Rawlings Sporting Goods names Maryville University’s sport business management program
Rawlings Sporting Goods and Maryville University have announced that Rawlings has named the university’s signature, sport business management program, creating the first corporate-named sport business management program in the nation.
Rawlings President and CEO Robert Parish made the announcement and said Rawlings Sporting Goods is extremely pleased to establish the formal tie with Maryville.
“We have worked with Maryville University for many years and today we recognize more formally the caliber of the Sport Business Management faculty, the program and Maryville’s students,” Parish said. “Graduates of the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program will play pivotal roles in the business of sport. As alumni and undergraduates, they have already brought invaluable insight to marketing research and product development efforts at Rawlings. Organizations in St. Louis and beyond will benefit as these outstanding men and women pursue careers in the industry.”
Parish and Maryville University President Mark Lombardi unveiled a new logo for the program at the event.
Lombardi said the partnership moves Maryville to the next level. “We thank Rawlings for believing in Maryville as much as we believe in Rawlings,” he said. “We are pleased to align ourselves with an international corporation with a rich tradition that reflects our core values of excellence and continuous learning. Our students will gain invaluable insight by working with executives at Rawlings and Maryville University athletics teams will have access to the newest equipment and uniforms.”
St. Louis Cardinals President William DeWitt III was on hand for the festivities.
“We are excited to see two of our great partners joining forces to prepare the next generation of sports business leaders,” DeWitt said. “The Rawlings Sport Business Management Program at Maryville should benefit both our industry and our community as it attracts some of the best students from around the country to its innovative program.”
Jason Williams, assistant dean of the Simon School of Business, the director of the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program and the initiator of the agreement, said the University’s partnership with Rawlings, the premier sporting goods manufacturer in the United States, would enhance the education Maryville students receive.
“We know students and parents value a program that teaches practical industry skills. Our agreement with Rawlings will give our sport business management graduates those practical skills, setting them apart in a highly competitive industry,” Williams said.
Students will work with Rawlings executives on a variety of new and on-going projects and will have access to some of the most influential leaders in the industry – an opportunity rarely available to undergraduates. That access will enhance student learning through real-world projects that Maryville will integrate into its curriculum. Each term, Rawlings will select one business graduate student for a paid assistantship, and many undergraduate students will engage in a variety of additional projects.
Rawlings Senior Vice President of Product, Art Chou who also often teaches at Maryville as an adjunct professor, said, “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Maryville University and the newly named Rawlings Sport Business Management program. We are excited to help train the sports business leaders of tomorrow in addition to being actively involved with a premier NCAA Division II athletics program. Our congratulations to President Lombardi on his vision of excellence – we look forward to helping Maryville create one of the leading sports business management experiences in the country. “
Maryville’s sport business management students are involved each term with Rawlings and other organizations including the St. Louis Sports Commission, the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, the St. Louis Rams and the Missouri Valley Conference. Students also complete internships at other locations across the country. Representatives from those organizations also attended the news conference at Busch Stadium. John Rooney, who broadcasts the Cardinals games with partner Mike Shannon, emceed the event.
The move boosts Maryville’s athletics programs. Rawlings will design and supply uniforms and equipment for Maryville’s basketball, baseball and softball teams, and will provide practice jerseys, other equipment and clothing. The Saints compete at the NCAA Division II level in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Maryville University’s Director of Athletics Marcus Manning said the agreement creates a unique opportunity for academics and athletics at Maryville to collaborate with a national company such like Rawlings. “This partnership will benefit our students, faculty, staff and entire campus community. As our official athletics supplier, Rawlings will greatly enhance our efforts in developing the Saints brand while providing access to cutting-edge products. This is truly a game-changing moment for Maryville University and we are very grateful and very excited.”
Rawlings will develop an online store for Maryville. Students will also work with the company on special events and research projects. About 90 students are enrolled in the program that builds students expertise with unique classroom experiences, internships in professional sports and volunteer opportunities.