Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Blog

Green is the New Black

What do a clothing retailer and a premium chocolatier have in common? A lot more than I thought!

On the Oregon MBA’s recent experiential learning trip to Seattle, I got to see two very different businesses both using environmental responsibility to grow their bottom line—Green Eileen through post-consumer product responsibility and Theo Chocolate through supply chain management.

For the first visit, we headed south to Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood looking for the west coast retail outlet of Green Eileen–Eileen Fisher’s “recycled clothing initiative.” The Green Eileen arm collects, processes, and sells already worn Eileen Fisher clothing in excellent condition—called “seconds” by Green Eileen. I was expecting the store to feel and look like a second hand store, but it has a boutique, spa-chic feeling and features a revolving dry cleaning rack that adds an industrial design element to their inventory display.

Green Eileen TourWe met with Megan Arnaud, Retail Leader in Seattle, who shared her impressive depth of knowledge about the overall corporate responsibility mission of Eileen Fisher. She acknowledged, “We are a teeny tiny tip of an incredibly big iceberg,” within the overall clothing industry, but “we feel a responsibility for the whole lifecycle” of their products. Eileen Fisher is not only committed to environmental responsibility, but are also using their “seconds” to open a new sales market. The Green Eileen model serves as a new, more effective, way to reach a younger market segment—a demographic Eileen Fisher would like to reach, but currently doesn’t have in its traditional customer base.

Over in the Green Eileen recycling center in a very cool old warehouse in the SODO area of Seattle, we met Patty Liu, Recycling Program Leader at Green Eileen. It was impossible not to get excited as she drove home the possibilities inherent in thinking nimbly about dealing with Eileen Fisher “seconds.”  Through the Green Eileen store, pop-up sales at the recycling center warehouse, and planned expansions to factory stores and internet sales, Green Eileen is reaching previously untapped demand for high quality, sustainable fashion from a younger market segment. By embracing the challenge to internalize responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products, they have started to create a new market for both their product and their mission. Patty shared, “You really have to invest and believe in what you’re doing to drive other people to see value.”

Theo Chocolate TourLater in the afternoon, across town in the Fremont neighborhood, we piled out of the van into the Theo Chocolate Factory and outfitted ourselves with hairnets and beardnets to begin a tour inside the closest thing any of us will ever come to Willy Wonka’s factory. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, funny, and generous with the chocolate samples as we learned Theo’s history and current supply chain processes and commitments. Feeling worlds away from the retail fashion world, I nonetheless started hearing a very similar story from what we had heard in the morning—taking environmental and social responsibility for your product can help you reach whole new market segments and grow your bottom line. While Green Eileen is focused on Eileen Fisher’s post-consumer product responsibility, at Theo, their focus is on supply chain responsibility.

Theo uses both direct interaction and third party certification to ensure social and environmental responsibility at every single step of its supply chain. Of their suppliers, our tour guide explained, “People want to work with us because there’s the immediate benefit of people making more money,” due to the higher price premium fair trade and organic ingredients command. On the customer side, Theo enjoys a price premium compared to conventional chocolate bars, but tries to keep the price point at a level that is accessible for people to treat themselves.

MBA Seattle trip 2016The biggest take away from the day (besides the six pounds of chocolate samples I ate throughout the tour) was a reinforced appreciation for social and environmental sustainability as a powerful business tool to drive both mission-related impacts AND a company’s bottom line. Despite the competitive advantage both companies enjoy from their practices, it was energizing to hear both companies’ desires to share the lessons and tools they’ve found along the way with others in their industries. In Patti’s words, “Do I hope other companies will see what we’re doing and try to do it, too?  Well, yeah!!”



Written by Kate Hammarback

Kate is a 2017 MBA/MPA from the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. Originally from Wisconsin, Kate graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with a political science degree and spent time working in state and national politics before pivoting to nonprofit resource and program development. Kate is an active member of LiveMove and Net Impact and is happiest when working at the intersection of policy, planning, and business development through social and sustainable enterprise. After graduation, she plans to work where she can use finance and sustainability strategy to impact the triple bottom line.

What We’re Reading: The Oregon MBA’s list of most influential business books

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by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

Why we love it: Everyone has a creative side and it’s important to learn to tap into our creative powers to be better equipped to tackle tough business problems.



