This summer we launched our first intern project competition at Navigate. Our five interns selected a topic of their choosing relating to sports business, worked diligently to create an insightful report, and then presented their findings to the entire Navigate team. All of the projects were educational and engaging, but ultimately Alicia Bagan and Ryan Nelson reigned victorious as co-champions! Both Alicia and Ryan delivered projects that provided innovative and actionable ideas for Navigate to use in the future to help guide clients and to continue driving the sports industry forward. We asked Ryan and Alicia to tell us more about their goals for their reports and how the process went overall. Continue reading to learn more about their stellar projects!

Alicia Bagan – Deep Dive into NIL

I was first introduced to name, image and likeness (NIL) during my time on Babson College’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee. I was fascinated by the idea that athletes can start making their own money and be compensated for their talent. I believed it was important that everyone at Navigate know the details of NIL and understand how monumental it will be for the future of college athletics. I outlined the landscape, the marketplaces currently in the space, the differences across state regulations, gave examples projecting how much revenue athletes can make, and made my own predictions on future implications. Navigate is always looking for new ways to help clients and I saw NIL as another opportunity for the company to do that. I aimed to identify areas where Navigate can have an impact in the space, ideas for thought leadership creation, partnerships, and new client services. In addition to this, I was able to show just how much money we can see athletes of different levels making based off their social media followers. As a retired college athlete, I am so excited about the opportunity athletes have now and will have in the future.

Below is a graphic I put together to demonstrate the factors that are at the fore front and below the surface, both positive and negative, that are resulting from NIL:

What are you most proud of? 

“One aspect of my project that I am proud of was that I conducted information interviews with individuals from collegiate athletic departments. I wanted to learn more about NIL from a collegiate perspective and how colleges are planning on navigating this new normal. I was able to gain more knowledge on the different marketplaces and how NIL rules differ across athletic departments. I felt like this was something that was unique to my project and showed how dedicated I was to learning everything I could to build my report.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced? 

“The biggest challenge I faced was that the topic I picked was so new and evolving every day.  I was constantly checking the news to see what developments were being made and what deals were happening. NIL is such a new space and no one knows what it can look like in a few years, which is why many articles used the term “wild west” to describe it. It was difficult to find concrete information, especially data, to support my claims so I turned to strategic thinking to help guide me through the report.”

Ryan Nelson – The Future of Illegal Streaming in Sports

When brainstorming ideas for my intern project, I started by considering the end goal of my presentation: To provide value to Navigate and ultimately our clients. As I considered possible avenues, I spoke with multiple members of the company on an idea I had been personally curious about in illegal streaming. The more I began to understand Navigate, the more I realized how important illegal streaming could be in sponsorship valuations and our client’s marketing strategies. If you were a leader of a sports organization, wouldn’t you want to know how many and what types of viewers you’re not currently accounting for in each of your games? With this question in mind, I set out to build a model that would take various inputs into account and predict the amount of illegal streamers per game in each of the 5 major American sports leagues. My hope is that, with the help of the educational deliverable and predictive model, Navigate can build off of my work to add yet another reason for having the reputation of being one of the most trusted and knowledgeable faces in the industry.

Below is a high level look into the projected illegal streaming numbers across the 5 major American sports leagues:

 What was the biggest challenge you faced? 

“My biggest challenge was probably narrowing down the scope of my project. Once I knew I wanted to focus on illegal streaming, it was a tough, yet a rewarding challenge to sift through all the information on the topic and apply the content to the sports industry. It helped to regularly check-in with my work and ensure that the main goal was to help Navigate.”

How will this help moving forward in your career? 

“Having the opportunity to take on a project from start to finish and present to upper management was extremely valuable! Specifically, I feel like I have gained a lot of confidence in my ability to effectively communicate my work in a presentation setting.”