Ravens Sports Business Club aims to engage students

Going into the 2017-18 academic year, Carleton Athletics has taken a new approach to getting students engaged with varsity and club sports teams on campus.

The new Carleton Ravens Sports Business Club was founded by Athletics and the Ravens marketing team as a way to get more students involved in the business side of athletics and game-day activities, as well as allow the chance for interested students to get relevant experience for a very competitive job market.

The club was founded on an idea pitched by Sprott business student Lauren Gallant.

Having volunteered in the past with the Ravens marketing department, Gallant said she saw the need for a more direct student engagement in athletics.

Through the relationship she had developed with Athletics’ marketing department, Gallant pitched the idea to great success.

“The reason I pitched this to the marketing team was I went to a sports marketing conference in Montreal and saw people from other schools,” Gallant said. “We spoke to a lot of them about how they got their club started and they said their biggest struggle was not having much of a relationship with their athletic department.”

Gallant said she used her connections and knowledge of the difficulties that other clubs faced to forge a strong relationship with Athletics from the beginning.

The sports business club has also formed a relationship with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), the owners of the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League, the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League and the Ottawa Fury of the United Soccer League.

“It’s exciting for us, in a partnership with OSEG we will be sending our members to one 67s game, one Fury game and one Redblacks game to see what it’s like to be a part of game-day staff and hopefully get connections and experience,” Gallant said.

While one of the main goals of the club is to have a better student engagement in athletics, the sports business club will also try and maximize the growth and talent of its members.

With several distinct structures in place, the organization of the club breaks down into five distinct categories, with each category being led by a director of the club as well as a mentor from the marketing department.

The categories are game-day/events, who are responsible for in-game entertainment such as halftime shows; student engagement, who are charged with creating buzz on campus for games and events; content and communication, who will be writing both on social media and on goravens.com; corporate partnership, which will focus on sponsor relationships as well as finding new sponsors; retail and branding, which will run the store in Athletics as well as come up with directions for the overall Ravens brand.

With different areas in which the club will participate, students are able to focus on the area of sports business that they are interested in.

The club will also not just be looking at hands-on work with Athletics.

Gallant added that the club will be following in the lead of many other student organizations, in getting people with relevant work experience to come in and speak to the club in a series of lectures and workshops.

“A lot of the full-time staff we work with have worked in organizations such as the Ottawa Senators and the Ottawa 67s so they have some connections they can help bring in,” Gallant said.

She added that these workshops will serve not only to learn, but also as a way to give back to the members of the club by helping them network with people outside of Carleton Athletics.

The new sports business club is available to all Carleton students and can be joined through their website.

Photo by Kyle Fazackerley