By Kelsey Taylor
On Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, students from Malone had a unique opportunity to attend the 15th Annual Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair. They were accompanied by more than 100 other participants from a variety of universities for a one-day training and recruiting event focused on sport ticket sales. Following their arrival to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, where the event is held, students sat in on an introductory session. Next, they received an overview of ticket sales and gained four hours of personalized training and networking opportunities with real sports industry executives. Perhaps you received an email for this event or saw classmates posting on social media about their experience. Just a small percentage of students, however, know what the SSWJF really is. The event was organized by director Jim Kadlecek, father of sophomore social work major Annie Kadlecek, plus the Mount Union University Business Program, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, Portland Trailblazers, and multiple other organizations. “We started this event because the sport management curriculum is lacking a strong ticket sales component, despite sales being where the majority of jobs exist in the professional sports industry,” said Kadlecek. The point of this event is to provide the participants with a better understanding of sales, resulting in a higher level of new talent within the sports industry. The Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair accomplishes exactly what it was created to. According to the SSWJF website, the overall benefit for students is that after attending this unique event, they will have gained a substantial head start and find employment faster. Participants network with some of the best leaders in the sports industry and can find out more information about potential sales positions or internships. Students do not just show up to hand in a resume and listen to a lecture. It is not merely a conference where students are absorbing new information, but a workshop where they are actively engaged, learning, and implementing new skills. “The Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair was a unique experience and fantastic networking opportunity,” said Matthew Kennel, senior sports management major. “I have never been to a fair where there is so much going on. The training sessions were super helpful for my professional development because it gave me a little taste of what the world of sport sales looks like.”If you are interested in a career dealing with professional sports and think this event highlighting ticket sales would be irrelevant for your future, perhaps reconsider! “Everyone will end up in sales, it’s just a matter of what percentage of their job it is,” said Kadlecek. He would encourage individuals to keep an open mind and consider sales as a life skill. “Many people have a negative perception about sales, but sales can be an honorable profession when done honorably,” said Kadlecek. Unfortunately, many students do not realize that individuals in sales are fantastic listeners and problem solvers. They still think critically and ask difficult questions. “Coming to the Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair, whether you choose to pursue a career in sales or not, can help you grow in those areas,” said Kadlecek. Just to name one, Malone University alumni, Haydon Dotson received a position with the Miami Dolphins as a result of attending this event. Whether you are on the search for a position with an organization like the Miami Dolphins or wish to pursue a very different career path, Malone students have been given a valuable opportunity through the Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair to strengthen their skills and grow.