Chaifetz Students Build NCAA Database for WME and USA Today
Chaifetz School of Business alum Bob Lattinville (CSB ‘87) of WME agency and Steve Berkowitz of USA Today have partnered to create a comprehensive database of NCAA coaches’ salaries and portfolios. For nearly a decade, Lattinville has worked with management professor Tassos Kaburakis, Ph.D, to enlist the help of SLU student interns to update the database annually. This year, four Chaifetz School students participated in the program and gained hands-on sports business experience: seniors Rebecca Duttlinger and Tyler Myers, junior Matthew Kowalski and sophomore Grace Schott.
WME agency is part of holding company Endeavor, which is also responsible for other major agencies like IMG, UFC and Miss Universe. The exposure Chaifetz School students gain working for a such an industry leading organization positions the students for long-term success.
“It’s been awesome to work behind the scenes and be able to take a more hands-on approach to how the sports business world actually works,” Kowalski said. “We see what contracts look like and how that plays out between the agents’ roles and the athletes’ roles. I know you hear about coaches signing new contracts in the news but now we’re able to see what the process actually looks like.”
After the student interns went through training with Lattinville and Berkowitz, they were able to handle real data, updating and analyzing the database published on USA Today.
“The students develop a working knowledge of employment agreements generally and college coach contracts specifically,” Lattinville said. “They also develop real-world applications for this information in the context of representing and serving individuals and institutions in the collegiate sports industry.”
After their training, the interns were well-equipped to work through batches of contracts, pulling out and analyzing the most important parts. Schott said that this internship has been really beneficial in helping her determine her post-graduate plans.
“I have been thinking about going to law school, so when I got this opportunity it gave me an insight to that side of things,” Schott said. “It made me think, maybe I want to do this, maybe I want to generate and edit these contracts because I’ve really liked it so far.”
Schott said that her work has especially changed how she watches and understands college basketball in her free time. When she saw a team win in an NCAA tournament, she understood what kind of payout the coach would be earning, and that each detail of the game essentially shifted and changed the monetary result.
All the interns agreed that their mentors have been essential to their appreciation and understanding of the work.
“Bob and Steve have been really great to bounce ideas off of and were super helpful in answering questions and walking us through the process,” Kowalski said. “I remember I was on a call with Steve once and he told me to keep asking questions, and that they want us to be able to understand this stuff, not just so we can do the work, but so we can understand what we’re doing and why it's important.”