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by Richard Shell

Why we love it: Easy to read tips and strategies for anyone from the professional closing a big merger, to the dad encouraging his kid to eat more broccoli.



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by Michael V. Russo

Why we love it: Written by Oregon MBA professor Michael Russo, this book explains how following a vision good for the earth and for society can be a powerful route to profits.



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by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

Why we love it: This account of the largest takeover in Wall Street history has been called one of the most influential business books of all time.




The Hard Thing About Hard Things



by Ben Horowitz.

Why we love it: A must read for any prospective entrepreneur who needs to understand the potential emotional aspects of starting a company.



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by Clyde Lowstutter and Cammen Lowstutter

Why we love it: A great overall general career book that prepares you for the next step-whether you’re making a career move, or want to take charge of your career.



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by Herminia Ibarra

Why we love it: This book is for those looking to change career paths. It presents a new model for career reinvention that argues the way to the right career is to “try on a host of possible selves we might become.”



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by Shonda Rhimes

Why we love it: Inspirational and humorous account of how to take control over making your life what you really want it to be, on your own terms. Promotes optimism, a balanced perspective, and to not take it all too seriously.


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by Amanda Setili

Why we love it: Speed combined with agility is great preparation and very important for the fast-changing sectors of business in our world today.



Written by Natalie Colvin

Natalie is a 2016 MBA from the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. The experience of living abroad in Costa Rica, instilled in Natalie a passion for improving the world. After completing her MBA, she hopes to bring this passion to a career in corporate environmental and advocacy campaigns. Natalie received a dual undergraduate degree in development anthropology and Latin American studies from the University of Arizona honors college where she was also on the equestrian team.

Cameron Center takes on Seattle

One of the major components of the Oregon MBA experience is the experiential learning trips. Every term, our academic classes shut their doors, and students venture out to metropolitan areas across the country and the world. We visit cities like Seattle, New York, Shanghai, San Francisco, and Portland, to meet with top executives and recent alumni in the field. The purpose of these excursions is for students to experience real world applications of the academic theories we are learning in the classroom. These trips also serves as a major networking tool that garnish connections that continue on well beyond the MBA program.

Seattle skylineThis past week, all first year MBA students had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington and engage with top executives from companies such as Microsoft, Milepost Consulting, D. A. Davidson, and REI.

For me, one of the highlights of the Seattle trip was the key industry and career insights provided by top executives in the finance industry. Due to the small size of the Cameron Center for Finance and Security Analysis, we were able to sit around the board room table with Seattle’s financial giants and speak candidly about issues that were important to each one of us. These topics ranged from sports to hedging future currency rates to how each of these top executives started their careers. These open conservations were immensely valuable because they provided us the knowledge and motivation that will guide us through the MBA program to internships and careers.

Oregon MBAs in SeattleThe Seattle trip was my first opportunity to see how the city stacked up against the other major cities. Born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel much of the United States and abroad. But until coming to the Oregon MBA program, I had never ventured to the Pacific Northwest. So besides getting an excellent education at the University of Oregon, I am also test driving the region to see if I would want to eventually make it my home, and Seattle exceeded expectation. Between the food, the cultural diversity, the career opportunities, the breath taking scenery, and the genuine kind-hearted nature of the people that we got to meet, the city of Seattle has now been added to the list of cities that I could call home.


Written by Alex C. Bibb

Alex is a 2017 MBA in the Cameron Center for Finance and Security Analysis. He started his career in the financial development career field by helping lower-income households and communities gain access to financial services. Upon graduation, Alex hopes to continue this work by bridging the gap between the traditional financial world and economic depressed areas.

Media Access at the Moda Center: An Insider’s View of NBA Game Day

When I first landed in the United States (Boston in particular), the first thing I did was book a ticket for a Celtics game. I chose to see a Knicks – Celtics game due to their historic rivalry. The TD Garden had a perfect atmosphere and, although neither team was at its best, it was an unforgettable experience. Today, two years later, I’ve been given the opportunity to see the NBA from the inside. As part of the NBA press media representing a Spanish radio station, I am lucky to see the NBA from another point of view; one much closer than I ever expected.

How did this amazing opportunity come about? I have connections with media outlets back home in Spain, and I thought that they might need someone that they know and trust who could cover NBA games in the Pacific Northwest. I sent a few emails and in a few weeks was at the Moda Center with my first NBA press credential happier than ever.

