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College students get a glimpse into the world of sports management

LaGRANGE- The Business Department and Sports Management program at LaGrange College put on a symposium Friday morning with people from all aspects of the sports management industry coming to speak with college students who are interested in pursuing a career in sports management.

Names like Warren Parr, Director of Sales for the Atlanta Falcons, Joe Rickert, Group Membership Consultant for the Atlanta Hawks, Angela Spence, Senior Consultant for the Atlanta Hawks, Aaron Johnson, Marketing Coordinator for the Detroit Pistons and Chris Howard, Director of NCAA Football Development all attended the Sports Management Symposium on campus to speak on their career path, the highs and lows of their job, and the strong work ethic and zeal needed to ultimately get to where they want to be in the sports industry.

Every extent of sports business, from community relations to public relations to sales to marketing, was analyzed from the speaker’s perspective as they spoke to students.

“What’s great about working in sales is that I could learn from people that had been through the process and a lot of people in the industry that works in sales are connected with other people who have similar experiences,” said Parr. “Working in sports is fun. It’s stressful but it’s fun.”

Rickert and Spence, who both started with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013, explained to students the daily grind of their sales jobs and how you must be sure of what element of sports you want to work in before you get a position in the sports management field.

“The field is totally competitive,” said Rickert. “It’s not enough to say, ‘I want to work in sports.’ You have to be passionate about exactly what you want to do.”

“There’s always going to be some kind of obstacle but the great thing about sales is that coming in everyday, each day is completely different,” said Spence.

As the Marketing Coordinator for the Detroit Pistons, Johnson told the group of his first time going to a Pistons game as a kid and after the game decided he wanted to work for the Pistons.

“I wanted to use all my resources to set myself apart,” said Johnson. “Your goal is not to know who they are but to let them know who you are.”

“Don’t be afraid to take the next step,” encouraged Howard, as he also emphasized the value of networking during his talk. “You might trip up but you can’t be afraid to move forward.”

 

Shirttail- Reach James Simpson II at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155, or by email at james.simpson@lagrangenews.com