Alumni and Friends | University Community

Ohio University students get a glimpse into the Detroit sports world thanks to two OHIO alumni

Students in Ohio University’s sports management fraternity, Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu (SASM), recently had the opportunity to travel to Detroit to network with OHIO alumni Brad Fain (BSSPS ‘13) and Molly Wurdack-Folt (BA ‘05, MBA/MSA ‘08) and learn about the sports management world at a professional level in late March.

SASM is the first professional sport management fraternity in the nation. SASM provides a platform for highly involved and academically excellent undergraduate sport management students to prepare and develop professionally for a career in the sports industry. It is affiliated with the Department of Sports Administration within the College of Business. 

The SASM students met and spoke with Fain, Wurdack-Folt and other sports professionals they work with about the ins and outs of the sports industry, key business operations, and essential career and life advice. The students were also able to tour major professional sports facilities in the Detroit area and attend Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings games.

A group of Ohio University students stand together for a group photo behind three adults
SASM students with Andrew Kristoff, social media marketing director for the Detroit Red Wings (front left), Zach Carter, director of partnership activation for the Detroit Red Wings (front middle) and Molly Wurdack-Folt, vice president of corporate activation for Ilitch Sports & Entertainment (front right). Photo provided by Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu

Lily Wittman, a sophomore studying sport management, marketing and social media, joined SASM spring semester of her freshman year at OHIO and was recently elected president of SASM for the 2022-2023 academic year.

“Myself and the rest of our executive board attended the trip since it was our first major trip post pandemic restrictions,” Wittman said. “We worked extensively with our faculty advisor, Matthew Cacciato, to make this trip come to life.”

“I am extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to travel to Detroit and experience everything together. It served as an amazing bonding trip, as well,” Wittman continued.

A group of Ohio University students smile at a Detroit Pistons game with alumnus Brad Fain
Students at the Detroit Pistons game with Brad Fain (far right), vice president of ticket sales and services. Photo provided by Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu.

Fain is the vice president of ticket sales for the Detroit Pistons. A graduate of the OHIO sport management program, Fain has recently been recognized as a 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient and in the 2019 Sports Business Journal’s Inaugural Class of New Voices Under 30.

“I want other Bobcats to have success,” Fain said of sharing his time with the students. “To be able to talk to them and provide them with advice, it was exciting.”

“The same conversations they’re having with me, I was able to have with other alums before me,” Fain said. “So, I feel like, because of the system I was raised in, it’s my responsibility to help take on that role too. Because I have been very fortunate throughout my career too.”

Wurdack-Folt, the vice president of corporate sponsorship activation at Ilitch Sports & Entertainment, which oversees the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, also shared her expertise with the students during the trip and found it important to do so.

“I was so impressed by students that were freshmen, to those that were seniors. Just in general, they were a really fabulous group, and the university should be really proud that they are selecting great students to be a part of that program,” Wurdack-Folt said. “I think about all of the people who helped me throughout my journey and still do help me along my journey, that I continue to give back to the students that are in that program, in whatever way that may be.”

A group of Ohio University students standing together on a baseball field
Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu students were also able to tour Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Photo provided by Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu.
April 29, 2022
Jake Boyk, BSC '22