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Students Connecting with
Region’s Pro Sports Teams

nku victor and rosie red

Feb. 18, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University students are getting a behind the scenes look at Cincinnati’s sports franchises with its new community seminar series, Professional Sports in the Queen City.

Hosted by NKU’s Haile/US Bank College of Business and Honors College, the series features monthly keynote speakers from the region’s three professional sports franchises and industry experts related to monthly topics. Each seminar begins with a brief history of the franchise and explores both the player and business facets of the organization.

“Collegiate and professional sports dominate American culture, and this is a billion-dollar industry that continues to grow,” said Jennifer Gardner, director of NKU’s Sports Business & Event Management program. “Our goal is to take you on a journey of how these fan bases continue growing and closely examine how they conduct business in and out of the pandemic. Discussions like this are great examples of the valuable real-world experiences NKU is known for.”

The lecture series is part of a new innovative course design offered by the two colleges where students meet weekly to examine these topics more thoroughly. They are also an extension of the Honors College’s place-based programming built to connect the classroom with regional needs and real-life experiences.

NKU invites students and community members to explore new topics each week through April. Professional Sports in the Queen City keynote speakers include:

Feb. 23 | Michael Muñoz, vice president with the Pro Football Hall of Fame
March 9 | Neil Hornsby, founder and CEO of Pro Football Focus
March 23 | Devon Still, former NFL player and founder of Still Strong Foundation
April 16 | Dan McNally, director of Soccer Operations with FC Cincinnati
April 27 | Karen Forgus, senior vice president with the Cincinnati Reds

Former Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still also serves as the keynote speaker for the College of Business’ annual Business Week, an event to connect students with experienced professionals and provide networking opportunities with local employers and NKU alumni. Still delivers his keynote about the Still Strong Foundation and his daughter’s battle with Stage 4 cancer at the age of four, which inspired fans to raise more than $2 million for childhood cancer awareness.

"It's more than just a game. Although the world of sports represents a billion-dollar entertainment business, it is also a useful tool to breakdown social and cultural barriers,” said Devon Still. “Sports influence on American culture affords players the power to create positive change."

NKU’s Professional Sports in the Queen City series is free and open to students and community members. To learn more and to register, visit the university’s website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit