The Manhattan Sports Business Academy Delivers

What are the most important keys to a successful career in sports?

Depending on who you talk to, you will receive a variety of different advice around this topic. However, the common underlying themes usually center around networking and experience (whether it's volunteer work or paid). These two facets of building a foundation for a successful career in sports are crucial, especially in today's day in age where breaking in the door and career in advancement in sports has never been more competitive.

If you're personally interested in career advancement in sports, I'd certainly recommend considering a dual degree graduate program (MBA, MSA) - ala Ohio University - to build your network, gain invaluable experience, and begin the process of learning/challenging yourself on a daily basis.

However, I'd recommend that you also consider alternative experiences/opportunities like the Manhattan Sports Business Academy. David Oestreicher, Ben Sturner, and team have done an incredible job developing the MSBA summer leadership program in New York City over the past few years - an 8-week boot camp experience that allows undergraduate/graduate students and young professionals to jump start their career through internships, mentoring, and networking opportunities. 

The MSBA offers an intimate group of students a unique and comprehensive learning experience that includes:

  • 1-on-1 Mentoring with Established Professionals
  • Career Development Workshops
  • Internship Placement
  • Weekly Guest Lectures
  • Weekend Group Outings
  • An Optional Fitness Component

The MSBA is closing its application process for this year's class (approximately 25 individuals) on Thursday (February 28), but would encourage you to check it out. With David at the helm (who is one of the best young leaders in the business), I'm confident that participating individuals will truly see benefit from the experience.

Check it out here:


XFINITY Offers a Chance to Win the Ultimate Sports Social Media Job

XFINITY recently launched a contest to hire an individual who will serve as the brand's voice in the sports social media space and go behind-the-scenes at some of the biggest nationwide sporting events in 2012, sharing exclusive insights and updates with fans. 

The contest, entitled “XFINITY Presents: The Ultimate Sports Social Media Job,” runs from January 11 through March 25 in search of the next sports social media star.

The winner will receive a one-year salary and will be responsible for tweeting from the @XFINITYSports Twitter handle on continual basis,  reporting live from premier sporting events throughout 2012, and educating and engaging avid sports fans in social media communities. In addition to live event access, the winner will also receive all the electronics for the ultimate sports pad, including televisions, home audio/video equipment, etc.


From January 13 - February 6, interested participants can submit a :30-2:00 video that demonstrates why they should win the Ultimate Sports Social Media Job based on their sports knowledge, social media expertise, personality, and passion for XFINITY products and services.


From February 9 - February 19, the top video submissions will be featured on the contest tab located on the official XFINITY Facebook page for fans to vote on. The video entrants that receive the Top 5 votes will advance to a finalist round where they will have an opportunity to travel to a live sports event and showcase their skills on-site.


Five (5) finalists will each travel to one (1) of (5) premier sports events the weekend of March 8-11 and will be asked to chronicle their live experiences behind-the-scenes via tweets, Facebook posts, video uploads, etc. A panel of judges will evaluate each of the performances - looking for which finalist does the best job showcasing his/her skills on-site! A winner will be selected by March 25th and will truly win the Ultimate Sports Social Media Job!

The contest will present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one (1) lucky consumer looking for a way to officially launch their career in sports and social media. Check it out by clicking the image below and enter a video submission for a chance to win!

 In full disclosure, the writer (Brian Gainor) worked directly with the XFINITY team to launch the XFINITY Presents: The Ultimate Sports Social Media Job contest. For contest rules and more information, head to the official XFINITY Facebook page here.

If You Want to Get a Job in Sports - Read This.

When was the last time you came across a passage that you felt was so compelling that you wanted to share it with all of your friends and colleagues in the industry? For some, this exercise takes place every day. For others, just once or twice per year.

I recently had an opportunity to read Seth Godin's latest New York Times bestseller, Linchpin, and there was one particular section that I felt was truly insightful and applicable to all sports business professionals, notably job seekers and those looking to take that "next step" in their career.


