Guest speakers from the sports industry annually bring their experiences to Penn State classrooms, on-campus programs, panels, and seminars. This is an area where Penn State benefits from its large pool of alumni and contacts who work in a wide variety of jobs with teams, leagues, media companies, agents, and sports-related and involved corporations.
Since 2007, a number of sports industry leaders from professional teams, sports media companies, and corporations whose business models include sports marketing have been on campus as guest speakers, panelists, and to provide and listen to feedback from students involved in projects on their behalf. Among the many visitors have been long-time NFL GM Ernie Accorsi, Sports Capital Partners Worldwide Principal Chris Bevilacqua, Pittsburgh Pirates CEO Frank Coonelly and EVP/CFO Jim Plake, Pittsburgh sports attorney and Altoona Curve LC Managing Director Chuck Greenberg, Philadelphia Phillies Marketing Director Kurt Funk, long-time Anheuser Busch Marketing Executive Tom Sharbaugh, PGA Champions Tour President Mike Stevens, and NFL VP of Club Development Brian Lafemina.
Programs sponsored by the Center for Sports Business & Research include the following: