Centenary University sports and entertainment management students to present virtual Sports and Entertainment Management Conference
Photo: 2019 attendees check in at last year’s Sports and Entertainment Management Conference
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., April 1, 2020—Sports and entertainment management students at Centenary University are learning a valuable lesson that the show must go on, even during times of unexpected chaos.
Each spring, a capstone project for the students is to plan a Sports and Entertainment Management Conference on the University’s Hackettstown campus. The annual event draws panels of professionals from major sports teams like the NY Jets, NY Mets, NY Red Bulls, and many others, as well as hundreds of attendees from universities and high schools. Centenary students plan the entire conference, from logistics and publicity, to ticket sales, attaining event sponsorships, and booking guest speakers.
Associate Professor of Sports Management David Perricone knows that dealing with the unexpected will make his students better employees someday. So, when New Jersey issued a statewide quarantine order due to COVID-19, he urged his students to find a solution. They did, quickly retooling their in-person conference originally scheduled for March 27 into a two-day, virtual event on April 8 and April 15. Working via Zoom conferencing, the students grappled with lots of issues, including how to fulfill event sponsorships, revamp panels, deal with collateral, and reconsider event invitations. The event still features an impressive lineup of speakers representing professional sports teams. Each session is set up as a Zoom conference. Panel topics, speakers, and login information is below:
Sponsorship and Sales Panel
Arden Wright: Manager, Premium Services at Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (Centenary graduate)
Abi Lawal: Corporate Ticket Sales Manager at Portland Trailblazers (Centenary graduate)
Dan Kauffman: Director, Corporate Sales at New York Jets
During a recent videoconference with the students, Frank Supovitz, president and chief experience officer for Fast Track Events and Entertainment and former NFL senior vice president for events, likened COVID-19’s effect on the Centenary conference to the chaos caused by a power outage during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. “No one could have predicted this crisis, just like the Super Bowl power outage,” he told the students.
For Professor Perricone, the experience is providing invaluable training for students who will now be prepared to adapt to unexpected circumstances in the workforce: “To me, this is much more than a grade for them. When they get into the workforce, these students will be prepared for any curveball thrown at them.”
ABOUT CENTENARY UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.