Dominic DiMascio, a junior at the University of Akron, was looking for more ways to connect with the professional sports community and network with the pros.
“I wanted to create a space for growing sports professionals like me to learn more about the industry,” he said.
The Sport Analytics and Business Association (SABA) is a student organization founded in 2022–School year 2023 at Akron University. The goal of the organization is to provide students with field experience and career opportunities.
College of Business Administrators Dean RJ Nemer, Dr. Seungum Lee and Dr. Matthew Juravich, alongside DiMascio, helped organize this student organization.
DiMascio serves as President of SABA. He is also the student ambassador for the two new majors, Sport Business and Sport Analytics. The new sports analysis major is one of only five sports analysis programs in the country.
SABA was created as a resource for aspiring sports professionals to learn more about the industry and attend networking events. SABA aims to provide UA students with hands-on experience and help them find a path in their careers.
“SABA was founded to prepare students for the professional sports world,” said DiMascio.
Students who have joined the organization this year have already had the opportunity to learn from some of the largest sports organizations in the country.
At the end of September, SABA Instagram, @uakronsaba, posted a recap of an event that some of their students were able to attend.
“Last week, some members of SABA had the opportunity to attend the ‘Career in Sports Day’ with the Pittsburgh Pirates,” reads SABA’s Instagram page. “Members had the opportunity to speak to industry professionals and then watch the Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs game. Thanks @pittsburghpirates for inviting me! #AspiringSports Professionals #SABA.”
When asked about his favorite SABA experience, Junior and SABA Treasurer Alec Haas immediately named the trip to Pittsburgh.
“The Pittsburgh Pirates Sports Networking Event was the first SABA trip and gave me the opportunity to connect with members who work for the Pittsburgh Pirates, attend a Pirate baseball game and explore the city of Pittsburgh,” said Haas.
DiMascio plans to host additional events and invite alumni currently working in the field to come back to connect with UA students about the benefits of working in the sports industry.
“I’m looking forward to some events next semester to get hands-on experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers or the MAC tournament,” said SABA Secretary Evan Wilson.
Who can join? “SABA is open to all University of Akron students. We’re always looking for more students to join,” said DiMascio.
DiMascio even invites students who aren’t too interested in the sporting aspect of the organization. “You don’t have to like sports to be in the organization,” he said. “You just have to want to learn and network.
SABA meets in the College of Business’s Goodyear Classroom 286 for networking panels and in Murphy Conference Room 258 for bi-monthly Wednesday meetings from 7th to 8th May –8 p.m
“If you’re interested in working in any area of sports business or data analytics, this is the group you should be a part of,” Wilson said. “The amount of experience, knowledge and contacts that you can gain within this student organization is endless.”
Alec Haas also supports the opportunities offered by SABA.
“Ultimately, I came to SABA to cultivate real-world connections with professionals in the sports world,” said Haas.
He is already considering how the organization will help him stand out from the crowd after graduation.
“The desire to one day work in the sports front office, the ability to nurture and grow relationships with sports professionals…will set me apart from other people going forward,” he said.