St. Louis Business Journal

Check out Jason Williams, Director of the Rawlings Sports Business Management Program, and other business of sport professionals at the Table of Experts in the St. Louis Business Journal.


Freshman/Transfer Kick-Off Event – September 2, 2014


The Rawlings Sport Business Management program held a Freshman and Transfer Kick-off event in Buder Commons on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

The event served as an introduction into the expectations that we have for our Rawlings Sport Business Management students. The students heard from faculty, staff and current senior (Shelby Hild) within the program as well as 3 recent Alumni, Courtney McKinley (Rawlings), Wyatt Essenpreis (St. Louis Rams) and Matt Pierson (Swank Motion Pictures).


The Alumni spoke on the importance of volunteer opportunities, internships, special events and course work and tied that into how the experiences helped them in their current roles.

Houston Rockets

What abilities and experiences do they look for when hiring new employees?


During the summer months, faculty and staff of the Rawlings Sport Business Management program take time out to engage in professional development. We meet with professionals in the business of sports to learn about new trends and employer needs—and then incorporate what we learn from them into our program.

In August 2014, we met with Cody Haynes and Rob Zuer, executives with the Houston Rockets, a first class organization that hires professionals who fit that model. The meeting was set up for us by Samantha Robison,’14, one of our many successful alumni and a recent hire of the Rockets. Cody and Rob told us they look for candidates who have a great understanding of the business of sport and who are change-oriented, excellent communicators, self-starters and possess a willingness to take on tough tasks that aren’t necessarily fun.


The Rockets also look for people who:

  • have the ability to carry out our ‘One Team’ philosophy
  • are of high character that will provide value to our staff
  • have real world experience through internships and volunteer projects related to the sports industry
  • are passionate about the sports industry
  • will create championship caliber experiences in their everyday walk for our community and business partners

We shared with Cody and Rob the philosophy of the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program. Afterward, Cody had this to say: “The Rawlings Sport Business Management Program at Maryville University is a top tier sport business program. They excel at preparing their students with real life experience and sales training, which is extremely valuable. Their students are passionate about the sports industry and understand what it takes to be successful. There will, no doubt, be many successful sports executives produced by the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program at Maryville University.”

Houston Astros

“The Astros Way!


On August 8, 2014 we met with Brooke and Andre Luck who are executives with the Houston Rockets.

Tori Tyner (“13), also one of our prominent alumni, set up the meeting. Tori is begging her second year with the Astros after working for the St Louis Rams after graduation.

When we met with Brooke Ellenberger, Senior Director of Ticket Operations and Strategy and Andre Luck, Inside Sales Manager, this is what they had to say.

atros1The Astros rely heavily on CRM and analytics to obtain leads and keep repeat customers. Their approach relies heavily on quality of leads, not quantity. They know their target market well and use their analysis to feed their inside sales representatives. The analytics team also helps with their dynamic ticket pricing structure, studying ways to maximize profit for the organization (work smarter, not harder).

They also made a point to highlight the move to digital (mobile and tablet) aspects of media, noting that many watch the game on TV but follow heavily on social media. The struggle is finding the right platforms to advertise on. The traditional TV ad is still the best way to market the club and sponsors, but the key is to find a way to maximize the opportunities digitally in the future.

Inside Sales –
Recruitment of sales personnel, important traits young professionals need right out of school:

  • Prior sales knowledge, not necessarily sales experience, but understanding the sales processes and philosophy
  • Initiative, taking the next step
  • Personality (communication) working and communicating well with others

Thanks to our alum Tori Tyner for setting up this opportunity.

Rawlings Sport Business Management Program expands staff!

Schmidt_Daniel Head ShotDaniel Schmidt (09) was hired in May as the new coordinator, in the Rawlings Sport Business program.

Dan spent five years with the St Louis Blues. He spent three years in sponsorship division and another two years in facility operations. Dan’s brings diverse experience revenue generating and non-revenue generating areas. He has hosted numerous Rawlings Sport Business Management students as interns with the St Louis Blues and has been very connected to the program. We welcome Dan back to Maryville University with open arms.

Rawlings hired two of the programs alumni!


Marc Telander (Left) & Courtney McKinley (Right) were hired into full-time positions.

Courtney was a part-time employee in the apparel area. She now has been promoted to “Product Manager of Worth Softball Apparel”.

Marc started as a graduate assistant through the Rawlings Maryville University partnership. He now has also been promoted to “Bat Category Manager”.

