April 2012

Celebration Week Speakers

April 9: Gary Sobba, General Manager of Tar Heel Sports Properties

  • Kansas Native
  • Graduated undergrad at Kansas University
  • Earned an advanced degree in 1988
  • Assistant Athletics Director of Marketing for Wichita State an Houston
  • Originally worked for Learfield Sports in Dallas
  • Took over as general manager of Tar Heel Sports Properties in March 2000
    • Under his management, THSP staffers have been awarded the highest sales recognition, the Chairman’s Cup, three times and been runner-up once
    • Eyes of his business are on Fayetteville, Arkansas and the all of the deals happening in and around sport (LA Dodgers)
    • Tar Heel Sports Properties
      • Handles multimedia deals and sponsorship rights for Tar Heel Athletics
      • Learfield Sports
        • Develops partnerships
        • About 50 schools
        • Guarantees UNC 100 million per year in return for:
          • Radio broadcasts
          • Website
            • Facilitates purchases, etc.
        • Vendors
  • Employ about 20 people
  • Radio broadcasts
    • Takes about a half second
  • TV broadcasts
    • Problems with trying to make sure TV broadcasts and radio broadcasts sync because of the delay instituted some years ago
  • Broadcast 12 football games, 13 coaches shows, all basketball games, all games of the ACC tournament, all baseball and women’s basketball games
    • Challenge when games are scheduled at the same time
    • Evolution of corporate sponsorships
      • Title IX pressures
      • Only a certain of number seats to be filled
      • Trying to get brewery advertising approved for radio broadcasts
        • Most other outlets have already instituted these types of advertisements
        • TV/radio contracts; expansion
          • Some ACC schools don’t have the same fan base as SEC schools
          • ACC doesn’t have the ability to create an “ACC” channel like the SEC channel that will be live soon
          • All the money is in March Madness
            • How do you make regular season basketball more relevant?
  • Can’t allow the football schools to control the revenue
    • The basketball schools have to find a way to control the revenue
    • Sponsorship at Carolina
      • Brand preferences are chosen at around age between 18 and 25 (college affinity market)
      • 5 distinct markets
        • Masses (all Carolina fans)
        • Wealth sector (professional schools)
        • Emerging wealth sector (business school students)
        • B to B community (business owners)
        • College affinity market
  • Signage needs to be classy and tasteful
  • Social Media
    • Sponsors want to be able to reach the digital world
    • Have to be able to evolve
    • E-Commerce
      • Video content is the wave of where the internet is going
        • Being in the locker room after the game, etc.
  • Selling merchandise through online auctions
  • Soft goods and logoed merchandise
  • UNC brand is powerful and has great loyalty
  • Career tips
    • “If you’re living for the weekend, you’re in the wrong profession”
      • Find your passion so that you enjoy going to work during the week
  • Outwork people (stand out)
  • Make sure your resume is good
  • Do your best everyday on the job
  • Told by Mr. Dick Baddour-When it comes down to starting a career, there are three things to consider and you can only chose two:
    • What you do
    • Where you live
    • How much you make
  • Get experience

