By Trisha Porzycki | Reporter
When professional sports came to a halt in March, Baylor’s Sports Strategy & Sales program encouraged its students to spend time networking.
Baylor’s Sports Strategy & Sales major, known as S3, is the only complete major for sports sales in the United States. The curriculum is designed to teach marketing and professional selling within the sports industry. Graduates typically land ticket or sponsorship sales positions within professional teams in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and more.
Due to COVID-19, many May graduates were left with furlough job offers or no offers at all. S3 professor Darryl Lehnus said they are encouraging recent graduates and seniors to focus on networking with teams during this unique time.
“This is the time to make connections with the people that they have come to know through our program,” Lehnus stated. “They should stay top of these employers’ minds and empathize with them because many sports jobs will open when things go back to normal. Staying on top of mind is the key.”
Dallas senior Katie Rademacher, who’s majoring in S3, said the program pushes students to reach out to professional teams and individuals within the industry.
“Most of the curriculum is the same, but some of the major points have been changed to make sure we are required to network throughout the school year,” Rademacher said. “The professors’ biggest goal this semester is to help us communicate with teams.”
On top of promoting the importance of networking, the program is focusing on virtual presentation skills.
“One of the skill sets we want our students to start learning is how to present virtually for both ticket and sponsorship sales — this skill set will be needed by teams in the future,” Lehnus said. “How do you connect with someone in a virtual world, both from a marketing and sales perspective?”
Opening stadiums back up to fans will be critical to students’ ability to get jobs in an already competitive industry.
“Teams are beginning to open again — we had a senior on Monday start work with the Milwaukee Brewers, and teams are starting to call back recent graduates,” Lehnus said. “We have been in constant communications with the professional teams. Because we don’t know how long COVID-19 will be around, they are asking us for individuals who want to work remotely or work internships.”
Rademacher believes that networking with teams will be critical when ticket sales positions open up again.
“Once sports start to come back, they will start hiring again because they need to keep up with the demand,” Rademacher said. “Getting your name out to teams leads to the opportunity of growth, and that’s why networking is so important.”