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Volume 23 No. 17
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Getting schooled: Cowboys launch business program

The Dallas Cowboys kicked off a sports business program for high school students last week that organizers hope will make it easier for the team to identify interns who it eventually could employ.


Derrick Heggans, a sports industry veteran who previously served as the managing director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, approached the Cowboys last May about hosting a sports business program at the team’s headquarters in Frisco, Texas. Heggans and Chad Estis, the Cowboys’ executive vice president of business operations, finalized the deal in December.


Heggans has run similar programs before with universities such as Stanford and Northwestern. This is the first time he has marketed the program to teams, an area where he sees potential for growth.


Heggans has deals in place to roll out similar courses with the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles next year. Eventually, he hopes to have 10 NFL and 10 NBA teams on board.


“This is an opportunity for teams to handpick future talent,” Heggans said.


The two-week course in Dallas runs from June 18-29 and costs $4,000 per student. The class, which is limited to 20 people, will feature presentations by team and league executives, people such as Estis and Tracie Rodburg, the NFL’s vice president of sponsorships and partnership management.


Later this summer, Heggans will produce a two-week program for high school students looking for a career in sports business through Loyola Marymount that features guest presenters such as media veteran David Rone, former NFL player Tony Gonzalez, Endeavor executive Karen Brodkin and ESPN producer Jay Rothman.


— John Ourand