University of South Florida

Spring 2019 Winners

Hailey Hicks

Hailey Hicks

Hailey Hicks is a native of Madison, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Alabama in May 2018, with a bachelors of science in commerce and business administration. She is a student at the University of South Florida Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Program and is going to graduate in May 2020. Hailey currently serves as a marketing resident for the NBA G League’s Lakeland Magic. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in events for a professional sports team or league. In her free time, Hailey enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

“This project pushed all of my group members out of our comfort zones. We really had to think outside of the box and push our creative limits.”

“Thank you to FOX Sports U for providing experiential learning opportunities for students. The chance to create a comprehensive advertising campaign for an NBA franchise is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“I am extremely proud of our finished project. It is definitely a portfolio staple and a piece that will stand out against others.”


Cory Powell

Cory Powell

Cory Powell grew up in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in sport and entertainment management. He previously worked for Feld Entertainment in domestic marketing and sales as a representative for brands such as Monster Jam, Disney on Ice, and Marvel Universe Live. An MBA Candidate in the Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management program at USF, he wants to combine his education and prior work experiences to become a leader for a progressive organization in the field of sports, entertainment, media and venues. In his free time, Cory enjoys snow sports, the outdoors, playing video games and cooking.

“The Fox Sports University program really allowed us to bond as a group while challenging us to push the envelope in terms of our own creativity.”

“Working on the Fox Sports University project provided me with a truly unique learning experience and I’m grateful for the ways that the FOX staff pushed us to do better throughout the entire process.”

“The Heat at Heart campaign provided the platform for everybody in our group to learn and grow together. We each were able to contribute using our own unique strengths and abilities.”


Adam Swanson

Adam Swanson

Adam Swanson grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011 with degrees in both accounting and operations management.  He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and joined the USF Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management program to obtain an MBA and study data analytics.  He currently works for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the Insights and Strategy Analytics resident. When he graduates in 2020 he plans to work in finance or analytics for a professional sports team.  He spends most of his spare time watching sports and playing fantasy football, and also enjoys comedy and relaxing at the beach.

“This project truly demonstrates the power of “team.”  Ideas were flowing from all directions; by leveraging everyone’s specific skill sets and experiences, the group performance far exceeded any individual effort.”

“Fox Sports U gave us the opportunity to gain real world experience and see our vision come to life.  The real world implications made us dig deeper and learn far beyond the boundaries of any textbook.”

“We were so inspired after our visits with the Miami Heat and Fox Sports; we knew that our best idea was the bar, and that is the main thing this project received from us.”


Laura Wilhelm

Laura Wilhelm

Laura Wilhelm was raised primarily in Brandon, FL, but grew up in a military family where she lived in many different places all over the world. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida in 2018. She is now in her second year of the Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Program at USF. Laura currently works for the Tampa Bay Lightning as an account representative in the Lightning Made Sales Academy and previously worked as a Graduate Assistant for USF Athletics in Event Management. After graduation, she wants to work in membership sales and service or special events for a major sport and entertainment venue. Her dream job would be to return to USF and become the University Athletic Director. Outside of work and school, she loves to spend time with her family, go to the movies, or read a book on the beach.

 “This opportunity challenged me to tap in to my dormant creative side and showcased the true power of group collaboration, and how it is necessary for success.”

“All programs studying sports and entertainment need to incorporate this type of competitive project into their course structure because provides real experience and highly constructive feedback entirely in the best interest of the student.” 

“The FOX Sports U program was one of the most challenging and fun experiences of my life. I know the lessons I have learned throughout the program will positively impact me for a very long time. Thank you, FOX Sports U!”

Alexandre Sivolella

Alexandre Sivolella

Alexandre Sivolella was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With degrees in Law from PUC-Rio, and Film from UFF, he will be graduating from USF’s Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program in May 2020. Alexandre currently works at The Identity Tampa Bay as a graduate resident. Upon graduation, he wants to work in content strategy and production for professional sports organizations. Alexandre loves traveling, watching 1980s ci-fi and horror movies, following Brazilian soccer, MLS, NHL, NBA, NFL and WSL, and enjoying family time with his wife Julia, and their lovely cats, Clementina and Venceslau.

“FOX Sports U gave us the chance to challenge ourselves to be as creative as possible. We connected HEAT fans, FOX Sports Florida, and the city of Miami. I will forever be grateful for this inspiring experience.”

“To create and develop our Heat at Heart project was an adventure in the professional world of sports and entertainment. It was also a great opportunity to strengthen our friendship as a group.”

“It was amazing to put together all of our team members’ skills to create something larger and more meaningful than we would be able to do if we were working individually.”



Spring 2019 Project Description

Students at the University of South Florida were tasked with developing a marketing campaign that FOX Sports Sun and the Miami HEAT could use to raise awareness and engagement around Miami Heat broadcasts on the regional network.


Professor Profile

William Sutton

William Sutton

William Sutton joined the USF College of Business as a professor and director of the new USF Sport and Entertainment Management program. A distinguished academician and a proven sports marketing practitioner, Sutton teaches courses in Sport Marketing and Sales and Fundraising in Sports.

Sutton held previous academic appointments at Robert Morris University, the Ohio State University, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and the University of Central Florida. He served as VP team marketing and business operations for the NBA and is the principal and founder of Bill Sutton & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in strategic marketing and revenue enhancement. Previous consulting clients include the AEG, NBA, NFL, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, MSG Sports, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the New York Mets.

Sutton holds three degrees (BA 1972, MS, 1980, and EdD 1983) from Oklahoma State University, where he was inducted into the College of Education Hall of Fame in 2003. He has authored more than 200 publications in journals such as Sport Marketing Quarterly, Journal of Sport Management, and the International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship. He is also a co-author of two texts: Sport Marketing and Sport Promotion and Sales Management and is co-editor of the Handbook of Sport Marketing Research.

Sutton is also an inaugural member of the Robert Morris University Sport Management Hall of Fame (2006) and recipient of lifetime achievement award from the Southern Sport Management Association (2012). He serves on the board of directors for the Folds of Honor Foundation and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. Sutton is also a past president of both the North American Society for Sport Management and the Sport Marketing Association.

Recent Research

  • Sutton,W.A. “Sutton Impact” Editorial. Sports Business Journal
  • Hyatt, C., Foster, W., McConnell, D. and Sutton, W.A. (2012). Fan Involvement in a professional sport team’s decision making. Sport Business Management: An international Journal. (in press)
  • Sutton,W.A. (2011). Looking forward: A Vision for sport marketing inquiry and scholarship. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 20: (4), 242-248.
  • Irwin, R.L. and Sutton, W.A. (2011). Ticket Sales Coaching Innovation: A few pages from Paul Brown’s Playbook. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 20 (2), 103-111.


  • Tampa Bay Sports Commission Board Member (2013- )
  • Folds of Honor Foundation Board Member (2009 – )
  • Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) (2005-)
  • President – Sport Marketing Association (2008-09, 2009-10)
  • University of Central Florida Athletic Advisory Board (2005-2007)
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