Inside the Ted Rogers Sports Conference.

Photo: Zeinab Saidoun

Sports business conference broadens sports business skills outside of the classroom

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By Zeinab Saidoun

The Ryerson Sports and Business Association (RSBA) held the Ted Rogers Sports Conference (TRSC) on March 5 at Ted Rogers School of Management. With a full day of events including a keynote speaker, an industry speaker panel and various workshops, the conference allowed attendees to broaden their sports business skills outside of the classroom.

Over a hundred students attended the conference and took part in the workshops geared towards their interest in sports business.   Partnering with Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) and The DMZ (Digital Media Zone), workshops were run with a focus on topics such as social media strategies and sponsorships. Possible internship opportunities were made available through the sports expo with the presence of business industry professionals.

“This event gives students the opportunity to develop and learn new skills outside the classroom,” said Nasrudin Mumin, executive vice president of RSBA. “Since we don’t have a Sports Business major at Ryerson, this is a great opportunity for those with an interest in this niche.”

Andrew Stokes, Director of Global Partnerships at Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) led one of the workshops. Focusing on the importance of sponsorship in sports business Stokes was able to turn his business experience into a small  competition  where participants had to come up with an elevator pitch with their group and get feedback from Stokes.

“For students to get their dream job, they must pursue volunteer positions and internships,” Stokes said. “Then, it’s a matter of showing that you have an interest and are willing to go above and beyond your given tasks.”

Students also had the opportunity to sign up for a case competition where they were challenged to be creative  with a limited budget,  creating a strategy to increase the use of Brizi — an app that lets fans snap and share their game-day photos with interactive stadium cameras that they control. The case competition first place prize was $1,000 and $400 for second place prize.

“We were able to create a strategy to help Brizi increase their social media interaction and revenue,” said first-year accounting and finance student Bikram Pannu. “Taking part in the case competition meant that I was able to do something that wouldn’t be possible in a class setting.”

To wrap up the conference, Toronto Argonauts Football Club’s General Manager, Jim Barker, joined the students. With thirty years of experience in the industry, Barker was able to impart advice upon students on how to create their own opportunities.  

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