Educating Sports Business Professionals
Written by Tim Zalabak on April 28, 2022
Photo courtesy of Sports Business Society
Illinois State’s Sports Business Society is a growing organization amongst Redbirds that are interested in finding their path in the sports industry. As awareness and excitement for the brand expand, the opportunities for the members follow.
The current president of the Sports Business Society, Brian Weber, established the organization in the fall of 2019 with his friend, Peter McLees. Weber started as the Vice President of Marketing for the team before being elected president in 2020 as McLees graduated.
“We had a really great first semester. Having about 40 new members join the team allowed us to put on some great events. It’s been a fun journey so far,” said Weber.
The Sports Business Society has grown in numbers over the past three years and with increased members, new and exciting events are giving these sports business professionals a leg up.
An trip each semester is made by SBS to get involved with a professional sports teams personnel, front office, and even management. This year, Brian Weber and the team traveled to Wrigley Field to sit down with John Gibson, the Coordinator of Corporate Partnership Activations for the Chicago Cubs.
“It’s a pretty cool opportunity for us. We brought a good amount of members with us and we were able to ask questions for about 30 minutes before watching the day game,” said Weber.
Learning how John Gibson got his career off and running gives the members of the Sports Business Society a valuable perspective that is not available to most students.
“It was very interesting to see how his journey progressed as he (John Gibson) got out of college and was able to align himself with the Cubs and to just take advantage of all the opportunities that were there,” said Weber.
Brian Weber outlined a main piece of the event with the Cubs where the members learned the differences between professional and collegiate sports business.
“Professional sports have a much easier time getting their fan base. Then you look at a school like ISU, where you are in a smaller town and are a smaller division one college, you would have to work much harder to get people to come out to games,” Weber explained.
Sports Business Society is a welcoming and connected environment that caters to those who want a one-of-a-kind experience in the sports business field. With President Brian Weber at the helm, there is no telling what the group will get to partake in next.