Sport Management students experience game day in a whole new way

The sport management program at BGSU has a long-standing tradition of excellence. The program is the largest and most diverse in the country, and students come from all over the United States to study at BGSU. Faculty are further enhancing classroom learning by finding new ways to offer additional field experience for their students, making them more attractive candidates to employers.

Dr. Amanda Paule-Koba, associate professor of sport management, is providing the students in her Sport and Event Management class a unique experience this semester. Her students will assist with game day at various athletics events at BGSU. This collaboration with the athletics department is a win-win for both sides, Paule-Koba said: The students are able to learn in a lab-like setting and the athletics department gains additional staff to enhance the game day experiences for fans.

“The collaboration will bring to life what our students are learning in the classroom,” Koba said. “They have a great opportunity to gain real-world sport industry experience in a Division I athletics department and learn how a variety of areas work to produce a game day experience.”

The sport management curriculum is centered on the student experience. The event management course is designed to provide a holistic understanding of the event- management process at a variety of sporting events. Students taking this course will learn the various aspects of managing a sport event and the essential components in producing a sport event.

“Our partnership will include sport management majors in the 3010 class as part of our game day staff, “ said Jim Elsasser, associate athletic director for internal affairs. “This field experience will place students in vital roles, including the areas of marketing, guest relations, ticket operations, facility operations, development, athletic communications, as well as others.”

This is not the first time Koba has partnered with the athletics department to enhance the student experience. In 2012, she served as the volunteer coordinator for the NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament at the Stroh Center. In this role, she was able to place sport management graduate and undergraduate students in areas such as media relations, crowd management, facility operations and ticket operations.

“It is our mission for students, who choose to come to BGSU for sport management, to gain experience working at several events within a Division I athletics department, in addition to their practicum and internship requirements,” she said. “We provide these opportunities for students to build their resume so they are attractive candidates to future employers in the industry.”