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UNF sport management unveils executive-mentoring program and data lab to address employable skills for students

June 29, 2020

Three students working at the TPC standing in front of the green

The University of North Florida’s College of Education and Human Services Sport Management Program is unveiling an Executive-in-Residence program and Sport Data Analytics Lab available beginning Fall 2020. These programs, directed by Dr. Wanyong Choi, sport management assistant professor, will help students develop skills that employers are currently looking for and be better prepared to enter the workforce.

 

Executive-in-Residence Program

The Executive-in-Residence program will feature local business owners, CEOs, and experts in the field of sport management who will take turns serving as a courtesy faculty member by co-teaching a class and mentoring sport management students. The students will learn directly from these seasoned professionals who will share real-world experiences from various sport management careers. The direct collaboration with knowledgeable industry professionals will greatly benefit students in gaining employable skills as well as enhance collaborative research initiatives with faculty.

 

“Our students will learn from the best in the field and receive priceless mentoring advice towards making important career decisions,” said Choi.

 

The first Executive-in-Resident is Ken Lovell, senior vice president of ShotLink Business Operations for the PGA TOUR. Lovell is responsible for licensing, client relationships and service for scoring products and manages upstream scoring product development. In his over 20-year career with the TOUR, he held various positions in communications and marketing, including the creation and development of the TOUR’s research department. Most recently, he worked as senior vice president of marketing where he had responsibility for international and multicultural marketing efforts as well as analytics. Prior to his work with the PGA TOUR, he conducted consumer research projects for Procter and Gamble. Lovell will continue his full-time work with the TOUR during his tenure as Executive-in-Residence.

 

Sport Data Analytics Lab

Data Analytics was identified by the COEHS advisory board as an important area for employers and a potential niche for UNF’s sport management program. The Lab is a one-of-a-kind hub to share data analytics expertise through partnered projects and consultations with sport-related organizations regionally, nationally and internationally.

 

“When I was in college, I worked at a sports match data analysis lab,” said Choi. “What I learned at the lab changed my career. I want to give our students this opportunity to help them gain a unique skill set that will enhance their employability.”

 

The lab will analyze on-field performance data to be able to make researched predictions about athlete performance to improve skills and strategies as well as predict and prevent player injuries. The lab will also analyze off-field business data to access the value of an organization, league, team and athletes, as well as examine the effectiveness of marketing activities and better understand customer behavior patterns. The Lab will provide greater ability for UNF students and faculty to conduct and present academic research on sport data to the community as well.