Lesson: Create your own job and your own chances through networking. The right connections are key in the sports business industry.

I usually arrive at the Moda Center an hour and a half before the games. The media entrance is the same one as the entrance to the floor so we have to pass through security. They check my backpack, and I have to go through the metal detector to verify that I am not carrying anything dangerous. After that, I can pick up my accreditation and am all set to start working. Since I am not a full time journalist, but an MBA student who lives in Eugene, I have to ask for credentials for each game. I email the radio station a few days before, letting them know that I will attend the game and they let me pick up my credentials upon arrival.

Once I have collected my press credentials, I enter the media room where I enjoy the delicious dinner that the Blazers’ staff politely offers to all the accredited journalists for the game. This is my chance to talk to fellow journalists and do some networking which always helps. An hour before the game, I have the option to interview the coaches of both teams and go on the floor to take photos. As a member of the press, I have access to the VIP area, the bench, and the court. After the game, media members also have access to the locker room.

My working station is in Section 207 of the Moda Center, just behind the VIP area. I can see the game perfectly and have a table for my laptop and a TV where I can watch other NBA games or check the game statistics. We definitely have everything we need there. At the end of each quarter, a representative of the Blazers gives us a sheet with game stats and fun facts that help us tweet or write to fans with data to support our comments. I admit that most of us spend the game tweeting. At the end of the game, the Blazers PR department emails or posts on the media website a press release with the game report that we can use to write our articles.

Once the game ends, I can attend the Blazers coach press conference or interview the rival coach in the hallway of the entrance to the locker room. After the coach answers our questions we are granted access to the locker rooms to interview the players.

                           The Media Room at the Moda Center

How many times have we seen in the media that a player had a triple-double in the game? Or beat the record of 3 pointers in a quarter? If you were a coach, would you give a player that has 18 points and 9 rebounds a chance to play a few more minutes to get his double-double even if you were winning by 20 points? In this game, the statistics have a tremendous influence on the game. Let me share with you an interesting anecdote: Why do you think Draymond Green, aka “Mr. Triple-double,” played just one minute in the 4th quarter of the Warriors – Blazers game? They were winning by 15 points and as one of the players with the most overall season minutes, Green needed the rest. But at that point in the game, Green had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Could you guess what happened after that minute? Good old Draymond got the assist needed for his umpteenth triple-double of the season and went straight to the bench.

That’s another advantage of watching NBA from behind the cameras: Continued access to statistics and fun facts provided by the excellent public relations department of the Blazers. This makes a journalist’s life much easier–not only to objectively discuss the game (If you see the “Splash Brothers scoring 60 points with more than 50% FG” no doubt that you can objectively say they have destroyed the Blazers) but it also helps to understand some coaching decisions that a viewer, focused on the game and its continuous highlights, simply cannot see.

The line-up of the players that I have had the good fortune to watch and report on at the Moda Center are:

PG – Steph Curry

PG – Russell Westbrook

SF – Kevin Durant

SF – Draymond Green

C – DeAndre Jordan

6th Man: Klay Thompson


And my favorite moments are:

1. Taking part in the Steph Curry post-game interview

2. Meeting Paul Pierce

3. The food at the Rose Garden / Moda Center– simply delicious!


Written by jcampos@uoregon.edu

Jose Campos is an experienced Sports Marketer born in Spain and 2017 Warsaw Sports Marketing Center MBA. After a few years working in the UK, Jose came to the US to work at the East Coast before arriving at the UO. After graduating he is looking to work as Sports Agent.

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.

Showing Up Fit and Well

Kathryn Butera USF Graduation

When I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2013 with a B.A. in International Studies, I had no idea what I would do with my degree. Everyone talks about the mid-life crisis, but no one ever talks about the the post-graduation crisis. I spent four years scheduling out every day with homework, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs, all while exploring everything that San Francisco had to offer. However, when it came time to go off and pursue a full-time career, I was unclear about my direction.

I decided to take advantage of my freedom and move to Panama City, Panama. I figured I would work any job I could find while exploring what I was actually passionate about. After about six months of living in Panama, I found myself working at a small financial consulting company as an executive assistant.

Panama%20City%20PanamaWhile we handled some of the biggest clients in the country, I didn’t have the skills I needed take the next step in my career and take on the projects that interested me. I discovered that I didn’t want to simply be present for my 9-5 schedule, but rather that I needed to be more emotionally invested in the work I was doing. Although I loved living abroad, I decided that it was time to leave Panama after about a year and a half, and I chose to seek a graduate program that would help push past the barriers I had previously experienced.

