Student Life

 A Tailgate Builds Connections

(Photo courtesy of Isabella Kotalik)

The Sports Management Tailgate and Networking Event was hosted by the sports management department on November 12th to meet and interact with sports industry professionals in an informal setting.

The tailgate portion of the event consisted of yard games such as cornhole, spikeball, two ball, and more. It occurred in the WRC fieldhouse and the winners received gift baskets filled with shirts, water bottles, and SAU apparel. There were also gift cards from the Carriage Haus, Kilkenny’s Pub, and more. Lastly, St. Louis Cardinals tickets were raffled along with shirts from a plethora of different SAU sports teams. 

This event is a capstone project for the seniors pursuing the sports management  majors. “This event is a good opportunity for people to make connections for potential jobs and gives some valuable insight if people are deciding what they want to do when they graduate,” Garret Sims, co-director of the Sports Management Tailgate and Networking Event said. 

Many professional representatives that attended the tailgate were from places such as Visit Quad Cities, Quad City Storm, Quad City Steamwheelers, and Quad Cities River Bandits.

“We had representatives from all of the professional teams, community recreation, Visit Quad Cities, and more. Many of our students have gotten jobs right out of undergrad with these organizations. This event is great for building relations and finding new professional opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Tyler Spencer, Associate Professor of the Kinesiology Department. 

Many professionals led a discussion to the attendees.
(Photo courtesy of Isabella Kotalik)

Many Quad Cities’ companies sponsored the tailgate and networking event and provided the prizes as well as creating opportunities for sports management students in the future. The many sponsors of the event were Mac’s Tavern, The Bedding Group Inc., Elliott Aviation, The Carriage Haus, BMW of Davenport, Kunes, Kilkenny’s Pub, Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, Buckrop & VanDeVelde P.C., Karla Buckrop D.C., and 563 Vintage.

“The proceeds of this event will go towards creating future student development opportunities for our majors. I would use these funds to help a student go to a professional conference, volunteer opportunities, and even to assist in helping them get to an interview if needed. Our sponsors have donated money, space, and even in-kind gifts,” Dr. Spencer said.

Not only did sports management students benefit from interacting with professionals from their field, preparing for this event equipped many sports management seniors for their future jobs. 

“This helps to prepare for future jobs as far as working with a team and doing my job to the best of my ability to ensure that the event will be successful,” said Yemi Ward, ports management major.

All in all, the Sports Management Tailgate and Networking Event provided an opportunity for all students of St. Ambrose to meet and interact with professionals, ask questions, and learn all sorts of different aspects of how the sports industry works.