Imagine going to Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game but you also get a tour of the arena and get to hear from a panel of sports industry professionals? Some MU students don’t have to imagine anymore because they got to live it.
On March 28, the Monmouth Sports Industry Club spearheaded a trip to MSG with plenty of Hawks in tow who were looking for a fun and educational experience. This trip was an incredible opportunity for those who are looking to enter the sports industry.
Although the Sports Industry Club spearheaded this trip, you didn’t necessarily need to be a member of it to attend. If you’re interested in sports then you were welcome to join and the club decided to reach out to other Monmouth student-run organizations on campus.
Monmouth’s Sports Industry Club President Haider Husaini said, “In order to give as many students the opportunity to go on this trip, we had to collaborate with other clubs to help offset the costs.” The club collaborated with Hawk TV, WMCX, the Economics and Finance Club, and Future Business Leaders. He added, “This process took a lot of energy out of us, and I have to hand it to my VP, Luca Morello and our advisor, Professor Harmon.”
The entire process of pitching the idea to MSG and Monmouth’s Student Activities took a total of almost a year to complete. This was all due to the unknown changes in COVID protocols for both the arena and Monmouth University.
The idea for the trip was sparked by the MSG Group Sales Representative, Phillip Young. The Sports Industry Club Vice President Luca Morello said, “We started on a zoom call last May with MSG Group Sales Rep Phillip Young, where he introduced the idea. Due to the ever changing COVID protocols from both MSG and the University we were unable to make the trip happen during the fall semester.”
Morello said “He pitched the idea of a trip to us and us as the Sports Industry Club were interested in making it happen.”
Morello spoke about the process and communication between them and MSG saying “We stayed in contact with Philip and over winter break we reopened discussions of a trip.” Due to the persistence of the Sports Industry Club’s executive board, many Hawks had an unforgettable experience.
Once everything was set in stone, on March 28, two Monmouth Athletics Busses showed up to campus, parked in front of the student center, and the attendees boarded. Husaini said, “To walk out of the Student Center and see two of the Monmouth Athletics’ busses parked outside was not something I expected whatsoever.”
The very second the Hawks arrived at “The Garden”, the experience started with the scene of Hall of Fame broadcaster, Mike Breen, walking in. The Hawks were given nothing but a V.I.P experience as they were ushered into the V.I.P lounge to hear from the panel.
Off the panel Morello said that Monmouth alumni, Jennifer Kurowsky, who is the Manager of Group Sales Entertainment and Tourism, and Lindsay Hayes, who is the Senior Manager of Communications for the New York Rangers were amazing.
The VP stated, “They gave everyone great insights about their careers that I feel gave students a vision of what each respective job was like.”
Not only did the panelists give great advice but what stuck with Husaini was the progressive way to a successful career in the industry. “The professional panel gave us advice to apply in our daily lives to develop our careers. We were told to look for and capitalize off of any opportunity that comes our way.”
After their insight to the field, the group went to shoot free throws on the court and watch the Knicks game. “Walking onto the court immediately gave me chills. ‘This is the ‘mecca of basketball’, I was thinking. I looked around at the thousands of empty chairs. I then gazed upon the scratched-up hardwood thinking of the decades of history of New York entertainment.”
Morello stated that he enjoyed the panel the most because he saw how two Monmouth alum were in positions that he is considering pursuing. He added, “The whole experience was a joy as the guest speakers were great, the game was competitive, and the experience of shooting free throws on the MSG court was a bucket list moment.”
Not only was this an amazing experience, but it opened up another opportunity with the Brooklyn Nets. The day after the trip, the club specifically received an invitation to sit in box seats for a Nets game and the Sports Industry Club represented Monmouth at the Barclays Center.
The club met with event planners and an equipment manager for the Nets. Husaini said, “The representatives from the Nets were wonderful and provided us with long-lasting memories.”
The Monmouth Sports Industry Club has made incredible strides especially after winning Program of the Year for the Knicks trip. The future of the club seems to be in great hands and has an amazingly bright future.