This past semester, two prestigious brands, Rice University and Nike, came together to offer a once in a lifetime experience to Sport Management students – a three credit hour class dedicated to the culture of Nike. Through this course, students were given the opportunity to learn about Nike and how the brand has been built into the powerhouse that it is today. None of this would have been able to be done without the help of Department Chair Clark Haptonstall and Professor in the Practice Tom Stallings, who were able to bring in one of Nike’s top strategic account directors, Dave Siddons, to teach the course.
There is no doubt that the sport management courses offered at Rice are compelling and useful in very many unique ways. Each of the professors carefully craft their courses in ways that keep their students interested and informed on all realms of the sports world. The SMGT 470 course on the culture of Nike did not fall short of that. In fact, the class went beyond all expectations. Siddons brought in so much excitement and insightful information that all of his students will always remember.
“Entering the classroom after leaving college 38 years ago has turned out to be one of the truly greatest experiences of my life,” Siddons said. “I was nervous and excited for the semester to begin but once I began teaching in a classroom full of eager, engaged and motivated Rice students, I felt truly at home.”
Learning about Nike’s history, and the retail experience in general, from someone who is so passionate about what they do made this course even more appealing. Siddons’ devotion truly kept the classroom alive and made sure that each student truly grasped every concept.
“I had always thought about teaching once I retire from Nike and this experience has confirmed that this is what I want to pursue in the future,” Siddons said. “In addition to finding a second calling, I also received an unanticipated benefit from teaching this course. I believe I became better at my regular job and fell in love with the company I have devoted my entire career to ‘all over again’.”
Not only will the students from this class forever remember taking this course at Rice but Siddons will as well. It was truly a great opportunity that the Department of Sport Management was able to offer.
Madeleine Frazier, a sophomore from Houston, Texas, is double majoring in Sport Management and Psychology.