Sport Management Conference returns to RMU

Ed Albert - Producer

On Friday, Oct. 7, the 8th Annual Sport Management Conference will be held in the International Suite of the Sewall Center. Over 40 speakers representing over 35 organizations will be featured with 75 percent of the presenters being Robert Morris University sport management alumni, according to Department Head and Professor of Sport Management Dr. David Synowka

Admission to the seminar is $60 for early registration and $70 after Sept. 30. Online conference registration is available at The conference coordinator, Linda Sivak, may also be contacted at [email protected] or 412-397-6355 for registration.

“This is a great affordable opportunity for our students. Our alumni, advisory board, and faculty have made this one of the focal points of our department. The sports industry is well aware of the quality of our business and professional preparation of our students and the success achieved in their careers,” declared Synowka.

Several events have been scheduled for the conference.

Murray Cohn, vice president of ticket sales and 1988 RMU alum, will begin the meeting with a motivational speech.

Following her will be two roundtable stations, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The morning session covers professional career development while the afternoon session handles various industry segments, such as professional sports, scholastic and collegiate athletics, facility and event management along with sport communications, community and public relations.

Groups of six students will move from table to table with 10 minutes to ask questions to an industry professional before moving to the next.

A luncheon will feature several speakers, most notably David Peart, senior vice president of sales and service partnerships from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

An evening reception at the RMU Island Sports Center for the speakers, alumni and sport management students who have registered for the conference will conclude the conference.

During the reception, the RMU Sport Management Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will be recognized. Its newly inducted members will be Dr. Scott Branvold, RMU professor of sport management and 1998 RMU alum, and John Fisher, senior vice president of ticket sales and marketing of the Arizona Diamondbacks and 1998 RMU alum.

The ceremony will also feature Shannon Glantz, winner of both the 2011 Outstanding Sport Management Student and the 2011 David Synowka Sport Management Scholarship Award.

The aim of the conference, according to Synowka, is to have students learn about various career opportunities, resume and interviewing techniques, and emerging skill sets required in sport business. Most importantly, the students are being given the opportunity to build relationships with already established professionals in the field of sport management.

It is clear that the efforts of Synowka and the other staff members of the department are paying off. Over the years, students have been selected for internships and entry level jobs because of their attendance at the conference.

“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of kids to get their foot in the door and talk to professionals about their future careers,” stated Ryan Hauth, a freshman sport management major.