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“This project was a great chance to work for a professional sports team like the Cavs. I transferred to Point Park a year ago for these kinds of real-world opportunities and a chance to build my resume and professional experience."

Megan Greeley-Erwin, junior SAEM major

Sports, arts and entertainment management students in Assistant Professor Robert Derda’s Personal Branding and Business Development class are gaining hands-on sales experience selling tickets for the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers team — with the top seller earning an interview spot for an entry-level position with the Cavs.

The students were connected to the opportunity and trained by SAEM alumna Dana Drewniak '17, group events specialist for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

SAEM Students Join Cleveland Cavaliers Sales Team

“Point Park does a great job of encouraging hands-on experience, and there is no better way to see what it’s like to sell for an NBA team than to actually try it out,” said Drewniak.

Drewniak reviewed with the students how to find, prospect and approach potential sales, how to craft successful sales conversations, how to make recommendations based on an in-depth needs analysis and how to close sales.

She added: “I admire that the students are taking this experience so seriously because it will put them miles ahead of other applicants applying for sports sales jobs after they graduate."

One of those students is Megan Greeley-Erwin, a junior SAEM major from State College Area High School in Stage College, Pa.

“This project was a great chance to work for a professional sports team like the Cavs. I transferred to Point Park a year ago for these kinds of real-world opportunities and a chance to build my resume and professional experience,” Greeley-Erwin said.

Matthew Whitaker, a senior SAEM major from Buckhorn High School in Hazard, Ky., added: “When Professor Derda mentioned this project in class last semester, I knew I had to be a part of it. I am looking to start a career in sales with a professional sports organization after graduation so this experience was crucial for me.” 

For Jillian Svonavec, a senior SAEM major from Somerset Area High School in Somerset, Pa., this was an opportunity to grow her sales and communication skills while also broadening her professional network and creating contacts with a professional sports team.

“My favorite part of this process has been meeting, connecting with and contacting all of my leads. Each person has a unique story as to why they are with their respected company or organization and I find each one to be vividly interesting. The most challenging part of this process has been trying to get my leads to drive to Cleveland for a game. Pittsburgh fans are used to driving only 20 mins for a game,” Svonavec explained.

Whitaker, who will graduate next month, added: “Having this experience with the Cavs puts me ahead of a lot of other people who are applying to the same jobs as I am. It also made me step outside of my comfort zone and learn that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”


More About: transfer, student workshop, Somerset Area High School, Rowland School of Business, sports, arts and entertainment management