University of South Florida

Spring 2018 Winners

Katie Kicklighter

Katie Kicklighter

Katie Kicklighter grew up in Umatilla, Florida. She is a 2017 alum of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing. She will be graduating from USF’s Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management graduate program in May of 2019. Katie currently works at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission as a graduate resident. Upon graduation, she wants to work in sports tourism for a visitor’s bureau, sport commission, or national sports organization. Outside of work and school, she enjoys anything on the water: boating, fishing, and kayaking.

Developing a successful marketing plan is all about combining creativity and strategy. This project allowed us to push boundaries in both of these areas.

From the new ownership to the on-field performance of the team, we were really challenged to think outside the box by the FOX team.

I can’t think of a better way to gain first hand experience in a classroom setting than FOX Sports U! I’m so proud of the work our group put in and can’t wait to see the final product come to life.

Jalysa Wilson

Jalysa Wilson

Jalysa Wilson grew up in Bradenton, Florida. She is currently a 2nd-year graduate student in the University of South Florida Vinik Sports & Entertainment Management Dual Degree Program.  She previously worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL Draft, NFL Pro Bowl and UCF Athletics. Currently, she is the Tampa Bay Lightning Event Marketing and Lightning Foundation resident. Upon graduation, Jalysa wants to work with Events and Entertainment Marketing for an entertainment company. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with friends and attending live entertainment events.

Helping create a marketing plan that will see implementation phase, only builds my confidence in my own skill set and career path.

Friendly competition among my classmates helped me adapt a mindset from “Why?” to “Why not?”

The Fox Sports U program helped me navigate how to connect and fuse various ideas from multiple people into one theme.

Sheharyar Memon

Sheharyar Memon

Sheharyar Memon is a second-year student at the University of South Florida in the Vinik Sport and Entertainment program. He is currently working as a facility analytics resident with Tampa Bay Lightning. He works with both the operations and analytics department. After graduation Sheharyar wants to continue working in analytics for a professional team. Most of his favorite hobbies revolve around sports as he likes to watch sports, play sports and compete in fantasy sports.

The biggest key to our success during the Fox Sports project was teamwork

This hands-on learning approach was a really good experience.

This project provided me with an experience which I can share in my future job interviews.

Yareliz Nicole Ramirez

Yareliz Nicole Ramirez

Yareliz Nicole Ramirez is a second-year student at the University of South Florida in the Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Program. Yareliz has worked as a Technology Services Coordinator at the Tampa Bay Lightning during her first year in the program and now serves as the Information Technology Resident at The Lightning. After graduation in May of 2019, Yareliz hopes to continue to grow in the sports technology field, eventually landing as a director or VP of innovation and technology for a sports venue. In her free time, Yareliz enjoys finding new places to eat in the Tampa area, spending time with family and friends, as well as looking for other people’s dogs to pet.

The Fox Sports U project presented me with an opportunity that was outside of my comfort zone, that ultimately brought out potential in myself that I had never realized before.

I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work so closely with my classmates on a project that really meant a lot to us.

I’m hoping that future students, no matter in what field, can see the grand opportunity ahead of them when taking the Fox Sports U project head on!

Clayton Werner

Clayton Werner is a second-year student at the University of South Florida in the Vinik Sport and Entertainment program. Through the VSEM Program he has started a marketing residency with Fox Sports Florida/Fox Sports Sun. After graduation in May 2019, he hopes to work in digital marketing, with a professional team or with a sports marketing agency. His specific interests in this area include digital strategy, content creation, and social media management. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his fiancée and puppy, watch sports, play video games, and work on his graphic design skills.

I appreciated the opportunity to showcase creativity with a real-world problem, with tangible results.

I enjoyed the opportunity for friendly competition with my classmates.

This project was the perfect way to take learning outside of the classroom, and allowed us to use what we learned in a real way.


Spring 2018 Project Description

FOX Sports U challenged Sports and Entertainment Management students at the University of South Florida to develop a 360-degree marketing campaign to increase the viewership of Miami Marlins games on FOX Sports Florida.


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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