2021 Sport Management Alum Credits WC's Hands-On Learning Experiences for His Early Career Success
Wilmington College 2021 alumnus Kaleb Hubner recalls attending Sport Management Professional Day his junior year. It's WC's annual event when representatives from the Cincinnati Bengals and Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers and Browns, Columbus Crew and Ohio State University Athletics and two-dozen other sport-related organizations are on campus for students to take advantage of interviewing and networking opportunities for employment and internships.
PICTURED: Meeting at the Super Bowl in Arizona in February are, from the left Steve Cukovecki, director of alumni and family engagement, Kaleb Hubner and Dr. Alan Ledford, sport management program director.
Hubner met with Nick Nicastro, a 2002 WC sport management graduate, whose celebrated career has included work with the Bengals, New York Jets and Giants, San Francisco 49ers and, that day, On Location Experiences. He sold premium ticket/hospitality packages to the Super Bowl and the other marquee, global sporting events.
It went well. Today, Hubner occupies Nicastro's chair and former office at On Location Experiences in Atlanta.
"Nick and I first met at Pro Day at Wilmington College," he said. "When I finished my degree, he reached out to me regarding working at On Location." Hubner is an account executive who sells premium ticket and hospitality packages for the National Football League, the NCAA, Professional Golf Assn., World Wrestling Entertainment, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Major League Baseball All-Star game and more. "I focus on the NFL, NCAA and Masters events," he added.
Hubner is no stranger to the Super Bowl. Indeed, he was part of WC contingents that worked Super Bowls LIV and LV in Miami and Tampa Bay. Taking students to work at the Super Bowl, NCAA D-I Football Championship, College Bowl Games and NCAA D-I March Madness constitutes signature hands-on learning experiences for the College's sport management majors.
"For me, my Super Bowl experience was an eye-catcher. It made me stand out and was a key part of my resume," he said about gaining first-hand insight into the intricacies of staging a mega event. "My Super Bowl and other WC experiences seemed to come up in those important conversations when I was trying to market myself to different teams and organizations."
In building a career path, Hubner advises students to be flexible, willing to learn and open to change such as moving to another part of the country in pursuit of career opportunities.
"Being coachable and willing to do what it takes is the key to a job in sports sales at any level, especially when you're a young person in the industry," he said. "When an employer sees you're not scared of criticism and failing, that is when they can build confidence in you."
Hubner cites the key roles of WC's Sport Management program and the mentorship offered by Dr. Alan Ledford, director and associate professor, in providing a foundation for his success. "I know that everything happens for a reason, and I am blessed that Wilmington College was a part of my path."
Hubner sees himself on a career journey that will likely take him to many places with now unforeseen experiences. Indeed, who would have thought 10 years ago he would have already been to a handful of Super Bowls by the time he was 25 years old? He already possesses the wisdom to advise others: "Do not forget to stop and savor each key moment in your career because you can only have a 'first time' once!"