Farbod Markazi, a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business, embodies what success can look like when a student combines ingenuity, passion, and hard work. While his opportunities in the sports industry did not always arrive as planned, his love of sport served as a personal and professional guide throughout his life.
When he was five years old, Markazi’s family emigrated from Iran to the United States, where they settled in Orange County, California. Markazi quickly made friends and learned English—ultimately becoming a dual citizen by middle school—but he found a way to connect with his peers via another American institution: baseball.
“Around the third or fourth grade, I went to a baseball game with my summer day camp, and they took us to an Angels game,” he remembered, “From there, that’s when sport really started helping me assimilate into the American culture… Everything I was looking up, doing, social media was baseball, baseball, baseball.”
Like many, Markazi was introduced to the sports industry as a participant, playing and coaching baseball throughout childhood. In high school, he started a baseball podcast with friends called “WAR & Peace”—later “Beat the Shift”—that he produces to this day.
He chose the University of Oregon for its sports business specialization as well as its brand equity within the sports world.
“I was like, ‘I’m going here. I’m going to bet on myself, bet on this major, and work hard. Hopefully, this pans out,’” Markazi said.
During his time in Eugene, Markazi successfully made a name for himself across campus. He became part of Oregon Football Ambassadors as a sophomore and was later promoted to the executive team, where he schedules and coordinates tours of UO sports facilities. This role netted him a position at the Manning Passing Academy and, now, an internship with the Fox Sports University Program.
Markazi also serves as the executive director of a social justice organization for children called Orange County Peace Camp.
While Markazi notes that the athletic department has been the centerpiece of his college experience, he’s built a campus network that spans UO Athletics, the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, and the Lundquist College of Business.
“I am always going to say this: I wouldn’t have been able to get those connections without the athletic department and Warsaw… It has gradually generated this ecosystem of support that I couldn’t have imagined before I got here.”
Right now, Markazi remains committed to achieving his dream career in team operations for an MLB or NBA franchise as well as a Division 1 collegiate athletics office. Until then, you may catch him on campus—giving tours of the Lillis Business Complex and various UO sports facilities—or find him anywhere you get your podcasts.
—Max Mennemeier, MBA Class of 2021