SLM Classes Show Students the ‘Real World’ of Sport Management

SLM students toured Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on April 4, led by Eastern alumnus Derek Miles ’08 (second from left), director of operations and events.

Sport and leisure management (SLM) students enrolled in Professor Charlie Chatterton’s upper-level courses have had a dose of reality this semester. They’ve toured sporting facilities and interacted with a range of professionals, from young Eastern alumni to franchise executives from the Hartford Yard Goats and Connecticut Sun.

The “Design, Construction and Management of Sports Facilities” class went to East Hartford on April 4 for a tour of Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, led by Eastern alumnus Derek Miles ’08. Miles is the director of the stadium’s operations and events, and discussed game/television production, grass and field maintenance, game-day operations, stadium security, parking operations and internship opportunities.

Amber Cox (middle), vice president of Sports Connecticut Sun/New England Black Wolves, spoke with students on March 18.

“For any students entering the SLM field, I would offer the advice of keeping an open mind about what they would like to do,” said Miles. “The sport-management industry is tough to get started in. Often you just need a foot in the door in order for other opportunities to arise.

“I’ve seen people come to us with economics degrees or a marketing background and turn out loving the operations side of things,” he continued. “As long as students are open to different positions and are willing to try different areas of the sports field, they can absolutely grow into other positions.”

The “Intro to Sport Management and Sport Science” class welcomed alumnus Anthony Rosati ’09 on April 3. Rosati is the director of athletic facilities and graphic design enchantments at the University of Connecticut (UConn). He oversees the game-day operations of all UConn athletic facilities; manages more than $3 million in facilities budgets; and oversees the hard-branding (graphic enchantments) in and outside of athletic facilities.

“My job boils down to ensuring that our teams have everything they need from a facilities standpoint — ensuring that practice and games are set up in a safe and efficient manner.”

Eastern alumnus Casey McGarvey ’12, assistant director for athletic communications of the University of Hartford, spoke with SLM students on March 29.

Rosati advises students to volunteer at events, work an internship and job shadow professionals of interest. “The main thing is to make the most of those experiences,” he said, “not to simply go through the motions, but to stand out.”

March was a busy month the “Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Communications in Sports” class, with three visits by distinguished professionals who spoke on marketing initiatives and strategies for their companies.

Amber Cox, vice president of the Sports Connecticut Sun/New England Black Wolves, came to campus on March 18; Tim Restall, president of the Hartford Yard Goats, visited on March 25; and Eastern alumnus Casey McGarvey ’12, assistant director for athletic communications of the University of Hartford, visited on March 29.

Written by Michael Rouleau