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Thunder employee encourages OC students to “be passionate” about their work

Oklahoma Christian University students had the opportunity to hear from, Mac Maddox, manager of group and season ticket sales for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he came and discussed the Thunder’s ticket sales process with Professor Wes McKinzie’s Sport and Event Promotion class Feb. 13 and 15.

“My philosophy is that I want our students to know what they need to know and who they need to know,” McKinzie said. “Networking is a big part of success in sports management, and we are in a great market for that. Every sports executive we have talked to since the program started has been willing to help however they can.”

For his presentation, Maddox opened by encouraging students to become passionate about their work no matter what they do. He emphasized knowing one’s market and showing passion.

“Fear of projection is a hard thing to overcome,” Maddox said.  “It is a basketball game, I get that, but I want to help provide experiences that families can look back on fondly years from now. You have to believe and be passionate in what you do, or you will not want to talk about it to others.”

Maddox presented his audience with several ways to classify the data he gathers from customers and how the Thunder organization builds their database, contacting potential buyers through specific channels. His detailed breakdown of both consumer relations and how to work with passions is something McKinzie said he highlights in his classes.

“In both classes he came to, Mac said a bunch of great stuff,” McKinzie said. “The thing that stood out to me from both classes was how he discussed the importance of believing in what you are doing and what you are selling. You are not going to serve your customers or your company well if you do not have that passion.”

Maddox said he approaches each chance as a unique experience and encourages anyone interested in the world of sales to do the same.

“I personally love each opportunity,” Maddox said. “As someone who comes from a family of educators, I do not get the opportunity very often so there are several at our office who take the chance to speak whenever we can across several schools. I am fortunate that my connection with Wes has allowed me to do that.”

In McKinzie’s class, he said he sets aside several sessions for guest speakers from various places ranging from Oklahoma Christian’s own athletic director, David Lynn, to the vice president of accounting for the Dallas Cowboys, Dale Knox.

“They all bring something different to the table,” McKinzie said. “It is good for our students because they are exposed to people with different personalities, different skill sets and different career paths. But they have all emphasized the importance of taking initiative and having a great work ethic.”

McKinzie’s Sport and Event Promotion class meets from 11:40 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He said he welcomes students to email him about sitting in on days guests come to speak.

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