A man throws a football while broadcasting on Zoom

Rebuilding Through Sport

In mid-August the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center joined with Amsterdam University’s SportsinQ for five days of collaborative online experience, “Global Sports Leadership in a Time of Crisis.”

Continuing our valued and long-running partnership with our colleagues in the Netherlands, the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and SportsinQ delivered a new selection of timely knowledge and networking entirely through Zoom.

This is just one of many examples of the Lundquist College of Business creatively providing virtual content, curriculum, and experiential learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In years past, students participating in the Netherlands partnership traveled overseas to learn from European sports business professionals. This year’s move online accommodated COVID-19-related travel restrictions while providing students with a truly global perspective on the role of sports in recovering from the virus as well as addressing social justice issues.

During the week-long course, students from both the University of Oregon and Amsterdam University worked together in break-out groups. They also learned from sports business professionals such as Ricardo Fort, head of Coca Cola’s global sports sponsorship effort, and Renee Chube Washington, chief operating officer with USA Track & Field.

“Our time together featured interaction between the students sharing their ideas followed by real-time feedback from the faculty and the guest-speakers,” said Whitney Wagoner, director of the Warsaw Center.

Topics Fort spoke to included the intersection between sports and corporate investment, while Washington covered leadership in a crisis. Each talk concluded with a question and answer session when students could seek career advice and discuss other professional development topics.

Doug Duncan, an undergraduate business major concentrating in sports business at the Lundquist College, described the week as an amazing experience.

“Having the opportunity to collaborate with students across the world enhanced my perspective on the global sports business landscape,” he said. “With jobs and internships getting cancelled due to COVID-19, this was definitely one of my highlights this summer.”

A total of 22 students participated in the course, including five UO undergraduates and five MBA students, as well 12 students from Amsterdam University.

This type of exclusive, international programming is a hallmark of the experiential learning opportunities the Warsaw Center offers.

With networking opportunities coming in different forms this spring and summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, the center aimed to bolster attendees professional development without out-of-pocket costs to students.

Wagoner says hosting a virtual summer series illustrates a new way of doing things, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The future is definitively hybrid,” she said. “When the world comes back I think the new normal will have the best features of what in-person life and work is like, and the best features of what a tech-based world is like.”

Watch a Short Video on the Collaboration

—William Kennedy