TROY students chosen to participate in NASCAR competition

Posted: Wednesday, 05 October 2011

TROY -- Troy University has been chosen as one of 20 schools in the country to participate in the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion program.

As part of the program, five students will be chosen from TROY each semester to work on two competitive case studies and host a viewing party for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

"Our affiliation with the NASCAR Kinetics programs provides yet another venue for TROY students to apply their knowledge and skills in an applied sport industry setting. I applaud the faculty of TROY's Sport and Fitness Management program for seeking out this valuable opportunity for our students," said Dr. Damon Andrew, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

Assistant Professor of Sport Management Dr. Christina Martin said the University learned about the program at a national sport management conference last year.

As part of the requirements, NASCAR was looking not just for successful sport management programs but also those within proximity to a racetrack.

With Troy University's Sport and Fitness Management one of only five accredited programs in the country and its location near Talladega, Martin said the University was a "perfect fit."

Martin, along with Dr. Michael Martinez, was instrumental in bringing the program to Troy University. However, while the program was geared toward sport management students, Martin said students from across the University are encouraged to apply.

"It's also open to business, marketing or communication students," Martin said. "The top five will be chosen." The program kicked off this fall, and five students are currently working as a team in the competition. On the NASCAR team is:

  • Sonny Ferrante, a senior sport and fitness management major from Troy;
  • Chris Weil, a senior sport and fitness management major from Troy;
  • Whitney Hazouri, a senior sport and fitness management major from Troy;
  • Bobby Hudson, a senior sport and fitness management major from Troy; and
  • Kaitlyn Morgan, a junior sport and fitness management major from Callaway, Fla.

"The response has been positive. They have really put in a lot of work to get this program running, and it's even more impressive that they are doing this outside of full class loads and other commitments," Martinez said.

"They see the value in what this experience does for their future careers, and it shows in the dedication to make this program a success."

The team works on two case studies, which are judged by an external team at the end of the semester. They also will host a viewing party for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race on Oct. 23.

The winning team will receive an all-expense paid weekend to a weekend race series. While the program is not for academic credit, she said in the past, job opportunities have been presented for winning teams.

"This is purely just extra experience, and one of the reasons we wanted to bring this program to TROY is to get hands on experience so they are more marketable upon graduation," Martin said.