Thursday, September 30, 2010

Troon Regional Golf Workshop

By Greg Leisher (SMBA '11)

As you have probably figured out by prior posts, our class is actively participating in internships with a variety of sports organizations in San Diego. I have had the unique opportunity to partner with Bill O'Brien, the General Manager at Maderas Golf Course, consistently rated as one of the best courses in San Diego and part of the Troon Golf network. The experience has been very valuable to date, as I have been able to expand my knowledge of the golf industry from the perspective of the facility vs. my prior perspective as a customer.

As part of the internship, Bill has been very generous with his time and recently invited me to join him on a visit to Indian Wells Golf Resort, where his colleagues from other Troon courses in Southern California were convening to share best practices and discuss new corporate initiatives. Being tasked with assisting the continuous process improvement initiatives at Maderas, I naturally jumped at the opportunity to hear proven solutions from other courses. The day proved to be quite productive, since I was given tremendous access to Troon's corporate objectives while also getting a better sense of the culture of the organization. Bill's colleagues welcomed me with open arms and I'm looking forward to continuing a dialogue with several of them when I visit Scottsdale later this month!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kassim Osgood

While the San Diego State football team is making some news on-the-field, it appears as though some former Aztecs are making news off-the-field:


To Kassim Osgood’s credit, he has made news on-the-field, as well. Before his touchdown catch in the Jacksonville Jaguars opener against Denver, he made three Pro Bowls as a special teams ace with the San Diego Chargers. Luckily, Osgood appears to be okay after this incident.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dr. Belch Returns

A familiar face returned to teach Integrated Marketing Communications to SMBA ’11. Dr. George E. Belch, who taught Marketing Research to the class in the Spring, will teach IMC with help from the book he co-wrote with his brother, Dr. Michael Belch.

Among Dr. Belch’s impressive career highlights are working at DuPont Company as a marketing representative, working as a research analyst for the DDB Worldwide advertising agency, and authoring or coauthoring more than 30 articles in leading academic journals.

It’s good to have him back, especially for a subject that many in the class would like to pursue as a career.

NBA Case

Building on the UFC case we did, Dr. Francis had the other half of the SMBA ’11 class use a variety of tools to accurately analyze the National Basketball Association (NBA) and their attempts to expand globally.

The NBA, as outlined in the case, must decide how to expand their brand internationally, specifically in Europe.

As we did for the UFC case, SMBA ’11 split into groups to discuss and present the issues presented in the NBA case. This time, members of the class played the role of David Stern and eventually reached an agreement on which group had the best ideas for global expansion. Interestingly, despite using similar tools, each presentation had a different recommendation, which ranged from an 8-team European League, having the NBA play regular season games against European teams, and acquiring already-established European teams.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SDSU Football and KGB SkyShow

Once again the SMBA ’11 crew played a key role in an SDSU football win. The Aztecs beat Utah State 41-7 yesterday to move to 3-1 on the season and SMBA ’11 was all over Qualcomm helping out.

Some members of the class helped out at Aztec Village before the game, where Zuma the Puma took a liking to Tana. Jodi assisted with game-day operations and Tana tweeted from all over the stadium for Aztec Game Time. Demian was updating Aztec Game Time’s Facebook page from the field and Emily, Luke, Greg M., and Joe assisted Learfield with the T-shirt canon. The Marshall Faulk Foundation was promoting their Homecoming event, so Alyssa was in attendance, as well.

A big crowd was on-hand thanks to the annual KGB SkyShow. Due to all the hard work SMBA ’11 put in, the crew had front row seats for one of the largest firework displays in the country. Go Aztecs!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guest Speaker: Michael Jacobson – Octagon

Michael Jacobson, Director of Talent Relations for Octagon First Call, made a trip down from Los Angeles to speak to SMBA ’11 today. Need Jerome Bettis to endorse your product? How about Cindy Crawford to pitch your company? Jacobson advises companies and acquires talent to ensure a successful partnership. He determines the value of a celebrity in order to negotiate partnerships and activate programs.

