Sport Management Sends Students to Inaugural Miami Grand Prix

When the drivers of the Formula One global motorsport championship speed around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. for the first time on May 8, they’ll have some behind-the-scenes support from members of the BW sport management program.  

A group of sport management majors with qualifying academic records and sufficient prior event-working experience will take to the track to gain hands-on work experience and provide logistical support to Formula One’s American hospitality partners at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.  

Such trips are not new for the program; BW sent a delegation to the most recent Formula One race in the U.S. at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and has annually sent multiple other major sporting events across the country including the Super Bowl and will have students working at this year’s Kentucky Derby.  

“We were looking for additional opportunities because we had been doing the Super Bowl, this will be our 10th year, we’ve been doing the College Football Playoff,” Charles Campisi, associate professor and chair of BW’s marketing and sport management program, said. “But not everybody’s a football fan, right? And we want to get students different experiences.”  

While Formula One has been running races in the United States for over a century, the Miami Grand Prix is a new entry on the series’ calendar. The first new U.S. race introduced since 1989, The race will be held at the new Miami International Autodrome, a temporary track specifically designed for Formula One racing and built around Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the N.F.L.’s Miami Dolphins.  

Campisi said that the novelty of the event presents a challenge for the students, who unlike those working the Super Bowl, have no precedent for their event responsibilities. Another wrinkle has to do with the timing of the event: the race is scheduled for Mother’s Day, which is the day after the Kentucky Derby, where BW students will also have a group stationed. 

“We’re going to have divided troops,” Campisi said of the busy weekend. “It’ll be interesting, but hopefully we can get at least a couple folks down there to take care of that.”  

Campisi said that while experiential learning trips like these happen at other schools, “probably none do it to the extent that we do.” These opportunities provide a way for BW to separate itself from sport management programs at much larger schools like The Ohio State University or the University of Alabama, he said.  

“It’s obviously a great recruiting tool,” Campisi said. “When you’re talking to prospective freshmen… and you can say, ‘Hey, you know, look at the list [of] the trips we have, and you can be a part of these and they can be on your resume when you graduate.’ We’re probably one of very few that do quite this much.”