April 10: Amy Herman, Associate AD for Compliance

  • From Missouri
  • Attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO
    • Played basketball
    • Got a degree in Elementary Physical Education
    • Masters in Sport Administration from UNC
      • Wanted to stay in college athletics
      • Did internship in compliance
        • Says it’s the closest she got to law
        • Function of compliance
          • Three fold
            • Educate
              • Coaches
                • Have to educate coaches because they are the closest connection to the student-athletes (have daily interaction)
                • In-person meetings, email
          • Broader institutional and athletic department staff
            • Different units in the athletic department need to know how NCAA rules affect them
            • Work with Office of Scholarships and Student Aid; Registrar’s Office
          • Student-athletes
            • Making sure they know and understand the rules
            • Educate them to the point that they make wise choices
            • In-person meeting, email, text messaging
          • Booster population (called “Representatives of Athletic Interest” by the NCAA)
            • Rules education materials given to Rams Club members
            • Educate them enough that if they want/need to do something, they think to ask
          • Local community
            • Some local businesses may be considered boosters because they are sponsors
            • Send out local business letters explaining the NCAA rules that state what student-athletes can and can’t receive
              • The decision is ultimately up to the athletes
        • Monitor
          • Taking the rules and trying to figure out how they are going to be/are being followed
          • Says it is impossible to have zero secondary violations
            • Hope to limit the violations but want to catch them if they do happen
          • Things they monitor
            • Personnel
              • How many coaches on staff, number of coaches recruiting, what non-coaches can do, etc.
              • Amateurism
                • Things that might put at risk an athletes amateur status
                • Recruiting
                  • Biggest NCAA bylaw and the one that has the most violations
                  • Has the most sport specific information
                  • Eligibility
                    • Initial eligibility standards
                    • Continuing eligibility
                    • Financial aid
                      • Number of scholarships awarded
                      • Awards and benefits
                        • Things provided above scholarships
                        • Playing seasons
                          • How many games can be scheduled
                          • Can only have a 140 day playing season for each sport
        • Enforce NCAA rules
          • Area of self-reporting violations and investigating violations
          • Secondary violations
            • Level 2
              • Phone calls, etc.
              • Don’t really affect eligibility
              • Not reported to NCAA
              • Level 1
                • Can affect eligibility
                • Reported to NCAA
          • Major violations
          • Most student-athlete violations are found by compliance, while 7 out of 10 coaching/administrative violations are self reported
            • Likes to think this is because student–athletes don’t do things intentionally
            • Compliance staff
              • Have increased staff by two since May
              • One person focuses on each of the following areas:
              •  Financial aid
              • Rules education
              • Initial eligibility
              • Continuing eligibility
              • Overseeing all of compliance
              • How often do the rules change and how does this affect the student-athletes?
                • Historically, rule changes can happen 2 times a year
                  • This may change soon
  • Most legislation that changes only affects recruiting; rules directly affecting athletes behaviors typically stay the same
  • Is there someone monitoring social media?
    • Committee on infractions during the UNC investigation said compliance doesn’t absolutely have to monitor social media because of privacy issues but they have to take action when they become aware of issues
    • Players are told what should/shouldn’t be tweeted regarding compliance and athletes being representatives of the university
    • There is a team monitor whose job is to regularly check social network
    • Work with Varsity Monitor
      • Searches keywords
      • Provide a daily report of what compliance should be aware of
  • Have to pay more attention to athletes in the elite sports because of their prominence
  • What did she do to stand out during her grad school interview/application process or advice about it?
    • Emphasize your uniqueness
    • What would you recommend students study if interested in working compliance?
      • Compliance is a fairly young field
      • There is no one path to take
      • Experience weighs more heavily than what your degree is in
      • Best part of job?
        • Interacting with coaches and developing relationships with them
        • Worst part of the job?
          • Having to say “no” a lot
          • Goal is to find a way to find an alternative without saying “no” to everything
          • Was it more difficult to get into the field as a female?
            • Believes the field of athletics is prime for females right now

April 11: Elizabeth Lindsey, Wasserman Media Group, Consulting Division Co-President

  • Joined Wasserman in 2007
  • Leads the team of consultants
  • Says she fell into sports marketing
  • Wasserman has retainer clients and project clients
    • Job depends on what the clients ask them to do
    • Wasserman is a sports and entertainment agency
      • Major offices are in New York, London, LA, Mumbai, Raleigh
      • Global media, consulting, partnership and business development, athlete management (primarily basketball and baseball), golf, soccer/football, action sports/lifestyle
      • Consulting clients include Verizon, Scotts, American Express, Dallas Cowboys, Nike, and more
      • Approach to sports business
        • Three distinct parts that revolve around the fan experience
          • Brands
          • Distribution
          • Content owners
  • The lines between the parts are blurring
  • Have consulted with Panasonic, Nationwide, PepsiCo, T-Mobile, Ken Block/Gymkhana, American Express, Nike, and Scotts
  • Wasserman’s goal is to double in the next 3-5 years
  • Favorite part of her job?
    • Internally: proud of the team that they have and the growth they exhibit
    • Externally: being involved in groundbreaking deals/firsts
    • What skills are important/should you emphasize for this industry?
      • Doesn’t matter if you are a sports fan-it isn’t sports, it’s the business of sports
        • Often says to people that if sports is your escape and makes you extremely happy, don’t get into the industry because it will ruin it for you/ruin the fantasy
  • Reading, writing, researching and being resourceful about finding information, having intellectual curiosity and initiative, being fearless
  • It’s less about what you study, and more about the skills you have gained
  • It is a relationship driven industry
    • Learn how to network
    • Be very specific about what you want to do and have a reason behind doing it
    •  Be willing to do what you need to do (intern)
    • Read everything you can
    • Look for every opportunity to gain relevant experience
    • “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.” -Woodrow Wilson
    • Says being a part of the agency side of sports offers more diversity than working for one league, team, client, etc.

