University of South Florida

Spring 2017 Winners - Follow the Hunt

Jose Alvarado

Jose Alvarado

Jose Pablo Alvarado is a native of San Jose, Costa Rica. His love for soccer evolved into a passion for Sport Management, and after high school he switched paradise for cold winters in Massachusetts, to receive a BS in Sport Management at UMass Amherst. He needed warm weather again though, and moved to Florida to be a part of the MBA/MS Sport & Entertainment Management program at the University of South Florida. Upon graduation, Jose wants to stay in the US for a few years to keep learning about the industry, and dreams to go back to Costa Rica and grow the industry there.

You want projects to break the walls of a classroom and the margins of a page. You want them to test how you would do in the real world. FOX Sports U provided more than that.

Even if you were working at an organization, it’s uncommon to get to create a marketing plan as big as this; it would take you years to get to that position.

It always came back to seeing this not as a school project, but as actual agency work.

Sam Ross

Sam Ross

Samuel (Sam) Ross grew up in Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada. He graduated from the F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is currently enrolled in the USF Masters of Sports & Entertainment Management program and will graduate with his MBA/MS in May 2018. Currently he works as a marketing and communications graduate assistant for USF’s Office of the Provost & Executive Vice President. In August 2017 Sam will begin working as the Fox Sports Florida marketing resident. After graduation Sam hopes to continue working in marketing in the sports and entertainment industry. In his spare time, Sam enjoys hiking, kayaking, travelling, and other adventurous activities with friends and family.

Working with FOX Sports and The Florida Panthers gave my team and I an opportunity to apply the theories we learned in class to the real world.

Our FOX Sports U project has given my team and I concrete experience we can include in our portfolio that will really make a difference as we enter the job market.

As an incoming FOX Sports Florida resident, this project allowed me to learn about FOX Sports and the FOX Sports Florida brand long before my first day.

Matthew Swan

Matthew Swan

Matt is from Reading, Pennsylvania. For undergrad, he attended the University of Pittsburgh where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics. While at the University of Pittsburgh, Matt held an internship with DICK’S Sporting Goods as a Merchandising Intern where he further developed his marketing, finance, and data analysis skills. Following his passions, Matt’s next stop landed him at the University of South Florida in their Sport & Entertainment Management program where he will receive a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Sport Business and a Master of Science in Sport & Entertainment Management. Upon graduation, Matt hopes to pursue a career in data analytics for a professional sports team.

The FOX Sports U program is a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their natural and developed talents for sport business.

The greatest components I will take out of my experience with FOX Sports is all the invaluable business skills that were necessary in order to be successful within my team and the project.

The FOX Sports U project is a unique chance to experience a real world sport marketing project, which I will be able to speak to in interviews upon graduation as I seek to jump-start my career.

Jamie Holley

Jamie Holley

Jamie Holley is originally from Tallahassee, Florida and will graduate with her M.B.A/M.S. in Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Florida in May of 2018.  She is an alumna of Florida State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing, while being heavily involved in their athletic department. Through her internship with Seminole Sports Marketing and her employment at Seminole Boosters, she found her true passion for the sport and entertainment industry. Currently, Jamie is beginning her residency at the Florida Hospital regional office working within their Sport Partnership department where she will assist in the day to day operations to continue their partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lightning, and Storm. After graduation, she hopes to continue working for a professional franchise or agency within the sport and entertainment industry. During her free time, Jamie enjoys spending time with her family, boating, and traveling.

Having the opportunity to work with FOX Sports and the Florida Panthers was truly incredible and allowed my group and I to apply various classroom theories into a real world marketing campaign.

The FOX Sports U project is extremely valuable as our ideas become a tangible product to add to our portfolio to aid in the transition from graduate school to occupations within the sport and entertainment industry.

This semester-long project was unique in so many ways, as it provided each student the opportunity to develop a marketing campaign around a recognizable franchise. I am excited to see my groups’ hard work and ideas come to life.

Alexandra Smith

Alexandra Smith

Alexandra Smith grew up in Union, Kentucky. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an area of concentration in Sports Business. Currently, she is entering her second year of the USF Sport and Entertainment Management MBA/MS program. In the past, Alex has served as an intern with the Cincinnati Reds, the MLB Urban Youth Academy, and Positive Coaching Alliance-Tampa Bay. Recently she began her residency with the Tampa Bay Rays in Customer Analytics. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in Major League Baseball. In her spare time, Alex enjoys baseball and traveling.

Developing a comprehensive marketing campaign with FOX Sports University is easily one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, academic projects I have ever experienced.

The competition among the class pushed everyone beyond their traditional thinking to develop their best work possible.

Working on this project has been an invaluable experience that serves as a learning experience but can also be showcased in our portfolio in the future.

Jakub Mikulik

Jakub Mikulik

Jakub Mikulik grew up in the Czech Republic and graduated from the Business College of Ostrava with a bachelor’s degree in economics and management. He previously pursued a career as a golf professional as well as a trainer. In addition, he supplied six golf stores with self-made and self-designed training aids and consulted young athletes and their families on them becoming an athlete at the collegiate and then professional levels. Since coming to the United States, he has worked for Etzel Agency at the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship, identified data to develop research materials, assisted with operations and partnership at the “Bolts & Bulls Golf Classic,” and lead volunteers as a captain during the D1 NCAA Golf Championship. Currently, Jakub is an Inside Sales Resident at the Tampa Bay Lightning. After graduation, in May 2018, he aspires to work in sales, corporate sponsorship, or for a sports agency.

The best way to learn is through real-world experience and FOX Sports University grants young professionals that opportunity.

Everything from collaboration in the team, developing research, and presenting in front of executives was a powerful way to get exposed to the work in professional sports.

There is no formula to success and problem-solving.


Spring 2017 Project Description

Sports and Entertainment Management students at USF were challenged by FOX Sports Florida to develop a marketing campaign that spreads the sport of hockey and drives excitement around the 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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