Naya’s mission is to enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education. WARSAW worked with nearly one hundred high school students during the Nike N7 field day.
Throughout the day, students were able to participate in a number of American sports ranging from football and basketball to lacrosse and golf. There were also a few Native American games the students were able to play, such as: shinny and hot rocks. Anthony Newman, a Duck Alum and past NFL player was able to spend all day with the kids inspiring them to work harder and understand the importance of a team.
At the end of the day two students (one female and one male) were chosen for the spirit award. Attributes had to consist of, cheering on their teammates, never giving up and taking on a leadership role when needed. The students were not aware of this award and yet, a handful were strong contenders when it came time to choose.
When the day was completed and the students had gone home, teachers at NAYA made sure Nike N7 and the WARSAW Sports Business students knew the impact they just had. The teachers expressed how a handful of students who participated in the field day had never participated in physical activity before. They assured us we were not only inspirational to the students but eye opening as well. WARSAW along with Nike N7, was able to create a day were students wanted to come to school and work together with their classmates. All in all, it was an inspiring experience that the WARSAW Sports Marketing students will never be able to forget.
–Katie Bartholomew, ’13
As the bus pulls onto One Bowerman Drive, your eyes scatter as you look at the architecture inside the vast campus nestled in the quaint greenery that is Beaverton, Oregon. The campus is home to the brand that has transformed a worldwide perception of sports culture with controversy, athletes and hard-nosed, in-your-face marketing. As I wait with the other students from the Warsaw Sports Business Club for our panel presentation and tour, I have this sensation that ignites my senses rapidly wondering what’s going on around me. The students and I are standing inside the nucleus of the sports footwear that is Nike, Inc.
This 193-acre campus is home to athletic research and shoe development; it also acts a playground for its employees. A shivering Jordan Mara came up to the group of students and greeted us (it was around 45 degrees that morning). Jordan is a former college student from the University of Arizona who is a part of Collegiate Recruiting for Nike.
Jordan ushers us into the iconic Pre hall.
When you enter the glass doors, you are greeted at the end of the hallway by a bronzed statue of University of Oregon’s own Steve Prefontaine, Nike’s first endorser who took the country by storm with his hunger to win at all costs on the track. We entered the theatre room inside Pre Hall while Ernest Adams, Nike’s Global Acquisition Talent Manager–whose face is eerily reminiscent of Darius Rucker–saluted us. Ernest began with his story and how he ended up with the swoosh. Right off the bat, I realized that Nike just doesn’t hire ANYONE, and Ernest’s track record proved it. Ernest stressed Nike’s mission to hire those who embody a drive that sets them apart from other candidates. They look for individuals who are willing to improve upon their best. Basically, it comes down to the belief that “There Is No Finish Line.”
Ernest went on with his presentation with a brief history of Nike and its beginnings that started at Oregon with a student, Phil Knight, and his coach, Bill Bowerman. We watched early TV ads, including the iconic commercial that used the Beatles’ “Revolution” song. When Ernest was done, Michael Hansen, who’s in charge of Global Sports Marketing, presented us with slides about Nike’s mission and how they target local and global markets. He presented us with Nike’s eleven maxims, which were created by current CEO Mark Parker. The maxims are the brand’s core values for employees to live by. They are a guideline and template to how the company became what it is today.
The Maxims read as follows:
- It is our nature to innovate.
- Nike is a company.
- Nike is a brand.
- Simplify and go.
- The consumer decides.
- Be a sponge.
- Evolve immediately.
- Do the right thing.
- Master the fundamentals.
- We are on the offense. Always.
- Remember the man.
Before Michael was done, he stressed the same focus that Ernest explained when talking about Nike’s mission: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Right after Michael’s slideshow, we were treated to a small breakfast in the Joan Benoit building. When we finished, we were greeted by the Oregon alums in the auditorium. Each of the four alums–including recent graduates Darron Strong and Rob Griesinger–gave us the lowdown about how they started and what they did to get into Nike. They each stated that Nike is the place to work, and that they wouldn’t want to be any other place. But what is necessary to get to where they are, is that you need experience and establish yourself as a product that a company needs; everything–including your work ethic and attitude–has to be honed to perfection.