Fast forward to my acceptance to the Oregon MBA Program and orientation week. I was anxious and excited about meeting my cohort, starting classes, and acquiring all the skills I had lacked in my previous positions. While orientation week was exhausting, it was also one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in a group setting. I was particularly impressed by the improv group “On Your Feet”, whose presentation focused on how to be successful both in the program—and in life. One of the points most strongly emphasized was the concept of showing up “fit and well” and how that simple shift can change the outlook, mood, and outcome of a situation.

Since learning that lesson, I have been able to identify moments where I strategically changed my attitude so that I Lillis Business Complexcould show up ready to share positivity with my cohort. Now, as we approach midterms and stress levels rise, I try to remind myself to be grounded in the “fit and well” concept so that I can continue to get the most out of the program, while helping my classmates be successful as well.

Written by Kathryn Butera

Kathryn is originally from the Bay Area and is currently a first year MBA student in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.

Blogging as a Career Development Tool

Last Friday, the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center hosted a “blog party” for undergraduate club members and MBA students interested in contributing to warsaw.sportsblog.com. There’s only so much of a “party” you can bring to the blogging world, but it was a really cool event, and I was glad I was able to help out somewhat. And I wanted to share the message that I gave to the folks in attendance the other day.

Whitney Wagoner, the center director, started the event with some wisdom as to the blog’s role in the long-term strategy of Warsaw. It can help with thought leadership and helping to establish the strengths of the program. And the three new blog editors — first-year MBAs Rob Cella, Nick Hudson, and Lauren Sokol — explained how to get started with the SportsBlog platform and some types of articles that individuals could contribute.

My role in the event: Give a little bit of inspiration for blogging and help with our goal to “demystify” the blogging process. Last year, I helped with Jeff Angus and Kurian Manavalan to edit the site. This year, I’m taking more of a backseat role as just a contributor because of my responsibilities as a Career Services graduate teaching fellow. But with my long history of blogging — I estimated I’ve contributed 2,000 posts to Flyer News, my WordPress site, my Tumblr site, WaitingForNextYear.comNylonCalculus.com, etc. — I had some additional perspective on the values of blogging.

Previously, I urged all young sports business professionals to blog. But within the context of the short talk I gave on Friday, here are my top three reasons why everyone should blog:

1) You’ll improve as a writer. When I was a freshman in high school, my history teacher said I was one of the worst writers in the class. That’s a very true story. And it really burned inside me. I was determined to just write and write and write in an effort to get better. And it’s certainly helped over the years with my communication skills in anything I’ve done. Many over the years have suggested that writing everyday about something, anything, can be a great way to practice.

In any job you’ll have in the future, you’ll need to have the ability to make a convincing argument to your colleagues and to your bosses. Effective communication skills are essential and a difference maker in today’s age of Internet slang, emojis and constant connectivity. If you can prove that you’re an experienced writer and communicator, you’ll have a leg up on any competitor during an interview process.

2) You’ll improve as a critical thinker. Typically, introverts desire time to sit back and reflect on their experiences. Extroverts seek interactivity and want to get things off their chest immediately. For either type of person, the process of writing about your feelings and working through the sentences can be a very powerful internal tool.

In terms of professional development, this can take the form of writing more frequently about the things you’re passionate about. For business majors, whether you want to work in social media, finance, accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship, or anything, you can’t merely just be a passive fan of that subject. You should practice your pitch at rationalizing why you want to work in that industry and what intrigues you about it.

3) You’ll have more self-confidence. For me, blogging has been instrumental in my career. A February blog post that I wrote about what I wanted to do in the sports business industry made its way into the hands of the Charlotte Hornets business office. A few weeks later, they emailed me about an internship opportunity and invited me to apply. I ended up accepting the offer and had a blast in Charlotte this past summer.

Blogging is a tremendous personal branding tool. It’s a great way to get your name out there and improve your digital footprint. Recently, the Warsaw Center brought in Dr. Marc Williams as a guest speaker. His main line was “It’s not about who you know, but who knows you.” Blogging will enable you to tell your story and your passions more effectively, so that others will be able to serve as your career advocates.

