MHK students gather on the set of CBC Sports Hockey CentralProfessors Craig Greenham and Jess Dixon and MHK students gather on the set of CBC Sports Hockey Central with media executives Peter Sisam, David Masse and Scott Moore.

Trip gives students an inside look at pro sports

A trip to Toronto earlier this semester gave master’s students in sport management an opportunity to see behind the scenes at some of Canada’s largest pro sports enterprises.

Professors Craig Greenham and Jess Dixon took the graduate students for an educational experience that provided professional development and a chance to network.

UWindsor alumnus Mike Thompson (MHK 2010), now manager of fan experience for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, organized a series of speakers for the group and led a tour through the Air Canada Centre, home venue for hockey’s Maple Leafs and basketball’s Raptors.

During a tour of the Rogers Centre, students met David Haynes, co-ordinator of professional scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays, to discuss organizational perspectives on everything from ticket sales and game day operations to marketing and media relations. The tour even included photo opportunities with the team’s two World Series trophies.

During a visit to CBC television studios, students met with three high-profile sports executives:

  • Peter Sisam, vice-president of IMG media for the sports and entertainment company IMG Canada;
  • Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL properties at Rogers Media; and
  • David Masse, senior director of CBC Sports.

In addition to touring the Hockey Night in Canada sets, the group learned about partnerships in the sports media industry and tips to ease their entrance into the field.

“It was nice to hear from veterans in the industry about prioritizing, especially regarding ensuring that your own happiness is key to success,” said MHK student Ayobami Ogunlana. “The CBC presenters mentioned this and it really resonated with me.”

A second perspective on media was gained in the offices of Wasserman Media Group, a sports marketing and talent agency. And the students met with alumni of UWindsor human kinetics programs for a cocktail reception at Real Sports Bar and Grill in Maple Leaf Square.

Lauren Breadner, in her first year of master’s studies, said she loved the field trip.

“Through the various discussions and presentations, we learned that a job in sport could mean so much more than working for a professional team,” she said. “There are many other directions that a career in sport could take and it was awesome to explore a few of those options.”

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