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Slam dunk: DECA visits Philadelphia 76ers stadium

Courtesy Jeffrey Conner
Nothing but net: The Conestoga DECA chapter poses for a photo during a tour of the Philadelphia Eagles’ locker room. The tour was a part of Pennsylvania DECA’s Career Day with the 76ers, focused on the sports and entertainment market. The team will participate in similar events in the future.

By Michael Tierney, Business Manager

In a whirlwind of excitement, education and a nail-biting basketball showdown, Conestoga’s chapter of DECA — a national organization in which high school and college students learn and compete in marketing, finance, hospitality and management — recently embarked on a journey into the heart of the sports industry.

On Nov. 6, members participated in DECA’s Career Day with the 76ers, an event partnering with the 76ers program to teach students about the sports industry.

From locker room explorations to courtside brainstorming sessions, the trip was not just about witnessing the Washington Wizards face off against the Sixers. It was a hands-on lesson in sports and entertainment marketing.

Around 70 of Conestoga’s DECA members took the opportunity to dive into the inner workings of the sports business during the career day. At the stadium, the day began with a case study, in which members strategized how to outshine other Philadelphia sports teams in the realm of ticket sales.

As the DECA members stood on the hardwood of the Wells Fargo Center court, they presented their innovative solutions to judges. Following the case study, a panel of industry professionals shared their educational journeys, experiences and daily routines.

Senior Kat Nguyen, an officer of Conestoga’s DECA chapter, enjoyed the trip and the unique opportunities created for the members.

“The highlight of the trip for me was getting to go on the court for the recognition on behalf of PA DECA. It was such an amazing opportunity to be so up close to all the action on the court. It was also my first time going to a Sixers game in person, so it’s going to be hard to top that experience,” Nguyen said.

Many of the members in attendance were freshmen who had their first major field trip with the chapter. Freshman Patrick Barry recently joined the club and is excited for the competitions coming in the following months.

“I didn’t know many people in the club besides my group of friends who initially joined with me, but through the trip I was able to meet a lot of new people from my grade and others that shared a common interest in DECA and the business world,” Barry said.

The trip continued with an exclusive tour of Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. Venturing through the locker room and press room, DECA members gained insight into the multifaceted world of sports operations.

Senior Calvin Lai took advantage of this special learning opportunity.

“It was a really great experience, something that I’m very fortunate and grateful for. It seemed surreal to see the players’ perspectives and what they do on game day,” Lai said.

This experience also prepared DECA members for the district competition that is on Dec. 18, at which students will test their knowledge through various events and case studies.

“This trip was a great opportunity for our chapter because it demonstrated that DECA has a lot to offer,” Nguyen said. “I hope that this experience was able to show others that DECA can be really fun and hopefully encourage more students to join next year.”

Michael Tierney can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Michael Tierney, Business Manager
Michael Tierney is a senior and the Business Manager of The Spoke. Serving as Business Manager for the past three years, he has been responsible for all financial activities of The Spoke. Outside of The Spoke, Michael is the executive president of Conestoga's Student Council. He is also a captain of the varsity squash team, a U.S. Squash Nationally Certified Coach and interns at Philadelphia-based consulting and developing companies.