Sport Management Alumni In Their Element

HUNTINGDON COLLEGE

News Release

January 17, 2024
For more information, contact:
Dr. Anthony Leigh, aleigh@hawks.improvisedkitchen.com

Sport Management Alumni In Their Element

Montgomery, Ala. – Kyle Phillips ’20 and Chris Williams ’22 both grew up with a passion for sports – attending sporting events, watching sports on television, and honing their own individual athletic talents. They played baseball together for Pelham High School which led both of them to an opportunity to play baseball at Huntingdon and major in sport management. Now, instead of sharing a dugout together, the former high school and college teammates work down the hall from each other for Eventive Sports, a Birmingham-based company that is an industry leader in sports event management. In this feature, they share their current roles and their work in the sports industry.

Q. What is your current job and what does it entail?

Kyle Phillips: My current Job is an Event Manager for ZOOM Motorsports. ZOOM Motorsports is the Motorsports division of Eventive Sports. We manage all events at the world-renowned Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. My job entails sponsorship sales and fulfillment.

Chris Williams: I am currently working as an event coordinator in operations for Eventive Sports. In this role, I plan and help lead operations for numerous events in both Alabama and throughout the United States. Some of these consist of game day operations for the University of Alabama, UAB, and Alabama State University. This year I was the stadium lead for the Magic City Classic. I also work with ZOOM Motorsports to plan for and operate events at Barber Motorsports Park. These events include Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix, MotoAmerica, and Barber Vintage Festival. In addition to these roles, I have worked numerous PGA Champions events and had the honor to be a part of the operations team for the BMW Championship in Chicago.

Q. What internships / previous jobs prepared you for this role?

Kyle Phillips: My internship with the Tennessee Smokies (AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) my junior year gave me first-hand knowledge of the sports world. Once I graduated, I worked for Alabama American Legion Baseball. This is where I gained my passion for working in event management. I did sponsorship sales, marketing, and planning for our state tournament and the southeast regional tournament, which consisted of teams from seven states competing to go to the American Legion Baseball World Series televised on ESPN.

Chris Williams: Being a campus recreation intern at Huntingdon prepared me for this role by giving me experience to manage small events. Before being hired full-time, I interned with Eventive Sports in game day operations and ZOOM Motorsports. I was able to work in golf later in this internship and develop exposure to the world of operations and event management.

Q. What lessons did you learn as a Huntingdon student-athlete that help you be successful in your current role?

Kyle Phillips: Being a student-athlete taught me how to manage my time efficiently. With school, practice, and traveling for games, it can be very difficult to make sure you are staying on top of everything. It also taught me how to work effectively with a team. Your team is very important not only on the field but also in the business world. Without an effective team your day-to-day tasks become difficult which will prevent you from excelling in your role.

Chris Williams: I learned the importance of working well on a team and making sure that I am always doing the best job possible to contribute to the team.

Q. What classes in your sport management major were particularly helpful in your current job?

Kyle Phillips: Some classes that were most beneficial to me were Event and Facility Management and Business Law. I use aspects of these classes in most of my day-to-day tasks.

Chris Williams: Recreation and Facility Management was helpful for me when starting with Eventive Sports. It gave me a foundation and understanding for the role.

Q. What are some of the most enjoyable sporting events you have been able to work?

Kyle Phillips: Some of the most enjoyable sporting events I have been able to work are the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix which is an official race on the NTT INDYCAR Series and the 2022 World Games.

Chris Williams: University of Alabama gameday, Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix, and Regions Tradition have been some of the most enjoyable sporting events to play a roll in. The most memorable for me so far is the BMW Championship in Chicago, Illinois. I flew out there about two weeks ahead of the event to help set up the course to host the FedEx Playoff event. I then stayed throughout the tournament to ensure the week ran smoothly and that all 120,000 attendees were well taken care of at the event. In this time, I was able to meet a few players on the tour and hear about their experiences.

Q. What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into the field of sport management?

Kyle Phillips: The best advice I could give someone is it isn’t about what you know, it’s who you know. Always be open to making new connections. Knowledge is important but making a connection will get you in a position to prove yourself.

Chris Williams: Be ready to work and get your hands dirty. Be adaptable because you may go in doing one thing but could be asked to do various other tasks. If you work hard, the right people will find you.

Q. What sporting event is at the top of your bucket list of events you want to help produce?

Kyle Phillips: One sporting event that is on my bucket list to help produce is the World Baseball Classic. The World Baseball Classic allows countries to compete to bring home a championship for their nation. This takes place every four years so the opportunity to be a part of something so special is limited.

Chris Williams: A dream of mine would be to work The Masters at Augusta National.

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Huntingdon College, in accordance with Title IX and Section 106.8 of the 2020 Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, other applicable federal and state law, and stated College policy, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.  Similarly, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age and/or national origin in its education program

Dr. Anthony J. Leigh

Dr. Anthony J. Leigh

Senior Vice President for Student and Institutional Development; Dean of Students
(334) 833-4528 | aleigh@hawks.improvisedkitchen.com

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