Sport Management Day debut

By Leanne Signoriello & Cassidy Murray – Features Editor & Sports Editor

(L to R) Junior AJ Lajoie, Director of Sports and Operations for Bay State Games Peter Leclerc, senior David Harwood, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Club and President of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Josh Kraft, Director of Operations for the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club Michael Finnegan, and senior Kelsey Hagan. Photo by Cassidy Murray.

Lasell hosted its first Sport Management Day on Tuesday, November 14. Like COM Day and Hospitality Day, the one-day event was open to all students, though the events and panels were tailored to sport management majors.

The day started with a welcome from Lane Sulzer, a junior sport management major and President of the Sport Management Association, followed by keynote speaker Bob Scalise, the Director of Athletics at Harvard University. The day continued with several panels and a career fair meet and greet during lunch.

The Non-Profit Athletic Organizations panel included Josh Kraft, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Club and President of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Michael Finnegan, Director of Operations for the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club and Peter Leclerc, Director of Sports and Operations for Bay State Games. The discussion was how these men got to where they are and some of the challenges they face in their fields of work.

Each panelist told the audience his or her background and what a regular day at their job is like. The panel was moderated by senior sport management major Kelsey Hagan, who asked most of the questions before opening it up to the audience toward the end of the panel. “All the panelists did a great job answering my questions, they even touched on points I was going to ask about later in the panel,” said Hagan. “I appreciated the advice and wisdom they had to offer all the students in the room.”

The Sport Communications Through PR and Social Media panel featured Justin Hathaway, the Editor-in-Chief of DraftKings Inc., and Neil Ravin, the Director of Public Relations and Social Media for the Eastern Hockey League. Both panelists spoke on the innovative ways that social media is incorporated into their work to create and expand their following for their respective companies and brands.

Hathaway and Ravin said they both owe their accelerated careers in their fields to networking, which was another opportunity granted to students who attended.

Towards the afternoon, everyone headed to de Witt Hall for a meet-and-greet luncheon. There was plenty of food and tables set up for people to sit at and talk. People from companies such as WEEI Sports Radio Network, the Boston Red Sox, and the Lowell Spinners were around to chat with, along with all the panelists. This allowed students to speak with industry professionals and make professional connections.

“The biggest highlight of the of the day was getting to talk to so many professionals in the industry,” said senior Zach Brown. “I was able to talk to Justin Hathaway from DraftKings who actually graduated from Lasell. That was special to me because I got to talk to someone who was in my position and now he is working for  one of the biggest fantasy sports companies in the world.”

A lot of hard work went into planning and coordinating the day, and thanks to Sulzer and Professor Daniel Sargeant, the Department Chair of Sport Management, it was overall a success. “After months of preparation, I was very glad to see the panelists speak so passionately about their careers and students embrace the day to help make it a positive networking and professional experience,” said Sulzer.

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