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:


Guest Editorial - LinkedIn: How #SportsBiz Approaches the Channel

Jonathan Norman is a sports sponsorship strategist for GMR Marketing, a major U.S. sports and event marketing firm. Jonathan has been in sports marketing and media for more than 10 years, and has worked on several major corporate branding campaigns around sports. His expertise resides in how brands reach consumers through sponsorship and activation of sports properties. Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Norman and his official blog here.

I’m going to start today’s blog post with a little trivia. How many LinkedIn users list the key term “sports” on their profile? Any guesses? Would you say nearly 1,000,000 of us? 924,329 to be exact (well, as of this moment). This is roughly 2% of the estimated 50,000,000 users globally.

With nearly 1MM users mentioning sports in their profile, it got me thinking. I think it’s funny just how many @sportsbiz folks I’m not linked to on the LinkedIn platform. Does it seem like a larger commitment than just a follow on Twitter? I think so. When we connect on LinkedIn, we’re looking to establish a deeper (if that can even be said) relationship with a colleague, sharing more personal information. I think that the LinkedIn search has even replaced the Google search for those we’re looking to learn more about. I know I certainly do.

The interesting thing to me about #sportsbiz on LinkedIn is just how disjointed we seem without the organizing concept of hashtags. It’s like we’re lost sheep continually looking for a shepherd! The sheer number of groups related to sports marketing is astounding. Take that key word alone, and we’re looking at 247 groups just in that universe. Expand the term to sports alone, and it’s almost 4,500. I know we’re talking in hyperbole here, but it begs the question: how do we use LinkedIn as an industry?

For me it’s all about making new connections and maximizing existing ones, all in the hopes of creating opportunities by driving value out of the relationship. Yes, that’s a mouthful, but really … it’s what it’s all about. How can what I do on a daily basis, help you and your needs, and can we find a reason to work together? The concept doesn’t seem all that much different than Twitter, and LinkedIn has taken a major step forward in the status and following additions on the site.

But I would challenge #sportsbiz to think about how we can connect on LinkedIn. How can we work together to create opportunities, bridge challenges, and build solutions? I would guess that this is a rhetorical question, but I do think there’s real application there. Here’s five ways I think we can maximize the value of our network:

1. Learn more about each other. Get to know your connections’ backgrounds. See where there are commonalities that might be able to help drive value.

2. Take advantage of longer interaction. We have more than 140 characters to communicate with each other. We need to lever this opportunity and maximize it.

3. Don’t just join a group; contribute to a community. I believe this is one of the major opportunities for us. We all have 20 to 30, perhaps even more, groups we’re a part of. Pick one or two that are particularly a good fit and make your communication useful

4. Think about the mentoring opportunities. I still believe that one of the biggest issues we have in @sportsbiz today is the development and cultivation of solid, young talent. We need to commit to doing more to develop it.

5. Lead by example. There many be other ideas you have on how to maximize your value on LinkedIn. Tell us, and then show us. It’s all about sharing and creating best practices.

One last thing. Are we connected? If not, let's get connected:

September 2010 Partnership Activation 2.0 Newsletter

Thank you for coming to check out I am excited to share with you the new September 2010 Partnership Activation 2.0 Newsletter.

I hope you enjoy all of the great content included in this month's issue and want to thank you for your support and willingness to help spread the word about Partnership Activation amongst your friends and colleagues in the industry.

This month's newsletter features a collection of insights, including:

  • Red Bull's NASCAR Taxi
  • Creative Sponsorship/Marketing Tactics from the Barclays Premier League
  • Old Spice's Interactive Banner Ads
  • Los Angeles Dodgers "My Town" Billboard Activation Tactics
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder's Corporate Partnerships Website
  • The Essential Guide to Grassroots Sports and Social Media
  • September 2010 Rising Stars
  • Official Redskins Nation Foursquare Badge
  • Activ8Social's Reggie Bush's #RedZones Promotion
  • Insights about the 2010 FIBA World Championship
  • A Close Look at The New Meadowlands Stadium
  • Southwest Airlines' Thought Starters
  • Fresh New, Creative Ideas from the Idea Box

Click here to check out the September 2010 Newsletter now and be sure to also join the Official Partnership Activation - Users Connect! LinkedIn Group today!

If you are interested in signing up for the newsletter, please send an email with "Subscribe" in the subject line to In the body of the email, please include your name, company affiliation, and contact information when subscribing.


If you enjoyed the September 2010 Issue, you may also be interested in:

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.