This week in ISM I made progress on my final product. I added to my product log, which now holds 15.5 hours. This consists of researching new possible relocation opportunities, having a mentor visit to discuss possible teams to take over, researching failing minor league baseball teams, and having a mentor visit to discuss sponsorship and branding for the new team I have created. I also completed my product progress assessment. In my product progress assessment I talked about how my final product is going. I said that I am a little behind on my calendar, but still on track to finish with plenty of time. I talked about the fact that I am succeeding in learning a lot about the business finance side behind sports through gaining knowledge on the intricacies of what goes on during the purchase of a minor league baseball team, but that there is difficulty in my final product in a few ways. First of all, I had trouble with locating a city that I could base my minor league baseball team in, because I was unaware of certain relocation rules. Also, I am having trouble convincing my mentor to allow me to take a look at the finances of the purchase of the Roughriders that happened recently. I know I am very confident that I will have a complete and interesting final product come final product presentation night. I still have to select the logo for the team, as well as setup the sponsorship, stadium, city, and front office deals to complete my product. I emphasized that fact that through my meetings with my mentor, Dustin Alban, I have been able to learn a lot about how and why certain teams create sponsorship deals with corporations, and how you can make a sponsorship deal be successful for both parties through treating each deal individually to make sure each company is given the best chance to succeed through its advertising with the team. Overall, this week has put me on track to complete my final product and I am excited for what lies ahead.
Over spring break for ISM I did research on which team I would like to buy for my final product of purchasing, branding, and recreating a minor league baseball team. The first team I researched was the Mobile BayBears. They are the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Their stadium was built in 1997 and sits 6,000 fans. They relocated to Mobile in 1997, and they are owned by Michael Savit and the HWS group. I researched their sponsors and decided to give them a sponsor grade of a C. The next team I researched was the Jackson Generals. They are the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Their stadium was built in 1998 and sits 6,000 fans. They relocated to Jackson in 1998, and they are owned by Jackson Baseball Club LC. I researched their sponsors and decided to give them a sponsor grade of a B. The third team I researched was the Biloxi Shuckers. They are the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Their stadium was built in 2015 and sits 6,000 fans. They were created in Biloxi in 2015, and they are owned by Ken Young. I researched their sponsors and decided to give them a sponsor grade of a B. The last team I researched was the Mississippi Braves. They are the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Their stadium was built in 2005 and sits 8,500 fans. They relocated to Mississippi in 2005, and they are owned by Liberty Media. I researched their sponsors and decided to give them a sponsor grade of an A. Based on my research, I immediately eliminated the Biloxi Shuckers and Mississippi Braves from contention. The Biloxi Shuckers were just created in 2015, so relocating them now wouldn't be a good idea. I also eliminated the Mississippi Braves, because they have a lot of support in their community, the best stadium of the four, and quality sponsorship. My next job for my final product will be choosing between the Mobile BayBears and the Jackson Generals.
This week in ISM I made progress on my final product. Last week, I had to go back to square one. However, I was excited as it presented me with a real world obstacle to overcome. This week, I did more research, this time in metropolitan areas, and I found that Honolulu, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Mission, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, all could have supported minor league teams. I presented Mission and Baton Rouge to my mentor and we decided to go with Baton Rouge. We felt that the prestige of LSU baseball has created a strong baseball culture in Baton Rouge, and that there are plenty of thriving businesses in Baton Rouge that could fill up our sponsors. We decided that the best fit for a Baton Rouge minor league franchise would be the Double-A Southern League. As part of the south, a Louisiana team would fit right in. We then look at prospective teams we could purchase in the Southern League and move to Baton Rouge. We narrowed it down to four, including the Mobile BayBears, the Jackson Generals, the Biloxi Shuckers, and the Mississippi Braves. Next week I will be researching these four franchises and deciding which one is the right fit to relocate to Baton Rouge.
This week in ISM was a slow week. I was unable to have a mentor visit this week because me and my mentor had conflicting schedules, and also, we did not have a lot of assigned work to complete. However, I did make advances on my final product as well as complete my third mentor visit assessment. After the submission of my final product proposal, I did research on possible failing minor league baseball teams that are in need of relocation. I will present my findings to my mentor at our next mentor visit, and my goal is to have set a team to relocate as well as a city to relocate it to at our next mentor visit. In my mentor visit assessment, I talked about when I presented my ideas to Dustin, and he asked me if there were any teams near the city I had chosen. I found out that there are rules in Minor League Baseball that say you can not relocate a team within a certain radius of any other team. Since all three of my cities had minor league baseball teams within the radius of another team, I had to throw them all out. Although this put me back to square one, it helped me learn something new about minor league baseball, and gave me an opportunity to overcome a real world obstacle, which is ultimately what this project is all about.My main lesson this week in ISM was that overcoming obstacles is not something to fear, but rather something to thrive through.
This week I did more research to find a city to relocate my future minor league baseball team to. To find potential cities, I researched the top metropolitan areas in the united states and searched to see if they had a minor league baseball team. I realized that all of the top areas do, so I only considered metropolitan areas outside of the top 50. The cities I decided to look into were Buffalo, New York, Rochester, New York, Tucson, Arizona, Honolulu, Hawaii, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fresno, California, Worcester, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bakersfield, California, Knoxville, Tennessee, Omaha, Nebraska, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Wichita, Kansas, Syracuse, New York, Pensacola, Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Mission, Texas. I learned that even many smaller metropolitan areas have minor league baseball teams, which originally worried me because I thought I wouldn’t be able to find a place to relocate my team to. However, through my research I found that Honolulu, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Mission, TX, do not currently have a minor league baseball team. Therefore, those will be the four cities I look into building my team in. This research was on part of the first step in my final product. The next step will be to find struggling minor league baseball teams that could be purchased and relocated. I am excited to continue my final product and present it on Final Presentation night.
