Published on March 8, 2023 by Morgan Black  
salesteam 2023
L to R: Fife, Williams, Beard, Roberts, Smith; Not Pictured: Prior

Samford University business students competed in the National College Sports Sales Championship, Feb. 27-28. The event hosted by Baylor University and the Atlanta Hawks provided an opportunity for students to showcase their sales skills in a competitive environment. 

The Samford team included Anna Beard, Dowen Fife, William Prior, Grace Roberts and Emma Williams, all students majoring in business and concentrating in sports marketing, data analytics or professional sales, and Marshal Smith ’22, a current Master of Business Administration student concentrating in sports business. The team entered the event as the 3rd overall seed out of 64 competition teams following their performance in the qualifying tournament in November. 

During the event, the Samford team competed against university sales teams from across the country in front of judging panels consistent of professionals from the sports industry. 

For the second year in a row, a Samford student won the Speed Sell Challenge in which the student was tasked with securing a follow-up appointment in a 60-90 second pitch. Scoring was based on four major categories including speech content, delivery, voice and language. This year’s winner was senior Emma Williams. 

Not only did the students have a chance to test their sales skills, during the two-day event they heard from high-level executives from the sports industry including the chief executive officer and chief revenue officer of the Atlanta Hawks, participated in a “Women in Sports” discussion panel, received a tour of State Farm Arena and attended a professional NBA game featuring the Hawks vs. the Washington Wizards. 

Following the competition, Samford students walked away with at least three job offers from professional sports teams. 

Associate Professor Clif Eason, the professional sales program coordinator, said, “This event has always been a favorite for our sales and sports marketing students. I'm proud of the hard work these students put into preparing for the competition. It paid off not only in their competition results but also with the great impressions they made on the sports executives at the event.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.