The average day for Jacobson consists of meeting with managers, publicists, agents, and lawyers. His goal is celebrity acquisition and sponsor activation. Surprisingly, 80% of what Octagon does is not sports-related, even though they started out in the sports business.

Jacobson took us through the process he uses and then discussed Octagon’s mission statement, case studies (Sears, Oscar Meyer, and Mitsubishi), moral clauses, Q-scores, how to value talent, and his career path. SMBA ’11 thanks Jacobson for coming in and talking with the class.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Former Padres GM hired by Diamondbacks

The game of musical chairs continues in the National League West. Former San Diego Padres’ General Manager Kevin Towers was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks as Executive Vice President and General Manager.

Ironically, the Diamondbacks turned down Towers five years ago. But, he’s responsible for a number of the highly regarded players on the Padres’ current roster, such as Mat Latos, Heath Bell, and Luke Gregerson.


Now, Towers is in Arizona, former Diamondback owner Jeff Moorad owns the Padres, and former Padre Manager Bruce Bochy is managing the San Francisco Giants. With hope, this game of musical chairs ends with the Padres in the playoffs.

Guest Speaker: Ben Roller

As part of Aaron LeValley’s CRM class, Ben Roller of the San Diego Padres came by to speak to SMBA ’11. Roller is Manager of Database and CRM Operations for the Padres.

Roller discussed renewal rates, ticket selling, and how the CRM database can lead to identifying areas of weakness during a given game or team home-stand. He also took us through the tools used by the Padres to further customer relationship and how it helps their sale staff to retain and collect ticket sales.

Roller supported LeValley’s assertion that CRMs can help teams identify areas to improve customer relationships and can, eventually, lead to future success. SMBA '11 thanks Ben Roller coming in and talking with us.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aaron LeValley – Client Relationship Management

Yesterday SMBA ’11 started another class: Client Relationship Management (CRM). The class is taught by Aaron LeValley, who works as a Database Manager and Analyst for the Los Angeles Kings. He also has experience working in Sales and Marketing departments for the Oakland Raiders, Phoenix Suns, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Since CRM is becoming increasingly important in the business world, SMBA ’11 is honored to have someone with actual experience with a lot of the programs that teams are using.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

IMG Event Staff at the Hurley Pro

By Victoria Hoe (SMBA '11)

Just back from 8 days in San Clemente at the Hurley Pro surfing event and I've finally had time to digest the experience. The 2010 Hurley Pro took place on San Onofre State Beach - Lower Trestles, one of the best surfing spots in North America. It represented the only ASP World Tour event on mainland U.S. shores, where the very best surfers in the world fight it out for the world title. I was offered the opportunity to work on the event staff by Lisa Jenkins (SMBA '06), who currently serves as the Director of Events for IMG's Action Sports division. IMG's event staff teamed up with representatives from Hurley and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) to run the week-long competition.

Founded in 1999 and now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nike, Hurley describes itself as an authentic 'Microphone for Youth' brand rooted in surf, skate, art, music and beach cultures. My position at the event was that of Athlete Concierge, a very unique role for an ASP surfing event. Both Hurley and IMG set out to create a one-of-a-kind experience for the athletes and provide them with an extra level of service that they are not accustomed to. Going above and beyond for the athletes included providing complimentary valet parking, tickets and discounts to local events and attractions, warm showers at the beach, VIP access for friends and family, beach-side internet access, board check, and complimentary ding repair. In my opinion, Hurley and IMG succeeded in pulling off an absolutely first-rate event. The branding of both the competition and the experience for the athletes was so unique, many were in shock at the level of service. Many surfers were overheard saying that Hurley Pro was their favorite stop on tour and that they had nothing but great impressions of the Hurley brand because of it.

Another major undertaking for the event was the state-of-the-art webcasts broadcasted worldwide everyday from the competition. Trestles is not an easy site to access by any means and the Hurley crew did an amazing job securing multiple camera angles (and water cams!) to deliver live competition heats and exclusive behind-the-scenes content. The Hurley Pro also offered an official App for iPhone and iPad so that fans could track the action anytime and anywhere in the palm of their hands. Overall, it was an excellent event to learn from and witness. The folks from IMG and Hurley are true professionals and it was an absolute pleasure getting to work with them for the week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

UFC Case

As Dr. Francis’ class deals with the global side of business and being able to use a variety of tools to accurately analyze a company, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was an appropriate case to examine.

