Sport management students working NHL All-Star Game events this weekend
This weekend, 27 Liberty University students and two alumni are putting their sport management skills on display during one of the biggest sporting events of the year: the 2018 National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Game in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday.
The trip was offered as part of the SMGT 497: Special Topics in Sport Management course, where students gain real-world experience working alongside professionals in the industry.
Program Director and Assistant Professor for Sport Management Chris Amos said the partnership came about after a Liberty alumna, who is currently working for the NHL, called him in December looking to hire students for various roles to support the wide range of events that make up NHL All-Star Weekend.
The students will be in Tampa through Monday, Jan. 29, working at a number of the festivities leading up to the big game. Some of their roles will include administration, public and guest relations, facility set-up, transporting players, and assisting at various red carpet events, concerts, and the All-Star Skills Competition.
“This is a really unique opportunity for our students,” Amos said. “We are the only university outside of Tampa who is sending students, and it gives them a lot of exposure.”
Staff members from the Tampa Bay Lightning met with students earlier this week and answered questions about working in the industry.
Junior Joshua Smith has been assigned the role of zone manager, overseeing other NHL All-Star Weekend workers and making sure fans get the best experience while at his station.
He said that he is thankful for the connections he has made this week and enjoyed the chance to talk with high ranking staff members from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“On the first day of classes, (our professors) stressed the importance of making connections in our major,” Smith said. “I am thankful that they offer up amazing opportunities like this to gain experience and listen to people who were in our shoes.”
According to Amos, the department has actively been working to secure these opportunities that may lead to jobs after graduation. There are currently sports management alumni working for professional sports teams, such as the Washington Redskins, D.C. United, the Miami Dolphins, and the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It’s amazing to see that Liberty now has alumni working for almost every professional sports league,” Amos said. “The fact that this opportunity to work at the All-Star Game came from a Liberty alumna makes it extra special.”
Senior Matthew Jackson said he was thrilled to be selected for the trip and looks forward to the résumé experience.
“It allows me to have diversity on my résumé and be able to approach any major league sports team with more confidence when seeking a job post-graduation,” Jackson said. “I want to become a sport marketer that focuses on the fan experience. (The NHL All-Star Game) is all about the fan experience. Not very many universities have these kinds of connections.”
The mission of the Department of Sport Management at Liberty University is to instruct students with a Christian worldview while preparing them to organize, administer, and facilitate sport programs at the corporate, agency, professional, and amateur levels. The experienced faculty and staff lead students in real-world opportunities within a theoretical framework to develop knowledge and skills in the sociological, psychological, ethical, financial, and legal aspects of sport, with job placement in sport as the ultimate goal.