Media, Entertainment & Sports

  • Darden’s preparation for careers in the media, entertainment and sports industries is robust not only because of the breadth of the curriculum offerings and cases dedicated to these industries, but also because of the numerous opportunities available beyond the classroom.

    These come in the form of the popular Media, Entertainment, and Sports Club, job treks to New York and Los Angeles, numerous alumni in senior management positions at high-profile companies, and the music management and film production enterprises both founded and located in Charlottesville. Darden is an excellent fit for students interested in media, entertainment, and sports because like the School itself, these fields tend to be highly entrepreneurial, as well as relationship-driven.

    Batten Media Fellowship

    Visit Scholarships for details about the Batten Media Fellowship, a full-tuition fellowship awarded to a candidate with a career at newspapers or in other news gathering organizations.

    Courses and Faculty

    There is a Second Year elective called Media, Entertainment, and Sports Management. In addition to numerous case studies of these industries, the course includes readings, student presentations, and a variety of guest speakers including Temple Fennel, head of Red Light Management; Kelly Thomas (Darden MBA '90), producer of Mockingbird Pictures; Paul Junger Witt from Harris Productions and a UVA alumnus; Jack Oakley, head of UVA’s Sports Marketing; and Brent Stewart, an entertainment lawyer. Professor Rubin has also developed multimedia cases on “The Doors” and the Dave Matthews Band.

    Marc Lipson is a faculty member interested in media and entertainment. He was the advisor for "The International Business of Film at the Cannes Film Festival" Darden Business Project (a student-led for-credit project that included a trip to the Cannes Festival in May) which led to the creation of a course that goes there every year.

    R. Edward Freeman teaches a popular Second Year elective called Leadership and Theater: Ethics, Innovation and Creativity.

    For-Credit Projects

    During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit. Here is one example of a project completed by a student with an interest in sports:

    • Empower the Athlete - This project, which began as a Darden Business Project and continued as a business venture in the Darden Business Incubator, provides college counseling for high school athletes. An improved recruiting process allows recruits to attend better academic schools, play at more competitive athletic programs, and receive more financial aid and scholarship money.

    Clubs & Events

    • Media, Entertainment and Sports (MES) Club - The mission of the MES Club is to increase awareness of Darden within these industries while also encouraging employment opportunities.
    • Media, Entertainment and Sports Job Treks - In conjunction with the Darden Career Development Center, the MES Club organizes recruiting trips to New York and Los Angeles meeting with companies such as ESPN, NBA, Sirius Radio, Sony Productions, Reuters, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, Universal Music, MTV and Disney.
    • Virginia Film Festival - This four-day festival held each fall in Charlottesville includes over 60 film screenings and nearly one hundred speakers. Directors, actors, scholars, and writers enrich the experience and welcome the opportunity to reflect with audiences on the art and purposes of film making.
    • Annual Film Producers Forum - As part of the Virginia Film Festival, the MES Club organizes the Annual Film Producers Forum, bringing high-profile movie producers to speak at Darden.

    Charlottesville & UVA Resources

    Charlottesville's vibrant cultural community is very supportive of the arts, hosting annual film, photograph and book festivals. Charlottesville is also home to UVA Sports and the Dave Matthews Band and their spin-off companies, including music management and movie production companies. Numerous UVA alumni are highly involved in the film industry; to learn more, read the Making Movies feature from the online version of the University of Virginia Magazine. Relationships with these entities are a robust source for speakers, teachers, internships, and research opportunities.

    Contacts

    Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following students and alumni to ask specific questions about energy at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

    Ryan Davis (MBA '07)

    Undergraduate education: Northwestern University
    Undergraduate major: Journalism
    Company: Philadelphia Media Holdings
    Role: Director of Strategic Operations
    Current Location: New York, NY

    “Darden opened doors for me in media. The coursework prepared me for the fascinating business challenges facing the media world. The links with Darden alums at places such as NBC, Media General, Google, and ABC helped me get connected in the industry. And the Media, Entertainment and Sports Club gave us the opportunity to meet media executives in New York and Los Angeles. Every year we add to the network of Darden alums pursuing careers in media, entertainment, and sports. Together, we help make each other more successful.”