Christine Lutz

Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Engaging Asia Recap

As second year Oregon MBA students, we experience the trip of a lifetime for two weeks in September to Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore. This trip was filled with trips to visit companies, amazing food and company, and plenty of time to explore. Students from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center took some time to highlight their favorite memories and experiences from this incredible trip.

What was your favorite experience in Shanghai, Beijing, or Singapore and why?

Ismael Nunez-Oliva:

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 3.19.05 PMThe Sports Matters conference was quite the highlight of my trip. We had the opportunity to attend the most important sports conference in Asia at the Marina Bay Sands. During the conference, we met professionals of the industry from different locations, such as China, Thailand and Australia.

James Stewart:

My favorite experience had to be the Great Wall of China. I never really thought too much about it before actually being there and walking along the wall. How something of that size was built on top of these mountains and is still there today is mind-blowing.

Will Eidam:

received_10206952594325133Being able to visit the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in Shanghai with Charles Humphrey Smith was a great behind-the-scenes experience that one could only get through Warsaw’s connections. Not only were we given a private tour of the heavily-guarded complex, but we also learned a lot about the political structure of sports in China, specifically Shanghai, that you don’t hear too much about unless you’re talking to someone who has experienced it first-hand.

David Ehrlich:

My favorite experience was the Formula 1 practice in Singapore. I have a huge passion for the sport of Formula 1 racing and to see the cars up close was beyond amazing. The speed, the technology that goes into the cars and the love that fans have for specific manufacturers and drivers. The American market hasn’t embraced Formula 1 much like a country like Singapore. The sport has helped put Singapore on the global sports landscape and provides the opportunity to bid on additional events like junior world championships and the upcoming Rugby 7’s.

received_10206987356154157Vanessa Pollitt:

I most enjoyed the visit to the Olympic Village in Beijing. I remember watching the Olympics back in 2008 and it was incredible getting to see the facilities that made that type of event possible. I personally enjoyed the tour of the Water Cube. As, a former swimmer seeing the pool where Michael Phelps won a historic eight gold medals was definitely a highlight of the trip.

 

What was the best meal you had on the trip?

Ismael Nunez Oliva:

Chinese hospitality can be overwhelming. As part of the Chinese culture, you need to provide as much food as you can when you are hosting. Some days, we were invited to taste local Chinese dishes that were an explosion of flavors and weird components, such as duck heads.

Will Eidam:

MrShisDumplingsAs great as the large family meals were– and they were amazing and stomach-filling — my best meal was when I went off the beaten path and explored the Hutongs of Beijing. (Alleys formed by lines of historical, traditional courtyard residences.) There, I discovered Mr. Shi’s Dumplings, a Euro-friendly modest restaurant where I was treated to various combinations of steamed and fried dumplings. (The pork, cheese and coriander combo was the best.) Sampling duck head or other non-traditional food items during family meals were great, but it’s hard to beat a well-served plate of hot dumplings.

Benji Bryant:

Breakfast at the hotel in Shanghai was my favorite meal of the trip. It was the most epic breakfast buffet that you will ever see. I seriously spent 2 hours every morning trying to make it to every buffet station. Also, the meals with duck were amazing. It is like a better version of turkey.

What was your favorite company or site visit of the trip and why?

Ismael Nunez-Oliva:Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 3.30.57 PM

I enjoyed our visit to Sport Singapore the most. We had the chance to work and engage with different professionals on a two hour workshop about specific obstacles of the local sports industry. In addition, the opportunity to visit the National Stadium in Singapore was overwhelming and we ended up our visit with a small game of Netball against SportSG. We had a close game but at the end we lost.

Whitney Scott:

IMG_7647 (1)I really enjoyed going to the NFL activation in Beijing. The NFL is still working through how to market in China, and seeing a true activation was a great learning experience (and super fun to take part in). I thought they did a great job of using technology to promote and make their activities more fun and engaging, but also very easy on the “consumer”. I enjoyed hearing about the challenges that China is facing with the NFL, but more so how they are going about tackling those issues.

Christine Lutz:

My favorite company visit was to a hat factory in Shanghai. We received a tour of the entire facility and were walked through the process of making a hat, from idea generation to fabric selection to manufacturing. It was incredible to see the inner workings of a factory and I was amazed at how many famous brands were made under the same factory roof. We then got to explore their showroom and learn a Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 3.35.11 PMlittle bit more about their sales process.

