A Golden NBA Season for Students and Alumni

With the Golden State Warriors crowned champions and the season officially over, it is time to admire the outstanding accomplishments of our current students and alumni who work in the NBA and its professional teams.

Seventeen members of the University of San Francisco Sport Management family worked for the Warriors this year. While Golden State won the on-the-court championship, the organization actually also won the off-the-court championship recently, as the SportsBusiness Journal declared them the Team of the Year for 2013-14. Those in the program who worked hard to land a gig with the current kings of the business and basketball world had no problem expressing themselves.

“Hands down, best experience of my life.” –Chris Brown, ’16; Public Relations Assistant, Golden State Warriors

“Working with this organization for 5 seasons, I've experienced it grow and develop both on the court and as a business. These are memories that will last a lifetime!” –Alex Romanovsky, ’12; Game Operations, Golden State Warriors

“It has been such an enjoyable and rewarding experience to work with the Warriors this season!” –Sissi Feng, ’14; Digital Marketing Assistant, Golden State Warriors

“Having the national spotlight on the Warriors brought the entire Bay Area together, which wouldn't be possible for any other team. It was a dream come true to be a part of the organization during their first championship run in 40 years, and I'll remember this season for the rest of my life.” –Joseph Alioto, ’15; Ticket Services, Golden State Warriors

One alumnus and one current student still pursuing her master’s have both combined the USF Sport Management Program and opportunities with the Warriors to begin promising careers.

Paul Ratner, ’08, landed a ticket sales position with the team in 2005 shortly after graduating college. Seeking to excel, he began the program a year later. Nine years after joining the USF community, Ratner has been promoted five times, won the Warriors’ Employee of the Year Award last season, and is now the Warriors’ Director of Suite and Hospitality Solutions. He has also served as an adjunct for the USF Sport Management Program since 2011. His favorite student memory is a group presentation about Protrade, and he reports that “Since then I have become good friends with the CEO of that company, which was later rebranded and sold to Yahoo.”

Meanwhile Emma Krenzin, ’16, began her master’s in July of 2014. During her sport marketing class she contacted Warriors’ chief marketing officer Chip Bowers to pick his brain on the industry and career advice. When an event staff position opened up later that fall, Krenzin secured it after three rounds of interviews. While working this season, proactive engagement with her fellow employees led to an opportunity with the San Francisco Giants, where she is now a Media Relations Intern. Krenzin reflects that “What started as a simple informational interview led me to my dream job. Taking a page from Professor Cellini's book, I figured out that it really all does tie together.”

The success of Warriors employees is scarcely all that the program office has to be proud of. Darren Feeney, ’12, who himself has a championship experience with the Miami Heat, is three years into his sports media relations role with the team and shows no signs of slowing. Neither does Carly Petersen, ’04, nearly five years into her position as the fan relations and services coordinator for the Los Angeles Clippers. As is often the case, Petersen’s former professor and mentor Rick Walden is now one of her clients. Her story is yet another verse before the tried and tested refrain: it all ties together.

The USF Sport Management Program is proud to recognize our alumni and current students who worked in the NBA this season.

Ashley Atwell, ‘13; Specialist--Team Digital Products

Detroit Pistons
Buddy Rose, ‘07; Director of Cause Marketing and Sales

Golden State Warriors
Joseph Alioto, ’15; Ticket Services
Nick Bisho, ‘03; Senior Director of Suite Sales and Service
Chris Brown, ’16; Public Relations Assistant
Sissi Feng, ’14; Digital Marketing Assistant
Stevie Gray, ‘04; Senior Director of Ticket Operations
Joel Keylon, ’15; Part-Time Corporate Partnerships Assistant
Emma Krenzin, ’16; Event Staff
Joel Kretzinger, '10; Manager, Ticket Services
Eric Kwait, '02; Director, Partnership Sales
Om Lepree, '15; Game Day Operations
Michael Pacini, ’15; SportVu Basketball Analytics
Vanessa Padrones, ’16, Luxury Suite Concierge
Paul Ratner, ’08; Director, Suite and Hospitality Solutions
Alex Romanovsky, ’12; Game Operations
Hector Ruiz, ’16; Event Staff
Thomas Sweeney, '15; Account Services Executive
Zach Vos, ’16; Luxury Suites and Special Events

Los Angeles Clippers
Ricky Malott, ‘14; Account Executive
Joshua Marquez, ‘15; SportVU Camera Operator
Carly Petersen, ’04; Fan Relations and Services Coordinator

Miami Heat
Darren Feeney, ’12; Sports Media Relations

Sacramento Kings
Everett Jacobs, ‘01; Vice President of Business Development
Scott Nicolos, ‘14; Marketing Intern
Glen Perez, ‘15; Data Analytics and CRM Intern

To learn more about the education which helped lead to these golden opportunities, visit the Sport Management home page.