On Sunday April 3, 45 students of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business took a field trip to Cleveland, Ohio to see the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers game against the Charlotte Hornets.
Not only were students able to enjoy the game, but they were also given an exclusive tour of Quicken Loans Area, home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as the AHL Lake Erie Monsters and the AFL Cleveland Gladiators. The arena, which seats close to two million guests, is owned and operated by Quicken Loans founder, Dan Gilbert.
Professor Robert Twells, who has been taking students on sports marketing trips since 2009, led the expedition. Other trips have included going to watch the Gladiators and the Detroit Wed Wings.
“The Cavs corporation always provides a VIP experience with great speakers and a tour prior to the game. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to network and learn firsthand and in-depth about the industry from top-level executives such as CEO Len Komoroski,” said Twells.
Seth Roberts, Senior Manager of Organizational Group Sales, gave the tour and overview. Students were able to observe the staff’s open work environment that consists of offices encased by glass and desks full of bobble heads. Roberts explained that these open environments were one of the many changes made to the facility by owner Dan Gilbert.
In addition to a behind-the-scenes tour, students also had the opportunity to hear from various Cavalier executives. Presentations were given by CEO, Len Komoroski; Senior Manager of Marketing, Kerry Woloszynek; Manager of Organizational Business Development, Jordan Cannon; Senior Manager of Sales & Service Operations, Annie LaGreca; and Director of Analytics, Carlos Orjula.
Komoroski emphasized the importance of never thinking that a job is beneath you. After doing multiple internships, he was able to get noticed by other departments and form connections that led to higher positions later on.
“If they asked me to make copies, I was going to make the best copies they ever saw,” said Komoroski. “Pretty soon I was writing press releases and scheduling media interviews… I kept getting referred and I was getting an unbelievable experience.”
In addition to sharing his own journey in the professional world, he also gave students advice on how to advance in their own careers.
“The higher the mountain, the better. The challenge is bigger, but the rewards are huge,” said Komoroski.
The other presenters shared their regular duties in their positions and also gave students helpful advice about working in the sports industry.
“I found my passion and I’m happy to do it. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but that’s in every job,” said LaGreca.
Kyle Cosens, a senior business marketing major, has attended a total of four field trips led by Professor Twells—two to watch the Cavaliers and two to watch the Detroit Red Wings.
“It gives you a chance to connect what you’re learning in the classroom to the real world,” said Cosens.
The evening ended with a Cavaliers victory, the final score was 112-103.