Guests Speak About Team Relocation at Penn State Sports Business Club

Story posted October 1, 2020 in News, CommRadio by Emma Aken

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –– Earlier this week, the Penn State Sports Business Club, established in 2012, held a virtual meeting with two industry professionals as guest speakers. The Zoom call focused specifically on the relocation of professional sports teams.

Change of location has been a common business tactic that sports teams have used since the 1950s. There are several reasons professional sports teams choose to relocate, from inadequate city funding to unsupportive fan bases.

Guest speaker Sean O’Hara is the vice president of global partnerships at Legends and helped relocate the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2017. He shared his wealth of knowledge and explained some of the challenges that come with the business.

“The amount of decisions that you have to make every single day and how fast it’s going is just immense,” O’Hara said.

Although he expressed the complications and pressure that come with a job like his, he could not have been more grateful for the opportunities he has had with professional sports teams.

The second guest speaker of the meeting, Stephanie Cheng, agreed with O’Hara. Cheng is the head of special projects for the Los Angeles Rams and has worked with them for over four years.  She described the excitement that comes with relocation. 

“A new building kind of allows you that opportunity to rethink everything from the ground up,” Cheng said regarding her experience with SoFi Stadium.

Cheng elaborated that assisting in the building of a new stadium was a once in a lifetime experience. She reminisced that her recent SoFi Stadium project was her “dream gig,” as it combined the NFL and her hometown all in one.

The students in the meeting had the opportunity to ask the professionals their questions regarding the sports business.

Cheng’s best advice was to get internships during college and work as hard as possible during them.

O’Hara added more by stressing the importance of always being yourself and having a positive attitude.

The Penn State Sports Business Club provides its students with as much exposure to industry professionals as possible in hopes of growing students’ knowledge and increasing their network both socially and professionally. You can learn more about the club on Instagram at @psusportsbusiness or on Twitter at @SportsBizPSU.

 

Emma Aken is a student majoring in journalism. To contact her, email ena5119@psu.edu.