Experiential Learning at the Camping World Bowl

Falk College

Twenty-one students from Falk College’s Department of Sport Management are heading to Orlando with the Syracuse Orange football team for the Camping World Bowl. But they won’t be there as spectators.

Austin Natowitz portrait

When Austin Natowitz was weighing his college options, the Scarsdale native decided on Syracuse University for two reasons. Reputation came first. “I wanted to be where people were proud to say they went to school,” he remembers, “and I wanted a career in a field where consumers are passionate about the product. The sport management major at Falk College put SU over the top.”

Natowitz, who serves as a video intern for the SU football team, couldn’t have imagined a better senior-year finale than the one he’ll witness on December 28. He’ll accompany the Orange to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando as the football team takes on West Virginia in its first bowl game since 2013. He’ll be filming the whole thing. “I’ve worked for the team for three years, and to see it all pay off with an amazing season–capped off with the bowl experience–is a dream come true,” Natowitz says.

Live-Action Learning

Students like Natowitz gain something beyond the thrill of competition in Orlando. Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the sport management program, and the bowl game presents a live-action laboratory. It encompasses the sport management curriculum, including administration, business, sales, marketing and promotion, analytics, and more.

Drew Meyer, a sport management senior from Baltimore, works with Brad Wittke, SU’s director of football operations. “We focus on travel plans and team itinerary, so Coach Babers can focus on the game without distractions,” Meyer says. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity to finish my Syracuse career on the right note.”

Sport management is a popular program at Syracuse. It’s also demanding and exciting – like playing on a team. “Falk is all about working on group projects that will ultimately prepare us for a career in the industry,” Meyer says.

Setting Goals for the Future

For Sean Onwualu, a sport management major from Los Angeles who is also a defensive back for the Orange, the bowl opportunity is especially gratifying. “Syracuse football has been through a lot these past few years, and to be part of the senior class that helped turn things around is something I–and the people of Syracuse–will remember for a long time.” Onwualu’s professional goal is to attend law school and provide legal counsel for a sports team.

Natowitz hopes to parlay his hands-on experience at Syracuse into a career as an athletics director at a prominent university. “I think Falk and Syracuse have set me up for success,” Natowitz says.

Meyer, who leans toward athletic marketing and branding, worked with the Baltimore Ravens last summer and will do strategic branding for Roc Nation this spring. “I’m confident that I am well prepared to pursue a career in this competitive industry,” he says.

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