Each semester, NYU SPS offers Real World courses to undergraduate and graduate students to give them hands-on experience working with top industry executives and professionals on real-world business problems. Over the years, many Real World alumni have worked in various roles across the sports business industry, including Alex Silberstein, a graduate of the NYU SPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport.
During his time in the program, Silberstein participated in two Real World courses involving FOX Sports University, FOX Deportes, and Major League Baseball. Today, he works for FOX Sports as an executive assistant to their lead executives involved in talent relations, strategy, and analytics. In addition, the School has invited him to be one of the judges for the fall semester’s Real World course focused on developing an all-encompassing content strategy and promotional plan to drive awareness and attendance for the spring 2023 United States Football League (USFL) season.
Today, Silberstein shares what NYU SPS and Real World have meant to him in breaking into the sports business industry.
How did your Real World experience help you land your first position in the sports industry?
My Real World experience was the key to my current employment. I participated in my first course during the fall semester of my junior year and won the competition, which led me to apply to FOX Sports’ internship program that summer. I received an internship in the College Strategy & Consumer Insights department, which lasted for six months and allowed me to create significant and meaningful relationships with several company employees. During my senior year, a job opening became available in the department I had worked in, and I was contacted to see if I was interested in the job, which I accepted.
What was your favorite part of your Real World experience?
My favorite part was having the creative freedom to generate ideas. In conventional classroom settings, it’s easy to be confined to the syllabus, course material, and tests/ quizzes, but participating in a project-based course allowed me to generate ideas without the limitations that standard classes include. More than anything, putting myself in the shoes of a FOX Sports employee empowered and motivated me to think about broader company strategy, tactical implementation of creative messaging, and the future of the sports industry as a whole.
What advice would you give to today’s Real World participants?
One piece of advice I’d give Real World participants would be to take it seriously. Often in group project settings, it’s easy to take the path of least resistance and leave your work for the last minute. But I quickly realized that there was an opportunity to get my foot in the door with FOX Sports, which completely changed my perspective on how I would approach the work. I would strongly encourage participants to realize the opportunity in front of them and ensure that their work is their best. You never know who’s on the other side of the call and what they can do for your career!
What was your reaction to being asked to be a judge for this year’s Real World course?
My reaction was pure gratitude. To have participated in a Real World course a year ago and to now be judging one is quite the full-circle moment. I felt so thankful to my professors, David Hollander and David Cooper, and our FOX Sports representative, Cati Hance, who was the judge of my Real World courses and has become a mentor here at the company. Moreover, I could be a resource for the current Real World students and steer them in the right direction for their presentations.
In your current role at Fox Sports, what initiatives or activities are you involved in?
My current role at FOX Sports immersed me in our company's talent relations, strategy, and analytics. My team manages all internal/ external talent requests and is responsible for partnerships, studio shows, and other bookings. Our team also handles all of the ratings and consumer research, as well as tactical components like deals with leagues, programming, and sports fandom as a whole.
What are you looking forward to doing next in your sports business career?
The thing I’m most looking forward to is having the chance to help out the next generation of sports industry professionals. I’ve been lucky enough to have been exposed to many people in the business who’ve provided me with invaluable advice and insight, and I hope I can be that same person for students across the country. Beyond that, I can’t wait to learn more about this fascinating business and prove to the world how important sports fandom is to society.
NYU SPS Real World - Spring 2023 Offerings
Upcoming NYU SPS Real World courses for the Spring 2023 semester include undergraduate projects with Nike and Hugo Boss, and graduate projects with Ernst & Young, Porsche, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Boston Beer Company. Please visit the NYU SPS Real World webpage for more information about these courses.