Sports Business Club offers networking

Northern Kentucky University’s Sports Business Club will be hosting a softball game and grill out for students, faculty and alumni Saturday, April 14, at the intramural field.
Drew Pifer, president of the Sports Business Club, said hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks will be provided at the cookout, and the event is a good way to get people out to have fun and meet new people.

According to Pifer, this is the first year for the event.

“We wanted to last year, but things didn’t work out,” Pifer said. “Hopefully we can keep it going year after year. Come out, bring your gloves and spikes and get ready for a good time.”
Pifer said as of right now, there are 10-15 people participating in the event, and he has been in contact with alumni to see if they will be able to come.
“Anything around 20 will be efficient to build a couple teams,” Pifer said.

Joe Cobbs, assistant professor in marketing economics and sports business, said it is important for the students to get together outside of the classroom at events like this, because they get a better chance to know each other and establish relationships outside of the purely academic setting.
“A lot of times, especially in the sports industry, your classmates might end up being somebody that you interview for a job, or that interviews you in the future, because the sports industry is so tight,” Cobbs said.
Since events like this are organized by the students, Cobbs said that he and professor Tom Gamble take a hands-off approach and let the students plan and promote the events by themselves.
“It’s their club,” Cobbs said. “We are here to help, but when they do these events, they set them up and they invite sports business majors and any NKU students to come and bring their friends and family members.”

Chris Ryan, NKU sports business graduate of the class of 2006 and director of business development at Kentucky Speedway, often comes to NKU and speaks to sports business classes.
Ryan said he thinks the most important thing is to show students that there are opportunities in the sports business world.

“Me being from both sides (a former student and current professional), it’s good to stay involved and connected to the university, and it’s good to go back and learn fresh ideas with the new college generation,” Ryan said. “From a student’s perspective, they can talk with and meet other folks that are in the sports community to get guidance moving forward.”
Cobbs said the sports business major is unique here at NKU.

“To have a sports focus major in a business school is not too common in this country,” Cobbs said. “It’s a good perk for our students.”

The Sports Business Club has another event coming up Tuesday, April 24, to attend a Reds game and go on a tour of the ballpark.

“Last time, we went on a tour and got to go into the press box and see the field from that view,” Pifer said. “We also went into the scoreboard room to see what it takes to run the scoreboard and all of the different devices there are. We took a tour in the Hall of Fame and around the park to learn about sponsorship.”