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New Student Group Aims to Help Build Sports Management Careers

Sports is big business in America, a multibillion dollar industry that employs millions of workers, only a fraction of whom ever set foot on a playing surface.

A new group at The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business will help students who are interested in the kinds of athletic careers that fans don’t pay much attention to, where they work in carpeted offices and rarely work up a sweat.

“There arelots of resources available for students who want to pursue careers in a variety of professions, and this group will provide some help for students who are thinking about careers in sports,” said Korey Hahn, vice president and cofounder of the Hawkeye Sports Business Organization.

Hahn said the group will connect UI students with sports management professionals in Iowa and around the country so they can learn more about career opportunities in sports-related business. He said group members plan to hear from guest speakers, take field trips, and organize campus activities to learn more about career opportunities and build networks.

They’ve already heard from Rick Klatt, the UI associate athletic director, who spoke at the first meeting in September.

“He talked to us about how things work behind the scenes and what they do on a day-to-day basis in the front office,” Hahn said. Future speakers might include representatives from the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Iowa Cubs, and other teams and sports-related organizations.

The students will also work with the UI athletic department for hands-on marketing and business experience. So far, Hahn said they’ve arranged a Tippie night at an upcoming Hawkeye men’s basketball game, and they plan to develop marketing strategies that bring more public attention to the less-recognized Hawkeye teams, such as soccer or volleyball.

“We plan to work closely with the athletic department in our efforts to increase attendance for all Hawkeye athletics,” he said.

Hahn said the group is taking a broad definition of sports, so that such jobs as sports marketing agent, event managers, and even sports journalist are considered sports careers.

“Not only will members gain valuable experience from real-world professionals, they can learn more about the many different types of jobs that are available in the sports industry,” Hahn said.

He said the events will also give students the opportunity to build all-important connections for jobs and internships.

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