Vanessa Pollitt:

My favorite company visit of the trip was the Sentosa Golf Course in Singapore. I really enjoyed the presentation as well as the tour of the grounds. I also felt it was a fun experience to share between all of the centers.

What city did you most enjoy and why?

James Stewart:

Each city was great for its own reasons. If you were dropped in the middle of downtown Shanghai, it seemed like any other large city in America, except much bigger. The lights and buildings at night were amazing along the river. You could find other people who spoke English and stores and restaurants that you recognized. Beijing was great because it was the first time I really felt like I was in China. The Great Wall was an experience I’ll never forget and a few of us got to check out the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Singapore was very interesting. It didn’t seem like there was a stereotypical Singaporean culture or person, just a mix of all different types of cultures, and on one tour they were explaining to us that the country was growing by using imported sand to increase the size of the island. Pretty wild if you ask me. Being somebody who had never been to Asia before it was very eye-opening. There’s so much to this world that would never cross your mind until you go out there and experience it for yourself.

Jacob Rosen:

I had the best time in Singapore. It’s such a mix of so many cultures and despite the almost unbearable humidity, I wish we had some more time to wander around. Singapore’s history and culture is just so fascinating, including the fact they’ve built up 20% more land by being the world’s largest importer of sand. Since we Engaging Asia Great Wall of Chinahave such a good relation with SportSingapore, we had inside information from our peers and past trips of where to go all around the city-state. I’d love to go back.

Christine Lutz:

My favorite stop of the trip was Beijing. I enjoyed all of the rich history and culture of this city and definitely felt it was the most educational. Visiting the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven were just a few of the amazing places I explored while in Beijing. The food was very authentically Chinese and there were street vendors set up every night selling all sorts of exotic creations such as tarantula, shark, and silk worm.

What advice do you have for future students going on this trip?

Will Eidam:

To make the experience more rewarding, I would advise all students to do research on China’s political and social culture. Having even the most basic understanding will allow you to go more in depth during conversations with speakers who have graciously taken time out of their busy day to speak with students from across the Pacific. Also, you’re only in each city for a couple of days, so having an understanding of where you want to go and what you want to see during your downtime can make a huge difference between having a so-so experience and having an unforgettable one.

Engaging Asia SingaporeJacob Rosen:

Explore the cities during your free time. The long days of networking can be exhausting but you might only go to Asia once in your life. Take time to just wander out and explore the city. Wake up early in the morning or defer your naps until your return to Eugene. Cherish the time you’ve got overseas and make the most of it.

 

Benji Bryant:

Go! No matter what. This is a once in a lifetime trip that you definitely do not want to miss out on.

Written by Christine Lutz

Christine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a current second year MBA Student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

The PGA TOUR Experience

I will preface this post by saying, I am not a good golfer.

Thankfully, this is a not a prerequisite for working at the PGA TOUR and despite my lack of skills on the golf course, I was fortunate enough to be offered a spot in the TOUR’s Summer Internship Program. As I searched for positions throughout the spring, I made a checklist of things I wanted to be incorporated into my summer experience. These included: professional development opportunities, working for a company that gives back to the community, and working in a new area of the sports industry. Thankfully, the TOUR fit all of these perfectly and I happily accepted my offer to work in the TOUR’s Title Sponsorship Activation Group (TSAG).

Me hitting a shot on the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Me hitting a shot (the one and only time I played golf all summer) on the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

My experience was nothing short of fantastic. The TOUR has done an incredible job of creating a culture where interns are respected, valued, and given unlimited opportunities. Once a week, all 24 summer interns were involved in some type of career development event; these included activities such as lunch with Commissioner Tim Finchem, an improvisation session, and Leadership Insight Lunches where TOUR director level employees shared their insight and wisdom. Additionally, interns were encouraged to reach out to TOUR employees in other departments that interested them. Every full-time staff member was extremely receptive to setting up meetings and lunches with interns and by the end of the summer, I had met many amazing people from a wide variety of job functions. I truly believe that I became a better networker and stronger employee because of the professional development opportunities I was given.

The TOUR’s mission to give back to local communities is another reason I was so excited about this opportunity. Every PGA TOUR event works with a local charity to raise money and awareness for local issues. I loved working for a company that uses sports to drive change in people’s lives and the work that TOUR players and employees do is truly incredible. During my internship, I was fortunate enough to work on a Habitat for Humanity build with my fellow interns. Jacksonville, Florida is sweltering in the summer months and the work was incredibly hard yet so rewarding. The families that are going to live in the homes were also on site and it was so inspirational to see them working to build their own home. This experience was without a doubt one of my favorite moments of the summer.

