First, a team of society members representing the Gabelli School of Business put forth a strong showing in the NYU Diamond Dollars Case Competition, which pitted them in a sports-business simulation challenge against graduate and law students from both NYU and Fordham.
Second, the society got to visit the NFL commissioner’s office — a unique chance to see inside a major sports organization and to learn more about jobs in professional football.
Diamond Dollars represented the first time the Business of Sports Society, launched this year, has fielded a team for a business competition. Louis Frangella (GSB ’13), Steve Pisciotta (GSB ’14), Nick Sette (GSB ’16) and team captain Michael Sansarran (GSB ’13) squared off against teams from multiple divisions of NYU — undergraduates and graduates from the Stern School of Business, and students from the Tisch School of the Arts — as well as from Fordham Law. The MBA team from NYU won, but Fordham performed well. It was very close.
During the competition, the Gabelli School students needed to respond to a real-life-oriented, statistics-based sports business case: the Baltimore Orioles’ pursuit of free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. Playing the role of the Orioles’ front office, they needed to decide what their highest financial offer would be to land Hamilton, based on the team’s overall finances, market conditions, Hamilton’s background and other factors.
“Overall, we came up with an offer strikingly similar to the one he actually just signed with his new team, the Los Angeles Angels,” Michael said.
While only a few select Business of Sports Society members participated at Diamond Dollars, a much bigger contingent was on hand for the group’s December trip to the NFL commissioner’s office. Catherine Danielowich (GSB ’00), an NFL events manager, brought together a panel of NFL executives to share their experiences about breaking into the sports industry and working for the league.
“The speakers had very diverse backgrounds, but all shared a passion for working in sports,” Michael said. “Not having started out working in the most glamorous arenas, or doing the most enjoyable work, most of them moved around a lot during their respective careers.”
But, he said, each of the panelists remained focused on their long-range career goals, eventually landing in significant roles like the ones they hold today. These were encouraging stories for the Business of Sports Society members as they take academic courses and seek career-building internships in the very competitive field.
Photographs courtesy of Steve Najdzionek, assistant dean and advisor to the Business of Sports Society.