Extreme Class: Lynn sports management students turn Summer X Games into a college course

Published Jul. 31, 2009

For 10 Lynn University sports management students in Lynn's College of Hospitality Management, the Summer X Games in Los Angeles, Calif., have become their classroom.

In an educational experience that is exclusive to the university, Lynn students are working for ESPN Aug. 4-7, as part of a three-credit college course entitled, “The Summer X Games Experience.” The sports management students spend their 15-hour work days assisting with all aspects of preparation, organization and operation of the world’s biggest summer extreme-sports event. The students are divided into pairs and rotate among five venues: Dirt, Vert, Base, Rally and X Fest, the event’s fan-interaction sponsor-driven festival.

“Our students take what they learn in class about sports event operations and come here and make it happen,” says Lynn sports management professor Chad Barr, who teaches the course and arranges the trip. “For Lynn students, learning doesn’t end in the classroom – it begins there.”

In January, Barr took ten students to Aspen to work with ESPN at the Winter X Games. The X Games courses have proven to be among the most popular at the university, with dozens of students applying – via essays and personal interviews – to be chosen for entry into the course.

Active learning is a hallmark of the Lynn sports management education, as students work at:
  • NCAA Men's Final Four, as part of “The Final Four Experience” course
  • Super Bowl, as part of “The Super Bowl Experience” course
  • BCS National Championship Game, Orange Bowl
  • Champions Tour’s Allianz Championship, the International Tennis Championships work at dozens of internships with pro teams and collegiate athletic departments nationwide.

“This active learning experience will stay with our students in their future careers as sports business leaders,” says Lynn sports management professor Ted Curtis.