Sports enthusiasts meet for symposium, Dec. 8
Princeton alumni who have established themselves as leaders in the sports industry will come together with other sports business professionals for a symposium at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Robertson Hall. It will mark the first time in 10 years that a sports symposium will be held at the University.
The half-day symposium is intended to help students learn more about the sports industry while providing a forum for industry professionals to attract potential future leaders, said Princeton senior Chris Chaney, who organized the event with support from the independent Princeton Varsity Club and the University's Office of Career Services. It is open to the public, and will give participants an opportunity to network with sports professionals and connect with organizations seeking interns and future employees.
"It was my passion for sports that sparked my interest in getting into this field, but I was not sure how to take the right steps toward this goal," said Chaney. "I think that this event is a great opportunity for students to get an insight and an entrée into the industry."
Industry leaders who will participate include sports negotiator Rick Horrow, chief executive officer of Horrow Sports Ventures, who will keynote the symposium with an opening address at 1 p.m. Horrow is a visiting expert of sports law at Harvard University Law School and nationally known as "The Sports Professor." He is also a renowned sports business analyst and the foremost consultant on public-private infrastructure initiatives. Other speakers and panelists on the symposium schedule include Marc Fleisher, president of Entersport Management, and Bill Duffy, president and chief executive officer of BDA Sports Management, as well as such alumni as 1978 graduate Frank Vuono, partner of 16W Marketing; 1983 graduate Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner and governor of the Boston Celtics; 1999 graduate Ann Rodriguez, director of development for Earthquakes Soccer; and 1975 graduate Steve Hellmuth, senior vice president of operations and technology for NBA Entertainment.
Panels will explore sports management, sports marketing, the personal stories of college athletes and the career paths they pursued after graduating, in addition to other topics. Participants said they agreed to be part of the symposium to show sports enthusiasts the range of opportunities available to them.
"It is important that as professionals in this field, we continue to mentor our young people and provide off-the-field career options," said sports agent Glenn Toby, chief executive officer of Glenn Toby Enterprises Inc. "Not everyone can be a player."
Princeton is well known for graduating future writers, scientists and politicians, and the symposium will demonstrate that the University also has "a roster of the elite in sports" to add to the list, organizers said.
Paul Harris, a 1954 alumnus who worked closely with Chaney to organize the symposium, said the career success of the event's participants could be traced to the belief that, "whatever pathway you select in life, do it with a passion; if not, not only will you be unhappy, but you will be ineffective."
"This symposium is comprised of people who all feel this way, and this is why they have met with success in their chosen endeavor," said Harris, consultant with Axcess Sports & Entertainment and member of the Princeton Varsity Club's board of directors. The Princeton Varsity Club helps fund programs that directly benefit student athletes.
In addition to the Princeton Varsity Club and Office of Career Services, sponsors of the symposium include the Black Men's Awareness Group, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, Princeton Pre-Business Society and the University Student Government Projects Board.