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Joshua R. Pate and Alyssa T. Bosley

Sport management academic programs can do better at preparing a graduate for a career by addressing the technology demands in the sport industry. Equally important is to weigh the skills that athletic department personnel want and need in a college graduate seeking an entry-level position in a sport communication, media relations, or sports information office. Those offices train student workers as an extension of their learning environment where they can put classroom learning to practice. The purpose of these interviews was to inform and equip sport management educators on how to best prepare students to enter the field of sport communication, specifically using social media in college athletics. Professionals indicated that students should be proficient in content creation and planning, representing an organization’s brand, and social media trends across all platforms. It is important for the sport management educator to know the skills and knowledge professionals desire from students so that classroom activity can be planned accordingly.

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Joshua R. Pate and David J. Shonk

The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of sport management students during an experiential learning trip to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, LA. A secondary purpose of the study was to explore and describe why students were motivated to participate in the trip. The study draws from theories of student and volunteer motivation. A qualitative approach was employed using ethnography that detailed the accounts of 11 students and 2 professors from James Madison University who volunteered to work events surrounding the Super Bowl. The findings revealed three themes: learning, career empowerment, and on-site preparation. This type of experiential trip can be replicated by other sport management educators and the findings can assist in further developing the literature on experiential learning.

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Timothy Mirabito, Robin Hardin and Joshua R. Pate

The sports world’s near universal moratorium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was abrupt and unprecedented. From professional leagues to youth sports, doors were closed to competitions and events to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The hiatus began at one of the busiest times on the calendar for sport, with the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League seasons concluding; the Women's National Basketball Association and National Football League drafts taking place; Major League Baseball's spring training nearing its conclusion; the Professional Golf Association and Ladies Professional Golf Association Tours starting their seasons; and the National Collegiate Athletic Association's marquee events, the Division-I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, set to begin. The suddenness of the interruption was met with a need by the various sport entities to engage their public with information about their respective responses. The statements that emerged on or after March 12—“the day the sports world stopped”—were not all the same. Many of the statements, in fact, were quite different. That was especially the case with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, whose governance structure and messaging practices hindered their ability to have a uniform response. The purpose of this essay was to examine the public messaging of sport leagues and organizations and to discuss the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of those public statements.