Major League Experience in a Minor League Town: Gaining Sport Industry Insights Through Community Partnerships

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Laurel Traynowicz


One thing is certain: It’s not what you know, it’s who knows you. For Boise State students seeking a career in sport, living in a city with no professional major league sport teams makes it difficult to develop a professional network. Those who seek to gain meaningful experience with a professional sport organization find their options limited. Yet there is a way for sport-minded students to make this work. Despite the lack of major league teams, Communication students have forged important relationships with decision-makers of local minor league teams. In researching how to manage the problems of an inconvenient city, students enlarged the available area instead of settling with resources 20 miles from campus. Students’ investigations into how to “break into the sport and entertainment industry,” along with their creative discoveries in making it work and the relationships formed, include insightful lessons on expanding the pie instead of making do with one that will only serve a few people. The primary findings centered equally on commitment and partnering. Expressing to businesses in the community their value as community partners, and seeking mentoring by those already well established in the industry, benefit the university and its students, local businesses and professional teams and organizations outside of the region. Discovering and seeking out individuals who have achieved a high level of success, and who are known for their work in teaching and networking, is far more than a simple cold call. This is especially true when there are any linkages at all between student and industry leader. The robust communication foundation on which these results lie as well as the research results are generalizable to students in other industries and cities.

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