(photo courtesy of Kshaunish Kapoor)
Applied Data Science-Sports Analytics student Kshaunish Kapoor recently met participants from Indiana and elsewhere for the Marcus Graham Project’s Sports Marketing Workshop with the Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PSE) group at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers and Fever teams. The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) connects people from diverse backgrounds to likeminded people within the sports industry. Its main purpose is to present opportunities to people from underrepresented sections of society and diverse backgrounds.
During the four-day event, the group had the opportunity to connect with top executives from PSE as well as alumni from MGP. Not only did participants get to be a part of multiple panel discussions where the panelists shared their career journeys and experiences, they also had the opportunity to directly interact with and speak to these distinguished professionals about how they could shape their careers and what they could learn from them.
Kapoor shared how PSE really laid out the red carpet for everyone. Participants had the opportunity to go on a behind-the-scenes stadium tour and see the various departments that work together to make sure that game day events can take place effectively. They also got to watch the Pacers play the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic and, on another occasion, step out on the court to shoot some hoops as well. On the first day of the workshop, each participant was welcomed onto the court with their name and picture on the big screen and was greeted by Boomer, the official Mascot, handing out a Pacers jersey with their name on the back.
Finally, as part of the workshop, participants got to work on a real-life marketing project that the PSE group would build upon. PSE is currently creating a Plaza outside the Gainbridge Fieldhouse and wanted the participants to work in groups to create an integrated marketing campaign for two separate events: a tip-off event to serve as the inauguration and an annual event to use the Plaza space to bring together people from different backgrounds to enjoy activities. Each group had to work on their ideas, create a presentation, and finally pitch their concept to the judges at the end of the workshop.
“Overall, the workshop was a truly unbelievable experience as I got to learn so much more than marketing skills. Being in the same room as high-performing individuals who have excelled in their careers allowed me to pick up a lot of intangible skills and values that will be essential in my personal journey,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor said he chose to pursue his master’s in Applied Data Science with a specialization in Sports Analytics from IUPUI for two main reasons: The Data Science curriculum will help him acquire the much needed technical skills to work in this industry, and the sports-related opportunities that are present in the city of Indianapolis are a perfect addition for potential to network and attend workshops such as this.
“To me, Indianapolis is a city that has a perfect blend of passion for sports and expertise in tech which is why it feels like the right place for me to build my career as a Sports Analyst, ” Kapoor said. “I see data as the most valuable commodity in the world right now, where applications for decision-making are profound in each industry, and along with my passion for sports—having played and watched professional sports all my life—this feels like the most appropriate industry for me to build a career in.”