Soaking Up Sport Management

Will Maldonado, executive producer for ESPN Radio 1700 San Diego’s “Mr. Credit”, joined the ranks of the University of San Francisco Sport Management Master’s Program alumni upon graduating this past May. And like all good program graduates, he knew many alumni before becoming one himself.

“It's all about the network you build, and the first network you have is the fellow folks in the program with you.”

Maldonado met his current boss through Elis Baynham, ’14, a former marketing intern for ESPN Radio (and now a Corporate Support Agent for TicketOS). Maldonado had interned together with Baynham in the University of San Diego Athletics Marketing Department, and that connection helped Maldonado land his current gig with ESPN Radio, which he began one year ago.

Getting it done, adding value, becoming comfortable being uncomfortable, and other “Cellini-isms” from Dr. Cellini’s introductory Leadership and Critical Thinking class have served Maldonado well at his job. As he describes his work: “I'm heavily involved on the production side as I am responsible for filming and editing certain shows, maintaining a blog for one of our hosts, managing our social media account, running promotional contests, scheduling guests, communicating with show sponsors, and making sure everything runs smoothly with our show.” And that is not all. He oversees all advertising spots during daily six-hour slots, but is not above attending to operational duties, such as acquiring trophies for winning contestants on a show, or whatever else it may take to see the job done.

“I made the most out of my time in this program by being a sponge.”

Working in San Diego and commuting to campus in Orange County was difficult at times, but well worth it. The drive proved to be a small price to pay for a support group of like-minded, passionate colleagues. Maldonado says that “Every week in class someone inspires me with a story of how they are making it in this industry, and it pushed me to take the lessons they've learned and apply it to my own situation.” Class in itself was not enough, and Maldonado made trips up the coast throughout the program to spend more time with his classmates. Of course it was not only his classmates that offered appeal. His favorite class was Sports Media, taught by Professor Tom Davis, producer of multiple movies and shorts for ESPN (including one about the University of San Francisco’s own ‘51 Dons).

“I want to continue in the Sports Media realm.”

In addition to his radio work, Maldonado has an opportunity to host his own sports business podcast this summer. Long term, he hopes to transition to working within a sports franchise in a media or communications capacity. His current situation is good; his future is promising. And after his experience in the program, Maldonado knows how to deliver.