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"I have worked with the Penguins, Pirates and the Pittsburgh Marathon. I've taken part in seminars and networking events with leading sports organizations from across the country. Every experience afforded to me at Point Park has helped me build my path, made my goals reachable and my resume more competitive."

Trey Bubin '23

The SAEM program has continuously connected Trey Bubin '23 with sports industry leaders and professionals. 

Pictured is Trey Bubin. Photo by Nicole Chynoweth
Trey Bubin '23

"These connections have become valuable mentors and members of my professional network who will help me achieve a successful career after college," he said. "The SAEM program fosters these connections through countless opportunities offered for job shadowing, internships and more." 

For students aspiring to work in the sports industry, Point Park University's Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management program is a winning play. In particular, students exploring careers in sports sales will find a distinctive blend of classroom instruction and experiential learning at Point Park, through which they learn the ropes of personal selling on the University's sales teams for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Cavaliers. Additionally, a new sports sales course equips them with a career-ready skill set and connects them with other sports-focused entities for hands-on learning opportunities. 

"I have worked with the Penguins, Pirates and the Pittsburgh Marathon," Bubin said. "I've taken part in seminars and networking events with leading sports organizations from across the country. Every experience afforded to me at Point Park has helped me build my path, made my goals reachable and my resume more competitive." 

Experiential Learning

Pictured is Sydney Weaver. Photo by Natalie Caine.
Sydney Weaver '22

"One of my favorite things about the course was how interactive it is," said Sydney Weaver '22. "We get to work with different organizations by selling tickets and creating sponsorship pitch decks which is an awesome way to get experience. We are working with real organizations and making connections in the industry while learning valuable information along the way."

Prior to taking this course, Weaver had little interest in working in sales.

"Within the first few weeks, I knew that sports sales was a career path that I was going to seriously consider," she said. "The course is extremely hands-on and has taught me so much through trial and error. I loved that this course gave me the opportunity to jump right in and try things out right away. Professor Derda has been such a huge help when it comes to preparing me and others for a career in this field."

"Professional sports teams and university athletic departments now look to Point Park for sports sales talent, especially as the SAEM program builds upon our recent high finishes in nationwide sports ticket sales competitions," he said. 

Those high finishes in competitions include Weaver placing fourth and Bubin placing 24th in the 2022  among hundreds of other students across the country. Point Park finished ninth overall among dozens of other universities. 

"We are particularly proud of our recent SAEM graduates who have launched successful sports careers," he said. "We're excited to prepare a new class of Point Park students to have immediate success in the sports industry."

Alumni success

Pictured are Cassandra Wangler and Brendan McKnight. Submitted photo.
Cassandra Wangler & Brendan McKnight

SAEM graduates have a strong history of landing sports sales roles after graduation. For example, Cassandra Wangler '22 and Brendan McKnight '22, who placed well in the 2021 National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship, have gone on to work for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Learfield Amplify, respectively. 

“Brendan’s experience that he gained while attending Point Park is what made him stand out amongst other candidates," said McKnight's supervisor, Maggie Coates, associate manager, ticket sales and service at Learfield Amplify. "Having sales experience prior to graduation is invaluable when applying to your first sales job in the sports industry. He is consistently a top performer on our staff after only being with us for a few months, which is a direct reflection of his hard work as a student at Point Park.” 

Learn more about these successful alumni below:

Cassandra Wangler '22

Job: Inside Sales Representative, Pittsburgh Penguins
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Upper St. Clair High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Describe your job and what you enjoy about it.

I currently work as an Inside Sales Representative for the Pittsburgh Penguins. I typically spend my day making calls and sending emails to different leads, as well as giving tours to people who might be interested in purchasing some sort of ticket package. My favorite part of the job is that I get to talk to people who are just as passionate about the Penguins as I am.

How did your participation in the SAEM program's sports sales teams prepare you for your current role?

I felt a lot more confident getting on the phones for the first time than I would have had I not participated on the sales teams or the National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship. Although it is cliché, the saying “practice makes perfect” is true!

Why would you recommend Point Park's SAEM program to a prospective student?

To me, what stands out the most about the SAEM program are the professors. I don’t know of any other school or program where the professors are as invested in their students as the professors in the SAEM program. The sales competition was something I never would have known about had Professor Derda not signed the school up to participate. The professors want to see their students succeed and do what they can to make sure that happens.

Brendan McKnight '22 

Job: Account Executive, Learfield Amplify
Hometown: Lower Burrell, Pa.
High school: Burrell High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.

What drew you to wanting to learn more about sports sales?
Originally I was unsure about what I wanted to pursue post-graduation, but after attending the National Sports Sales Championship in Atlanta, I knew sales was something I wanted to at least try out. What sold me the most was knowing that the opportunities are limitless. You truly get out what you put in each and every day. The skills you learn can be applied to any job in life, and there are always opportunities to grow within the industry.

Which sales team were you involved with at Point Park? Describe your experience. 
I participated in the Pittsburgh Penguins and Cleveland Cavaliers sales teams. They were great entryways into the sales world and gave me the opportunity to practice and sharpen my skills. Both teams were amazing experiences to have on my resume and truly impressed all employers that interviewed me. 

Why would you recommend Point Park's SAEM program to a prospective student?
I would 100% recommend Point Park to anyone looking to work in sports or one of the other focus areas in SAEM. Since freshman year, I received countless opportunities to work with teams in the Pittsburgh area, and our professors seem to have connections with almost everyone in the industry. Although we are a smaller school, we are well known and well represented in our program not only throughout the Pittsburgh area, but the entire country.

Read more about SAEM alumni:

More About: Rowland School of Business, faculty, Burrell High School, Pittsburgh Pirates, PPG Paints Arena, Upper St. Clair High School, Pittsburgh Penguins, sports, arts and entertainment management