As soon as the panel discussion was finished, we split into groups with guides who would walk us around the campus explaining each building and its meaning. Alyssa, also an Oregon alum, led us in through the majority of the buildings. Each building was named after a Nike athlete who cemented a bond with the company. The athletes were staple endorsers from the time they became professionals in their respective sport.
There’s a building named after San Diego Chargers legend, Dan Fouts; a building named after home run king, Ken Griffey Jr.; and the building named after the best basketball player ever, Michael Jordan. Every building housed a mini museum explaining the significance each athlete contributed to their sport and the brand. It’s amazing how Nike paid tribute to these people who they consider as “family.” Not many companies honor those who helped them reach new levels of exposure and success like Nike has.
As we saw the remainder of the campus which included Lake Nike, a manmade lake in the middle of the campus, the Lance Armstrong fitness center and the Mia Hamm building that’s home to the Nike Sports Research Lab, Nike gave us one last gift: a pass to the Nike Employee Store.
The store is like any other Nike store, but with an applied discount of 50% to everything inside the store. When each student was done doing damage, the bus was carrying more than 8,000 dollars worth of gear and goods. In all, this trip was such a great way to start a new year for the students. I’m really thankful Warsaw and Nike were able to give us this opportunity. The trip certainly pushed us to try even harder to reach our goals.
By: Christian Prieto, student in the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication
Run under the auspices of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the UO | Lundquist College of Business, the Warsaw Sports Business Club welcomes all UO students, regardless of class standing or major.
When the announcement was made at the Warsaw Sports Business Club’s biweekly meeting that there was an opportunity to visit Nike World Headquarters I just about fell right out of my seat. Being a native Oregonian, I had been on the Nike campus many times but never had I been while in college. This time I’d be touring the campus and networking with the pros from the perspective of future applicant instead of a Nike-obsessed high school business club student.
Members left UO at 6:30am, sharp. Everyone was dressed in his or her most impressive and able-looking attire; business casual was the name of our game on this trip. Now, anyone who has ever been to the Nike campus would know that people who weren’t dressed in Nike shoes, Nike jackets and a pair of dark wash jeans would stick out like a sore thumb but as Professor Wagoner put it, “we hadn’t earned the right to wear the swoosh.”
We arrived at the campus right on time but our car (I didn’t ride the bus) got lost on the campus trying to find the right place to park. This seems like a small feat until you realize that the Nike campus is most likely seven to eight times the size of your high school and there are umpteen amounts of parking lots that look eerily similar. In true “rookie” form our car parked on the wrong side of campus and we had to run through parking lots and buildings in search of the Prefontaine Building where everyone else was already waiting. I can report that although not on time (mistake number one) we did find the building and the group. My advice? Ride the bus, or if you don’t ride the bus, follow the bus in your car like a hawk.
With that behind us we keyed in on the presentation. The room was just as I would expect it: amazingly cool. There were comfortable black leather seats for us to sit in, a mini stage with a screen to undoubtedly watch a plethora of Nike videos and a killer sound system. I tried to contain how impressed and excited I was to be there but I can tell you this room lived up to every “Nike” expectation I had.
Ernest Adams, the global talent acquisition manager, was our main presenter for the morning. A few other speakers and a panel of UO grads now working at Nike accompanied him. Ernest described the company’s Marketing Mix, their eleven Maxims (who they are), their brand truths, the Nike portfolio and their brand affiliates. Learning all of these things–at least for a girl who has always been extraordinarily fascinated with Nike as a global athletic company–was truly thrilling. It was almost as if all of my questions on the inside workings of Nike were being taught in a lecture that I wished I could have attended every day. Beyond learning about their business we were given “insider” advice on getting a job with them:
- 50% of Nike interns are offered a job at the company
- Have something to say, a point of view, and a perspective when you are speaking to an interviewer or an employee of Nike
- Have your elevator pitch ready at any given moment
- “Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges” Be prepared. Be knowledgeable. Be proactive.
