The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four is an annual high point for students of the Euroleague Basketball Institute Master in Sports Management & Marketing and the 2017 event in Istanbul provided these students the perfect opportunity to witness theory and practice implemented at one of the continent’s premier sporting events. The busy schedule for the students in Istanbul allowed them to watch the EuroLeague games up close, see what goes into organizing a world-class event and learn from industry leaders in specially-organized lectures.
Much of their time together was spent at Sinan Erdem Dome, where a range of lecturers discussed topics including branding, advertising, sponsorship, digital analytics, media and much more. Among the speakers were Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade Marketing Director Filip Sunturlic; baresquare Managing Director Georgios Grigoriadis; Director of Organisational Development Sport at Special Olympics, Miroslaw Krogulec; Sport24.gr Editor in Chief, Stefanos Triantafyllos; Nike Accounting Director Cem Karamuersel; ACB President Francisco Roca; Managementberatung und Training owner Thomas Braumann; Desigual Vice President Jordi Balsells; Director of Team & Federation Relations at ESL Gaming, Jan Pommer; and IMG Media Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Adam Kelly.
The students also went to the Opening Press Conference at Ciragan Palace, visited the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague FanZone at Marmara Forum and attended the International Symposium on Basketball Science at Hilton Bomonti Hotel & Convention Center, where they could choose from lectures on topics related to business or health.
Students from as far away as the United States came for the third in-person meeting of the year-long program in conjunction with Ca'Foscari University of Venice, which in July will be the site where the students present their final projects and complete the course with a graduation ceremony. Among them was Mateja Skornik of Slovenia, who thoroughly enjoyed her time at the Final Four.
“We went to bed every day smarter. We empowered our knowledge. It was a different experience. We were basically there, at the event, behind the scenes, so we gained some know-how and insights to the Final Four behind the scenes,” Skornik said. Beyond the academic side, she also stressed the social benefits of the class coming together at the Final Four. “For me the most important part was the friends I made and the contacts I established networking.”