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EIU Department of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

Sport Management Alumni

Below are career updates about alumni of the KSS sport management program:

 

Sydney Mitchell (B.S. 2013, M.S. 2014) is currently the Women's Director of Basketball Operations at Ball State University

Sydney MitchellMy job duties include coordinating traveling, on-campus housing coordinator, help schedule practice, aid in recruiting, team shoot out coordinator, community service and fundraising coordinator, and alumni relations.

I graduated from Eastern Illinois in 2013 with my bachelors and 2014 with my masters and played basketball for the school as well. I enjoyed being in an environment that allowed me to learn and work hard and I felt the KSS program was well organized. I also enjoyed getting hands on experience by spending time in the ATP lab and doing adult fitness. It made going to classes fun. The KSS offered opportunities to help build my resume which I appreciated.

 

 

 

Kevin Bayus (B.S. 2014) is currently Retail Property Manager for Fanatics, Inc. at Clemson University

Kevin BayusAs one of the Retail Property Managers for Clemson University it is my responsibility for the overall operation of the retail warehouse and stadium locations, POS maintenance and data entry, and supervision of staff. This role is critical to the efficient operation of our retail operations and strategy.

While at EIU the KSS Department provided me with the knowledge and experience I needed to be prepared for the real world. The KSS professors always were there to help whether it was course work or life advice. I loved my time at EIU and the connections I made with my professors.

 

 

 

Dave Albrecht (B.S. 2009) is currently Sports Information Director/Assistant Athletic Director at Midland University

Dave AlbrechtAs the Sports Information Director I am the primary contact for the largest Athletic Department in the state of Nebraska, overseeing all 29 of our varsity-level sports. I coordinate production of schedule posters, game day programs, promotional materials, and head up our athletic marketing efforts. I am responsible for keeping in-game stats and write/edit all athletic communication pieces, including game stories and press releases. I maintain schedules, rosters, player profiles and all related content on our athletic website. Additionally, I create content and monitor all athletic social media accounts. My role as Assistant Athletic Director focuses on external athletic communications and marketing, along with brand representation.

EIU gave me my start in the SID field. A semester-long internship in Eastern’s SID office opened my eyes to the field, and while I spent four years working in MiLB/MLB after graduation, I always had returning to college athletics in the back of my mind. One particular week in one of your classes (I can’t remember which course) was titled “SID the Kid” in which you had the former Eastern SID come talk to the class. The course work and hands-on experience I gained at EIU was invaluable. The Sports Management major is very broad, but I don’t think without my experience in the KSS dept. at EIU I would have found my foot in the door in the SID field.

 

Alex Lais (B.S. 2014) is currently Marketing Coordinator for University of Southern California Athletics

Alex LaisIn the Marketing Coordinator role, I lead all marketing and promotional activities for the USC Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Volleyball, and Aquatic programs as well as overseeing the department’s Trojans Kids Club and Trojan Street Team efforts. These responsibilities include creating and implementing unique game day promotions and coordinating all in- game entertainment focusing on creating a fun and exciting game day atmosphere for both USC student-athletes and fans alike. Basically, my job is to get fans to the sport venue in a fun, engaging manner in order to highlight the world class student- athletes we have at USC. Really anything we can do that is weird, crazy, or out there, as long as it gets people to cheer on the Trojans!

What I enjoyed most about my experience in the KSS Department at EIU truly revolves around the relationships that I have built both with KSS professors and classmates. In the classroom, my professors quickly became mentors of mine, as they helped not only shape my in-class experience, but more importantly opened up doors to gain hands-on experience within the industry through various internships, work-study programs, conferences, etc. These opportunities, paired with the opportunity to study abroad in London in 2012, have helped me meet so many amazing people who I still stay in touch with regularly and put me on my path working in intercollegiate athletics.

 

Brett Bergschneider (B.S. 2014) is currently Director of Sales and Marketing for Half Moon Bay Golf Links in Half Moon Bay, California

Brett BergschneiderMy primary responsibility is client development and service. I assist the General Manager and Executive Management to develop a comprehensive marketing plan to attract golf events, local golf, transient golf, golf package play, weddings, banquets, restaurant menu driven business, and other market segments. I am responsible for showing the property to hotel clients, wedding clients, and other qualified clients who may book business at the golf course. The Sales and Marketing Director receives and processes sales and incoming inquiries for all market segments and responds with proposals and other requested information.

One aspect that truly stands out when thinking about my time in the EIU KSS department was the facility and staff. All of my professors went above and beyond to make sure students understood whatever we were learning and the practical uses for this material after college. My questions were always welcomed and responded to in a timely and accurate manner. The staff created an enjoyable environment where students looked forward to attending class each day.

 

Megan Becker (B.S. 2014) is currently Marketing Manager for The Joliet Slammers Professional Baseball Team

Megan BeckerThe Joliet Slammers Professional Baseball Team out of Joliet, Illinois is a minor league team that focuses on family-friendly affordable entertainment. My position entails but is not limited to the focus of driving sales efforts through cold calling, visiting local businesses, face to face appointments, stadium tours, making connections in the community, and networking. I work in all aspects of sales: individual, group, full season, partial season, advertising, and corporate partnerships. I also look for non-profit organizations to help fund raise. I am always looking for more ways to get involved in the Joliet and surrounding community and network with local business owners and professionals. I run social media outlets (snapchat, twitter, FB, LinkedIN), mascot appearances, hiring of mascots/marketing team, outside and inside marketing techniques, and community outreach.