UFC has a number of issues they must address including—but not limited to—athlete compensation, international growth, and sponsors that align with their fan base that continues to deviate from their original 18-36 year-old male demographic.

Today, SMBA ’11 split into groups to discuss and present UFC issues presented in the case we read. Half of the class also wrote detailed papers using analytical tools about the UFC that were handed in before class. Next week, the other half of the class will write papers regarding the globalization of the NBA.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dr. Belch on Reggie Bush

Much to the chagrin of Peggy Morales (SMBA ’11), USC continues to make the news for items that are happening off the football field. The latest is that former Trojan star running back Reggie Bush has voluntarily given back his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Dr. Belch, who will be teaching SMBA ’11 again this Fall, weighed in on Bush’s image this week for USA Today:


From a marketing standpoint, it’s hard to imagine Bush regaining the same marketability he had in 2005. However, USC might have a tougher time than Bush in the coming seasons.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chivas’ Soccer Match at PETCO

SMBA ’11, prospective students, family, and friends all helped distribute programs and rosters to fans before the Chivas USA of Major League Soccer versus Mexico's Chivas de Guadalajara soccer match on Tuesday night. PETCO Park was transformed from a baseball field to a soccer field and the Padres did an excellent job of hosting the match.

Soccer United Marketing (SUM) was also present and classmates Oumar Ganame, Demian Reyes, Emily Nakayama, and Krista Washington all assisted with the Futbol Fiesta before the game and they handled special assignments during halftime.

Besides raising $700 for the class’ Dominican Republic fund, the class was also able to hang around to watch some of the exciting match. Michael Lahoud of Chivas USA scored on the fifth penalty kick to seal a 1-0 victory for Chivas USA, which provided the perfect ending to a game that had a number of excellent stops.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Arizona Charity Golf Classic

By Alyssa Boyd

Last weekend, I traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona with my boss, Brandi Greenleaf, fellow co-worker Chrissy Mulder, and previous Foundation worker Mandy Snyder to help with the Arizona Charity Golf Classic, a golf tournament put on by Tim Fleming of All-Star Framing to benefit the Marshall Faulk Foundation and Packages From Home. We arrived early on Friday afternoon to begin preparation for the big tournament on Sunday. While trying to endure the 100 degree heat, we spent Friday and Saturday setting up for the "pairings reception" on Saturday night at the Scottsdale Cigar Lounge, where there was a great turnout and we raised a good amount of money in a silent auction.

Sunday was an early morning, as we were at the golf course by 7 AM to help with registration and getting all the golfers ready to play. 114 men and women from Arizona participated in the scramble golf tournament, which lasted about 4 hours. Afterwards, everyone headed over to a local bar to watch Sunday football (aka, the Patriots beat the Bengals) and spend some more money on great auction items, including Marshall Faulk autographed pictures, a Kurt Warner autographed cleat, and different golf lessons at courses around Scottsdale. It was a busy, but exciting weekend, and now it's crunch time as we begin to prepare for Marshall's two big events: the Aztec for Life Homecoming Celebration on October 15th and Celebrity Extravaganza on November 5th and 6th!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Debate: Women in Sports

The SMBA ’11 class proudly has more female students than male students. Unfortunately, the debate this week in the sports industry is about women’s place in sports after an incident involving the New York Jets.

Last weekend, Ines Sainz, a female reporter from Mexico’s TV Azteca, went to the New York Jets facility to do a story on Mark Sanchez. While there, Sainz was reportedly subjected to inappropriate behavior by the players, which led to an NFL investigation and an apology from Jets owner Woody Johnson.

Washington Redskins’ running back Clinton Portis weighed in by saying female reporters “are going to want somebody” when they go in to an NFL locker room.

