The one on the left – a number 14 on a field of red – comes from a car driven by Ty Dillon. The other – white, with the word “nature’s” written across it – comes from number 10 car driven by famed NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. Both Dillon and Patrick drove cars for the Stewart-Haas team, co-owned by Gene Haas and the legendary Tony Stewart, a three-time sprint Cup Series champion and a familiar face at Watkins Glen International.
The Glen donated the items, along with a pair of banners that adorned the famed track, to the Ice Center classroom, where they will mark the start of a local sports hall of fame. And the Glen certainly is unique in Upstate New York; it’s the only NASCAR facility in the state, and one of only 23 in the entire country, according to Watkins Glen President Michael Printup.
The donation was facilitated by SUNY Broome alumnus Rob Murphy, currently senior manager of business development for Watkins Glen. Murphy graduated from Broome in 1999, Binghamton University in 2001 and received his MS in Sports Management from SUNY Cortland in 2009.
“What many people don’t realize is that sports is big business. In fact it’s an enormous business, one of the biggest industries in the country, with billions of dollars in revenue,” SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm said. “And the jobs in sports are wide-ranging, from sales, promotion and human resources to accounting, law, facility operations and event management.”
During the Dec. 7 announcement at the SUNY Broome Ice Center, Printup made an additional announcement: Watkins Glen is going to fund a $2,500 scholarship for a Sports Management student at the school.
“We hope to be a catalyst in the whole process,” he said.
The track president then gave Dr. Drumm a gift that exemplifies the wide-ranging opportunities in sports marketing: a special edition Zippo lighter. Based in Pennsylvania, Zippo is one of the track’s most long-standing corporate partners and has given its name to the Zippo 200 at the Glen.
A native of Western New York, Printup’s own career has been long and varied, including work for the Texas Rangers, Boston Bruins and more. Experience in the sports industry can transfer to all manner of different sports during the course of a career, he advised future students.
“It’s such a dynamic business, although there are some long hours,” Printup said.
In addition to Watkins Glen, the Binghamton area is blessed with an incredible range of sports organizations and facilities, President Drumm said, from professional hockey and baseball to a PGA Champion’s Tour event and a pro-circuit tennis tournament, one of the few in the Northeast.
Sports management professionals from these organizations visit the college’s Sports Management classes to give students firsthand insights into the business of sports. They also offer opportunities for applied learning, in the form of internships that can lead to real jobs in the field, Dr. Drumm said.
Now in its third year, SUNY Broome’s Sports Management A.S. degree program is popular among students; transfer options for a completion of a bachelor’s degree include SUNY Cortland, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Canton and St. John Fisher. Find out more at www.sunybroome.edu.