Get to know three of the amazing mentors in Sport Business & Media!

Meet three of our amazing mentors in Sport Business & Media – unique insights, useful advice and fresh perspectives.

Name: Chris Panyard

Organization: Indiana Sports Corp

Address: 201 S. Capitol Ave., Suite 1200, Indianapolis, IN 46225

Chris’ advice

GEChris PanyardT INVOLVED!  There are so many opportunities on campus to get involved.  When we’re hiring interns, I always look at grades and how you choose to spend your free time.  Whether it’s a fraternity or a sorority, club, part-time job or a combination of these, take advantage of the resources offered throughout IU and get involved with something that you’re passionate about.  When I was a student, I worked at the IU Athletic Ticket Office and was part of the Student Foundation and the IU Sport Marketing Alliance.  All of these things helped prepare me for my first job out of college.”



1) Degree and year graduated

Sport Marketing & Management, Spring 2012

2) How did you get into your field? 

I volunteered for the Indiana Sports Corp at the 2010 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis.  I had a great experience and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sport management.  My first internship was with the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee.  That internship taught me a lot about event management, and I was able to network with industry professionals throughout Indianapolis.  I stayed in touch with a lot of my Super Bowl contacts, and they helped me land a job at the Indiana Sports Corp, where I’ve worked for the past three years.

3) What is the best part about your job? 

The best part about my job is the people.  We have a phenomenal culture at Indiana Sports Corp.  We work a lot of hours so it’s important that we like each other!  Whether it’s a board member, committee member, head coach, city official or volunteer, I get to work with different people all the time.  Our job is to make our community a better place to live, work and play and we use sports as a platform to do that.  It’s fun seeing big events come to life and the hard work of so many people to make them successful.

4) What is the most challenging part of your job? 

The most challenge part of my job is juggling multiple events at the same time.  On any given day, I could be working on four or five different events.  Organization and time management are two very important skill sets in this industry.

5) What skills and characteristics are needed to succeed in a similar position as yours? 

The ability to adapt, be flexible and think on your toes.  Plans are constantly changing throughout the planning process, and it’s important to be able to adjust to those changes and think through solutions and always have a back-up plan to the back-up plan.

6) What do you wish you knew when you were a student at IU that you know now? 

Time management is something I started to learn in college and have gotten better at in my career.  It’s important to learn how to balance school & studying/homework, work, campus involvement and fun.  Being involved is necessary, but it’s important to have fun too!  These are the best four years of your life and they will be over before you know it.  Take advantage of every day and be thankful for the opportunity to attend IU.

7) What do you like and miss the most about IU?

I miss being on campus.  I always enjoyed the hustle and bustle of campus life.  I was busy sun-up to sun-down most days and I really enjoyed my time in Bloomington.  It’s the best and most beautiful campus in the country and I enjoy going back every chance I get.


Name: Ashley Peek

Organization: Just Marketing, Inc.

Address: 10960 Bennet Parkway, Zionsville, IN 46077

Ashley’s advice



“If you are passionate about working in sports don’t settle! It’s a competitive industry but there are many options outside of just the four main sticks and ball sports. Look at all avenues and gain experience, and you’ll help yourself tremendously as your career moves ahead.”




1) Degree and year graduated

BS in Kinesiology, Sports Communication – 2012.

2) How did you get into your field?

I knew from a career standpoint that I wanted to work in sports. People are highly attached to sports and it gets to be an exciting area to work in! I began my journey doing an internship with the Pacers after my sophomore year of college. I made sure to network as much as I could in the industry which led me to an internship (and full time position) with INDYCAR and on to my current role with Just Marketing, Inc (JMI).

3) What is the best part about your job?

As cliché as it might sound, I’m working in an industry that I am passionate about. It’s not all whistles and jerseys and people cheering, but sports are a passion point for masses. Being able to connect brands and sport in a meaningful way is the best part of my job.

4) What is the most challenging part of your job?

Not being afraid to be heard. It’s a dog eat dog world in the sport industry (like many other facets of business) and I can no longer be afraid to speak up. It’s very important to speak with conviction and authority on matters that I am slotted as an expert in. Sitting back and being afraid to share my opinions or thoughts was a huge obstacle I’ve overcome over the past five years.

5) What skills and characteristics are needed to succeed in a similar position as yours?

Communications, time management, creativity and the ability to roll with the punches. You must always keep good communication with all parties you are actively working with, schedule and manage expectations and events is critical, providing creative ways to bring your brands purpose to life in a sporting venue and always being ready to go left when you were planning to go right because things could change in a matter of seconds with live sports!

6) What do you wish you knew when you were a student at IU that you know now?

In all seriousness – I wish I knew how to have better study habits, ha! Studying was never my favorite part of college but so many times I’ve had late nights of building presentations or divulging brand guidelines and a study habit would have helped me better manage those areas.

7) What do you like and miss the most about IU?

IU was the best four years of my life (thus far!) The proximity to amazing food, the walkability, college athletics and knowing that I always had someone nearby to do any and everything with.


Name: Drew Smith

Organization: American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc.

Address: 7609 W. Jefferson Blvd, Suite 100, Ft. Wayne, IN 46804

Drew’s advice



“Figure out what you like to do, find someone who is great at it, and ask them to share their story with you (over lunch, your treat)”




1) Degree and year graduated

Sports Marketing & Management, Minor in Business – Spring of 1997.

2) How did you get in your current job?

My final semester (Jan-May 97) was spent with the Detroit Red Wings as an intern in their marketing department. After graduation, I accepted a job with American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc., a company that specializes in providing insurance to organizations in the sports & entertainment industries. In 2009, I was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer and in October of 2014, became president of the company.

3) What is the best part about your job?

Working with great people

4) What is the most challenging part of your job?

Ever-changing risks and exposures our clients face.

5) What skills and characteristics are needed to succeed in a similar position as yours?

  • Humility,
  • Ability to communicate effectively,
  • Hard-work,
  • Creativity, and
  • Strategic planning

6) What do you wish you knew when you were a student at IU that you know now? 

How important it is to be well-connected within the business world.

7) What do you like and miss the most about IU?

I loved the vibe during basketball season and the changing leaves in the Fall.


Trishnee is a20160403_225825-2 second year PhD student in the Department of Applied Health Science and her major is Health Behavior. She was born and raised in Mauritius and is currently having the best time pursuing her doctoral studies in the wonderful B-town. Her hobbies include cooking, reading romantic novels, and playing with her pets. Anything related to health highly interests her and she hopes to reach out to others on health-related issues that matter.


By Trishnee Bhurosy
Trishnee Bhurosy Student Ambassador - Blog Editor