I wanted to send a special thanks to Jason Belzer of GAME, Inc. for thinking of me and sharing Linchpin - what a terrific read. If you have a moment, check out all of the terrific things that Jason is doing with GAME Inc., including the launch of a company new website

Do You Need a Resume?

This is controversial, but here it goes: if you’re remarkable, amazing, or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all. If you’ve got experience in doing the things that make you a linchpin, a resume hides that fact. A resume gives the employer everything that she needs to reject you.

Once you send me your resume, I can say, “Oh they’re missing this or they’re missing that,” and boom, you’re out. Having a resume begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. More fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for a average job, but is that what you deserve?

The very system that produced standardized tests and command-and-control model that chokes us also invented the resume. The system, the industrialists, the factory … they want us to be cogs in their machine – easily replaceable, hopeless, cheap cogs.

If you don’t have a resume, what do you have? How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects? Or a sophisticated project an employer can see or touch? Or a reputation that precedes you? Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

Some say, “Well that’s fine, but I don’t have those those.” Yea, that’s my point. If you don’t have these things, what leads you to believe that you are remarkable, amazing, or just plain spectacular? It sounds to be like if you don’t have more than a resume, you’ve been brainwashed into compliance.

Great jobs, world-class jobs, jobs people kill for – those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes.

The only way to prove (as opposed to assert) that you are an indispensible linchpin – someone worth recruiting, moving to the top of the pile, and hiring – is to show, not tell. Projects are the new resumes. If your Google search isn’t what you want (need) it to be, then change it.

Change it through your actions and connections and generosity. Change it by so over-delivering that people post about you. Change it by creating a blog that is so insightful about your area of expertise that others refer to it. And change it by helping other people online.

Brian Gainor - Climbing the Ladder in Sports

Partnership Activation's Brian Gainor spoke at the 2009 Ohio University Sports Business Forum about creating a comprehensive plan to guide one's career in the sports industry. The presentation was part of a terrific event, put on by the Ohio University Center for Sports Administration, that featured some of the sharpest minds in the sports indusy.

Gainor touched on six key points throughout his presentation:

  • Think of Yourself as a Brand
  • Understand the Sports Landscape
  • Networking is Not an Option
  • Get as Much Experience as Fast as You Can
  • Learn. Learn. Learn. - Education is Key
  • Do the Little Things That Make a Big Difference

Watch the presentation below:

Check out some recaps (and hopefully videos soon) of the event's other speakers:

If you are considering going to graduate school to further your sports business career, Ohio University should rank at the top of your list.

Why Ohio University?

1. The Curriculum: The MBA/MSA combination
The two-year MBA/MSA program prepares students for leadership positions by combining the business teaching of the Ohio University MBA program with sport-specific knowledge during the MSA program. This degree combination recognizes the growing complexity of the sports, facility and entertainment industries, and reinforces Ohio University's commitment to preparing students for the leadership challenges of the future.

The MBA phase of the program uses a problem-based learning style, immersing students in collaborative projects and working situations that are commonplace in the business world. Students learn basic business concepts in a real-life context, and develop skills in communication, collaboration and teamwork that are essential for success, while developing their ability to be creative, take initiative, and accept personal responsibility for their actions.

The MSA program combines classroom and practical experience to prepare individuals for leadership positions in the sport industry. An interdisciplinary approach gives students the freedom to choose courses of personal interest and build a foundation of knowledge in their desired career fields.

2. SAFM Alumni Network
More than 85 percent of Ohio University's 1,200 graduates are employed in key positions within intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, public assembly facilities, sports tours, motor sports, corporate sports organizations, sports media, and the entertainment industries. The loyalty of their alumni and the reputation of the program translate into a wide variety of excellent internship and employment opportunities. 

3. Practical Learning Opportunities
Learning also take places outside the classroom as students work on class projects, such as the program’s annual alumni symposium and various opportunities offered by the Ohio University Athletic Department.

4. International Diversity
The program’s reputation has grown on both the national and international levels, attracting students from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, India, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Taiwan and Thailand. Our international diversity provides a valuable perspective as the sport industry becomes increasingly globalized.