Students share a passion for sports

The Queen’s Sports Industry Conference was hosted last week at Queen’s University in Kingston. The three-day conference brought together students from Universities across Canada and from various programs, yet they all had one thing in common: a passion for sports.
The theme of the week was “Pursue Your Passion”. The week started off with motivational speaker and CFL Hall of Famer Terry Evanshen. Terry’s life was altered forever when a vehicle accident wiped away 40 years of his memory. He spoke of his two lives separately and how he rebuilt his life after the accident. An inspiring speech left students in awe and was the perfect start to an incredible three days.
Later that evening, delegates got to hear from Mark Ditmars of the Toronto Blue Jays. Mark spoke of his journey to where he is today and the places he worked before. He described his journey as one that some may only dream of. Ditmars worked for Labatt, then moved into the music industry before landing a job with the Jays. He joked that he was bound to move to the porn industry next and was already planning to pitch his ideas to Ron Jeremy.
The next day was the 2013 LG Case Classic. Delegates were tasked by LG Electronics to find ways to promote their new phone – the Optimus G – by using their partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. After spending most of the afternoon putting together presentations, the groups presented their ideas in front of a panel of LG representatives. The winning group created an interactive app for LG smartphones that allowed fans to get right into the Leafs and Raptors games with quizzes, contests and exclusive access to MLSE opportunities.
That night delegates went to go see the Kingston Frontenacs play the Ottawa 67s wearing jerseys of all different colours. Despite a loss to the Frontenacs, the energy of the delegates was palpable. The final day had three speakers. Sportsnet’s John Shannon talked about his time in broadcasting and Hockey Night in Canada. He also answered the numerous Hockey related rumours that delegates brought to him. In particular, it was Shannon that broke the story saying Roberto Luongo was Toronto bound when the lockout ended. Although the trade has not yet been made, he stands firm in his opinion that “Toronto is the only place for him.”
After Shannon, it was the Blue Jays’ Vice-President of Business Operations, Stephen Brooks. Brooks spoke of the coordination between he and General Manager Alex Anthopoulos in creating the team that is generating so much excitement for next year. Fan support has skyrocketed recently and expectations are high with the big additions of Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle.
The conference finished with a “Moneyball” theme. It was basketball’s take on the analytics of sports by Queen’s Professor, Sam Kirshner.
If you are in Sports Management and have a passion for sports, make sure to check out the conference next year. More info can be found at www.qsic.ca. 

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