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CBED Students Attain Top National Rankings in NCSSC Competition

Fri, 12/16/2022 - 07:56am | By: Van Arnold

Three students in the College of Business and Economic Development (CBED) students at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) recently earned rankings in the National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship and Conference (NCSSC) Virtual First Round.

NCSSC, affiliated with Baylor University's Center for Sports Strategy and Sales and the Atlanta Hawks, presents opportunities for students in their final year of school to highlight their skills in a competitive sports sales’ environment. Students pitch a product to the buyer, and recruiters (typically inside sales managers) serve as buyers in a role-play competition.

The championship includes two divisions in Sales: Tickets and Corporate Partnerships. Students compete in their division against other students from colleges across the nation.

After the virtual first round in the Tickets division that featured 130 students, USM’s Holden Hewes (sport management major) ranked No. 3 nationally, and USM’s Ryan Theriot (sport management major) was No. 79 overall. In the Corporate Partnerships division that included 55 students, USM’s Dawson Cudd (general business major) placed No. 21 nationally.

For preparation, the students worked with Dr. Chris Croft, Assistant Professor of sport management, and Kevin Buckley, Professor of Practice in marketing. Training sessions included NCSSC presentations from the Atlanta Hawks staff, training sessions with Southern Miss Sport Management alumni in the sport industry, and individualized training sessions.

USM sport management alumni assisting with training sessions included Ben Winpigler, Senior Account Executive-Ticket Sales and Development with USM Athletics; Rachel Bronson, Manager, Sales and Service with Tickets For Less (Omaha Branch); and Jerica Galloway, Account Executive, Ticket Sales, with the Memphis Grizzlies.

These sessions included how to connect to the buyer, highlight your product, and close the sale. Galloway, a recent USM sport management graduate was a participant in the NCSSC program last year and landed a position with Memphis Grizzlies.

The virtual first-round competition allowed students to make their presentations to sport industry professionals while also initiating networking and job opportunities. Hewes noted, “the NCSSC competition has been a fantastic opportunity for me. It has given me an opportunity to showcase my skills in front of a wide variety of professional teams and helped me to pinpoint my career plans and future steps in the Sports Management industry.”

Theriot stated “participating in the NCSSC taught me a lot about everything that goes into selling tickets. More importantly, this competition has taught me a lot about myself. I am proud that I was able to come out of my comfort zone and accomplish something that I didn't know I was capable of.”

Cudd added, “Preparing for this competition can help develop a number of skills. The biggest skill that I was able to develop was understanding that not every question needs an answer. Sometimes it’s best to be honest and let them know their issue is important enough to take time to answer.”

Students will now advance to NCSSC Championship in Atlanta on Feb. 27-28, 2023, at State Farm Arena. The NCSSC Championship round will include the opportunity to display sports sales skills in a competitive face-to-face format, speed selling competition, interact with sports business industry professionals in job interviews, networking opportunities, and attend an Atlanta Hawks game.

This marks USM’s second year to compete, and the conference is funded by the College of Business and Economic Development (CBED) Business Advisory Council (BAC).

To learn more, visit these websites:

National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship (NCSSC)

Atlanta Hawks