It’s a shame that people are still questioning female roles in sport in 2010. With hope, this is an isolated incident, since some of the best and brightest sports’ stars (both on and off the field) are female.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stand Up to Cancer: STANDiego

In the midst of a playoff push, the San Diego Padres held another phase of their season-long effort to raise awareness and funds for Stand Up to Cancer: STANDiego. Fans seated in section 133 of PETCO Park last Thursday wore limited-edition Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) T-shirts and stood for the duration of the Padres-Giants’ game.

Of course, SMBA ’11 students were in section 133 and joined by Padres’ staff, including Tom Garfinkel, as well as fans supporting the fight. All net proceeds go to collaborative cancer research.

In May, the Padres became the first MLB team to partner with Stand Up To Cancer, unveiling SU2C panels at PETCO and inviting fans to sign in honor of—or in tribute to—loved ones who have battled the disease. All 38 panels are full of signatures and will be affixed to outfield walls at PETCO for the final two Padres’ home games on September 29th and 30th.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sports MBA Info Session - Los Angeles

If you’re a prospective student that is interested in joining next year’s Sports MBA class, then stay tuned for news about information sessions in your area.

Sports MBA Director Scott Minto will be traveling across the country in the upcoming weeks to meet with prospective students. If you’re interested in attending an information session, please email .

9/13 – LOS ANGELES (9 PM EST @ Champion’s Sports Bar – LAX Marriott)

This is a great chance to meet the program’s Director and to learn even more about the Sports MBA.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 NFL Season Kicks Off

The defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings 14-9 to open up the 2010 NFL season. However, while 32 teams will be battling for a Super Bowl title this season, a more important battle is going on between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.

The two are on opposite sides of the table when it comes to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is up in March 2011. Player health-care coverage, a possible 18-game schedule, and owners’ profits will be among the main issues that could all hold up the start of the 2011 NFL season.

Regardless, the NFL season should be just as entertaining off-the-field as it will be on-the-field.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The focus of Dr. John Francis’ Management 710 class is on the World Business environment. In order for the SMBA ’11 class to better understand this topic there will be a case paper, as well as a group presentation that will deal with topics ranging from MLB labor practices in the Dominican Republic to the internationalization efforts of the NBA and the NFL.

Another resource for this class will be assigned readings from Kuper and Szymanski’s Soccernomics. Much like Moneyball complemented our Statistics’ class, Soccernomics will add to Dr. Francis’ lectures. In this book, the authors dissect the game of soccer and challenge long-held beliefs, apply reason to suggested changes, and provide thoughtful economic analysis.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Soccer Game at PETCO

Chivas USA and Chivas de Guadalajara fans will be hitting San Diego in this year’s ChivaClasico at PETCO Park. The game will take place on Tuesday, September 14 and tickets are still available.

PETCO Park hosted an international soccer match between the Mexican National Men’s Team and the Swedish Men’s National Team on January 26, 2005 and the game drew 35,521 fans.

If you’d like to help volunteer for this event and meet some of the SMBA ’11 class, please email . We hope to see you there.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

...More From the Gridiron

A San Diego sporting event wouldn’t be complete without a couple of helpful SDSU Sport MBAs. So, the first SDSU football game of the year showcased Raquel Rodriguez (SMBA ’11) and Emily Nakayama’s (SMBA ’11) talents.

The two, who are helping SDSU Athletics and Learfield with marketing efforts this Fall, handled the T-shirt cannon and interacted with fans. Of course, they were also on-hand to make sure Zuma, a new supplemental mascot, became acclimated to his new home.

While Emily and Raquel didn’t grab any touchdowns in the Aztecs 47-0 opening win, they definitely made the game more fun for the fans.

SDSU Football Wins First Game

San Diego State football is 1-0 after opening the season with a 47-0 victory over Nicholls State. QB Ryan Lindley threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns and WR DeMarco Sampson put on a show by catching seven passes for 179 yards, a school record for an opening game.

SDSU finished with 531 yards of offense and showed that it’s serious about securing its first bowl bid as a member of the 11 year-old Mountain West Conference. SDSU continues the season this Saturday at New Mexico State.

Follow Aztec Game Time on Twitter or Facebook to learn more about the football team.