“When I teach the Capstone course, I want students to know: I took this course myself, so I know exactly how it can shape your career,” says Drew Russell, an instructor in the MA in Sports Administration program and currently vice president of sports properties at Intersport, a leading sports and entertainment marketing company based in Chicago.
Russell is an MSA alum with more than 15 years of experience in the sports marketing industry and was named to the Sports Business Journal “Forty Under 40 — Class of 2013. Prior to Intersport, he spent several years in sponsorship marketing at Wunderman, a global ad agency, and had a stint at ESPN. He brings that diverse experience to students as they work through the Capstone project — the final requirement of the MSA program.
“My own capstone project became a real event at Intersport — an outdoor college hockey double header held at historic Soldier Field with a total of 18 days of related activities,” he says. “I want to encourage students to hone in on their interests and open their minds to all the industry has to offer.”
Russell has learned that “there’s always money available for a good idea, or a new take on a tried-and-true concept.” That enthusiasm and know-how have helped him build a portfolio of premier, televised events at Intersport and a successful career in sports marketing.
“I hope to help students find their passion and avoid taking a limited view of the industry,“ he says. “There are great opportunities out there. Really apply yourself in the program, bring a little creativity and remember that sports is, at its core, a business. That will open doors for you.”