The 2015 PGA TOUR Summer Internship Class with Commissioner Tim Finchem

The 2015 PGA TOUR Summer Internship Class with Commissioner Tim Finchem

I loved every second of working in TSAG. My supervisors were incredibly welcoming and I started attending meetings and learning about the structure of the TOUR’s sponsorship platform on day 1. For example, I got to listen in on CareerBuilder’s on-boarding meeting; they will be a new sponsor of the CareerBuilder Challenge in Fall of 2015.  This was an incredible learning opportunity for me as I got to see how a new sponsor is welcomed into the TOUR’s culture. My supervisors also gave me the opportunity to work on some amazing projects. I was involved in analyzing a National Golf Foundation report on Millennials in Golf and created a summary document that was sent to directors throughout the company. I was also involved in brainstorming and creating ideas for driving additional sponsor value and finding opportunities for current sponsors to further invest in the game of golf. The TOUR has a very complicated sponsorship structure and my summer work gave me a better understanding of the sponsorship space and introduced me to some truly incredible people along the way.

My summer was fantastic. I was challenged to learn new things and leave my comfort zone. I truly believe that the best and most meaningful personal development occurs when you are outside of that zone of comfort. The TOUR helped me grow both personally and professionally and I have no doubt that I will use the skills I learned as I go forward in my second year at the Oregon MBA!

Written by Christine Lutz

Christine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a current second year MBA Student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

The Essential Oregon MBA Checklist

As 2015 brings about another New Year and a new term, I realize that I am already over one sixth of the way done with my MBA experience! Despite the fact that I am over 2,500 miles from home and miss my friends and family immensely, I can honestly say that after my first term at the Oregon MBA, I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to join this cohort and school in my pursuit of a post-graduate degree. The first term was certainly a challenge and presented me with many obstacles and new experiences, all of which will help prepare me for the world of business I hope to one day be a part of. As I reflect on my first term, I come to the realization that this MBA program is so unique in so many ways and these distinctive qualities have provided me with the perfect learning environment, both academically and personally. Because of this realization, I have come up with my “essential MBA checklist”. Although everyone looks for something different in an MBA program, I will outline my list in the hopes that there are others looking for similar characteristics in their pursuit of a Master’s degree.

  • Diversity: Living in North Carolina nearly my entire life, I was accustomed to a certain type of person, lifestyle, etc. My graduating class features students from multiple countries and all across the United States, which has opened my eyes to so many different cultures, viewpoints, and opinions. Although diversity was not something I initially based my decision on, I was extremely lucky to choose a program that focused on diversity because it will certainly make me better prepared for the workforce and life in general after graduation.
  • Teamwork: Upon initially hearing that for our first term we would be put into teams and would have to work with these teams in every class, I will admit I was extremely nervous and anxious. However, the constant emphasis on teamwork and combining skills with your classmates to produce the best output possible is something I cannot praise enough! I was fortunate enough to not only develop my personal teamwork skills, but also to learn to find the best qualities in my teammates and bring out these qualities in all projects. Although it was not always easy, this program’s emphasis on working together has been an invaluable lesson that will serve me equally as much as any educational knowledge throughout my two years.
The class of 2016 MBA's volunteering at Mount Pisgah.

The class of 2016 MBA’s volunteering at Mount Pisgah.

  • Cohorts: I have absolutely loved the four distinct cohorts in our program! Although I am a member of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and am so excited to be starting my sports specific classes this term, I do not believe I would have gotten as much out of this program if we were not all mixed together with the Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business, and Finance cohorts. Having distinct centers within the MBA program creates a small immediate family within a larger family and I believe this unique quality of the Oregon MBA is part of what makes it such a perfect fit for me. I have gotten to know and become friends with people that I most likely would never have interacted with or known I had anything in common with had it not been for the combining of centers for many of our first term classes.
The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center first and second years after a kickball tournament.

The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center first and second years after a kickball tournament.