- Do not walk into an interview raving about your love of Nike. Obviously, if you are interviewing with them you love Nike. What specifically do you want and why are you the best person for that position? Sell your personal brand.
- Understand what moves you, your passions, and your values
- Do not wear business clothes to an interview. You are interviewing with Nike so understand the culture of their business. Wear your Nikes proudly!
- Put your interests at the top of your resume; let them know who you are outside of the working environment
- Personalize your resume. Come prepared with the standard resume that the career center or your business class made you make but also have a resume that speaks to who you are. There is nothing more off-putting than a boring resume.
- Demonstrate patterns of success within your resume
- Lastly, make eye contact and adjust quickly if you should ever find yourself interviewing with them
Take note of every one of these key points if you are looking to get an internship or a job with Nike. Knowing these things will place you ahead of much of your uninformed competition.
After the information session the group broke into smaller groups to take a tour of their campus. As we expected, the campus was incredible and all encompassing. Aside from offices and conference rooms there is a spectacular a gym, a hair salon, a nail salon, multiple restaurants, and a daycare. With all of these amenities why would you even need to leave campus but to sleep in your own bed? Exactly.
After the tours the different tour groups went to various restaurants on campus. Needless to say, there were no complaints regarding the food or the atmosphere. Finally, and probably one of the most looked forward to parts of the trip, was visiting the employee store. I think it is obvious that taking a group of sports business students to the Nike Employee Store is like putting a kid in candy store and thus, the bus on the ride home was significantly more tightly packed than it was on the ride up.
By: Kayla Glanville, Junior, Sports Public Relations student in the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication
Run under the auspices of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the UO | Lundquist College of Business, the Warsaw Sports Business Club welcomes all UO students, regardless of class standing or major.
For myself and other members of the Warsaw Sports Business Club, the announcement that College GameDay was coming to Autzen meant that we would have the unique opportunity to work behind the scenes of College GameDay. It was an opportunity to experience firsthand what it takes to put on an event of such scale and magnitude, to pick the brains of industry insiders, to network, and make impressions.
We worked for Octa8on – a global sports and entertainment marketing firm that handles the sponsorship activation for Home Depot, the title sponsor of College GameDay. On Friday morning, the first day of volunteering, I arrived at the Casanova Center parking lot to the site of a half built stage and a giant orange bus. Friday was all prep work; we put together Goodie Bags for the Home Depot VIP’s, hung Home Depot signage, and prepared the promotional materials for distribution to fans during the broadcast on Saturday (Home Depot gift cards, rally towels, and hard hats).
Saturday was like nothing I had ever been involved in before; to arrive on site at 3:30am to a crowd of Oregon students and fans shouting “Go Ducks!” and that excitement and enthusiasm being carried out throughout the day was surreal. I have watched College GameDay numerous times and expected the madness, but nothing could compare to being on site with the backstage all-access pass of a volunteer. It would have been easy to get carried away in the fanfare, but VIP’s needed to be tended to, signs needed to be painted, and Home Depot branded hard hats needed to be distributed.
To some, these tasks of a volunteer may not seem glamorous, but it is what occurs during them that makes the volunteer opportunity a tremendous experience for anyone looking to get into the sports and entertainment industries. I had the chance to meet individuals I normally watch on television and had never dreamed of meeting, stand behind the College GameDay desk, and work side by side with a world-class event team. To watch them work and see the interactions between the Octa8on and ESPN crews was inspiring. It reaffirmed my desire to work in the sports industry.
Classroom instruction and theory is critical, and the experiential learning opportunities provided to us by the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center allowed us to apply our classroom learning to a national corporation’s marketing strategy. It may look great to have earned an A in your Sports Marketing course, but to be able to say in an interview that you worked for GameDay and have the experience of sponsorship activation and event management will help put us heads above other applicants.
