Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Distinguished Speaker Series - October

As we have mentioned before, one of the great privileges of being a student in the DeVos Program is to meet face-to-face with leading experts in the field of sport and have the opportunity to listen to their personal stories of life in the business and question them on a range of topics pertinent to our careers. In the month of October, the classes of 2009 and 2010 have been very fortunate to listen to several excellent guest speakers. Abe Madkour, executive editor of the SportBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, and Dr. Jay Coakley, a leading American sport sociologist and professor emeritus at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, each paid a visit to Orlando as featured speakers in the DeVos Distinguished Speaker Series.

Abe Madkour blew our classes away with his encyclopedic knowledge of every sport and understanding of current trends and issues facing the sports industry. Mr. Madkour oversees the leading publications for sports business executives and thus has a powerful voice in shaping the dialogue on important topics in the industry. As students in the DeVos Program, we have made it a point to start our week by reading the latest issue, so it was particularly fascinating to us to hear how he goes about his editorial decisions and how he sees his role in the industry.

Earlier this month, Dr. Jay Coakley discussed at length some of his research involving the death of amateur sport, the theory of “neo-liberalism in sport” and professional sports as a reflection of societal values among many fascinating topics. Many of our classmates have utilized Dr. Coakley’s textbooks during their undergraduate education and were quite interested in hearing his insights on many key societal issues in sport. Dr. Coakley was a very engaging speaker and gave us great access by continuing to answer our questions even through the post-speech reception. The pictures below show several students from both classes mingling and enjoying our time together at the post-speech reception following one of our great speakers.

Coming up in the weeks ahead, we look forward to hearing from both Floyd Keith, the director of the Black Coaches Association, as well as members of Disney’s Wide World of Sports Leadership Team. We will be sure to post our reactions from what will surely two equally exciting events in our DeVos Distinguished Speaker Series.

Enjoy The Day,


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