Below, Marco Lanza explains how hard he's been working to prepare for a career in the sports industry!
I am currently a junior at the University pursuing a bachelors in Business Management with a minor in Professional Sales and a concentration in the Management of Sports Industries. During the Fall 2012 semester, I interned with the WWE and was offered a temp position over winter break, in which I continued to work for the venue and shop department of WWE. I still stay in close touch with Jef Thiffault a good friend and mentor of mine. This past fall I helped him in running an event at Red Bull Arena for the Claudio Reyna Foundation. The event was a 5k run that was set up to raise money for under privileged children across the nation. I also assisted Jef in the Copa Univision youth and men's soccer tournament in Long Island New York. I worked closely with Jef at a Manchester United Football Club viewing party at Terminal 5 in Manhattan, NY. This was an event where a Manchester United soccer game was broadcasted with a projection screen and was run with NBC. The event had the Manchester United supporters club from NY come and watch the game. Chris Canetti the President of the Houston Dynamo (MLS soccer team) is another mentor of mine that I keep in touch with and helps me in making decisions in regards to pursuing my career.
In my first two years at UNH, I had the pleasure of learning from and working with Professors Fried, Sack, and Mongeon. Each of them have helped me refine my knowledge in the business of sports.
During the second semester of my Freshman year, I was entered into the sports management mentor program where I connected with Jef Thiffault, the former manager of operations for SUM (Soccer United Marketing)/ MLS (Major League Soccer) and current owner of Contigo Event Management. Professor Fried knew my passion for soccer and my dream of one day working in the soccer industry, which is why I was matched with Jef. After speaking with Jef a few times, he invited me to come down to Washington D.C. to shadow him and help him run the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at RFK Stadium. Jef made sure that I had lodging and transportation for the entire week leading up to the matches. During the week I assisted Jef in the operations and events leading up to match-day. Additionally, I constructed field diagrams for teams walking onto the field that also positioned the media. Jef made me responsible for assisting him in the organization of the post-game drug testing and for the negotiation of contracts for practice field usage. Jef put me in charge of contacting the liaisons from each of the four teams; in doing so I learned how to exercise and address public relation obligations.
Jef and stayed in touch and he helped me acquire an internship with the New York Red Bulls that will begin at the end of the Spring 2012 semester and run through the Summer. In addition to the NY Red Bulls internship, I will be interning with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) during the Spring 2012 semester. I credit receiving both of these internships to Jef Thiffault and Professor Kim Giangrande. Professor Giangrande was my Management and Organization professor first semester. She extensively helped me polish my resume and cover letters for both internships. We met several times outside of class to conduct mock interviews and to help me improve my business skills.
Besides interning, I am also involved with the Sports Industry Club, which is looking to bring in a well-recognized guest speaker to speak with students and staff about their career and offer advice to students seeking success in their future. The club has been looking to bring in an individual that has experience in the basketball industry to fill this guest speaker spot. As Vice President of the club, I have been working closely with an agent to bring in a speaker that can talk to students about the recently ended NBA lockout.
Story submitted by Marco Lanza