Warsaw Sports Business Club Member
As mentioned in the last post, we’re now on to spring term; however, before the blog moves further with the exciting events and trips upcoming, let’s take a look back. Here, first year student Anders Isaacson recalls a trip the Marketing Sports Properties class took to Portland to visit professional sports franchises…
On Friday, February 26th, my fellow SBUS 650 classmates and I made the two-hour trip up Interstate 5 to Portland, Oregon for an intimate look inside the Portland Timbers (USL/MLS) and the Portland Trailblazers (NBA). While I have worked on the team side in the past, my experience has strictly been at the collegiate level, and I honestly had no idea what to expect from the pros.
I made the trip up early with three other students in order to sit down with Cory Dolich, Vice President of Business Operations and Marketing for the Portland Timbers. The Timbers organization is in the process of transitioning from the USL (United Soccer League) to the MLS (Major League Soccer) and we had an opportunity to do a fan development project for the team that we debriefed Cory on.
After meeting with Mr. Dolich, we joined the rest of the class in PGE Park (home of the Timbers), with Mike Golub, recently appointed COO of the Timbers. PGE is currently being expanded and renovated before the move up to MLS, and Mr. Golub talked us through the current state of the project. He explained the difficulty of transforming a facility of PGE’s historical and community significance from a multi-use venue into a soccer specific stadium.
Next, we proceeded downstairs to a conference room where we held a round table discussion with Mr. Golub about everything from his career background, to the current state of the MLS, to general sports marketing and strategy. I was very impressed with not only Mr. Golub’s wealth of knowledge, but also his electric New York personality and his ability to not only connect, but also interact with his audience. Mr. Golub paid particular attention to the benefits of building sellout crowds (as opposed to increasing average attendance) and establishing the Timbers brand.
Following the meeting we had a two-hour break for lunch before reassembling at the Rose Garden (home to the Portland Trailblazers). Our group was escorted upstairs into the corporate offices where we sat down with Sarah Mensah, CMO of the Portland Trailblazers. Ms. Mensah ran us through how the organization successfully transformed its image from the “Jailblazers” of the 90’s, to the league’s “best practice” today. According to her, the most important elements of any transformation are authenticity and consistency. The organization has remained consistent by rebuilding and equipping the organization with people and players of character and integrity.
Immediately following our conversation with Ms. Mensah, we departed on a tour of the Rose Garden with Chris Oxley, General Manager of the arena. The tour included locker rooms, facilities, backstage, club and suite levels, as well as various promotions. I was extremely impressed with how well the building integrated key elements of the brand as well as the City of Portland. The building oozes the Trailblazer brand and you are immersed in the culture from the second you walk in the doors. Additionally, to further align the brand with its host city’s sustainability mantra, the Rose Garden was recently renovated and became the first major sports venue to receive LEED Gold certification for its leadership in energy and environmental design.
As I sit back and reflect on the trip as a whole, I realize how amazing an experience it was. Our gracious hosts made it almost as entertaining and exciting as it was educational. I was ultimately most impressed with how relevant the material we have covered in our SBUS650 class is to actual operations and marketing of professional sports organizations. Many of the topics we have discussed in class proved to be pertinent issues that sports properties face on a day-to-day basis. That being said, my hat goes off to Professor Bolger, not only for organizing this amazing experience, but also for thoroughly preparing us throughout the term.
The third leg of the East Coast trip took us on a four-day visit in New York City. MBA student Ken Salmon takes us through the first two days of our journey in the Big Apple:
Our first main event in the city brought us to the Harvard Club for the 12th Annual Warsaw Center Sports Industry Luncheon on Wednesday. With over a hundred people in attendance, the event featured discussions with Dr. Stephen Greyser from the Harvard Business School and Dean Howard from our own college of business. This was hands down, a great networking opportunity for the members of Warsaw.
Later that same afternoon, we took off for ESPN’s offices, where Warsaw alums Gil Beverly and Kelly Johnson showed us around the building and provided us access to several key executives and information on that week’s 3-D channel announcement. After this visit, we made our way back to the hotel for a Warsaw Alumni panel with alums currently working in NY for the likes of ESPN, Octagon, IMG, the NBA, and Glaceau. Topics discussed among the alums included how they got from point A to B and what it’s like to live in a big city like New York. The day was capped off with Warsaw members and alumni gathering at a local watering hole to network and connect with each other.
