"The National Sports Forum Sport Business Speakers Series at Saint Leo University" offers the opportunity to listen and learn from top professionals in the sport business world.

Are you a sports freak looking to parlay your passion into a new career?

As the number of sports teams and leagues increases, so do the opportunities for business careers in the sport industry.

From the Super Bowl to the World Cup, thousands of sports events around the world need qualified people to manage them. Collegiate sports teams need athletic directors and sports information directors. Every professional team requires marketing experts and facilities managers. And vendors, agencies, and professionals are always needed to turn fledgling ventures into profitable businesses.

So maybe you're thinking about pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in sport business or sport management?

Get an inside look into this booming industry and what professionals in the field do by tuning into "The National Sports Forum Sport Business Speakers Series at Saint Leo University."

To participate, all you need to do is grab your laptop and get comfortable. Presentations are available anywhere you are via videoconferencing.

Sport Industry: A $1 Trillion Global Business

According to Plunkett Research Limited, a leading provider of industry sector analysis and research, trends, and statistics, the estimated value of the entire sport industry in the United States in 2012 was $435 million. SportBusiness Journal says that figure is twice the size of the U.S. auto industry and seven times the size of the movie industry.

In addition, at a recent global business of sports summit at Georgetown University, it was stated that "the sports industry, valued at over $1 trillion worldwide, is central in global brand-building and economic expansion strategies for emerging growth companies in apparel, mobile technology, sporting venues and more."

"National Sports Forum Sport Business Speakers Series
at Saint Leo University"

To help prepare business professionals for this expanding field, Saint Leo University sport business faculty members partner with the National Sports Forum to give students the opportunity to hear from industry experts. Presenters are top sports business and marketing executives who share their expertise, knowledge and experience.

"By making these professionals from around the country available to our students, we are able to expose them to the real world of sport business management, expand their professional networks, and better prepare them for a career in the industry," said Eric Schwarz, associate professor, and chair of the Department of Sport Business & International Tourism.

Tune In From Home Via Videoconferencing

Speakers appear live in TECO Hall inside the Donald R. Tapia School of Business on Saint Leo's University Campus, or they join the conference via video chat.

But for anyone who would like to listen in, presentations are available live via videoconferencing. To request videoconferencing service, contact Schwarz at 352-588-7326 or eric.schwarz@saintleo.edu.

2013 Speaker Series Lineup

Brian Gainor, Director of Strategy and Analytics, Freshwire/GMR Marketing
Friday, January 25
10:30 am-11:30 am

The first speaker in the series for 2013, Brian Gainor, will discuss "The Future of Digital/Social Media – The 7 Keys to Driving Engagement, Brand Equity, and Value"

Gainor is a passionate marketer with agency experience as well as extensive experience working in the NFL, SNFL Europe, and collegiate athletics. As the Director of Strategy and Analytics for Freshwire, Gainor and his associates provide content strategy, creation, and syndication to help brands and teams engage, educate, and inspire consumer advocacy. Throughout his career, he has managed partnership marketing efforts, and developed content marketing and social media strategies for some of the nation's leading brands including Comcase, Lowe's, and ING. Gainor was named "30 Under 30" by Forbes in the entertainment category in 2011.

Michael Tatoian, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dover Motorsports  Inc. (NASCAR)
Monday, February 11
6 pm-7:30 pm

As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Michael Tatoian oversees strategic planning, business development and management of brand marketing for all of Dover Motorsports, including its family of tracks: Dover International Speedway, Gateway International Raceway, Memphis Motorsports Park, and Nashville Superspeedway. He has more than 25 years of experience in professional sports ownership, management and operations, including the development and management of minor league baseball, minor league hockey, and a NASCAR Nationwide Series team.

Kathy Schwab, Senior Director of Marketing from the Milwaukee Brewers
Tuesday, March 5
7 pm-8:30 pm

Despite playing in baseball's smallest market and the loss of slugging star Prince Fielder to free agency, the Milwaukee Brewers attracted more than 2.8 million fans to Miller Park in 2012, the league's 10th highest percentage for seating capacity. Those percentages were better than both Los Angeles teams and the New York Mets, and over 850,000 fans better than the Chicago White Sox. Kathy Schwab joined the Brewers in 2004, and as senior director of marketing, oversees all consumer marketing, advertising, research, and branding initiatives for the team.


Mary Pink, Associate Athletic Director for Iowa State University
Thursday, April 4
6 pm-7:30 pm

As associate athletic director for Iowa State University, Mary Pink oversees all marketing efforts including branding, ticket sales, advertising, event management, gameday atmosphere, promotional strategies, merchandise, licensing, special events, and graphic design. Under her direction, the athletics department has hit numerous new attendance milestones for football, men's basketball, and women's basketball. Pink has also developed many programs to help foster game atmosphere, fan support and branding during her tenure.

If you're interested in listening to any of these upcoming speakers, contact Eric Schwarz at Saint Leo University at 352-588-7326 or eric.schwarz@saintleo.edu.

Image Credit: mybloodyself on Flickr/Creative Commons