University of South Florida

Spring 2014 Winners - Home Field Advantage

Sabrina Heron

Sabrina Heron

Sabrina Heron is from Sharpsburg, Maryland and graduated from East Carolina University with a BS in Criminal Justice. After graduation she was commissioned in the Army Reserves, and is currently the executive officer of a Drill Sergeant Unit. Sabrina is now in her second year of the MBA/ MS Sport and Entertainment program at the University of South Florida. In August, she will begin her residency with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Sponsorship Activation Department. After graduation she hopes to work for a NHL, MLB, MLS team in their sponsorship, or marketing departments.

“I feel truly lucky to have had the chance to work with the Tampa Bay Rays and FOX Sports; these experiences allowed me to take what we had learned in the classroom and apply it to a real marketing campaign. The knowledge and experience I gained was priceless.”

“FOX Sports was a great company to work with. They set a right and left limit and provided us with all of the information we needed to complete a great campaign that both Fox Sports and the [Tampa Bay] Rays would love.”

“This experience was made even better by the fact that FOX Sports valued all of our ideas, and did not treat us as students but professionals.”


Luke Mohamed

Luke Mohamed

Luke is finishing up his first year in the University of South Florida Sport & Entertainment Management MBA program.  While at USF, Luke has held residencies with IRONMAN Triathlon and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.  Prior to attending USF, Luke worked in sponsorship sales for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.  After graduating, Luke plans to pursue a career in corporate sales for a sport organization.  Outside of school, Luke like to stay active, playing and officiating ice hockey several times a week.  He also enjoys following him hometown Pittsburgh teams, the Pirates and Penguins.”

“FOX Sports U was an outstanding experience.  The ability to make a real presentation to an organization goes beyond the typical classroom experience.”

“The project definitely challenges you mentally.  The ability to think about all potential factors, while collaborating those thoughts with 4-5 others can prove to be difficult.  The most successful groups will have strong group chemistry.”

“It is great to talk about the project with friends and family, because they know FOX Sports and the Tampa Bay Rays, they can understand the significance of the project.”

“This is an accomplishment that our group will remember for the rest of our lives.”

Brielle Buckler

Brielle Buckler

Brielle Buckler is a New Jersey native with a passion for event management. She received her undergraduate degree in Sport Administration from the University of Miami in 2013, and is now pursuing a MBA/MS degree in Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Currently, Brielle works for Majestic Athletic in Tampa as a Marketing Graduate Assistant, and would like to continue her career in the industry in a marketing or event management role.

“Working with FOX Sports Florida and Sun Sports has been an awesome experience, and I can’t wait to take our work to the next level and see our ideas come to fruition with the Tampa Bay Rays!”

“It was an eye-opening experience to actually put a marketing plan together for the Tampa Bay Rays, because there are so many aspects to making a campaign pervasive and recognizable. I think our group was able to recognize the need for a powerful, interactive idea and put it into action!”

“I know our group is really excited to work with Sun Sports and the Tampa Bay Rays. How many other students can say that they had this kind of experience? Overall, this project has greatly enhanced my time at the University of South Florida, and will prepare me so much more for potential marketing positions in the future!”

Ryan Powers

Ryan Powers

Ryan Powers is currently a graduate student at the University of South Florida and is beginning his second year in the Sport and Entertainment MBA/MS program. He is a marketing resident with the Tampa Lightning and is in charge of Student Rush at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  Before attending USF, Ryan received a BA in Economics and a minor in Communications at The University of Arizona. During his time there Ryan played on the U of A club baseball team for four years. He worked at a law firm in San Francisco and an electronics company in Barcelona during his summers. Upon graduation, he would like to begin working for a professional sports team in marketing, sales, or advertising. In his free time, Ryan enjoys staying active through playing baseball, golf, and soccer.

“The experience I had during this project was not only fun, but extremely valuable for the type of a career that I hope to have in the future.”

“This FOX Sports University marketing plan was easily the most innovative and interesting projects that I have completed in my academic career.”

“The real world experience gained from creating and presenting a full 360 degree marketing plan will not only improve my resume but my overall knowledge in marketing for professional sports.”

Evan Cogley

Evan Cogley

Evan Cogley was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He graduated from the University of Tampa in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. Currently, he is pursuing an MBA in Sport Business and a Masters in Sport and Entertainment Management at the University of South Florida and is scheduled to graduate in May 2015. Next year, Evan will be working at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino assisting with their marketing analytics. Upon graduation he wants to work within business development for a sport franchise, league or business.

“FOX Sports University allowed us to escape the classroom and enter the real world.”

“Anyone can learn from a book, FOX Sports University teaches you how to adapt your knowledge from the classroom to real world marketing situations and challenges.”

“The opportunity to engage in real world learning experiences like FOX Sports University are why I choose to get my MBA from the University of South Florida.”

“As much as FOX Sports University force students to examine real world situations, FOX Sports University also forces students to look introspectively at how they function in a competitive environment, work on a team and identify the unique skill set the individual brings to the group.”


Spring 2014 Project Description

The University of South Florida formed a budding partnership with FOX Sports University in Spring 2014. Students worked with Sun Sports and the Tampa Bay Rays to increase viewership in the Tampa and St. Petersburg markets. In order to do so, students were tasked with creating 360 degree campaigns that included digital, print, on-air, and in-market activation components to help Sun Sports and the Rays bolster their viewership and ratings platforms.


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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