April 12: Bubba Cunningham, UNC AD

  • Went to Notre Dame undergrad as an Accounting Major
    •  Decided that he was good at math and could get a job in it
    • Everyone in his family was in education
    • Moved to Atlanta because he didn’t want to go back to school
      • Hated the job he got
      • Worked in South Bend, Indiana doing alumni work
      • Realized he liked sports and started talking to AD at Notre Dame about careers in athletics who told him about 4 opportunities:
        • Found out the NCAA was hiring people to help them at their headquarters (still in Kansas City at the time)
        • Other option was to get a Master’s in Sport Administration
        • Suggested that he move from alumni to fundraising
          • Regardless of what field you’re in, if you can generate money you’ll always have a job
  • Quit his full time job, become the AD’s intern, and go back to school
    • Chose this option
    • Did marketing& promotions, worked in the ticket office, worked as the business manager, worked in finance and facilities, and worked in external affairs at Notre Dame
      • Most of these jobs became open after “reshuffling” occurred in the athletic department
  • Started applying for AD jobs after he realized he didn’t want to stay in the position he was in
    • Applied for about 10 positions
    • Became AD at Ball State University
    • Got a call from Tulsa about an Athletic Director position and he took the job
      • Worked there for 6 years
      • Took the UNC job when it became open
  • Before he even got AD jobs, he formulated an idea/model of how he would run an athletic program and practiced presenting it
    • Purpose: to enhance the educational experience of all students
      • You carry the Carolina banner as an institution
      • Challenge is to balance the amount of time athletes take improving their athletics and competing academically
      • 3 major things all ADs should focus on
        • Academic/athletic balance
          • Starts in the admission process
          • Resources (economics of intercollegiate athletics)
            • Have to make sure there are resources to support what the department’s ambition is
          • Compliance
            • Title IX
            • Title VII
            • NCAA rules
            • Doing things the right way because it is in the best interest of the students
            • Variety of experiences has helped to shape his knowledge as an AD
              • A variety of experiences is not absolutely necessary
                • There is no one path for every person
                • Some people have only been an athletic director while others have had multiple positions
  • Has learned a lot from the people he’s worked for
  • Biggest challenge as AD?
    • Trying to get his mind and working style around this campus (the offices being in different buildings, etc.) and the staff
    • Hasn’t been able to spend as much time with the Olympic sports as he wants to
    • Has learned that patience allows for better decisions
    • Believes being around smart, passionate individuals is energizing
    • Says he didn’t have a specific career goal in mind
      • His career ambition was to do what he wanted to do, with people he liked, where he liked
      • Strengths Finder (book)
      • Advice from former AD Dick Baddour?
        • Thoughts on Carolina traditions, the staff, etc.
        • They still meet from time to time
        • Who do you look up to?
          • Gene Corrigan
            • Had great life balance (balanced family and work)
  • Kevin White
  • Mike Alden
  • People who have balance and passion for what they do
  • Long-term vision/goals for Carolina?
    • Facility enhancements (so we can be competitive)
      • Soccer
      • Smith center
        • Doesn’t really know about Renovating v. rebuilding at this point
  • Endowment
    • For scholarships and for operations
  • Addressing staffing concerns
  • Philosophy about fundraising?
    • Understanding the life cycle is important
    • How do you want to position Carolina, and the ACC, so we can remain aggressive?
      • Committed to the education of the students
        • Want to guarantee a degree to all the people who participate in sport
        • Maximize the chances for kids to play
        • Funding through licensing, EA sports, etc.
          • Against the rules now but he feels we should be vocal about changing it
          • Leadership style
            • Somewhat informal
              • Learning the culture through a variety of ways
  • There is definitely a time and place for formal structure
    • It’s about keeping a balance
    • What suggestions do you have for students looking to become an AD or just get into sports business?
      • Having a graduate degree and getting a terminal degree if you can
      • Networking
      • How do you see conference realignment affecting revenue?
        • Wonders if it is going to diminish opportunities?
          • It could diminish parity which then diminishes opportunities
          • Advice from Mr. Cunningham
            • Do one thing everyday that will put you in the position to get the job you really want
            • “You don’t have to be sick to get better.”
            • Change has to be intentional
            • Success breeds success
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