One bus, two weeks, 12 games, nine stadium tours and a chance to learn from top minds in the sports industry. Like many courses in HRSM, Baseball in the Midwest provides insight into the industry and connects students with professionals across the country. For sport and entertainment management major Hunter Morris, this course turned his first trip on a plane into a hands-on training program.
“The first time I ever stepped on a plane was for Baseball and the Midwest,” he said. “We spent two weeks getting a behind-the-scenes look at different sport venues. To actually see how venues are managed gave me a unique view of the sports industry.”
While sports have been an interest for most of his life, Hunter wasn’t convinced he should pursue sport management at first.
“When I came to campus for Admitted Student Day, the many interactions I had with faculty members actually swayed my decision. They made me feel their program was meant to develop the business skills needed to enter any related field.
Baseball and the Midwest
Hunter flew from Columbia, South Carolina, along with 10 other students to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they boarded the bus that would become their temporary home. The trip took the class through multiple iconic venues such as Wrigley Field, the United Center, Notre Dame Stadium, Kansas City Speedway and AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, and many more.
“It’s so easy to see sports as this huge, glamorous event — and it is. But to step behind the scenes and get a sense of what it takes to run a major sport venue gave me an idea of what I could do with my degree,” he said. “To step out of a classroom and see things in practice has gone a long way.”
Connect it all in the classroom
Courses like these offer students connections to professionals they hope to one day become. And paired with a rich offering of courses like Sport and Entertainment Services Marketing, Event and Venue Management, Sport and Entertainment Contracts, and Negotiations and NCAA Compliance, students get the foundation they need to get the internships they want. In fact, securing meaningful internships is the cornerstone of the curriculum.
With a direction in place, Hunter interned with the South Carolina Athletic Department, splitting time between Williams-Brice Stadium and Colonial Life Arena. He not only helped to supervise the ticketing staff at Williams-Brice but also worked with basketball, musical artists, promoters and donor events.
“Until you step on campus, you don't get a sense of the huge connections our faculty have to the industry,” he said. “Not only are these connections important, but they become more valuable as you realize it’s such a small world. Our faculty encourages us to use these connections because they want students to go out and do meaningful things in the industry.”
Over the course of his time at South Carolina, Hunter has developed an interest in NCAA athletics, primarily what a pay-for-play model would look like. It’s something he will explore further in his Honors thesis and has him contemplating studying the business-side of the NCAA in law school.
I am South Carolina.