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Researching sport management industry global markets

Alexa Miley's career goals involve becoming an athletic director or working within sport operations or marketing. The WVU Sport Management master's program prepares students to compete in the sport market as an industry leader.

What program are you enrolled in at WVU?

Sport Management (on campus)

How did you become interested in this field of study?

Growing up I was involved in many sports then specialized in lacrosse. I played the sport for twelve years involving myself in travel teams, volunteer coaching, officiating, camps and clinics. Sport has taught me the value of leadership, teamwork, work ethic, professionalism and discipline. Through sport, I was able to find my passion which led me to West Virginia University to purse my undergraduate major in athletic coaching education with a minor in strength and conditioning.

With a successful undergraduate career, the opportunity presented itself to attend graduate school. I chose to pursue a master’s in sport management to further my career.  It prepares students to compete in the sport market as an industry leader and will prepare me for my long-term goal to be an athletic director or work in operations. Being involved in sports growing up helped me shape my decision for future endeavors.

Please describe what you do in a typical day.

I am currently in my first year of the sport management master’s program with a graduate assistantship in the Office of Student Success. I am also on the Dean's Student Advisory Board as a graduate representative and a CPASS student representative for the Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

As a graduate assistant, I serve as a student success coach for select students in the fall and spring semesters and help with various recruitment and retention initiatives. A typical day for me consists of meeting with students to create a success plan for the semester, meeting with enrolled or perspective students and giving them a tour of the CPASS building, then attending my graduate classes.

What is your favorite part of the program? What is the most challenging?

My favorite part of my graduate assistantship is that I am a success coach for students. I work individually with students to enhance their academic success in areas such as time management, note taking, reading and study skills. I help students who are transitioning into WVU, providing them with information about campus resources. Lastly, I help students create strategies tailored to their specific academic situation and explore options they have not previously considered.

My favorite part of the sport management program is that it sets students up for success. Students have hands on learning in sport marketing, finance, fundraising and development, sales and sponsorships and more. Students can contribute in WVU's athletic programs through an internship or work game days. The program provides networking opportunities including trips to New York and the NFL Combine.

Why did you choose WVU?

When I transferred during my undergraduate studies, I chose WVU because of the athletic coaching education program. When considering graduate school, I chose to stay at WVU because of the sport management program. These programs are well known and prepare students to succeed in their field.

How does this graduate degree fit in to your life plans?

This graduate degree fits into my life plans because my career goals involve becoming an athletic director or working within sports operations or marketing, preferably within a lacrosse program. This degree will prepare me for a job and provide me with resources to succeed.

What are you learning that has made the biggest impact in your work or studies?

Currently, I am engaged in a research project focusing on the NBA and Africa. This project is a part of the sport management research marketing course. Each group was assigned a topic and will research scholarly articles, identifying a problem, alternative solutions and a problem solution that we will present during the graduate research fair at the end of the semester.

I would say this project is making a big impact in my work. I am learning about other countries and the level of training related to sport managers, physical education teachers and sport coaches.

My research has allowed me to become more knowledgeable on Africa's socioeconomic barriers, infrastructures and physical education and how their market will grow with the expansion of the NBA. Overall, this course will allow me to examine the methods and techniques used in research in sport management and the sport industry while exploring the concepts developed in relevant literature as they apply to sport management.

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