David Cohn (BBA ’08) entered the Wisconsin School of Business as an undergrad interested in a sports business career. Through his own initiative, he landed internships with the Wisconsin Section of the PGA of America, the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department, and the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s now the executive director of First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin, a nonprofit youth organization that teaches life skills through golf.
“It’s not just a hobby, [sports] is big business across the board,” says David. “A lot of organizations look at it that way and are looking for students and talent that think about it that way, too.”
Seeing a need to connect students and alumni interested in a career in sports business, David founded UW–Madison’s Sports Business Club as a WSB senior in 2007 after attending a Chicago conference for would-be sports professionals. David knew there were students interested in a sports career path that had nothing to do with being an athlete, and wanted to connect them to resources and to each other. Most of the club membership comes from WSB and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Many alumni who have taken jobs in sports over the last dozen years were members of the club. The club provides a wealth of speakers during the academic year, information on internships, and networking opportunities as students connect with sports business alumni who get invited back to campus.
“It’s an appealing field and when you told people you were starting a sports business club, they were interested,” Cohn says. “We got 125 members that second semester. It’s been cool to see where some of those members have gone in their careers.”