Students Flock to Drew University’s Sports Management Courses

Run by NFL agent Rob Roche as part of Drew’s business program

July 2024 – Drew University is leaning on an expert to teach undergraduates about the business of sports.

Rob Roche has been an NFL agent for the past 25 years, and—literally—wrote the (text)book on the subject.

Over the past several years, Roche has taught 200-level Sports Management, Sports Marketing, and Sports Law courses at Drew, with much enthusiasm and reward for his students.

“We cover a range of topics and how they relate to the business of sports,” said Roche. “For example, we examine how to negotiate a sports contract, sales in sports, marketing in sports, and antitrust laws and how they impact various sports leagues.”

Roche brings real-world examples and situations to the courses, having students engage in mock contract negotiations, present marketing plans for an athlete, create their own agency, and make pitches to represent professional athletes.

During the spring 2024 semester, students got a front-row seat to watch Roche negotiate a contract between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Roche’s client Chase McLaughlin, and got a sneak peek as another client, Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens, shot commercials for Royal Farms and the NFL Preseason Kickoff.

“The courses prepare students to look at sports as a business and from the perspective of a sports manager. It gives them the skill set of selling and public speaking in front of their peers through their assigned projects,” said Roche.

Since he began teaching courses at Drew, he has helped students secure jobs with the New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams, Major League Baseball, and a number of professional soccer teams.

“The coursework was informative and modern, with a heavy focus on relevant real-world sports events and news,” said Michael Dilger C’23,  a Corporate Partnerships Activation Coordinator with the professional soccer club Hartford Athletic. “What started as a fun elective developed into a genuine relationship with Professor Roche and an invaluable amount of first-hand experience in sports business. He does an outstanding job at preparing future industry professionals for a career in sports.”

“Taking Sports Marketing and Sports Management helped me gain the skills I needed to excel in a career in the sports industry and understand the path I need to take in order to have a chance in the competitive sports industry,” added Julia Schelhorn C’24, a business and media & communications double major, who is currently interning with Roche. “The sports courses at Drew not only educated me, but they helped me develop professional skills. They had a large amount of public speaking opportunities, which was great for me as someone who used to be terrified of talking in front of people. Professor Roche helped prepare me for my career with firsthand experience, knowledge, and expertise. He’s always looking to help students any way he can.”

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