On Sunday, April 6, students in the Department of Sport Management hosted the 7th annual Rice Owl Bowl, an annual spring fundraiser for the department. The event, held at Palace Bowling Lanes, was the final product of SMGT 366, a Sport Management course in event management and customer service.
Guided by Professor Dr. Jason Sosa, the 23 students in the class had been planning for the event since the beginning of the semester in January. They handled the event operations, secured sponsorships, sold bowling lanes, marketed the event, and procured items for the silent auction and gift bags.
“Owl Bowl is always one of the highlights of the year for our department,” said Dr. Clark Haptonstall, Chair of the Department of Sport Management. “Our students get to learn first-hand how to organize, operate, and sell lanes to a major event. This method allows students to learn on the job and adjust on the fly when needed. I’m proud of the job they did.”
Arriving in the early evening, guests spent the night bowling in teams of six players, with the top teams winning gift baskets at the end of the night. While bowling, guests could mingle and eat, bid on silent auction items, and take photos in front of a fun, fiesta-themed backdrop. Bowlers took home gift bags at the end of the night containing official Owl Bowl pint glasses, shirts, and coupons from local businesses.
“A lot of hard work and effort has been put into the Owl Bowl,” said Cali Roper ’16, a student in SMGT 366. “We’ve been preparing for this since the start of the semester and it’s really cool to see it all come together.”
The event grossed $28,000 dollars with a profit of $20,000 dollars, which will be used to support Rice students majoring in Sport Management with travel, internships, and research competitions.
“The more money we raise, the more opportunities we have for student development through travel to competitions or conferences where we can build their network with industry professionals,” said Tom Stallings, a professor in the Department of Sport Management. “This experience by itself allows students to tell potential employers that they were able to raise more than $20,000 through a student run event and therefore have the capacity to raise significantly more in a professional setting.”
Molly Mohr, a junior from San Antonio, is majoring in Sport Management and English and minoring in Business.