A group of GWSB graduate students wrapped up five days in Los Angeles, where they heard first-hand about the pitfalls and successes of major sports enterprises from the L.A. Dodgers and skateboarder and actor Tony Hawk.
The 18 students – MBA and tourism students – in the fall 2012 “Issues in Sports Governance” course made the trip with adjunct professor Mark Hyman, a sports journalist and author.
Hyman came up with L.A. as a destination for off-campus course work because of his professional connections to the ownership group that bought the Dodgers for a stunning $2 billion – the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise.
A highlight of the working trip was visiting with Tony Hawk, the legendary skateboarder-turned-actor who has capitalized on his persona to create a hugely successful business enterprise. It has, among other things, produced “Tony Hawk, Pro Skater” – one of the most successful video games in history.
“To students of this generation, he’s like Mickey Mantle,” said Hyman. He said Hawk spent over an hour speaking with the GWSB students about the business side of action sports “and how he leveraged his fame to become a brand.”
Hawk also has a half-pipe at his headquarters, so the students saw him in action on his skateboard.
“It was an extremely valuable experience” to see how sports executives and entrepreneurs apply business concepts in the real world, said Genevieve McGreevy, a first-year global MBA student who took the trip. “There’s only so much you can learn in a classroom.”
Plus, “There’s that wow factor,” she said. “Not that many people get to meet Tony Hawk and get to watch him skate on his half-pipe in his office and then talk to him for an hour.”
To see pictures from the L.A. trip on Tumblr, go here.
Posted by gwsb on January 29, 2013 | Filed under: GWSB News.