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Houston Pro Sport Execs To Share Their 'Minds' With SHSU

Oct. 26, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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SHSU’s sport management program will go inside “the mind of a sport executive” with the help of a president and directors from some of Houston’s professional teams on Nov. 8.

Sport management logoThe second of its kind at SHSU, “The Mind of a Sport Executive Forum” will begin at 7 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

The panel presentation will include Chris Canetti, president of the Houston Dynamo; Jennifer Davenport, director of marketing for the Houston Texans; Derek Beeman, director of ticket and event sales for the Houston Texans; John Sorrentino, director of sales for ProLinks Sports; and Rob Zuer, director of ticket sales for the Houston Rockets.

The five will address a wide range of topics related to their jobs. For example, Davenport will focus more on aspects of marketing a strong sports brand, while Canetti will talk about pulling multiple aspects together to make an organization run efficiently, according to Ryan Zapalac, associate professor of sport management.

“We want all audience members to be able to hear about the experiences that these executives have had during their careers in the sport industry,” he said. “We would like for them to be able to learn about the challenges that each person has come across in their careers and how their paths have brought them to their current positions.

“Additionally, many of the panel members have a sales background, and we would like the audience to hear about the importance of maintaining customer relationships in what is now a very flooded market.”

As the second of the sport management program’s speaker series events, the forum is designed to give the Bearkat and Huntsville communities a detailed look into current issues in the sport industry.

“Last year’s topic dealt with sport fans, their behaviors, and their consumption patterns,” Zapalac said. “This year, we decided to provide the audience with the other side of the coin.

“We wanted to provide the audience with a sense of what happens behind the scenes to make each event happen. Often, a person goes to a game, or watches a game, without knowing the full extent of what went into actually producing that event,” he said. “Our panelists will be able to cover different aspects of the sport industry to give the audience a complete picture of the steps necessary to execute these major events.”

The topic is especially relevant when considering the labor issues among the different sports leagues over the past few years, such as the NBA’s shortened season last year or the NFL’s avoidance of canceled regular season games, according to Zapalac.

“What the average sport consumer often does not consider is the fact that without a profitable revenue stream for the sport property, those labor agreements become moot as you can’t pay the players or the staff to actually execute the games,” he said. “Therefore, the ability to maximize revenues through ticket sales, merchandising, corporate sponsorships, and media rights in a crowded marketplace is crucial to the success of the sport properties. Hence, these panelists will be able to comment on these different areas…the antecedents to the events, if you will.”

For more information, contact Zapalac at 936.294.4575 or rkz001@shsu.edu, or visit the sport management program website at sportmanagement.shsu.edu.



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