I could not be more thankful for the KSS department! The faculty was second to none and made my experience that much more enjoyable. Not only was the faculty awesome but the hands on experience the program offered prepared me for my future in Chicago professional sports!

 

Eric Starks (B.S. 2014) is currently an Account Executive at Northwestern University

Eric StarksI am responsible for the sales and service of Northwestern University ticket products that include season tickets and group ticket packages for the Men's Football and Basketball teams at Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena. d. I enjoyed learning about the many diverse careers and different pathways into the field of sports at the professional, collegiate, high school, and amateur ranks.

EIU's classes prepared me by giving me a wide variety of ways to think outside the box while being creative and by requiring an internship in the sports management field must be fulfilled upon completing the program. A lot of things must be learned on the job by gaining hands on experience, and the required internship really helped to prepare me for the jobs I've had so far in the sports business.

 

 

 

Joe Sherman (B.S. 2012) is currently a Social Media Project Employee for the NBA

Joe ShermanMy role is to create real time content and coverage of NBA games via social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. My job is to be the voice of the NBA to their various different audiences.

The Eastern Illinois University KSS department provided me the tools and guidance needed to thrive in the sporting industry. I was blessed to have professors that knew my skills and believed in my vision. Without the KSS department I would not be able to make a difference in the world of sports.

 

 

 

 

John Alvarado (B.S. 2010) is currently a Premium Sales Executive for the St. Louis Blues 

John AlvaradoAs a Premium Sales Executive, I am responsible for the sale of corporate hospitality packages, suites, club seats and other premium seating areas. I’m also responsible in maintaining business relationships with a book of business of over 1.5MM for renewal and upsell opportunities.

I’m very grateful for the knowledge I learned from the KSS Department at EIU. We were always encouraged to attend different job fairs and networking opportunities, which ultimately led me to my first internship in sports. The KSS Department and their Sports Management program was instrumental in my current success in the sports industry.

 

 

 

Jeff Lapsansky (B.S. 2007) is currently Ticket Sales & Marketing Manager for the BMW Champsionship

Jeff LapsanskyI currently oversee all aspects of the ticket sales strategy and marketing plans for the BMW Championship – The penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs.

The KSS department opened my eyes to the many career opportunities that existed in the world of professional sports. The sports management program encouraged me to pursuit my passions and laid the groundwork for launching my career in the sports industry. The faculty and staff were always very supportive and created a positive learning environment that set me the path to success.

 

 

 

Lamarr Pottinger (B.S. 2012) is currently Director of Student-Athlete Development and Leadership Programs at Old Dominion University

Lamarr PottingerI oversee and develop all programs for the 500 student-athletes at ODU. Programs range from Professional Development, Leadership Development, and Service Learning.

The KSS department at EIU does a great job of providing a platform for students to not only get a great education of the sports industry, but also receive practical experience opportunities as well. I really enjoyed the opportunities working with the EIU athletics department for my internships.  I also enjoyed attending classes because of field knowledge shared by the KSS instructors. I am proud to be an alum of the KSS program at EIU.

 

 

 

Robert Clark (B.S. 2015) is currently a Ticket Sales Representative with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Rob Clark

In my role as a Milwaukee Brewers Sales Representative, I actively sell a variety of season seat options, group tickets, premium suite and party area locations, and tailgate spaces. I am tasked with providing the best possible experience to all fans I come in contact with, and I strive to service each individual properly. The position requires a complete knowledge of Milwaukee Brewers ticketing options and initiatives, as well as the ability to adapt customers’ needs to a current product offering. Daily responsibilities include outbound sales acquisitions, the setting up of meetings both at Miller Park and in the community, and representation of the Brewers on game-days at the season seat holder headquarters.

"I feel that I would not be as set up for success without the tireless effort exhibited by EIU Staff and Faculty. The dedication of the professors and members of the KSR Department to each student were always apparent. My time spent on EIU’s campus coupled with the education that was provided really helped me start my professional journey that has brought me to this point. I look back on my classes and realize that they served their purpose well in preparing me for a life outside of Charleston. Many vital skills are learned once you’re on the job, but the emphasis on interpersonal skills, strong communication, and activity within the community you are a part of were instilled at Eastern and within the KSS Department.“

 

Jeremy Thorpe (B.S. 2008) is currently a Group Sales Account Representative with the Indianapolis Colts.

Jeremy Thorpe  As a group sales manager, I am responsible for generating Indianapolis Colts revenue, for establishing new relationships through   cold calls, as well as to maintain and build upon existing business, and to plan, promote, and execute large events for corporate   executives, non-profit organizations, and school systems.

 I knew that I wanted to work in sports and the KSS Department did a great job with the variety of classes to open my eyes to   different career options.  I got a firm grasp on the concepts, especially in publicity and marketing in sports, that I have used   throughout many positions in my career.

 

 

 

Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

2506 Lantz Building
Charleston, IL
61920
(217) 581-2215
Fax: (217) 581-7973
cadhom@eiu.edu


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