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Sport Management Majors Give Marketing a Go

Students Mariana Pabon and Daniel Zabbo with their internship supervisor at The Gold Group.
Students dive in at local marketing firm and learn the value of marketing experience—no matter their desired careers.

For sport management majors Daniel Zabbo ’18 and Mariana Pabon ’18, their marketing internship was a perfect fit, even though it didn’t seem to closely align with the sports world at first glance. The two interned with The Gold Group, an all-purpose marketing firm that markets ticketed events and handles promotion, advertising, and event management.


The firm’s work includes conducting marketing research, researching market demographics, and trading tickets for promotional value and advertisements in magazines, on radio shows, and in other publications.


The Gold Group’s client list spans the United States. Pabon, who worked very closely with a California-based client during her internship, notes, “Their clients are all over the place.”


Zabbo explains, “I’ve called people from thousands of miles away that I would have never gotten the opportunity to talk to and interact with.” He says connecting with so many different clients and learning about so many different markets have been his favorite parts of the experience. 


Zabbo and Pabon quickly learned many of the key components of sport management could be applied to many different industries and careers. Zabbo says, “Sport management is basically just business management but everything is related to sports instead of business, and it gives you the opportunity to do a marketing internship instead of only working for a minor league team.”


He states that this marketing experience has been hugely beneficial. “It’s not just a sports marketing internship; it’s a marketing internship in general. These internships are important,” he says. “You learn and understand what you like and what you don’t like.” 


Pabon understands that marketing plays a huge role in sports with its cross between a game and an entertainment. She believes that sporting events are more of a production than they are a game. “At the end of the day it’s all about putting on a show.” She explains, “The same base knowledge will prepare you for entertainment and sports as well.”


Zabbo says experience is experience—bottom line. “I think any internship is experience no matter what the field is. You’re going to be able to use the things you learn and build the skills you need to go forward.” 


In marketing, Zabbo explains, how crucial the details can be. He says, “most importantly in this industry it’s important not to skimp out on the details.” He explains that this is essential in any role, “whether it be sales or marketing. Not being afraid to go into that detail is something that I’ve learned.” 


In the end, choosing an internship that wasn’t solely sports related payed off for them. “It taught me that marketing is something that I definitely want to get into in the future because there’s so many aspects to it,” says Zabbo.  


Pabon says, “There’s so many different aspects to an event and there’s so much work that gets put into just marketing, I think that’s pretty cool.”


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