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The Portland headquarters of Adidas.

Nike, Adidas, Trailblazers on itinerary for new DCOB business tours education program


A new Davis College of Business educational partnership has launched that will bring JU students face-to-face with the brilliant trailblazers who help lead some of the most iconic U.S. brands and businesses of the past half century.DCOB_Logo_Signature_green

The college has joined with Spearpoint Business Tours to offer on-site visits to the boardrooms, marketing offices, factory floors and technology centers of game-changing companies.  The  program is available to current students as well as those looking to advance their current careers. The inaugural trip announced Wednesday, May 4, to Portland will take place July 10-13 and is focused on sports and outdoors brands, featuring visits to Adidas, Columbia Sportswear Co., Nike, the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers and Senaptec. It also features intimate gatherings with top executives from each company and optional field trips to explore Portland’s cultural landscape.spearpoint logo

Each business visit on the tour will have a themed presentation by a company executive:

  • Nike’s global sports marketing director will discuss the challenges of managing communications within a global company and the return on investment at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • At Senaptec, a startup that provides state-of-the-art technologies, products, and programs designed to assess, analyze, and improve vision and sensorimotor skills in athletes, a company executive will discuss how they utilize technology, secured funding and built a sales channel.
  • The visit to Adidas features presentations by top executives about competing for talent, global communications and metrics and measuring return on investment.
  • The director of information at the Portland Trailblazers will discuss how analytics are used in modern sports and arenas and the vice president of media will focus on behind-the-scenes broadcasting and media deals.
  • Columbia Sportswear Company will feature a presentation by a vice president on leading innovation in an industry.
Wave Magazine talked with Davis College of Business Dean Dr. Don Capener about the new program and its value to JU students:

How did this program to connect students with these business leaders come about?

A few notable alumni including Brian Barquilla and Tommy Grimes were discussing how a trip focused on how business was being conducted at some of the world’s greatest companies or exploring new international arenas could benefit our business students and expose them to some wonderful opportunities to engage with business leaders and executives at the target companies. Plus, the Davis College of Business is focused on growing its international business reputation through association with companies that already possess a global footprint, and individuals with significant international business experience. Putting these trips together where we could combine the best of all of these areas was the result.

As an expert in marketing and sport business in your own right, can you discuss how this first trip in particular will be advantageous for JU students?

Today, it isn’t enough to have a great on-field performance as a sports brand. You’re competing against other entertainment venues such as movies, live musical and theatrical performances, charitable organizations and every other sport for fan loyalty. Every team is also competing for the limited discretionary spending the average household does on entertainment. Loyalty and discretionary spending on sports is a battleground. Most all of the brands that we will get an inside view of during this trip to Portland have developed loyalty over years of successful operations and won their share of battles. Each participant will learn a lot on this trip and be able to take home promotional tactics, marketing ideas, and branding momentum strategies that can help them be more effective.

How do you see this program aiding the extended Jacksonville community?

In addition to our invited guest speakers to Jacksonville University, this offers a chance to rub elbows with sports marketing and business leaders outside of North Florida. Portland is in many ways an aspirational market for Jacksonville to emulate. It’s not just the business community and downtown vibe, it’s the passion for their sports teams, which you can equate to financial and on-field success for the Trailblazers, Timbers and other sports and entertainment entities. Plus, Nike and Adidas alone are sports icons and are among the world’s top 20 brands.

Who is the ideal candidate for these types of trips?

Students who have their eyes on a career in sport management or want to harness the passion we all have in sports toward their brand should strongly consider participation.

Founded by Barquilla, who is publisher of Advantage Business Magazine, and communications expert Meredith O’Malley Johnson in partnership with JU, Spearpoint Business Tours is designed to inspire business leaders and students by giving them a chance to visit and interact with America’s most iconic and successful companies.

“We wanted to create an exclusive, in-depth educational experience that’s one-of-a-kind, where business owners and business students can meet, exchange ideas and ask questions of top executives at America’s most iconic companies,” said Barquilla. “This is a trip where you’ll come home with newfound inspiration for growing your business. This is a trip for adventurers and lifelong learners.”

Spearpoint Business Tours and JU have created a unique curriculum for the inaugural Portland trip, and are offering JU faculty and students special pricing. Pricing and full trip agenda can be found at www.spearpointbiztours.com.

“In today’s extremely competitive marketplace, we are focused on preparing our students to graduate job-ready and promotion-ready on Day One, and that means practical on-the-ground and in-the-field learning,” Capener said. “This new partnership, with one of the most respected business education and communication media companies in the Southeast, fits perfectly with our mission to provide the most valuable experiences possible to enhance students’ career development.”

About Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University works to prepare each of its more than 4,000 students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving. Its 250-acre riverfront campus is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. The private university has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 12 straight years, ranks in the top 13% of all U.S. colleges in average alumni salaries, and is in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. With a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio and full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent, it offers small class sizes, inviting campus grounds and engaged faculty and staff in a setting that promotes community, ambition and responsibility. JU has nearly 200 full-time faculty and offers more than 70 majors, programs and concentrations. Additionally, it offers graduate degrees in business, choreography, education leadership, marine science, mathematics, nursing, orthodontics, public policy, speech-language pathology, reading education, and visual arts. JU is accredited by, among others, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

About Spearpoint Business Tours

Spearpoint Business Tours is a community of action-oriented influencers who enjoy being inspired by some of the most brilliant minds doing work in America’s most admired and iconic companies. Using education as a platform, our travelers build lifelong relationships with their like-minded and adventurous peers.  They energize one another, have fun and collaborate as they explore new ways to solve old problems. For additional information, visit www.spearpointbiztours.com.