  • Size: The intimacy of this program has really been perfect for me. I know all of my classmates by name. We frequently find internship postings or interesting articles and immediately know which classmate to send them to based on their interests. I can go into the Career Services or MBA office and feel like a person, not just a number. Being so far away from home, this emphasis on helping and caring about each individual student has made me feel comfortable and has instilled in me a caring attitude toward the MBA program that will carry on long after I have graduated.
  • Customizability: Lastly, this program provides me the perfect opportunity to study something I care about, while still getting a meaningful degree. I always said that I did not just want any MBA because I felt it would not be specific enough to help me achieve the highest level of success possible. Through the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, I am able to learn about sports and marketing while still gaining the specific business knowledge I need to succeed. Not only am I provided knowledge in the classroom, but I am also provided with trips, speakers, and networking opportunities that speak directly to my passions. I can tailor my coursework, internship experiences, and class projects to perfectly fit my individual goals. I will most likely have a different experience than many of my classmates based on our career goals and yet we are all given the tools to succeed if we choose to be proactive and use them!

Ultimately, I have learned that getting an MBA is so much more than just a degree. Upon arriving at school, I was only expecting to get a great education; however, after one term here I have realized that the Oregon MBA is about so much more than classrooms and studies. It is about learning from every experience, speaker, and visit. It is about using your classmates to help you grow and to help them grow as well. It is absolutely what you make it and if you choose to make it great, Oregon will provide you will all the resources possible to make your dreams a reality.

Written by Christine Lutz

Christine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a current second year MBA Student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

Paving My Own Way

Growing up as the daughter of a college basketball coach, I was blessed with a childhood that gave me the unique opportunity to be a fly on the wall in the world of college athletics. My father has been at a variety of schools at different levels as both head coach and assistant coach, and currently he is the Associate Head Men’s Basketball coach at North Carolina State University. This upbringing and constant exposure and involvement in college basketball instilled in me an extreme passion for sports. All throughout grade school, I never missed a home basketball game and once I started college I began traveling with the team on all road trips. Basketball was always something that bonded our family. My mom, sister, and I could frequently be found yelling in unison in the stands at a home game or in the visitor’s section in a hostile road environment. Conversations at the dinner table always seemed to center around some aspect of college athletics, from teams to coaches to the constant changes occurring within the NCAA.

My dad, sister, and I with former Pfeiffer University basketball player and current radio analyst for the Portland Trailblazers, Antonio Harvey, on his graduation day.

As I got older and began thinking about a career path,  sports never crossed my mind. I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in Business at NC State University and constantly struggled to discover a niche within marketing that sparked my interests and excited me. All throughout my undergraduate studies, I subconsciously gravitated towards internships and part-time jobs that involved sports: I worked for the NC State Women’s Basketball team, at a country club, and as an event operations intern at Primesport putting together travel packages to sporting events nationwide. Upon graduation, I earned a full-time internship at the Wolfpack Club, NC State’s athletic fundraising organization. After getting this position, I was came to the realization that it would be impossible to separate my life from sports. The experiences I had as a child in the world of college athletics were some of the best of my life and I realized how impossible it would be for me to ever leave that huge chunk of my identity behind.

My sister and I at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri for a Sweet Sixteen game between NC State and Kansas.

My sister and I at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri for a Sweet Sixteen game between NC State and Kansas.

I began researching jobs and graduate programs in the sports industry during my internship and came across the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. I immediately realized that this program could provide me with the education, exposure, and network that I needed to succeed on the business side of sports. Although the idea of getting an MBA had never previously crossed my mind, I realized what a truly unique opportunity the Warsaw Center could provide me with. I decided to apply, was graciously accepted into the program, and made the difficult but exciting decision to move 3,000 miles away because of the faith and passion I felt from those involved with the center.

After many years of internal reflection, I have come to discover that part of my aversion to working in sports was a desire to make my own path and not use my family name or childhood experiences to define me. The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center has allowed me to carve my own way in an industry that is already such a huge part of my identity. I am so proud of where I came from and the exposure I got to college athletics but am excited about the possibility to impact the world of sports in my own way.

Throughout my two years here I will be able to discover and pursue the area of sports marketing that most fits my passions. After being here for only two months, I have already gained experiences and knowledge that I could not have gotten elsewhere. I applied to this program not only because I wanted to learn about the business side of sports, but also because I wanted to be exposed to all of the niche markets within sports business and marketing that I had never previously known existed. Through center speakers, project involvement, and a worldwide alumni and partnership network, I have learned more in eight short weeks than I ever thought possible and I am confident that the future will continue to bring incredible opportunity. My childhood allowed me to experience first-hand what a difference a coach can make in the lives of their student athletes and I am blessed to be able to carry on this passion to use sports to bring positive change into the lives of others.

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Written by Christine Lutz

Christine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a current second year MBA Student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.