Meeting Those at the Top of the Sport Management Game

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville University sport management students are getting an edge on their game and their future competition. This fall, top professionals in the marketing and sport management field visited two classes, sharing their insights and experiences.

Dr. Alan Geist, assistant professor of sport management, invited author and nationally recognized sport management professional Jon Spoelstra to speak in the “Marketing and Promotions in the Sport Industry” class. Spoelstra is president of Mandalay Sports Entertainment, which owns several teams, including the Dayton Dragons. Prior to heading up Mandalay, Spoelstra was the president/chief operating officer of the New Jersey Nets and vice president/minority owner of the Portland Trailblazers. Spoelstra is also the author of several books, including Marketing Outrageously — a resource the students are using as part of the class objectives.

“We are fortunate to have Jon visit us. He has a very successful history in sport marketing and is known as an authority in the area,” said Geist. “Having Jon in class is an example of how the CU sponsorship of the Dayton Dragons has been beneficial to the sport management program.”

Geist also invited Jeff Chilcoat of Sterling Sports Management to speak to a lower-level sport management course. Based in Columbus, Ohio, Chilcoat represents and negotiates contracts for 55 professional athletes.

Geist noted that the University is very fortunate to have a local Christian sports agent who has shown such interest in its sport management program. “I asked Jeff to speak in this class because I want students to have an introduction to the world of a sports agent,” Geist explained.

With insightful stories, Chilcoat shared the struggles he faces as a believer in a field that is not conducive to Christian values. “Balancing my faith in this industry has been a challenge,” he confessed. “I feel to really be successful I would have to bend the rules. I can’t.”

Currently in its fifth year, Cedarville’s sport management major is growing in popularity with 40 students pursuing a degree. With many professionals recognizing the strength of CU’s program, Geist plans to invite more guests to share their insights and help students get a professional edge.