PLANO, Texas – The 2017 program agenda has been set for the Learfield Minority Academy this month. The 12 selected attendees will have the opportunity to hear from collegiate athletic leaders, including NCAA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Oliver Luck and Ohio State University Director of Athletics Gene Smith.
The one-of-a-kind Academy – launched four years ago to foster minority growth and development in the collegiate multimedia and sponsorship sector – will be held June 19-23 in partnership with the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA). The first two and a half days features classroom educational sessions dedicated to sales training, best practices and professional development at Learfield’s corporate headquarters in North Dallas. The final two days allow attendees to be on-site to shadow Learfield’s local staffs, representing six of the company’s more than 120 collegiate partners. Army West Point, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Texas Tech and University of Texas at San Antonio will serve as this year’s host institutions, and the attendees will have the opportunity to meet with the athletic administrators and interact with campus leaders and corporate sponsors.
Luck and Smith will share valuable insight as keynote speakers over lunch and dinner respectively on Tuesday, June 20. Following the session with Luck, attendees will learn from additional leaders in intercollegiate athletics as an athletic director panel features University at Buffalo Director of Athletics Allen Greene; Northern Illinois University Director of Athletics Sean Frazier; and St. Francis of Brooklyn’s Director of Athletics Irma Garcia. Mario Moccia, current MOAA president and New Mexico State University director of athletics, will moderate the panel discussion.
“It’s going to be another outstanding Academy, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the content we’ve developed with MOAA for this year’s attendees. The agenda and programming will be packed with beneficial takeaways from some of the very best leaders in our industry,” said Learfield’s Chief Culture and Communications Officer Roger Gardner, who has played a pivotal role in the Academy’s creation and vision.
Another featured session within the Learfield Minority Academy plays host to a panel discussion with guest speakers from leading brands; companies that invest in collegiate sports. Earl Fenner, USG’s director, global marketing strategy and segmentation; Alicia Lee, senior sports marketing manager at CytoSport, Inc./Muscle Milk; and Jim Allen, manager, experiential marketing at Nestle Purina PetCare, will discuss their brands’ objectives when sponsoring college sports. Roy Seinfeld, Learfield’s executive vice president, national sales, will serve as panel moderator.
“We place great importance on our agenda, knowing we want to create a learning experience that is incredibly impactful for the individuals we’ve selected out of the more than 100 who apply,” said MOAA Executive Director Stan Johnson. “We’re excited about the remarkable men and women we’ve brought in to speak in the numerous educational sessions we have planned, to address relevant topics and tips that will only help these individuals on their continued professional and personal growth.”
The 4th Annual Learfield Minority Academy attendees are as follows:
• Anthony Alford, University of Georgia
• Zaina Atyani, New Mexico State University
• Darryle Bajomo, AECOM Center for Sports Administration
• Bryan Blair, Rice University
• Sheridan Blanford, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
• Epiphany Clark, Michigan State University
• Brittany Coles, Florida State University
• Gregory Hairston Jr., North Carolina A&T State University
• Daniel Heflin, Texas Tech University
• Alvin Hines, University of Missouri
• Alfred Tomlinson, University of Texas
• Ryan Watley, University Of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
About the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association:
In partnership with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association promotes equitable employment opportunities for minorities in the athletics industry through the exchange of ideas, the creation of networking opportunities and the avocation of an increase in employment for minorities in athletics administration positions at all levels of the sports industry. The association also promotes cultivating a sports environment that supports the values necessary to accept aspiring professionals from all walks of life.
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for nearly 125 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.