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SPMA Council Speaker Series- A Review

Last week, Brock's Sport Management Council hosted a Virtual Speaker Series, with a theme of Learning How To Market Yourself as a Future Sport Management Professional.


The panel included:

· Brenley Shapiro, Mental Performance Coach at the Arizona Coyotes

· Jared Ginsburg, Director of Ticket Sales at Oilers Entertainment Group

· Evan Gwartz, Coordinator of Client Services and Premium Hospitality at the Toronto Blue Jays

· Patrice Whiffen, Marketing, Events and Multimedia Specialist at Patrice Whiffen Marketing

· Jonathan Hood, Former CFL athlete, Motivational Speaker and Business Coach (moderator)


Four inspiring speakers provided students with amazing tips on how to seek opportunities, overcome challenges, and grow professionally within the sport industry. There was also an opportunity for students to attend breakout rooms with the speaker of their choice and get professional advice from them in a personal setting.


Some key takeaways: Do anything you can to expand your skills and stand out from the rest; always reach out to form connections and follow-up; focus on what values you can offer to the table; and have a growth mindset and improve by 1% every day.


SPMA Council reached out to first year students that attended the speaker series to get feedback about the event. Continue reading to see their responses.


Olivia Capobianco


How was your overall experience from the Speaker Series?

I really enjoyed the Speaker Series. I thought it was very informative and each panelist shared their own experiences that were all unique in their own ways.

What elements of the speaker series did you like? Did you like the format of the event (Zoom)?

I liked how diverse the panel was (each coming from a different field in the business), while also providing advice that can be used for any field in the business as well as life in general. I also liked the breakout portion of the event, I thought it was a smart idea and gave us a more intimate opportunity to get to know the panelist of our choice. In terms of the format of the event, I did like that it was on Zoom because it was easy to access, and you could see everyone.

Are there any recommendations you could make to help us improve for future events?

My only recommendation is to extend the breakout sessions to 45 mins and shorten the closing statements.

Would you be interested in participating in one of SPMA Council’s events in the future?

Yes, I would be interested.

Why did you choose to attend the Speaker Series and what were you hoping to take away from the event?

I chose to attend the Speaker Series because despite the pandemic, I still wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to learn how to market myself professionally and speak to people in the business in order to gain insight and advice that I could use to start networking with others and build connections. I was hoping to take away what skills are most looked for in a candidate in the sports marketing field.

Were you satisfied with the quality of speakers that we were able to have attend and were you satisfied with the message that they and the Speaker Series was trying to convey?

Yes, I was satisfied with both parts (quality of speakers and the message being conveyed)


Marlee Lafleur


How was your overall experience from the Speaker Series?

It was good! I really enjoyed the experience. There were tons of personal advice, but also professional advice and how to get into their footsteps one day. I felt extremely inspired after the event ended.

What elements of the speaker series did you like? Did you like the format of the event (Zoom)?

I liked the format, but the one part that was hard for me was trying to pick the breakout room. I had questions for all of them after I did research and I found it difficult to be able to put myself in their shoes if I wasn’t in the breakout room with them. I loved how the questions beforehand were very general and they made it about their life and relatable to us.

Are there any recommendations you could make to help us improve for future events?

More time in the breakout room please! I had so many more questions and my breakout room way only 5 not including the panelist and I felt that we all had so many more questions to ask.

Would you be interested in participating in one of SPMA Council’s events in the future?

Yes! I am very much interested in participating in future events!

Why did you choose to attend the Speaker Series and what were you hoping to take away from the event?

I chose to attend because I don’t know what field I want to go into after all of this. All the speakers were from different fields and backgrounds and it was nice being able to hear from so many different people. One thing that I was hoping to take away is inspiration which I received for sure and advice on next steps to take to get myself ahead of the game.

Were you satisfied with the quality of speakers that we were able to have attend and were you satisfied with the message that they and the Speaker Series was trying to convey?

I was extremely satisfied on both parts. On paper everyone sounded amazing and being able to see them even though a computer screen to talk to them was great and I learned a lot from them.

Spencer Matsell


How was your overall experience from the Speaker Series?

My experience was great, It was a very educational night with many great speakers who provided insight into their careers


What elements of the speaker series did you like? Did you like the format of the event (Zoom)?

I like the speakers and the vibe of how the presentation went

Zoom call and break out rooms were excellent, and I really enjoyed the small groupings.


Are there any recommendations you could make to help us improve for future events?

Broadcasting the events more before the event to spread the word and make sure that everyone can see it and no miss the date.


Would you be interested in participating in one of SPMA Council’s events in the future?

Yes 100%, I love to take as much information from professionals to develop my personal knowledge


Why did choose to attend the Speaker Series and what were you hoping to take away from the event?

I wanted to meet experienced people in the sports world and connect with them to further build a relationship to benefit myself. I wanted to take away the knowledge of the speakers and what they were saying, to become as experienced as I can going into my professional career.


Were you satisfied with the quality of speakers that we were able to have attend and were you satisfied with the message that they and the Speaker Series was trying to convey?

Yes, they really helped me with what I should do next and how I can proceed with how to network myself.



Thank you to everyone that participated in the 2020 Brock SPMA Council Virtual Speakers Series! We hope you enjoyed the event, learned something new and became inspired to be Sport Management Professionals when you graduate.


Stay tuned for more exciting SPMA Council events in the future. We are working to give you experiences to learn, grow and have fun during these tough times.



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