College Sports Operations - Event Management & Georgetown University

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Conducted an interview with Dan Levine of the Athletics Dept. at Georgetown University, presented the successes & challenges of Event Management in college athletics departments

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College Sports Operations - Event Management & Georgetown University

  1. 1. • 29 varsity level sports teams– Men’s sports: baseball, basketball, crew, football, golf, lacrosse,sailing, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field /cross country– Women’s sports: basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing,sailing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track andfield / cross country, volleyball• Most teams compete in the Big East Conference– Men’s football competes in Division I-AA Patriot League• Men’s basketball is the school’s most successful program– Home men’s basketball games played at Washington D.C.’sVerizon Center (Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals)
  2. 2. • 2000—2004: The University of Connecticut– Bachelor of Science in Management– Varsity swimmer• 2008—2009: University of Washington– Master of Education in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership• 9/08—11/08: Football Game Day – Guest Services Managerat University of Washington• 9/08—8/09: Summer School Athletic Director / OperationsAssistant at Lakeside School• 1/10—8/10: Volunteer Marketing Assistant in Dept. ofAthletics at American University• 8/10—6/11: Assistant Equipment & Operations Manager atGeorgetown University
  3. 3. • Oversee operational needs for all varsity teamsincluding facility preparation for practices,competition and camps• Act as primary Event Manager for Men’s andWomen’s Soccer, Field Hockey, Women’sVolleyball, Women’s Basketball, Women’sLacrosse and Softball• Assist with event management for Football,Men’s Basketball and Men’s Lacrosse• Hire, train and supervise game day staff for homeevents
  4. 4. • Coordinate and oversee summer sports campoperations needs and insurance policies• Provide visiting teams with travel guides,scheduled practice time and locker roomavailability in addition to other needs• Assist in facility scheduling for practices, athleticcompetitions and outside events• Place and oversee all work orders to completionfor athletic facilities• Coordinate contracts and payroll for officials forall athletic department home events
  5. 5. • Thinking quickly– Things will happen on game day that you won’t be prepared for– Figure out problems on the fly• Preparation and organization– If there is a big event on the weekend, the week should bespent preparing for it and organizing your own head– If you are organized, you’ll be able to handle what comes up• Knowing how to work with other people– Communicating issues effectively
  6. 6. • Coaches– Getting acquainted with coaches (different styles,processes)– See what they need, effectively accomplish what is asked– Get in touch a day or two before game day (do not breakfocus)• Other Departments– Keep in touch, checklist of everyone you need to reach– Preseason meetings to walk through everyone’sresponsibilities
  7. 7. • Priority goes to in-season teams• Fields and facilities are assigned to specific teams– Main gym goes to basketball teams, turf field to footballand lacrosse teams, grass field to soccer teams• Men’s basketball at the Verizon Center– Saturday games typically played around noon to allow forfloor switchover to NBA’s Wizards floor or NHL’s Capitalsice rink– Monday/Tuesday night games coordinated with Big Eastand ESPN
  8. 8. • Writing contracts, coordinating payroll• Assigning officials to events– Notifying official what locker room they’ll be using– Instructing officials where to park– Coordinates the event
  9. 9. • (Revamped) Visitors’ Guide– Directions, hotels, restaurants– Includes a sheet asking for requests (practice times,game day requirements, mode of transportation)– Coordinating parking• Scheduling practice time and locker roomavailability• Managing facility use for visiting teams
  10. 10. • NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament– 3 of last 6 years, Verizon Center hosted opening weekend games(most recently in 2011)– Site walkthroughs months in advance– Addressing what signage can and cannot be displayed– In depth, specific details (how locker rooms / benches are setup)– Biggest challenge: managing locker rooms for 8 schools• Big East Women’s Lacrosse Tournament– Managing 4 locker rooms, capacities and distances• Hosts Commencement out of arena; concerts on occasion
  11. 11. • Limited parking on campus– Visitors asked to use main garage for faculty and staff– Required to pay for a day’s parking (free on weekends)– Buses typically park right by the arena• Currently looking to generate revenue to pay forparking– Difficult to accomplish since it is out of Georgetown’scontrol, especially at the Verizon Center• Most fans show up by Metro (D.C. Subway)
  12. 12. • Totally unique at Georgetown• Challenges are often facility-based– Facilities are not very updated– Facilities are not very manageable for ESPN or CBS• Last-minute issues– It doesn’t matter how prepared you are—something isgoing to pop up.– Minutes before an event, a new issue can arise
  13. 13. Most satisfying element: a smooth event– The fans have a good experience– The fields are set– The officials are happy– The visiting team was taken care of– You provided good customer service– The coaches have no complaints– The coaches say Thank YouWhen everyone is happy and has had a good experience,it’s rewarding knowing you did it, and you did it right.
  14. 14. I asked Mr. Levine if he honestly enjoyed working in highereducation, and if it was something he found fulfilling. Withouthesitation, he replied, “Yes. Absolutely.” He reflected he was astudent-athlete (a swimmer at UConn) and that it was a greatexperience. After working in private businesses with marketing, Mr.Levine felt an impulse to get back into college athletics. He said thatcollege athletics in most cases is the highest level of athletics.When it fixes in with higher education and a college campuscommunity, it’s really valuable. After a few years, Mr. Levinewanted to be in the environment. He said there are definitelychallenges and complaints, and that despite being pushed back itpays to work hard—it goes a way for a student-athlete’s experienceand their relationships, and is ultimately beneficial for everybody.“When the kids come away having a good experience, I enjoy it.”
  15. 15. • Getting your foot in the door is really difficult– Mr. Levine worked 4-5 internships, 6 months of volunteer work– Put his life on hold for 3 ½ to 4 years to get his foot in the door• Commit to it, be passionate– Keep pushing and make contacts– Offer help and work for free– Take advantage of an opportunity– Position yourself to get a job• If you want it bad enough, eventually it will work out.– Sometimes it doesn’t pay well and the hours are terrible.– But if it’s what you want to do, the work makes up for the free time.

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