Sports Sales Academy is like a ticket to a career

Kelsi Darr understands why some sports business students aren’t sold on selling tickets.

But they’d better not breathe a word of that while pitching themselves to a potential employer – such as Darr.

“There’s a misconception that you go into sales in hopes of getting your foot in the door and finding other things,” said Darr, one of the organizers of the first Sports Sales Academy at Grand Canyon University. “Now, we’re looking to bring in people who are committed to sales and want to grow as a salesperson.

“Obviously, that’s not going to be 100%, and you’re going to lose people along the way. But I can personally tell you that I do not hire someone who says they want to go into team operations in a year.”

That’s why Dr. Mark Clifford, Assistant Dean and Director of Sports Business for the Colangelo College of Business, wanted to create the Sports Sales Academy, conducted over five weekly meetings this fall. The Sports and Entertainment Management Program now contains a sales course, but he saw the need for local professionals to underscore its importance.