By Justin Chappell (M.S. Sports Administration ’15) and Walter Bergeson (M.S. Sports Administration ’16)
Like many sport managers, Wade Howell (B.B.A. ’88, M.S. ’92) grew up playing sports and always had a passion for the industry. However, he had no idea how to turn his passion for sports into a career. Howell put sports on the backburner when he attended Georgia State as an undergraduate, earning a degree in Finance, which led to his first job working at a bank. He soon realized that a career in finance was not for him and started to see what other opportunities existed. His interest in sports led him to look into the Sports Administration program at his alma mater. He attended a Braves game with then-GSU Sports Administration professor Dr. Rankin Cooter, who gave Howell an overview of the industry and the Sports Administration program. He reflected, “There weren’t a lot of schools at the time that had a sport graduate program”. He became a part of the 2nd full class of students in the Sports Administration program and it served as Howell’s path into the field that he dreamed about—collegiate sports and professional baseball.
After graduating again from Georgia State, Howell began working in college athletics. He worked at the University of Alabama, starting in promotions, before moving to work in sponsorship rights with Alabama through ISP Sports. While at Alabama, Howell was influenced greatly by his former boss, Ben Sutton. Sutton helped him understand how networking can positively impact his career, by helping create familiarity with others in the industry. Howell is grateful to have started at Alabama and formed the relationships that have guided him to where he is today.
After spending two decades in Tuscaloosa, Howell moved to his current position as Senior Director of Media Sales with the Texas Rangers. He noted that there are many similarities between college and professional sports, which helped make the transition between the University of Alabama and the Texas Rangers easier. He did mention, however, that there are certain perks that come with being in his role in a professional sports organization, like having a final say on decisions in his area. “If somebody wants their product in the ball park, I can make that happen,” Howell said. He enjoys working in his role in professional sports because he feels more impactful to the organization.
Howell’s advice to current and prospective students is to gain experience in the field before graduation. He believes that internships are a good way to get started in the industry and help students find a specific interest. Students who take internships show they are willing to make an impact early on and get real experience to help them decide what they want to pursue professionally.
Howell currently resides in Texas with his wife and is hoping that he can be a part of the Rangers winning their first World Series title.
Fun Facts about Wade Howell
Favorite Movies – anything with Will Ferrell, Drumline, Goodfellas, Napoleon Dynamite, Boogie Nights
Recent Book he’s read – Mo’Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove about The Roots’ drummer Ahmir-Khalib Thompson’s love for music
Hobbies – Spending time with his family, playing golf, listening to music