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Sport management alumnus expands impact within esports industry

Graduates from the West Virginia University sport management program in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences are known for their success in the sports industry. CPASS alumni often land leadership positions within professional and collegiate organizations. As technology and the industry expand, so do WVU graduates and their roles.

Christopher Mann, Sport Management, BS 2002, is the agency lead on the T-Mobile account and was responsible for securing a partnership with the top two North American esports organizations, Cloud9 and Team SoloMid. Mann has served as the senior account director in Global Strategy, Partnerships and Activation for WME IMG for the past year, jumping head first into esports after 10 plus years working on the Campbell’s Chunky Soup NFL campaign. 

Mann explains why this deal is critical to his company and the industry. “The new partnership is important to our group as it helps align our client strategically within esports to the top two North American teams. Within the industry, it will hopefully demonstrate value for non-endemic brands to partner within esports on impactful sponsorship programs,” Mann offered. 

The CPASS sport management program laid the groundwork for Mann’s professional success. “I was encouraged by the opportunity that the WVU sport management program delivered. As one of the oldest SM programs in the United States, WVU provided a level of expertise that other universities did not. Additionally, the chance to intern with a top tier, Division 1 athletic department was very appealing,” Mann added.  

Mann suggests that current students look at how they can build relationships now to help them in the future. “As a sport management student at a major university, I encourage students to use your resources and intern while you are at school, and also in the summer. Build meaningful relationships, grow them and leverage when it's time to start your professional journey,” he said.

According to Mann, establishing relationships with faculty members will support student success. “I still talk frequently and credit Dr. Floyd Jones , CPASS associate professor, for helping me develop professionally. His commitment to the student's growth within the sport management program while promoting diversity should be commended,” Mann offered.

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