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Sport Management class tours professional sports organizations in Charlotte

Assistant Professor Shaina Dabbs' Professional Sport Management class met with executives and staff members working for the Carolina Panthers, Knights and Checkers, including a trio of Elon alumni who handle ticket sales for the city’s AHL affiliate.  

Students took an in-depth tour of BB&T Ballpark, which included a visit to the Charlotte Knights’ locker room. 

​Led by Assistant Professor Shaina Dabbs, students in Elon’s Professional Sport Management class traveled to Charlotte during Winter Term for a behind-the-scenes look at three professional sports organizations.

The class kicked off its Jan. 12 trip with a stop at Bank of America Stadium, home to the Carolina Panthers. While at the stadium, the students visited with Ryan Petrus, the franchise’s guest relations/security manager, who provided an in-depth tour and discussed a variety of topics relating to stadium operations, safety and risk management, and the unique aspects of working in the National Football League. He also highlighted his own career path to the Panthers.

Accompanied by Elon alumni, students take a seat near the rink in Bojangles Coliseum, which hosts the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.

​Afterward, the 23-person class walked over to BB&T Ballpark, home to the Charlotte Knights, the Chicago White Sox’s Triple AAA franchise. The organization’s vice president of marketing, Mark Smith, met with the students and provided a tour of the ballpark. He also shared insights about the professional baseball industry, his career path, and how he markets the minor league affiliate.

​The daylong trip concluded with a visit to see three familiar faces now working for the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. While visiting Bojangles Coliseum, the class met with Elon alumni Jeremy Recoon ’16, director of group sales, Ryder Bowline ’17, account executive for season ticket sales, and Kyle O’Rourke ’17, group sales specialist. During the visit, the trio discussed the hockey organization’s facilities and management structure, highlighted how students can make the most of their time in college, and shared their insights about life after Elon.

The group then stayed to watch the Checkers host the Toronto Marlies, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate.

​“It was a packed day, but it was awesome,” Dabbs said. “I cannot thank the professionals enough who took their time and really took care of us. All of them touched on open internships and what they look for when hiring. I have no doubt students benefited from this experiential experience.”

Tommy Kopetskie,
1/22/2018 8:25 AM