Sport and Event Management Department celebrates exceptional seniors
During a May 3 awards ceremony, Alexis de Groot ’17 and Kelly Siewers ’17 were recognized with Major of the Year Awards and alumnus Brad Holloman ’09 served as a guest speaker, sharing advice from his career in the sports industry.
The Department of Sport and Event Management hosted its senior banquet and awards ceremony on May 3, recognizing members of its graduating class for their outstanding accomplishments, service and contributions to the program.
Presented in conjunction with the student-run Premier Sport and Event Society, the annual event included a dinner, awards presentations and a guest lecture from Brad Holloman ’09, a corporate partnership account representative for the Orlando Magic. Banquet photos are available on the School of Communications Flickr page.
Currently in his fifth season with the NBA franchise, Holloman oversees the activation and retention of corporate alliances, responsible for partnerships with Anheuser-Busch, Heineken, Chick-fil-A and many other corporations.
During his speech in Alumni Field House, the alumnus discussed his career path from Elon to the NBA, harping on the importance of “building relationships” and noting the valuable ones he developed with SEM faculty. He based his lecture around relationships – professional, personal, and connections with consumers.
He stressed how networking in the sports industry never really stops, but it’s more than just learning names and job titles. “It’s not about the number of business cards you collect, it’s about the connection,” Holloman said, noting the value of networking events comes when you get to know two or three people well, not 30 people casually.
In terms of reaching consumers, Holloman emphasized the need to develop “human connections” and to tell a story not just sell a product. He cited how Steph Curry’s young daughter, Riley, stole the spotlight during a press conference a few years ago, and the immense impact that moment had on the Golden State Warriors’ franchise, Curry’s image and his family’s opportunities afterward.
Lastly, he concluded that aspiring professionals should focus on more than just the office, noting the benefits of a work-life balance and a need to put personal relationships on the “forefront.”
Following the lecture, the department presented several awards, including its Major of the Year Award, honoring both Alexis de Groot ’17 and Kelly Siewers ’17. Katie Soraghan ’17 received the Achievement Award, Kyle Sarazin ’19 earned the Outstanding Underclassman Award, and Max Herrera ’18 and Andrew Scarlata ’19 were both awarded SEM endowed scholarships.
Sophie Kane ’17, who emceed the event with Catie Ryan '17, also received the James P. Drummond Service Award, named in honor of the department's founding chair.
Additionally, Assistant Professor Mark Cryan formally presented Communications Dean Paul Parsons with a plaque commemorating an Elon student group's top finish in the 2017 Society for American Baseball Research case competition. Team members Grant Flick ’17 and Sarazin were on hand for the presentation.
The executive board members of the Premier Sport and Event Society were also acknowledged at the beginning of the presentations. Recognized board members included Kane (president), Hailey Winter (vice president), Corey McDonough ’17 (treasurer), Emmett Helmes ’17(marketing coordinator) and Caroline O'Neil ’19 (secretary). The student organization is advised by Assistant Professor Shaina Dabbs.
Sport and Event Management Graduating Class
Alexis de Groot