To summarize, anyone can blog. You’re only going to improve as a writer and a thinker if you commit to writing (and reading) every single day. Learn about what you enjoy from other writers and see how you can incorporate that into your work. Link generously back to other blog posts or articles that you enjoyed. And if you’re kind to others with your blogging activity, then you’ll have created a brand new platform for advancing your career into the future.

Written by Jacob Rosen

Jacob Rosen is a second-year MBA student in the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. His goal is to work in business or sponsorship analytics for a professional sports team. Jacob interned in business analytics for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets this past summer. He can be followed on Twitter @WFNYJacob.

A Vietnamese Summer Internship

Xin Chao! (Hello)

This summer I had a very educational experience working as a sustainability intern for one of the largest bag manufactures in the world. Pungkook Corporation (PK) is a Korean company founded in 1966 and headquartered in Soul. Like most other Korean manufacturing companies PK moved its entire manufacturing south for cheaper labor. PK has seven manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and two in Indonesia. They have 70+ customers some of which include Nike, Adidas, Eastpak, VF group, Cabelas, Oakley, Marmot, North Face, and L.L. Bean.

For two months I lived on site at the PK Vietnam IMG_4229headquarters just outside of Ho Chi Minh City. If being in Vietnam wasn’t enough, I worked with both Korean and Vietnamese employees, which made for an interesting environment (if you want to hear more about that, lets grab a coffee). My project? I flew to Vietnam vaguely knowing that I would be doing some sort of analysis of energy and or carbon.

My project turned out to be much more than expected, but I accepted the challenge head on! Here are the projects I took on in the short two months:

  • Conducted an energy footprint analysis for one manufacturing facility. Created an Excel energy footprint template for PK to use in measuring their other manufacturing facilities.
  • Assisted the Social & Environmental Affairs (SEA) team with implementing water metering on site and constructing an action plan for future water usage. Conducted lighting assessment and calculated saving gained from investing in LED lights.
  • Reviewed Adidas 2014 audit of Environmental Key Performance Indicators (EKPI) and assisted with ensuring that 2015 compliance was met and future targets were established.
  • Contributed in the planning phase of a Human Resource Management (HRM) system and Operational Productivity System (OPS) merger. PK wanted to automate daily decisions such as assigning employees to manufacturing lines based on skills.
  • Coordinated with multiple departments to build a list of potential employee incentives to help increase productivity of the overall factory (productivity metrics are kind of a big deal).

IMG_4254The time management, presentation, and Excel skills the MBA program helped me develop during my first year came in very handy this summer. I appreciate the opportunity to gain more experience in Asia and to expand my network of professionals in sports products and I look forward to applying what I learned to another year of school, go Ducks!

Written by Jacob Lewis

Jacob is a second year UO MBA student in the Center for Sustainable Business Practices (Class of 2016). He is an Oregon native but enjoys traveling and experiencing other cultures. He is passionate about sports, renewable energy, new technology, and fun aesthetics (.. oh, cooking and beer too!).

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.

Sport and Sustainability: An Oregon Specialty

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 6.07.44 PMThe Eugene Sport and Sustainability Initiative (ESSI) is an innovative public private partnership between the City of Eugene (City) and the Council for Responsible Sport (Council). Through this partnership, the City uses the Council’s sporting event certification system to transform the sporting event industry by reducing the environmental impacts while maximizing the social benefits of sporting events. The certification process helps to advance community sustainability programs and incentivize new, green business opportunities. The certification process also promotes healthy, active lifestyles and access and equity.

I was tasked with researching individual, foundation, and corporate donors to help expand the efforts of the ESSI and the reach of the Council’s certification. I researched about 100 funding leads, including ones with local, national, and international interests. It was interesting and challenging trying to match trusts and foundations with giving goals that aligned with the mission and needs of the ESSI. I am happy to report that ESSI staff has started to pursue several of the grant leads identified in my report.

If you have the time, check out the Council for Responsible Sport’s website to see how they support, certify, and celebrate responsible sport. Or check out this article from Sports Planning Guide for further reading on sustainable sports in Eugene.


Written by Kelly Kilker

Kelly is a second year UO MBA student in the Center for Sustainable Business Practices (Class of 2016). She is a running and yoga enthusiast looking to create and manage employee wellness programs. Kelly did her undergraduate work at Florida State University and is from Boca Raton, Florida.