“The Rawlings Sport Business Management Program is proud of Courtney & Marc. They exemplify everything our program stands for smart, hardworking critical thinkers who are dedicated to their craft and the industry they work in. “, said Jason Williams, Director of the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program.

A Visit to Hoosier Country


Professor Erin McNary and Four Rawlings Sport Business Management Majors visited Indiana University Athletic Department & “The Presidents Challenge”, a non-for profit sports entity.

The students first met with Jeff McClaine, Associate Director of The President’s Challenge, so students got a glimpse into the world of sports non-profits. Secondly, students received a tour of all of the Indiana University (IU) Athletic Facilities.

They also met with interns in the department and sat down with Jonathan Benedek, Director of Marketing, IU Athletics, where they learned of the intricacies of D-1 collegiate athletic departments and the Big Ten Conference.” Jessica Marks, Junior, had this to say about her experience.

“The trip to IU was an excellent experience, providing valuable insight into the business collegiate sports. Providing us with valuable business connections, while demonstrating the importance of networking.” Christie Carroll, Sophomore, “Our visit with Jonathan Benedek at Indiana University gave us a great insight into the world of collegiate sports marketing. The connection we made with Jonathan through Dr. McNary is proof of the importance of networking.”

Shawn Maloney at OSU spring game
Shawn Maloney, a senior in the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program, had an Ohio State Athletics Experience.

Shawn worked with John Bugner, the assistant director of the Ohio State Event Management staff. He worked the entire Buckeye Spring Football game weekend.

Shawn met with T.J Shelton, Associate Athletic Director on Friday and then worked John the rest of the weekend.

Shawn had this to say about his experience, “I was able to experience many aspects of event management that you can only get at such a high level like ‘The Ohio State’. T.J. and John provided me with an excellent experience that I will never forget.”


The Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournaments are a fixture in St Louis. It is also a fixture in the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program. While students from the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program assist with both tournaments, and the NCAA Tournament the women’s tournament is part of our curriculum. The event & facility management course is taught in conjunction with the MVC. Assistant Professor, Erin McNary Ph.D, leads the course with Kelli Briscoe, Assistant Commissioner, & Kristin Gregory, Director of Sports Administration, of the MVC. The students learn the theory behind event & facility management then assist in implementing those theories at the conference tournament. Professor McNary’ s class performed very well at the four day tournament.


Jordan Wysocki, Rawlings Sport Business Management Senior, Presenting his Wal-Mart analysis to Rawlings Sporting Goods President, Robert Parish


Courtney McKinley Product Developer for Rawlings Sporting Goods & Maryville University Rawlings Sport Business Management Program Alumni. Presenting the on the topic of “Professionalism” to the professionalism in the business of sport course.

Interview with Tre Jenkins

What was your role as an intern with the Nets? Daily duties?

I was a guest services intern for the Barclays Center. My responsibilities were more on the arena side, rather than working with the actual team. My specific duties included participating in event planning for concerts and special events, such as: Beyonce, Paul McCartney, the NBA Draft, the MTV awards, NYPD Graduation, Goldamn Sachs private events, the introduction press conference for Jason Kidd, and preparation for the arrival of the New York Islanders. I prepared and distributed event notes to supervisors prior to concerts and special events, managed the consumer e-mail inbox, assisted the Guest Services Department for pre-events, concerts and special events, and post-parties. I also planned and arranged a group outing for 150+ members of the guest services department to see the New York Mets.

Professionally, what did you get out of your experience with the Nets?

Personally, I expanded my professional network into one of the world’s largest markets for sports and entertainment. I also gained experience staffing and managing some of the most premier events within the industry.

How has being part of the Rawlings Sports Business Program, specifically helped you?

It’s provided me with preparation, networking connections, and professional development in the sports and entertainment industry. As a student in the Rawlings Sports Business Program, I’ve completed internships with the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Blues, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets, and I’ve also worked with Rawlings on a series of projects. I am truly humbled and thankful to have been part of the Rawlings Sports Business Program at Maryville University.


Megan Bradford (Junior Rawlings Sport Business Management Major) had the opportunity to learn event management and public relations during her volunteer assignment with the Professional Bull Riding Association.

The St Louis Cardinals executives discussed the Business of MLB baseball at the 3rd annual “Catching up with the Cardinals” event

This year’s panel consisted of:

Tom Ackerman, KMOX Sports Director, Moderator

Dan Farrell, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing – St Louis Cardinals

Rob Fasoldt, Director of Ticket Sales and Services – St. Louis Cardinals, Rawlings Sport Business Management Advisory Board Member and Maryville

University adjunct faculty

Chuck Kuchar (’12), Ticket Services Account Executive – St Louis Cardinals and alumnus of Maryville’s Rawlings Sport Business Management program

Abby Duethman (’13), Direct Sales Representative – St Louis Cardinals and alumnus of Maryville’s Rawlings Sport Business Management program.


