On Thursday, February 23, Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee, spoke to members of the Rice University Sport Business Alliance (RUSBA).
Morehead, who joined the Houston Marathon Committee in March of 2010, is the organization's first Executive Director. Under his direction, this year, the 40th anniversary of the marathon, was one of the organization's most successful. A record total of 250,000 participants, spectators, and volunteers participated in events surrounding race weekend. Additionally, a day prior to the Houston Marathon, the organization hosted the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon for both men and women, making Houston the first city to hold both races on the same day and the same course. The organization's charity, "Run for a Reason," had a record-breaking year as well, raising over $2.3 million for 57 charities during 2011 and early 2012.
Morehead has over 18 years of experience in sports and event management, working for organizations such as the Harlem Globetrotters, the Continental Basketball Association, the Women?s National Basketball Association, and the Special Olympics World Winter Games prior to his arrival in Texas. He shared some of his experiences in the industry with the group, discussing the vastness of skills needed to successfully run events.
"The cool thing about sports is that you can have a specialty," Morehead said. "You can be into technology, construction, or finance, and there's still a place for you. You can still call yourself a sports manager or event manager and fit in just fine."
Additionally, he emphasized to the group some of the skills that he has found crucial to succeed in the positions he has held.
"Organizational and writing skills are really important. That's what I seem to rely on the most to move forward," Morehead said. "The more opportunities you get to practice your public speaking, I would recommend it - that's the skill I would recommend sharpening the most. As you progress into management roles, conflict management skills: how to deal with people, talk to them, resolve issues, and find a solution between groups, is important as well."
Mary Mikell Lampton, a sophomore from Jackson, Mississippi, is majoring in Sport Management and minoring in Business.