Sport and Event Marketing
As his last term at the University of Western Ontario came to an end, varsity football player Sean Reczulski came to the realization that his playing days would soon be over. Sean, who’d majored in criminology, also realized he wanted to stay close to his passion – sports. But getting job-ready wasn’t easy, the 24-year-old found out, and he decided to go back to school.
“It’s very difficult to break into the industry, without a name and connections,” he says. “I was in talks with the Canadian Football League for an internship program and they highly recommended George Brown College’s Sport and Event Marketing program, for more hands-on experience.”
Sean took the league’s advice and began the one-year postgraduate program in September 2013.
It also rewards excellence through numerous awards. During his time in the program, Sean won the Business Alumni Award, presented to students who demonstrate academic proficiency, leadership and organizational skills. Today he works full-time at the organization where he completed his internship – the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation (MPCF). Named after a famous former Toronto Argonaut, the charity provides youth in Canada and around the world with access to education. MPCF also offers scholarships through the George Brown College Foundation.
This inspired Sean’s end-of-year project, wherein students host events to raise funds for selected causes. Deciding they wanted to give back to future George Brown students, his team chose to raise money for scholarships.
“So many people come out of school with debt,” says Sean. “We held an event that would support the George Brown College Foundation, so future students can avail of the money. We don’t want people to miss out on education just because they can’t afford it.”
The team’s efforts created an endowment that generates an award each year to assist with the cost of going back to school. The project goes to show that students do put into practice what they learn.
And for anyone considering a career in sports marketing, the former footballer highly recommends George Brown College’s program.
“It has a great reputation all over Canada,” says Sean, who also liked the fact that the course attracts highly motivated students.
“Everyone was either coming from another job, or straight out of university, like me, so they knew exactly what they wanted.”
Some of the top executives across the sports marketing landscape are graduates of George Brown College. “The alumni network is so strong,” he notes, “and there is a common bond with other people that have gone through the program.”
Sean also notes the strength of the alumni network coming out of the program and the importance of the 5 to Watch event created by past program participants and the Sport and Event Marketing Program’s Advisory Committee. “When you’re part of the program’s alumni, there’s a good amount of events to go to, but at 5 to Watch, you can probably pack a year’s worth of networking into that one night,” he says. “People share, let you pick their brain, and will meet for a coffee afterwards. It’s motivational too. You hear about what someone has done in their career and you think ‘I need to get started.”