Thanks to Brock University’s Sport Management program (SPMA), the childhood dream many Canadians have of being involved in sports professionally doesn’t have to end. Within the program, students are given a chance to take their knowledge of sports and bring it into the sport industry. This can range from working on the management side, becoming a sports marketer or even finding a route to sports journalism.
Other schools have begun offering Sport Management as well, but Brock has set itself apart with a strong reputation. With graduating names like Kyle Dubas (Assistant General Manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs) and Andrew Tinnish (Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays), Brock alumni have proven that having a career you’re passionate about is possible.
To get the most out of the program however, it’s about more than attending lectures. The Department offers a variety of events that cater to those looking to work in sports and get practical experience and advice from industry professionals. Most recently, the Canadian Sport Business Network held an event at Brock for SPMA and Niagara College students to attend the Sports Talk conference that featured Sportsnet writer Donnovan Bennett as he discussed his love for football and how he used that to get him a career in sports media.
The next big event coming up is the inaugural sport conference titled “Hockey at a Glance” on Mar. 10. The event is hosted by second-year SPMA student and member of the Sport Management Student Council, Chris Fitchett, and his colleagues. The event will cover the hockey industry itself, what jobs are available in the hockey world and how to land a career in the hockey business with a job such as statistics, marketing, sales, accounting, broadcasting and more.
Overall, the event will consist of multiple panels, a keynote presentation and a networking opportunity with the guest speakers at the event. There will be about nine guest speakers at the Hockey at a Glance conference, with two highlighted big names in the industry. Coordinators are excited to welcome Denise Burke, President of the Niagara Ice Dogs, who is one of few female presidents in the hockey industry. Burke will most likely shed some light on female students who are currently enrolled in SPMA and share some insightful thoughts for women to continue their success and generate a career in the sport.
Burke, alongside her family, contributed $1 million to the construction of the Meridian Centre. Most recently, Burke won the award for Business Leadership at the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce Women in Business awards ceremony this past July.
The second distinguished speaker is Leafs TV broadcaster, Paul Hendrick. The University of Toronto alumnus has an impressive resume – having been a broadcaster for the Maple Leafs since October of 1996 and seeing a lot of industry success throughout the past 19 years. Students will be able to learn from Hendrick on how to get into sports media and become successful with networking and getting one’s name in the sports media industry.
Fitchett expressed his excitement about the event as this is the first “Hockey at a Glance” event that the SPMA Student Council has organized and they wish to conduct many more in the future.
The event will take place Thursday March 10, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Pond Inlet. Admission cost is $20 which covers two sports panels, a keynote presentation and a networking session.
Assistant Sports Editor