13), the Trade Marketing Manager for Anheuser-Busch. The second set of panelists included Andrea Brommelkamp, the Director of Ticket and Group Sales for the Cedar Rapids Kernels; Craig Decker (’07), the Corporate Sales Executive for the Green Bay Packers; Tom Sorboro, the Senior Associate AD of External Operations at Loyola University of Chicago; and Chuck Yrigoyen, the Commissioner of the IIAC. The highlight of the event was keynote speaker Greg Gumbel (’67), CBS Sports College Basketball Pre-Game and Post-Game Host.

For those unfamiliar with Greg Gumbel, he has done sports broadcasts for almost every sport. His experience ranges from broadcasting for Winter Olympics figure skating events to football, baseball, and basketball.

The Loras College Sports Business Club and Sports Management program were very grateful to have Gumbel and the other panelists come in and talk at the first ever Loras College Sports Business Symposium.

“For our first symposium, we had a great list of panelists, and the keynote speaker, Greg Gumbel, really made it fun and interactive,” said President of the Sport Business Club, junior Maura Walsh. “The audience got to be involved and ask them all (the panel) intriguing questions.”

Symposiums are important for students to find contacts in their field of work and potentially get a job or internship from them.

“I think I’ll go back to what I feel is important to a school, big or small, and that direct contact with people who can inform, who can understand, who can teach and, in some instances, who can often provide real-life contact,” said Gumbel. “And no matter the subject matter, any time a student can get that contact, it’s both a doorway to opportunity and a little education in itself from a reliable source.”

With the success of this year’s symposium, the plans for next year have already started taking shape.

“We had a great turnout this year with 168 participants, and we got raffle prizes donated from our speakers … Everything just went smoothly,” Walsh said. “It was a huge success and we have already started talking about the future plans for next year and making it into an annual event. We hope that there are more alumni that can come back and talk especially because it just makes our connections to companies a little bit closer.”

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