Thursday morning, we started the day with a visit to the NBA offices and met with employees in the company including the COO, Adam Silver, Sr. VP of Team Marketing and Business Operations, Chris Granger, VP of Basketball Operations, Stu Jackson, and VP of Global Merchandising, Sal LaRocca, among others.
The next stop on the itinerary was NBC Sports, where we met with the Director of Marketing, Justin Byczek and VP of Strategic Marketing and Communications, Mike McCarely. In addition to a number of insider topics, we discussed NBC’s Olympic Strategy for the Vancouver games and the company’s re-entry into the NFL with their Sunday night telecasts.
To cap off the day, we met with Brian Flynn from the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation at a local Irish pub, and learned about the horse betting business. Overall, this was a jam-packed first two days in New York filled with experiences we will never forget. Check back soon for the final recap of our last couple days in New York City.
Golf Day at Pumpkin Ridge was an amazing day-long event that included Communications Directors, CEOs, Founders, and Marketers from the LPGA, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Oregon Golf Association, Nike Golf, and Comcast. The entire day was dedicated to talking about the business of sports and golf, and it was a great experience. I gained a tremendous amount of understanding of the golf industry, as well as general sports marketing practices that can be applied across sports and industries.The day started with our keynote, David Higdon, the Chief Communications Officer from the LPGA. He talked about the state of the golf industry and the LPGA’s strategies and tactics. After David, we had an excellent lunch preceeding two panels filled with golf industry professionals.
The first panel focused on recreational golf and grassroots developments and included Executive Director of the Children’s Course, Dennis Schrag (MBA Alum); Co-Founder of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, Gay Davis; CEO of Oregon Golf Association, Barb Trammell; and Director of Sales for Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, Dylan Campy. All of these panelists had great stories as well as interesting insights into their work history and current jobs.
The second panel began shortly thereafter and it included Nike Golf Market Apparel Rep, Kim Nelson; Executive Director for Tournament Golf Foundation, Rob Neal; President of Pacific Golf Accessories, Mark Regalado; and Executive Producer for Comcast SportsNet, David Kamens. They focused on the professional game and consumer marketing and got deep into the nuances of selling golf merchandise to each gender.
The entire event was well put together, and I was very impressed. I learned more about the golf industry and the sports industry than I thought possible in one day.
Pumpkin Ridge was a great location for the event, as we were surrounded by a historic golf atmosphere and inspirational golf industry professionals. There were great panel members, great discussions, great networking and great tips and pointers for when we all join the work force relatively soon.
The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center is not only a prestigious MBA program, it also proudly serves the UO undergraduate population. In addition to several sports course offerings, the center also boasts the Warsaw Sports Business Club -the college’s largest undergraduate business club.
The WSBC recently held its first meeting of the
2009-2010 school year (to an overflow crowd!) led by Faculty Advisor Whitney Wagoner, club president Jenna Barnes and the rest of the leadership team.
This year they have brainstormed several new ideas for the club and raised expectations for professionalism from its members. At the first meeting, the club executives stressed the importance of networking with guests and each other -citing that 80% of sports jobs are awarded because of in-house connections.
To encourage intra-club socializing, the executives decided to set aside 20 minutes each meeting for people to break into groups for a “Current Events Quick Fire.” Also new this year, all meetings willl end with time for members to mingle, meet new people and enjoy an almost-endless bounty of cookies.
Beyond opportunities to meet each other, the WSBC also setup an impressive list of visitors: Oregon alums Kristin Harrer and Philip Kirsch from Wieden + Kennedy, executives from the Spokane Hoopfest and Gentry Humphrey, president of Brand Jordan.
Add to those visitors a golf seminar at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, the UO World Cup and the Warsaw Classic and it sure to be an exciting year to be a member of the WSBC!