Sport and Recreation Management - November 2021 Newsletter

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Symposium Main Stage
November 22, 2021

“Innovate or die.”

While debate circulates over whom to credit this statement, few dispute its truth. Navigating modern life’s compounding challenges has only reinforced this axiom.

Before joining the UISRM faculty, I worked daily with innovators. In my role as the Assistant Director of the Innovation Center at Ohio University, it was my responsibility to make sure those who were working to change the way we do things had the tools and environment to be successful. Although the innovators with whom I now work no longer wear lab coats, I find myself doing much the same work.

In this issue, we will highlight ways the UISRM program has embraced and facilitated innovation. Together with NextPlay and the UISRM Hub app, the UISRM Club is developing new platforms for students and alumni to connect and network.

Our 6th Annual UISRM Symposium included participants from around the country and allowed our newest alumni to engage in conversations with our newest students. Also, the UISRM Advisory Board, who greatly contributed to the symposium and held their annual meetings alongside it, continues to be a source of ideas and strategic planning for which we are so thankful.

This issue also highlights the innovative work of UISRM alum, Will Anderson, and the startup he co-founded, FanFood. The mobile-based ordering platform helps teams to offer safe and enhanced fan experiences while responding to new traffic patterns and fan needs in venues.

Field trips and field experience coursework are staples of the experiential nature of the program. However, travel restrictions and changing work environments forced the program to rethink the delivery of both. Thankfully, UISRM was able to visit the Big Ten Conference headquarters for career exploration and networking. Also, the UISRM Agency – a guided field experience course modeled to perform consultative work – was initially offered Summer 2020 as the sports world was shuttering. UISRM continues to evolve that innovation and is excited to offer it year-round going forward.

The pace of change in sport business – and the way we prepare the next wave of professionals to join the industry – has certainly accelerated over the last 18 months.

While some of the innovation highlighted is in response to the pandemic, the truth of the matter is that we all must continue to innovate. Share with us how you are changing the future in your position!

Anna Jensen

UISRM Director, Office of Field Experience


UISRM Newsletter Committee: Anna Jensen: / Mia Richter: / Alex Voss:

On the Road AgainField Trip Thumbnail

Field trips have provided countless UISRM students the opportunity to explore the field of sport and recreation management. While the pandemic didn't allow a trip to take place during the 2020-21 school year, SRM program director Dan Matheson was excited to take students on the road again for a one-day trip to the Big Ten Conference headquarters. Check out this article for a field trip highlight video and quotes from students summarizing their experience.

Energizing the FutureStudents at Symposium

Each fall, sport and recreation professionals energize and mentor the next generation through networking, panel discussions, and more at the UISRM Symposium. Participants and contributors were thrilled to be back on campus for the event which is planned and executed by the UISRM Club. Learn more about the 2021 UISRM Symposium and see highlights from the event in this newsletter feature.

UISRM HubHub Screenshots

The UISRM Club made the most of the 2020-21 school year by connecting with countless professionals through LinkedIn. Many offered their time and expertise through virtual networking sessions. While scheduling the sessions was easy, the club's greatest challenge was informing club members of all the virtual networking opportunities available. Enter NextPlay and their community and engagement platform. Learn about the innovative partnership between the startup and the club.

Will Anderson, FanFood Transforming EventsFanFood Logo

Prior to March 2020, entrepreneurs in sport and recreation understood that sports fans and event attendees desired more from their event experiences. UISRM alum, Will Anderson, is one such entrepreneur and is a Co-Founder at FanFood, a mobile-ordering, pick-up, and delivery platform used in event venues to enhance experiences. Learn about the platform helping to transform events and Will's contribution to the startup's success.

Why I Give - Jordan LoperenaJordan Loperena

With full-time positions at ESPN and Big Ten Network on his resume, Jordan Loperena's experience portfolio is robust. While these are impressive, his efforts to support the next generation of Hawkeyes in sport and recreation through his participation as a UISRM Advisory Board member amplifies his accomplishments. In addition, he supports UISRM through the UI Center for Advancement. Learn more about why Jordan gives and how you can support UISRM.

UISRM Achievements - November 2021Mykleby Emporia State

Current students, recent graduates, and UISRM alumni have been busy earning their way into and moving up within the sport and recreation industry. See the accomplishments that the UISRM program is aware of and let us know of any achievements, updates, or news that you would like to share.