MBAs and the First WSBC Action Sports Summit

The First Annual Warsaw Sports Business Club Action Sports Summit took place on Friday, March 6, 2015 up at Mt. Hood Meadows. The undergraduate club assisted by faculty member Whitney Wagoner decided that the idea of sports marketing is expanding far beyond the traditional team and ball sports, which has been the main focus. The club organized an event-filled day which included a keynote speaker, Adam Cozens of The Enthusiast Network to discuss the state of the space, a panel discussion, and an interactive team challenge where groups of students paired with a panel member to tackle a real problem he/she is facing. Finally, the day ended with play time. What is having an action sports summit without participating in some action sports? Students could choose from getting a lift ticket, snowshoeing or yoga. Overall, this inaugural event was very successful and I hope it continues for many years to come.


The bus left at 5 AM and was primarily filled with undergraduate students, but 5 brave MBA students ventured forth to participate in the first Action Sports Summit. Four were from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and there was one lone Entrepreneurship student. But that is okay, since this is right up my alley with my passion for the outdoor industry. Whitney and the WSBC did a great job organizing this event with the panelist representing DaKine,, Evo and Mt. Hood Meadows. All brought a different perspective and presented new sets of challenges facing this industry. I found the speaker from Mahfia, Kim Woozy, particularly engaging. She is not only a woman entrepreneur (male dominated field) but also does women action sports (which is often overshadowed by the men). Its hashtag and overarching theme is “killinitsoftly,” which as Kim put it “embodies the female persona. It is usually the woman who stands the side but gets stuff done and makes it happen and pushes the norm without standing up to take the attention.”

My biggest take aways from this experience are 1) this industry is quite sexy and cool, but you still have to work your butt off to prove yourself in whatever role you choose to do; 2) passion and expertise are key. If you lack passion you won’t get very far. If you lack expertise, be willing to learn and take the initiative to get that expertise. Be knowledgeable enough to have an intelligent conversation with someone smarter than you! 3) Embrace who you are and always be authentic. Authenticity is key to any successful brand and that includes the individual. While the snow was a little depressing (everyone do your snow dance now!) the environment and discussions were absolutely amazing and I am glad I survived the hairpin turns on the back roads avoiding the accident on 36 to make it up there.

Written by Jenny Palm

Jenny a current Oregon MBA and Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. When she is not busy exploring how she can change the world, you can find her outside doing almost anything...especially finding that secret stash of powder on her skis! She has hopes to either help develop an awesome outdoor-oriented start-up or flex her organizational prowess in ski resort event operations.