A select group of JU students and faculty recently got an insider’s view of both the athletic and business sides of the Florida Cup held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando. an annual event that features an international soccer tournament with professional clubs from around the globe.
According to the Florida Cup’s website: “The event serves as an ideal platform for international clubs who are looking to expand their brands abroad, while training at a quality infrastructure set up under ideal weather condition and competing against top competition.”
The JU attendees included Davis College of Business students Jack Burns, Joe Amico, Luiza Olivieri, and Ignazio Muccili. Marc Meny, a Kinesiology major, was also in attendance. Two DCOB faculty, Dr. Todd Hall, Assistant Professor of Sport Business, and Dr. Carol Dole, Department Chair of Sport Business, along with representatives from Kinesiology and the President’s Office, accompanied the students.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to expose our students to those who have succeeded in sport on and off the playing field,” said Dr. Hall. “To be able to network with and learn from these renowned soccer managers and executives certainly prepares our students for a career in this segment of the sport industry.”
Those in attendance at the mid-January event were able to listen to a number of speakers throughout the world of sports, including Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led five different teams to the World Cup during his soccer coaching career; the captain of the Brazilian soccer club and two-time World Cup Champion Cafu; and several new players in the technology side of the sport.
“This was an enlightening experience to be able to speak about player development with Coach Parreira and hear from someone of such high caliber was second-to-none,” said Burns, a senior from Portsmouth, England, who is a sports management major and captain of the JU soccer team. “This conference really focused on developing the whole person, as well as the player, which is something I find very interesting.”
This serves as another opportunity for Sport Business students to be exposed to a varying level of sporting knowledge. In the past year, the Sport Business program and Sport Business club has hosted a number of executive panels in a variety of sports, including golf, tennis and NASCAR, and has taken students to a variety of academic conferences, served on the volunteer staff for the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and has allowed tremendous local networking opportunities.
“The opportunity to be able to network with executives in the sporting industry, as well as the experience which comes along with it, is massive and I am very appreciative,” said Burns.