Sport Management

Students invite local owners of sport businesses to campus to share their stories

Feb 11, 2014

North Central College students in the Introduction to Sport Management II class (HPE 251), Sport Management Association (SMA) and NCC Cycling & Multisport Club are hosting a panel discussion titled Entrepreneurship in Sport on Feb. 17.

The panel features founders, owners and directors of local sports-related organizations who will give short presentations and answer questions.

The campus community is invited to the free event, which takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in the theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall.

“There’s a good and healthy aura on campus about athletics,” says Neil Nicholson, sports enthusiast, adviser of the cycling club and assistant professor of mathematics. “That interest doesn’t have to end with the college experience but can influence and shape students’ careers or sports-related work. Our panelists have done just that, and we thought it would be great to hear their inspiring stories and unique points of view.”

The four panelists are Kris Hartner, founder and owner of Naperville Running Company; Joe LoPresto, founder and CEO of Experience Triathlon in Naperville; Brett Strang, executive director of Galaxy Soccer Club in Naperville; and E.Q. Sylvester, chairman of the nonprofit Freedom Golf Association.

Matt Klosterman, head men’s soccer coach and assistant professor of health and physical education, teaches the sport management class and advises SMA, the student club for sport management majors. He and Nicholson recruited students from the clubs and class to coordinate the event.

Students have been researching the industries, markets, businesses and guest speakers in preparation for the event. Those in the class are planning to facilitate an online discussion about the panel among their classmates to gain practical insights about those working in and running their own sport businesses.

“Connecting with these panelists marks an opportunity for students to get real-world insights about potential careers in sport without having to leave campus,” says Klosterman. “This and other opportunities, like interning at the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans and volunteering with the NCAA DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships and IHSA Soccer Finals on our campus set North Central’s sport management majors apart when they graduate.”  

North Central College offers undergraduate majors in entrepreneurship and small business management, sport management, health and physical education, marketing, human resource management and more. Among the College’s seven graduate degree programs is a master in leadership studies degree with a focus in sports leadership or social entrepreneurship. North Central College students compete in 22 intercollegiate sports in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. North Central has won 30 team national championships and 117 individual national championships.