A year ago, supporters rallied to protect the College of Education’s Sport Management Program from state budget cuts. That started a round of conversations about the future of the program. What’s the latest news?
One possibility is the creation of a new program in concert with the University of Idaho’s Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, says Sport Management director Cathryn Claussen. Writing in the program’s 2010 alumni newsletter, she explains what it will take to make a bi-state merger happen.
The newsletter includes the success story of Jeff Griffin (’05), general manager of sales and marketing for the Missoula Osprey Professional Baseball Club. Jeff explains that, to score with the public, a sports team needs to do a lot of work outside the ballpark.
“I preach on a daily basis both in my office and at a national level that one of the most important things to operating my ballclub is taking a genuine interest in improving my community. I or someone on my staff is on nearly every community board in town (and that’s saying a lot because Missoula has more non-profits per capita than any city in the country).”
Jeff’s staff includes another WSU Sport Management grad, Byron Dike (’08), director of stadium operations.
Weighing in on the hottest sports topic
Faculty member John Wong is an expert on the subject of building fan bases. So he was the go-to guy when a Washington State Magazine blogger got to wondering if the World Cup will usher in a golden age of soccer in the United States.
“What is encouraging is that European top leagues are taking notice of American players and some even play overseas now. This development is similar to what is going on in other lesser leagues around the world where talent is moving out of the country in search of better competition and paycheck,” John said. “This is a double-edged sword however. One the one hand, the U.S. is beginning to produce skillful players. The down side is that they are not here to promote the game locally.”
You can read John’s complete answer on Larry’s Clark’s Discovery blog.