March 20, 2017

EMU students and faculty member attend Soccer Career Conference in Los Angeles

Event provides exceptional learning experiences for students pursuing career in pro sports

YPSILANTI – Three Eastern Michigan University students, along with instructor Robert Twells, attended the Sports Management Worldwide Soccer Career Conference this semester at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles. The event featured the president and founder of SMWW, Lynn Lashbrook; Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Portland Timbers pro soccer team; and ESPN Soccer Analyst Tommy Smyth.

From left, conference attendees Jacob Clinansmith, Tyler Wagner, Miguel Castillo-Clark and instructor Robert Twells.

The first day of the conference featured networking. At this event, the EMU group met many of the scheduled panel speakers. The second day offered panel presentations, featuring 21 executives, owners, coaches, agents, scouts and television personalities in professional soccer. The topics included sports marketing, building a franchise, technological changes, hiring and broadcasting. 

Robert Twells is a marketing lecturer in the EMU College of Business. He stated that the event provided excellent perspective and contacts for the students.

“After each of the seven 45-minute panel sessions, we had an opportunity to individually chat with the speakers, including Brendan Hannan, VP of Marketing for the LA Galaxy, and retired MLS star John Thorrington, VP of Operations for the LA Football Club,” said Twells who was honored last year at the 39th annual Academic Awards Celebration at EMU.

After the conference, the group toured the Staples Center (home of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers franchises) took the subway to Hollywood for dinner, went on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and visited the Dolby Theatre, which has hosted the Academy Awards since 1992.

“Overall, the conference was an amazing learning experience that we will never forget,” said Twells.  

The students attending were Miguel Castillo-Clark, Jacob Clinansmith and Tyler Wagner. They are all marketing majors pursuing a career in sports.  

Sports Management Worldwide is the first ever online sports management school, with a mission to educate future sports business executives. The school trains thousands of students every year for sports business careers, including athletes, agents and other sports industry leaders. Sports Management Worldwide has 10,000 alumni from over 140 countries.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.













Contact Geoff Larcom,, 734.487.4401

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