June 12, 2024

Alumni Help Students Score Big in Sports Industry

Sports Management Program Brings All-Star Alumni, Faculty and Students Together

UMD students who dream of scoring careers in the sports management industry have an impressive group of alumni in their corner, thanks to the popular Sports Management Program.

Launched in fall 2023, the 12-credit undergraduate program is a Smith partnership with the School of Public Health, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and Maryland Athletics. With site visits, fireside chats and career events, the program gives students access to a network of big-league alumni and industry professionals—many of whom serve on the program’s advisory council— from organizations including the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA and ESPN.

The program is a slam dunk for students, says advisory council member Doron Tamari ’11, director of international marketing and innovation at BSE Global, parent organization of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. “Combining practical classwork with all of the real-world opportunities that are available on campus and nearby is a tremendous way to stand out and build a résumé,” says Tamari. “It’s also creating an incredibly impressive network of alumni and industry professionals who are engaging, guiding and mentoring students. I wish I had a similar program during my undergrad days.”

Steve Schanwald
Steve Schanwald, former Chicago Bulls executive, shares his expertise and mentors the next generation in UMD's Sports Management Program.

Steve Schanwald, UMD ’77, former executive vice president of business operations with the Chicago Bulls, spent over 28 years building the organization into a world-class brand through the Michael Jordan era and beyond. He, too, is bringing his expertise to the program’s advisory board.

“I look forward to making a contribution to the future success of this university—which gave me my start—and to its students,” he says. Schanwald recalled many mentors who helped him along his way and wants to extend the same guidance and support he received to the next generation of sports industry professionals. “Now, I can look on top of the mountain and see some people standing there that I had a small role in helping get there.”

Advisory council member Amanda Shank, JOUR ’05, is executive vice president of business development and brand strategy at Unrivaled Sports. She, too, is passionate about helping students get into the industry.

“It’s important that once you’ve gotten in the door, you hold it open for the person behind you. I was fortunate to find mentors during my time at UMD, and I’m excited to be that for today’s students,” she says.

Exposure to industry mentors and other aspiring sports professionals drew Valentyna Breslawec, Class of ’25, to the program: “You’re learning about the sports business industry and gaining valuable skills along the way, growing your network through your cohort, professors and professionals.”

Kennedy Evans, MiMS Class of ’25, a kinesiology major and Smith Plus 1 master’s student, says the program supports her career goals. “I’ll be able to apply that knowledge to solve challenges related to player health and safety, social justice issues and revenue generation.”

Media Contact

Greg Muraski
Media Relations Manager
301-892-0973 Mobile

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Back to Top