This week in ISM I submitted my product proposal to my mentor and to Coach Goff. I had previously discussed my final product idea with my mentor but this was my official submission. My mentor and I both see a lot of possibilities for me to learn a lot and create a great final product. The purpose of my final product is to experience and overcome the challenges that present themselves in creating a sports franchise. This will allow me to grow in creativity, problem solving, and will give me a chance to see what people do in sports finance on a daily basis. I will also learn a lot about understanding where to invest money in order to get the largest return, which will be the most important thing in my research. I also had my third mentor visit this week. We dedicated this visit to working on my final product. We ran into a few problems, but set ourselves up to be able to adjust and succeed. He tasked me to come up with three possible cities for the minor league team I was creating after our second visit. Through my research, I found Pearland, Texas, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and South Jordan, Utah. However, I was unaware that all three had minor league teams located in surrounding cities. For my next research I am going to research entire metropolitan areas for the lack of a team rather than individual sites to avoid this problem. I am still excited about my product and I am ready to move forward on the ISM journey.
This week in ISM I had my second mentor visit with my mentor, Vice President of Finance for the Frisco Roughriders, Dustin Alban. We met before school on Friday, January 27th. The main focus of our conversation was my final product. My official final product proposal is due on Monday, January 30th. When Coach Goff first told us about the Original Work project in class, the idea of creating a salary cap for Major League Baseball came right into my head. Similarly, when she told us about the final product, I immediately thought that I should create an expansion team for the NHL. I chose the NHL because the NHL is currently expanding, and the brand new Las Vegas Golden Knights are coming into the league this upcoming season. I researched places that would most likely suit a new hockey team, and narrowed my decision down to either Kansas City or Seattle. However, when I tried to do research on how creating an expansion team works, I could not find near enough data and information to base my entire final product around. Therefore, I brought this problem to my mentor and proposed to him some of the ideas I had to work around this obstacle. We decided that I should stick with my idea, but instead of creating an NHL team, I would purchase, relocate, and rebrand a current minor league baseball team. The fact the Mr. Alban works in Minor League Baseball allows me the freedom of knowing that I can go to him to get information I can’t find on the internet. Overall, it was very productive and I plan to meet with him again after researching some possible cities for my new minor league team.
This week I solidified my topic choice as sports finance. I entered ISM with an open mind and because of that, I chose a broad topic in finance. However, since entering ISM, one of the biggest lessons that I have learned from my experience so far, was that you can only be the best at a job that you love. Therefore, I have decided to combine finance with the other greatest passion in my life, sports. This week I had two interviews. On Monday October 16th, I had an interview with Matt Walsh, an account executive from the Texas Rangers. He had a lot of knowledge on how sports and finance come together, and I learned a lot from his journey. He showed me how much of an important part of the organization the finance department is, and that although the players contribute the most to the team’s success, the team would run without the finance people behind the scenes. He referred me to Ryan Donlon. I had an interview with Mr. Donlon on Friday, October 20th. The biggest lesson I took away from my interview with Mr. Donlon was that there is no formula to success. There is know quickest route from point A to point B. In order to maximize your success, you must simply work hard, have an open mindset, and take every advancement opportunity that presents itself to you. My two interviews reassured me that I am on the right track in my journey of ISM.
This week in ISM all of the students in ISM officially signed up for the Original Work Reflection speech. This is something that I am looking forward to for a few reasons. My main reason is that I have enjoyed building my final presentation speech through the many speeches we have done this year. Normally, public speaking isn't something I am fond of, so I think it is really cool that this speech is something that I am excited about, even though it is public speaking. Also, I am excited to hear about how the other students’ projects went. I strongly believe that the ISM program and the Original Work projects can bring out amazing things in people, and I can’t wait to see how it has impacted the lives of the students in my class. Also, I had my first mentor visit today with my new mentor. His name is Dustin Alban and he is the Vice President of Finance for the Frisco Roughriders. Working with him is a great opportunity for me, and I am hoping I will be able to take a lot of great connections and experiences out of it. I am looking forward to the Research Showcase this Wednesday.
This week in ISM I completed my research portfolio and it is ready for the Research
Showcase. We are less than ten days away from the Research Showcase at The Star in Frisco. Once I create my display board I will be completely ready for the showcase. I am very excited about the showcase because it gives me the opportunity to show off all the work that I have done throughout the ISM program as well as connect with the professionals that all of the other students in the ISM program have invited to the showcase. I am also excited to see other original works that my fellow ISM students have created. Not only will that be interesting and may give me ideas for my final product, but I also enjoy seeing ISM as a class impacting people’s lives the way it has impacted mine. In order to prepare for the showcase, I have modified my original mission statement on base finance to reflect my change in topic to sports finance. Not only do I have to prepare for the Research Showcase in the upcoming weeks, but I also have to prepare for my Original Work speech. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences though the Original Work project and hearing how my classmate’s projects went.