Tori Tyner (’12) has a new position. Her first position after graduating from the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program was with the St Louis Rams in ticket sales. Tori is now the ticket operations representative for the Houston Astros.


Wyatt Essenpreis (13) is pictured in the St Louis Rams locker room. Wyatt interned with the St Louis Rams his senior year, worked part time for them in the summer and then was hired on full time this past fall. He is the St Louis Rams Marketing Street Team Coordinator.


Thomas Blick ( pictured above) worked the Poinsettia Bowl this past December. Thomas worked as a operations volunteer for the bowl game. He assisted with ticket delivery, locker room set and trophy presentation. Thomas is a first year Rawlings Sport Business Management Major from California.


Cameron Fagundes (left) and Jackson Davis (Right) work the St Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-up on January 16 in down town St Louis, MO. Cameron and Jackson volunteered to assist Rawlings with their promotional booth at the event.

40 Maryville sport business students worked a fast-pitch softball tournament in Chesterfield over two weekends, Oct. 25 -27 and Nov. 1 – 3. Students were busy helping Worth, Rawlings Softball brand, with market research and product sales. Chelsea Wilson, Worth’s brand manager, had this to say about her Maryville sport business volunteers: “The students’ performance was outstanding, we could not have run the promotion and sales booth without them.”

This fall, Maryville Sport Business students Joann Thompson and Jordan Wysocki developed a comprehensive market research database for Rawlings. The database took three months to complete, and should be very useful to Rawlings in the future. “Jordan and Joann’s work was outstanding,” says Rawlings consumer research manager, Curt Pahl. “This was valuable for them, because market research is a large part of every sport business organization, and this was very helpful for us as Rawlings, because it helps us make product decisions moving forward.”

Jason Williams, Director of the Rawlings Sports Business Management Program, at the 2013 World Series Gala. The Gala took place on October 25, 2013. It was attended by many professionals in not only the business of sport but the St. Louis business community.

Joann Thompson (right) is a senior in the Rawlings Sports Business Program. She is currently taking the Sports Entertainment course taught by Rob Fasoldt. Mr. Fasoldt is the Director of Ticket Sales & Services for the St. Louis Cardinals. He rewarded the top student in his class with tickets to a Cardinals playoff game. Joann received those tickets after her hard work throughout the semester. The game she and her friend, Alex Wolf attended was against the Los Angeles Dodgers and they were given tickets to a suite.

This past September at the Safeway Classic Pro-Am Tournament in Portland, Oregon, Game Face founder Rob Cornilles got to hang with top-ranked LPGA golfer Ai Miyazato. Here is Rob, watching Ai tee-off at the 10th hole, sporting a Maryville Rawlings Sport Business polo. As he put it, he was “wearing the Maryville swag with pride!”

Interview with Dr. Erin McNary, Assistant Professor in the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program


Dr. Erin McNary is the newly appointed, Assistant Professor in the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program.  Dr. McNary received her Bachelors in Applied Life Studies/ Sports Management from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She then went on to obtain a Masters in Kinesiology and Athletic Administration from Indiana University (IU).  Finally, she received a Ph. D in Sports Management with a minor in Higher Education & Student Affairs from IU.  With prior teaching experience at Fontbonne University, St. Louis University, and Indiana University to name a few; Dr. McNary is eager to establish herself here at Maryville and continue the growth of our brand.

Have you had an intern or grad Assistant? If so, what was your experience with them?

I have had an intern. It was a great experience because she was very energetic and hardworking.  She also had a lot of experience, so that was very helpful.  She did a lot of little jobs that that allowed me to focus on my bigger projects.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a certified yoga instructor at Yoga Six and love practicing yoga. I also like to run, play tennis and basketball, and travel. When possible, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

What are your feelings about switching over to Maryville?

I am very excited about this new challenge.  I look forward to meeting all of the students in the Rawlings Sport Business Program and continuing to build on the successes of the program. Teaching, advising, service, and research are all passions of mine, and I think Maryville is the right fit for me.  I am also excited to work with Jason because he has so much energy and passion for the business of sport.

Tell us about your goals for the program?

My goals for our program are that we continue the success of the program and University.  I believe we could be do this by increasing quality, connections in the business (local, national, international) and experiences for our students.

Do you have a piece of advice for the new students coming into the program?

