Get to know a few recent graduates of the Sport Management Department.

Photo of Ryan Cranston '20.

Ryan Cranston '20

Talent and Special Project Lead
Winstate Sports Consulting

Job responsibilities
– I handle all of our client relationships with athletes, which includes identifying prospective talent, negotiating contracts, and executing deliverables outlined in these agreements.

– As clients constantly evaluate their partnerships, I also oversee all of our reporting that we distribute monthly. These summaries focus on social media performance, highlighting which of our athletes are over and under-delivering to allow our clients to see the ROI on the athlete sponsorships.

– In this role, one of the highlights has been navigating the new NIL landscape. Across several clients, we’ve been able to manage relationships with Heisman candidates, as well as Olympic sport athletes at various schools across the country.

Past sport industry experiences
The skills acquired at the various conferences and case studies I participated in while studying at Elon have been easily transferable to my current position. The practical experience developing a cohesive strategy or solution to a real-world scenario gained at those case study competitions was easily transferable to the work setting.

How did the Sport Management Department prepare you for your career?
The Sport Management Department provided me with ample opportunities to prepare myself for life as an industry professional, whether it was undergraduate research with Elon’s varsity teams, conferences and case studies, networking events, among others. The professors were well-connected and committed to setting me up for success following graduation.

Photo of Paige Cunningham '18.

Paige Cunningham '18

Assistant Director, Annual Giving
Brown University Sports Foundation

Job responsibilities
– Planning, execution and management of all Sports Foundation direct marketing to support a comprehensive annual giving strategy

– Oversight for 34 varsity program annual funds, 33 club sport annual funds, the Athletic Director’s Excellence Fund, and all current-use restricted priorities totaling $5-7 million annually

– Leadership of all high-level stewardship strategy and stewardship programming on behalf of the vice president of athletics and recreation for principal/major gift donors

Past sport industry experiences
– Participant, Fenway Sports Management University (online 12-week program offered in 2020)

– Tickets Intern, Travelers Championship PGA Tournament,

– Programming Coordinator, Charlotte Soccer Academy

– Game Day Assistant, IMG College Elon

– Promotions/Community Relations Intern, New Britain Bees Baseball

How did the Sport Management Department prepare you for your career?
I feel lucky that I genuinely enjoyed going to class every day when I was a sport management student. I got to learn and talk about sports with dedicated faculty and classmates who all shared a passion for the industry, which led to lively and engaging discussions. The experiential learning opportunities prepared me for the real world through group projects, internships and volunteering, where I gained valuable industry insight while also learning the importance of working and collaborating with others. My teachers and classmates became lifelong connections who are supportive, helpful and rooting for everyone to succeed.

Photo of Alexis de Groot '17 .

Alexis de Groot '17

Senior Account Executive

Additional degree(s)
Masters in Sports Management, Columbia University

Job responsibilities
– Lead partnership activation, strategy and asset management for the Dos Equis college football sponsorship portfolio

– Serve as lead agency overseeing all sponsorship programming and elements (including consulting and approvals) for the Dos Equis brand

– Support Heineken’s five-year sports sponsorship strategy plan for Heineken brands

Past sport industry experiences
– Senior Project Coordinator at CSM Sport & Entertainment – Worked on the partnership sales team selling sponsorships for non-profits

– Project Coordinator at CSM Sport & Entertainment – Provided daily multi-faceted support to the CEO of CSM North America and the Client Partnerships team on business development initiatives

– Communications Intern at the Atlantic Coast Conference

How did the Sport Management Department prepare you for your career?
The Elon Sport Management program opened my eyes to the type of job opportunities that exist in the sports industry. I quickly learned from my professors that you don’t have to work for a league or team to be in sports. I have successfully worked at agencies my entire career thus far and have been able to wear multiple hats on very large sport accounts. Aside from the education, I would not be where I am professionally without the guidance and leadership from Dr. Tony Weaver. He not only supported my undergraduate research project, but he also has continuously provided mentorship since graduation. The professors in the Sport Management program go above and beyond as teachers to ensure every student is set up for success as they enter the workforce.

Photo of Matthew (Matty) Gladstone '18.

Matthew (Matty) Gladstone '18

Account Executive, Premium Season Tickets
Boston Red Sox

Additional degree(s)
Masters in Sports Administration from Boston College (Woods College of Advancing Studies)

Job responsibilities
– Generating revenue through outbound sale of premium season ticket and traditional season ticket options

– Working specifically with local businesses to entertain employees and clients through premium season ticket packages

– Help mentor, train and coach entry-level sales reps and interns

Past sport industry experiences
– Intern, Brooklyn Cyclones

– Intern, Burlington Royals

– Inside Sales Representative, Boston Red Sox

– Member, Board of Advisors, Boston College Sports Administration Program

How did the Sport Management Department prepare you for your career?
Elon and the Sport Management program did an outstanding job of preparing me for a career in sport after college. The experiential learning requirements (internship, study abroad, etc.) were instrumental in developing my resume and honing skills which I use daily at Fenway. In addition, the classes, faculty and staff also prepared me to excel in my graduate program at Boston College.

Photo of Ved Kumar '18.

Ved Kumar '18

General Manager
Centre for Sports Excellence Private Limited (India)

Job responsibilities
– Overseeing key functions of the organization including operations, facility management and marketing

Past sport industry experiences
My internship and subsequent job at Campus Recreation at Elon gave me a great look into the day-to-day operations of a recreational center.

How did the Sport Management Department prepare you for your career?
The Sport Management program at Elon is absolutely fantastic. It covers a vast array of topics giving students a taster of all facets of the industry. The faculty are absolutely amazing, with great industry experience and a network in the sports field. They genuinely want to see you succeed, and it is a great opportunity for anyone interested in getting into the sports industry! I would honestly say that more than anything the faculty and your cohort become your family by the end of the program, which is something that stays with you for life. Now years after graduating, I still follow the advice, support and teachings I received from the faculty.

Photo of Alyssa Zee '21.

Alyssa Zee '21

Assistant Merchandising Manager, Apparel (Run/Train)
PUMA Group

Job responsibilities
– Collaborate with cross functional departments centered around the Performance Running and Training business unit

– Identify market trends and talk with accounts about our upcoming apparel product lines

– Work hands on with our apparel samples to help the merchandising team build out our seasonal assortments

Past sport industry experiences
I completed internships with Team Impact and the National Senior Games Association, and competed as a Division 1 track and field athlete at Elon University.

How did the Sport Management Department prepare you for your career?
The program gave me hands-on, experience-based learning that enabled me to adjust seamlessly into real-world settings post graduation. The curriculum helped foster connections with each professor which had significant impact both in the classroom and beyond. They provided me with an opportunity to engage in experiences such as undergraduate research and internships to help broaden my knowledge in the industry.