SBA: 2022-23 year in review
By: Taylor Seid and Ethan Goldstein
April 24, 2023
This year in SBAJ, our phenomenal writers produced stories on some of the most prevalent news topics in the sport business world. Stories extended to all areas of sport, ranging from Formula One Racing to the World Baseball Classic. Here are some of the featured topics from this year:
Our first issue from September featured many different areas of the professional soccer landscape. With the World Cup approaching in November, we highlighted the uncertainty surrounding Qatar’s preparation to host the tournament. In a more specific look into the English leagues, SBAJ discussed the ownership change at Chelsea with American Todd Boehly taking charge of the club – and in a contrasting perspective, we took a dive into lower-tier English football with Wrexham FC, the up-and-coming club run by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
The release of Issue II coincided with the beginning of the NBA season in October, with many articles reflecting some of the top news in basketball. We covered Ime Udoka’s fallout with the Boston Celtics and the financial implications of the Celtics’ decision to suspend him for the season. We also touched on some topics that affected the balance of power in the NBA landscape – included in this was Robert Sarver’s drawn out process to sell both the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, as well as action taken by a Texas congressman to prevent the San Antonio Spurs from relocating to Seattle.
As the World Cup drew closer in November, our Issue III again touched upon concerns about Qatar as the host country, particularly looking at the obstacles the small country would face as they tried to replicate the success seen in prior host countries such as South Africa.
Even in the midst of finals as fall semester wrapped up, SBAJ still found time to write a holiday issue – this issue was released right as we were in the heat of playoff football – both on the collegiate and professional level. With the College Football Playoff approaching, we discussed the implications of the 12-team playoff expansion in 2024. On the other hand, for the NFL playoffs we discussed the idea of eliminating divisional champions as automatic playoff qualifiers following the NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ weak performance.
Upon return from the holiday break, many of the hottest topics stemmed from sports in their off-seasons. SBAJ Issue IV touched on free agency negotiations stemming around multiple star players in their respective sports. After reportedly signing with multiple teams and then failing to finalize terms, Carlos Correa finally agreed to a deal with the Minnesota Twins – the team he had already been with the previous year. Additionally, star soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo decided to move away from Europe’s top 5 soccer leagues to sign an exorbitant contract with Al-Nassr FC in the Saudi Arabian professional league.
Issue V came out right after the end of the NFL season, and with the end of the season came many prominent news stories. SBAJ took a dive into the performance of Super Bowl LVII from a viewership perspective, looking at the success of the Fox broadcast as well as Rihanna’s halftime show. Shortly after the conclusion of the Super Bowl, Tom Brady announced his retirement (again) and SBAJ took the time to highlight the Michigan football legend’s legacy.
Issue VI was released in March, which was full of major sporting events – in particular, SBAJ took a look at March Madness and the World Baseball Classic. While Men’s March Madness was a hit as always, SBAJ covered the growth of the Women’s March Madness tournament and how the increase in popularity led to branding changes for the NCAA Women’s Basketball. Even in the midst of Spring Training, many top baseball players left to participate in the World Baseball Classic, as SBAJ covered the return of the tournament and its resounding success with baseball fans worldwide.
As we wrap up Volume 2 of SBAJ with Issue VII, we can look back and see how the sports business landscape has changed over the course of the past year through the lens of these articles. The sports business world is continuously evolving, and SBAJ is growing alongside it – this year has been an incredible success, and SBAJ will continue furthering its mission to cover the top stories in the industry in the coming years.
Aside from the amazing work that SBAJ did this year, the entirety of SBA had a successful year as an organization, from insightful speaker events to impactful trips, and even some new initiatives. Here’s a quick recap of SBA’s 2022-2023 school year:
SBA was proud to have welcomed 130 new members to the organization this year. With weekly pro days, members were able to hear from 150 different sport industry professionals throughout weekly speaker events. From sales, to data and analytics, to law, to broadcasting and so much more, SBA’s 2022-2023 speakers came from varying backgrounds and professions, giving members a chance to learn about all aspects of the sport industry.
SBA also continued its philanthropy efforts this year. Members were able to contribute to a successful equipment drive for Girls on the Run, collecting $450 and a total of 100 items.
In addition to all of the great speaker events and philanthropy efforts, SBA launched some exciting, new initiatives this year. SBA had its first-ever alumni speed dating event, where active members had the exclusive opportunity to engage in multiple one-on-one conversations with industry professionals. SBA also held its first internal analytics case study competition, which was judged by SBA alumni that are currently working in the industry. Finally, SBA introduced a brand new DEI database filled with various DEI resources and educational materials from books, to podcasts, to movies, and more.
Off campus, SBA traveled to four different cities this year: New York City, London, Paris, and Los Angeles. On these trips, members had the opportunity to visit a variety of sport industry companies, such as agencies, leagues, teams, stadiums, and media companies. Here are some of the highlights from each trip:
New York City
In November, SBA held its first major trip post-Covid when a group of members traveled to New York City to learn about the booming sport industry in the Big Apple. Members started off the jam packed week attending an exciting networking event with SBA alumni based in the NYC area. Over the next two days, students had the chance to visit the NBA, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, NYCFC, and the NFL. Members even went to the Wasserman office in Dumbo, Brooklyn as well as took a detailed tour of UBS Arena in Elmont, NY. During these visits, members had the amazing opportunity to learn from and talk to various distinguished industry professionals and alumni!
London & Paris
In January, 18 SBA members traveled to London and Paris to visit with companies across different cultures. During this week-long trek, members got to learn more about the business operations at Crystal Palace F.C., IMG Studios, Wasserman, Stade de France, and Roland-Garros. Members also had the chance to immerse themselves in different cultures by participating in a cricket lesson at Lord’s Cricket, attending a Tottenham Hotspur match, and visiting Disneyland Paris!
In March, a group of SBA members traveled to Los Angeles to learn more about sport business on the west coast! Over these two days, members learned from alumni and distinguished industry professionals at Oak View Group, the NFL, Fox Sports, and Angel City FC. Students were exposed to areas of the sport industry that are growing and continuously evolving. To end their time in LA, students had the chance to meet and network with a number of wonderful SBA alumni that are based in the LA area!
As this school year comes to a close, we want to thank everyone who contributed to SBA's success this year, and we are so excited for the upcoming year!