Student Organization SABA Offers Opportunities for UA Students to Gain Connections in the Sports Industry

By Camryn Moore, Correspondent

Members of SABA had the opportunity to attend ‘Career in Sports Day’ at the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Courtesy of the SABA Instagram)

Dominic DiMascio, a junior at The University of Akron, was looking for more opportunities to engage the professional sport community and network with the pros.  

“I wanted to create a space for growing sports professionals, like myself, to learn about the industry,” he said. 

Sport Analytics and Business Association (SABA) is a student organization that was developed in the 20222023 school year at The University of Akron. The organization’s goal is to provide students field experience and professional opportunities.  

Administrators for the College of Business, Dean R.J. Nemer, Dr. Seungbum Lee and Dr. Matthew Juravich,  helped organize this student organization alongside DiMascio.  

DiMascio serves as president of SABA. He is also a student ambassador for the two new majors Sport Business and Sport Analytics. The new Sport Analytics major is one of only five sport analytic programs in the country.  

SABA was created as a resource for aspiring sport professionals to learn about the industry and attend networking events. SABA seeks to give UA students hands-on experience and help them carve out a pathway into their career. 

“SABA was formed to prepare students for the professional sports world,” DiMascio said.  

Students who joined the organization this year have already had the opportunity to learn from some of the largest sports organizations in the country.  

In late September, the SABA Instagram, @uakronsaba, posted a recap from an event some of their students were able to attend. 

“Last week, some members of SABA had the opportunity to attend ‘Career in Sports Day’ at the Pittsburgh Pirates,” the SABA Instagram page said. “Members had the opportunity to speak with industry professionals and then attend the Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs game after. Thank you @pittsburghpirates for the invite! #AspiringSportProfessionals #SABA.”

When asked about his favorite experience with SABA, junior and SABA treasurer Alec Haas immediately named the Pittsburgh trip.

“The Pittsburgh Pirates Sports Networking Event was the first SABA trip and granted me the opportunity to interact with members working for the Pittsburgh Pirates, attend a pirates baseball game, and explore the city of Pittsburgh,” said Haas. 

DiMascio has plans to host more events and invite alumni currently working in the field to come back to share with UA students about the benefits of working in the sports industry.  

“I’m excited for some events next semester to get hands-on experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers or the MAC tournament,” SABA Secretary Evan Wilson said.

Who can join? “SABA is open to all University of Akron students. We are always looking for more students to join,” DiMascio said.

DiMascio even extends his invite to students that aren’t as interested in the sport aspect of the organization. “You don’t have to like sports to be in the organization,” he said. “You just have to have a desire to learn and network. 

SABA meets in the College of Business Goodyear Classroom 286 for networking panels and in the Murphy Conference Room 258 for bimonthly Wednesday meetings from 7 8 p.m.  

 “If you are interested in being in any field of sports business or data analytics, this is the group to be a part of,” Wilson said. “The amount of experience, knowledge, and contacts you can gain within this student organization is endless.” 

Alec Haas also endorses the opportunities offered by SABA. 

“Ultimately, I joined SABA to cultivate real world connections with professionals in the world of sports,” Haas said.  

He is already considering how the organization will help him stand out of the pack after graduation. 

“As aspirations to one day work in sports front office, the ability to cultivate and develop relationships with sports professionals…will set me apart from other individuals in the future,” he said.