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‘Game tickets without the game’: UA sales management in sport students selling Cavaliers game tickets for students at I PROMISE School


During a typical class project, students usually receive course credit. But students involved in a sales management class project at UA are vying for something greater — a guaranteed interview for an entry level sales position with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The project is part of the Sales Management in Sport class instructed by Professor of Management Dr. Seungbum Lee. Students in his class this semester are selling donation packages which can be exchanged for tickets to Cleveland Cavaliers games. Packages purchased as part of this project will be donated to the LeBron James Family Foundation and given to students at the I PROMISE School in Akron.

Lee has coordinated this class project with the Cavaliers for the last few years. Prior to the pandemic, the project included students selling tickets for various Cavaliers games throughout the regular season. Since the games had different schedules and opponents, the students had to consider unique sales strategies.

'Game tickets without the game'

This year, the structure of the project had to be modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on fan access limitation for this year’s NBA season. This semester, students are selling “game tickets without the game” in a new version that includes a community engagement component. The I PROMISE School will work with the Cavaliers organization to help students decide which games they would like to attend this season or the following season. Each package buyer will receive a $5 credit that they can use to purchase tickets for future Cavaliers games in Cleveland. No actual tickets, physical or virtual, are being sold during the project this semester.

“This year’s version of the project adds more value as it creates another opportunity for students to consider the community that we are a part of and care about,” says Lee. “Not only are students learning the sales process, but they are also learning firsthand the value of community engagement.”

When Lee developed the Sales Management in Sport class in 2016, he made it with two goals intended for students: change students’ perception toward the sales industry in sports and create an outcome-based industry sponsored project that provides valuable resume building experience to students.

“Within the sports industry, the majority of entry level jobs are in the sales field,” says Lee. “I believe it is our professional responsibility to provide a platform where our students can have experience as well as understanding in sales before they graduate.”

Boosting experience for students

Senior Sean Corp, one of Lee’s students participating in the project this semester, says this project has enabled him to step outside of his comfort zone and explore new possibilities as a sports management major. Although sales rejection is something new he is experiencing, Corp says he’s enjoying the opportunity to challenge himself in new areas.

“This is the first sales class I have taken as a Sports Management major," says Corp. "It has been very beneficial to my educational experience, as this project has forced me to be assertive and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I believe this project will prove beneficial no matter what direction I take, as I will always need to sell myself to a potential employer.”

Following graduation, Corp has interests in working for a professional or collegiate sports organization.

“Throughout my time at the University of Akron, I have primarily focused on the marketing aspects of sport,” explains Corp. “A career in sales is something I had never truly considered, but after working with this project, I feel as though it is something I might be interested in moving forward. I have enjoyed the ability to network and form relationships with this sales project.”

And an interview with the Cleveland Cavaliers may be in his future if he comes out on top.

Anyone can make a donation online by visiting the class’s SeatGeek webpage. In addition to buyers receiving a $5 credit, Lee’s class will earn $2 that will be used to support extra-curricular activities for sport management students at UA.

Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or