April 15, 2016

UM Sport Conference - A Resounding Success

It's no secret that a key component to success in the sport business industry is networking - with peers and potential employers alike. It's this passion for building relationships that brought over 200 attendees together in Coral Gables for the inaugural University of Miami Sport Industry Conference in mid-April. 

Among these attendees were campus students, alumni and 19 members of UOnline master's in Sport Administration. Traveling from as far as Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, and even Toronto, UOnline students had valuable face time with top industry experts, including Jeremy Darlow, Director of Brand Marketing at adidas, Michael McCullough, Executive VP of the Miami Heat, and Keri Potts, Director of PR for ESPN.

Hear from the students themselves as they share their personal highlights, and check out our roundup of favorite photos and tweets from the jam-packed, two-day conference: 

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Face-to-Face Opportunities

The conference kicked off Friday, April 15, with a welcome breakfast, providing great opportunities for students to put faces to names and meet their classmates in person for the first time. Photos were taken, hugs were exchanged, and several students noted the value of these face-to-face interactions with those they've been studying alongside. 

Learning from Top Industry Experts

The conference centered around six insightful panel discussions, featuring a diverse group of industry experts and covering a range of topics essential to the sport industry today - from engaging millennials and owning a brand voice on social media to protecting a client in crisis and leveraging smartphone apps to boost ticket sales. In addition, attendees and panelists alike were treated to a keynote address by Matt Birk, NFL Super Bowl Champion and current NFL Director of Football Development.

Some of the key takeaways for the panels:

  • You can't get better without knowing both your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Network to find mentors. 
  • When things go downhill, relationships matter even more. 
  • To build a brand (professionally and personally) leverage all the channels available. 
  • To add value to your target audience, have the right content, at the right time, at the right place. 

Access to Top-Notch Career Opportunities

Day two of the conference featured an interactive career fair - the ideal opportunity for students to network with hiring companies including ESPN, the Orange Bowl Committee, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and more. 

See you next year!

Overall, it was a great experience for everyone involved. A huge thanks to Professor Alicia Jessop for leading this initiative. All of our UOnline students will have access to this event going forward.

Thinking that you should attend next year's conference? You're right, you should! Stay tuned for updated info by following @UMSportsBiz & @UMiamiSIC!

We hope to see you there. Some closing words: