As the Manhattan Sports Business Academy enters its final week, it becomes quite clear just how impactful this program has been to all of us. From meeting industry executives to experiencing once in a lifetime opportunities to visit different venues, MSBA has been an incredible journey. The overall effervescent personalities of the students in our program not only helped make this summer unforgettable, but it also, led to a future filled with new lifelong friends. I can say with a great deal of candor that this was an adventure of a lifetime. As we get ready to present our “Think Tank” projects and conclude MSBA, we will definitely be making the most of our last week in New York City.
This past Sunday night was a very special treat for us, as Lon Rosen, Executive Vice President of Magic Johnson Enterprises and longtime agent of Magic Johnson, was able to speak to us via Skype. Lon spoke about a variety of topics, ranging from his early days interning for the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, to his present day endeavors with Earvin “Magic” Johnson and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most interestingly, Lon told us that him and Magic became close friends before they began working with one another, and he used to take Magic to his college parties! He was incredibly open and straightforward when responding to questions, and even allowed students to ask personal questions about the darker days of Magic’s playing career. Lon was our first guest to speaker via Skype, and it went incredibly well. Those were able to attend his talk came away incredibly impressed and intrigued at what they had heard, and instantly grew affection for Lon’s mix of seriousness and humor. To go along with Lon’s speech, we also touched on his son Brian’s goals to create a country-wide sports business club that will be innovative, interactive, and extremely beneficial. If your school is interested in creating or updating your sports business club, definitely speak to Brian!Having spoken to Lon after Magic Johnson and Guggenheim partners purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion, it was intriguing to learn about the process the Guggenheim group went through to create a bid and then ultimately purchase the team. Having excelled both on the court during his playing days and off the court through business ventures such as bringing Starbucks and movie theaters to inner cities, Lon was able to give us great insight into the admirable character traits of Magic Johnson. Concluding his talk, Lon recommended that aspiring sports business professionals not just look at the representation side of sports, but also the various aspects of sports, such as sponsorship sales, digital and social media, public relations, and other areas with room for growth.
Lon’s speech was fantastic, and was a great segway into our final week, which, per usual, is incredibly jam-packed. On Monday night, we will be participating in a formal rehearsal for our presentations on Wednesday. Tuesday will our last opportunity to meet as a group and lay the finishing touches on our group projects. On Wednesday, our mentors, peers, and some of the guest speakers will join us at the Core Club as we present our “Think Tank” projects to the executives of our official sponsors: Mission Athletecare, Deuce Brand, Gatorade, and Fila. Thursday, all students will partake in an exit interview, which will lead up to our closing ceremonies on Friday night. This program was a wonderful experience, and helped us realize the pursuit to our dream job is more attainable than we thought.