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With the Hornets, Student Learns to Be Unique, Be Different, and Make it Fun

February 3, 2020

Anthony Loussedes ’19 engaged in an internship with the Charlotte Hornets this fall, seeing it as an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a professional sporting event.

Anthony Loussedes high-fives the Charlotte Hornet during his internship.

The Sport Management Department caught up with Loussedes to hear how the internship went and what advice he might have for current and prospective sport management majors.

SMD: What inspired you to pursue the opportunity with the Charlotte Hornets?

AL: After my last internship in the College’s Athletic Department, I saw this internship with the Hornets as a challenge I wanted to take on, especially since I was not taking classes and could give my entire focus to this challenge and work through it daily.

SMD: What did your position entail?

AL: My position was in the Corporate Partnerships Department. I started with small tasks and projects to show the group what I was capable of accomplishing. I did a lot of ticket delivery to partners before the season, which may seem insignificant, but I came in with a mindset that the smallest things can mean the most.

Later on, I had some big projects I was fortunate enough to work on. I was responsible for the Sprite Game Ball Delivery for each home game, which included meeting the family in Sprite's seats (or picking a random kid in the crowd during pregame), giving them a jersey and signed mini-ball, and bringing the kid down to take a picture with the referee right before the game at center court. 

My favorite part of the job was brainstorming sessions for prospects that the sales team could approach.  I was fortunate enough to hear that my brainstorm asset made the pitch deck to Krispy Kreme. I really learned what the goal of the group was: “Be Unique, Be Different, and Make it Fun.”

SMD: What was your biggest takeaway/lesson learned?

AL: My biggest takeaway and lessons learned from my experience was not to be afraid to breathe and take on what I knew I could handle.

While I had one supervisor, there were 13 people in my department and people in every department across the organization, bringing projects to just two partnership interns. Time management was a skill I worked on greatly. I will say I still said yes to every project given because I did not want to miss an opportunity to grow and learn.

SMD: How did your Fisher education help you prepare for the role?

AL: There were so many relatable aspects to what I did in Charlotte.  One of the first projects I worked on was researching NBA Venues and their sustainability efforts related to food waste and diversion. Luckily, I had worked on a similar project with Dr. Katie Burakowski's Sustainability in Sport class and pulled up a document that already included a few venues and then built off that list. 

Senior Capstone and Research and Evaluation were the two most important classes I took. I was part of an intern group project, which was very similar to my capstone project, but directed towards the Hornets College Rush Pass for students. Research was important because that taught me time management skills but it also taught me how to be thorough when building prospect lists for the Hornets brand new 2K Team, Venom GT. 

SMD: What would you tell prospective students about the sport management program?

AL: This program gives you all the tools necessary to learn about the industry and become successful. The professors want to help and give you advice and knowledge that they have either learned themselves or learned while talking to alumni. The program is what you as the student make out of it. This industry requires more hours than expected, and is a challenge to anyone in the field.

SMD: What advice would you give to incoming students interested in the sport management program?

AL: The sport industry is more than the players you see on the field.  I changed my major before my junior year and it was one of the best decisions I made in college. I had the challenge of a two-year window to complete my degree and ended with an internship with the Charlotte Hornets.

To the incoming students, I will say this: Research the sport industry because there is literally a position for anything; find what you are passionate about and work for that goal, and do not be afraid to change your mind.

My original goal was baseball operations in Major League Baseball, then it became college athletics, and now I want to be on a partnership or marketing path. So do not be afraid of change and embrace the knowledge and access you can have while at Fisher’s sport management program.

Something that Professor Pat Gordon said right before my internship stuck with me: “Be the hardest worker in the room, and don't let someone outwork you.”