My advice for the new students is to get involved on campus and in your major, meet as many people as you can socially and professionally and take advantage of all opportunities.  In addition, volunteer as much as you can and don’t just go to your classes, be present; participate, ask questions, get to know your professors.  Finally know that there are resources for you on campus if you need anything, especially your advisors.

What would your advice be for students that have been in the program for 1+ years?

For students that have been going through the program I would say, continue your growth academically and experience wise.  Be open to possibilities. Every experience opens a new opportunity and will add to your skill set.  Keep volunteering, continue a great work ethic, and stay positive.  Take it one day at a time because if you are patient then it will come to you.  Finally, always meet new people and expand your network.

What do you expect out of your students?

I expect my students to work hard, have a great work ethic and communicate with me.  They should show passion for the business of sport.  Most importantly, be able to connect course material and be able to use it in the field.

Rawlings Sports Business Majors Annual Beginning of the Year Meeting


On September 4, the Rawlings Sports Business majors had their annual, beginning of the year meeting.  The night included a welcome from Rawlings Senior VP and Rawlings Sports Business Advisory Board member.  Followed by, a panel discussion on “The State of Collegiate Athletics”.  The panel consisted of moderator, Tom Ackerman who is the Sports Director at KMOX, Mark Alnutt the Director of Athletics at Southeast Missouri State, T.J. Shelton the Associate Athletic Director of Sports Administration at The Ohio State University, and our very own Marcus Manning the Director of Athletics at Maryville University.

Media Backdrop

Thank you to our partner Bruno’s Draft Kits (www.brunosdraftkits.com) for our Rawlings Sport Business Management media backdrop. A few of our students stopped by to have their picture taken for their LinkedIn profile.



Business Communications

Dr. McNary also had a guest speaker for her BUS-150 Business Communications class. Brent Shulman is the Director of Communications and New Media for the St. Louis Sports Commission.

He gave an overview of the St. Louis Sports Commission and aspects of professionalism like the importance of effective communication, first impressions, and proper construction of resumes and cover letters.

Business Communications

BUS-150 Business Communications

Cardinals Event Staff Visit

Thanks to Aleah Likas, Courtney Kincade & Jen Halaz of the St. Louis Cardinals for presenting to our Sport Business Management class yesterday.
Aleah is pictured in our Rawlings Glove Chair.

Cardinals Event Staff - Aleah Likas

Softball Magazine

Jordan McKinley, a student in our program, was a guest columnist on an article that has been published in Softball Magazine. This article was part of a larger project that she assisted with while interning at Rawlings. Here is a sneak peak of the article.


Legal Aspects of Sport Management

On September 17th, Matt Nagel took his Legal Aspects of Sports Management class to visit the Gateway Grizzlies for a discussion on Risk Management.
Thank you to the Gateway Grizzlies for hosting our students.

Legal Aspects of Sports Management class

NHRA Midwest Nationals

20+ students in our program volunteered at Gateway Motorsports Park September 26-28 for the NHRA Midwest Nationals.



Rawlings Gift

We cannot thank Robert Parrish, President of Rawlings enough for the generous gift he delivered last Friday. This is a great addition to the John E. Simon School of Business. Thank you again!

Rawlings Gift

Resume Seminar

Over the past week we’ve had several students take part in resume seminars. We stressed the importance of having a clear and concise message as well the do’s and dont’s of resume writing.


Product Presentation

Professor Williams took both of his Sport Business Management classes to Chesterfield Mall for a discussion on product presentation. The classes were split into groups and presented their findings in the following class period. They were asked to analyze store and product presentation.




Dr. Erin McNary had colleague Dr. Andrea Guerin-Eagleman, Senior Lecturer, Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia) join her SPTM-497 Professionalism class yesterday.

She discussed International Perspectives on Sport Business specifically from her experiences working in New Zealand and Australia.

Thank you Andrea for guest speaking at Maryville University.


School of Business Visit Day

On Friday, October 3, Maryville University hosted a visit day for prospective students.

The John E. Simon School of Business hosted over 40 students. After a brief discussion from Dean John Lewington, the different majors broke out into informational sessions.

The Rawlings Sport Business Management program hosted 4 students. After a brief overview of the program, we had a discussion about spectator motivation. The students were then given an activity and presented that back to faculty, staff, alumni and current students.

A big thank you to our alum Courtney McKinley (Rawlings, Brand Manager for Fastpitch Apparel) for speaking to the prospective students as well as current students Alex Wolf and Garrett Reifschneider for their participation in the visit day.