Business and Ethics / People of SU

Home Team Advantage

Written by Lincoln Vander Veen

September 20, 2022

LainLaina Chavez, and  Santiago Gallo Villamizar standing in front of Lumen Field.

Image credit: Yosef Kalinko

Laina Chavez, ’10, owner of Soul Body, with Santiago Gallo Villamizar, ’18, associate General Manager of OL Reign, at Lumen Field.

Partnerships with professional Seattle sports clubs drive Albers’ MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management program. 

SU’s Master of Business Administration in Sport and Entertainment Management (MBA SEM) provides students an opportunity to learn from the pros, such as former Seattle Seahawks star Jordan Babineaux, who teaches in the program. The MBA SEM includes a one-of-a-kind fellowship program—one of only two like it in the country—and is intentional about guiding its students, faculty and partners to work and educate inclusively, with social justice at its core. 

“The SEM fellowship program is unique,” explains Babineaux. “The support of our sports franchises has created a significant competitive advantage for students to get industry experience, develop strong relationships and build the skills to help them launch their young professional careers.”

The MBA SEM is a two-year program, with year one frontloaded with courses that develop business acumen and leadership skills. In that first year, during Winter Quarter, all fellowship positions are announced. Students select their top two to three priorities and submit their applications. By Spring Quarter, they are informed of the fellowship position and begin to work with their partner organization.

“The fellowship is a rare and special opportunity for our students to apply what they learn in the classroom to an immersive experience in the industry,” says Eva Sedgewick, MBA SEM director. “This is much more than an internship. The fellowships are born out of SU’s partnerships with organizational leaders in the sport and entertainment industry. The partnership concept is innovative, visionary and specifically intended to foster positive social change and increase diversity and inclusion in the industry.”

Currently, students are working with Seattle teams and organizations including the Seahawks, Mariners, Kraken, Storm, Sounders FC, Oak View Group and Climate Pledge Arena, with more partners expected. 

“SU and its partners understand their role in creating a diverse pipeline of inclusive leaders and hiring them,” Babineaux says. “If you measure the opportunities for minorities and the lack of representation in decision-making roles within organizations, you’ll see a significant disparity for people of color in leadership positions. We hope to attract more partners that challenge organizations and leaders to think differently and intentionally about having a more diverse workplace.”

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Watch profile videos featuring testimonials about the program at