Author Archives: Zach McMurray

About Zach McMurray

Sophomore Accounting/Sport Business Major. From Burton, Ohio

The Most Innovative Company

The Most Innovative Company

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When I attended the National Sports Forum in Louisville, Kentucky, I had the pleasure of listening to a presentation given by the CEO of one of the most innovative companies. The guest speaker was Amy Martin and she founded the social media guru company – Digital Royalty. Digital Royalty is at the forefront of the social media world as they are social media consultants for elite athletes and sport organizations. When Shaquille O’Neal sat in the middle of the Harvard campus like a statue, Digital Royalty was behind it. When UFC President Dana White accidentally tweeted his phone number to millions of people, Digital Royalty capitalized on it and created the fan phone.

I was amazed how much of a business approach Digital Royalty took to social media. This company is all about helping businesses utilize the emerging market of social media. Social media has staying power and is a powerful tool that business and capitalize on to increase revenue and awareness. I got a few seconds after the presentation to approach Martin and talk a little more in depth on the topic. To me, social media is a fascinating new tool that that will have taken over the business world by the time I enter the job force. I plan on following this social media powerhouse company in order to stay tuned into the new trends, and I suggest anyone interested in social media do the same.

My Favorite Job-Umpiring

My Favorite Job-Umpiring

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The most common question when you’re getting to know someone is: “What’s one unique thing most people don’t know about you?” My answer always is: I am a certified baseball umpire.

It is pretty obvious by now that baseball is my passion, and when I was a freshmen in high school I decided that my summer job would be umpiring youth league baseball games. I have been an OHSAA certified umpire for six years, and for the last two, I have earned Class 1 rank, which is the highest umpire classification in Ohio. Most people ask why in the world I would ever consider such a job, but I feel like it is not even a job. I get paid to be involved with baseball.

I was only 15 when I umpired my first game … and yes I was nervous, but the key is to be confident. Some coaches now will even try to test me when they see a young umpire behind the plate. But, I am only young in age, as I have more umpire experience than umpires twice my age. Last summer, I umpired 75 baseball games that ranged from high school games to eight-year-old travel baseball games. I have even had the honor to umpire in Cooperstown, New York twice for weeklong national baseball tournaments. I would suggest that anyone who has a passion for baseball consider becoming an umpire.

Because of umpiring I have a lot of life experiences that I am able to draw upon later in life, and the major life skill I have learned is to be confident. I have not been able to umpire a lot of high school baseball games so far this year due to my internships, but this Tuesday I will be umpiring my first game of the season – a JV baseball game in the Canton area. I have always considered attempting to become a MLB umpire but this is an even more daunting task than attempting to become a MLB player. This summer, I will have the honor of being able to meet a MLB umpire who I have been connected with through a mutual friend. Since MLB does not disclose where umpires will be stationed prior to the beginning of each series, I unfortunately do not know when this opportunity will occur. However, I make sure to check out the umpires for every game at Progressive Field.

Dorm Room Essentials

Dorm Room Essentials

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A big challenge when preparing for college is deciding the necessities of a dorm room. The best way to decide what you need to buy for your dorm room is to contact your future roommate and come up with a plan of everything you already have and what you’re going to need. Splitting the cost of everything is what everyone usually does. While it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re going to need in your dorm and what your dorm can actually hold, there are two things every dorm room needs. Here are the dorm room essentials.

Futon – All of the dorm’s at Mount have enough room to hold a futon and this extra seating is a must have! Some of my friends have even found ways to have two futons in one room. A futon in the room makes your room more comfortable and gives you space to relax. Otherwise, without a futon the only place to sit is at your desk chair, which you will be spending enough time at. Last year, I lived in Cunningham and we had a futon. But this year with a little more room in Shields, we are able to have a futon and a recliner.

TV – This should actually be TVs. Having two televisions is a must. College is all about being able to multi-task and learning time management so being able to play my PS3 on one TV and watch SportsCenter on the other helps me conserve my time. Having two TVs is also helpful come March Madness and the NFL season so my friends and I can hang out and watch two games at once.

The Life of an Ohio Sports Fan

The Life of an Ohio Sports Fan

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Last night was a tough loss for all of Buckeye nation. It still seems surreal for me that the Buckeyes were unable to pull off the victory, and for some reason, I still believe they have a chance to win it all. I felt for sure this was the time Ohio sport fans were finally going to be able to celebrate and rejoice in a championship.  The only time in my life that a team I am a passionate about has won a championship was the Buckeyes’ football national championship in 2002. After 2002, it has been all heartbreaking losses from the OSU football team’s back-to-back losses the National Championship to the OSU basketball team’s loss to Joakim Noah and the Florida Gators. On a professional level, 2007 was also a tough year for Cleveland sport fans, between the Cavaliers losing to the Spurs and the Indians unable to clinch the American League pennant after being up 3-1 in the series. I attended both the first home game of the ALDS and the ALCS that year and had plans in place for tickets to the World Series. Despite all my disappointments, I’m still a diehard sports fan, especially of Mount Union.

One of the many perks of being a Mount Union student is that tough losses are difficult to come by, especially in football. One reason Mount Union football is so successful is because they look at every day as a day to get better.  There is nothing like football here at Mount Union. Just attending the school makes you feel invested in the program, and all of the students take pride in the Mount Union football team. We especially enjoy bragging to all our friends who went to other OAC schools about our football team.

It is always a cool experience to see Mount Union mentioned on SportsCenter, espn.com, ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption or during an Indianapolis Colts game during the NFL season.  When Colts wide receiver and Mount alumnus Pierre Garcon burst onto the scene during the Colts Super Bowl run, Mount Union gained national attention. And, where did Garcon go just three days after the Super Bowl?  That’s right, Mount Union. Garcon finished up his degree from his alma mater and could be seen around campus anywhere from an intramural sports game to in the WRMU radio station broadcasting live.  He even came back from visiting Haiti to walk at graduation.

This year my dorm room window oversaw the football team’s practice field and I got to witness first hand why Mount Union football is so successful.  This year was especially exciting getting to watch Cecil Shorts, Mel Kiper’s fifth ranked wide receiver in this year’s draft perform in practice and during the games.  All future Purple Raiders: be sure follow Cecil Shorts on Twitter (@CShorts10) for first hand insight on the draft and to tune into ESPN for the NFL draft beginning April 28 to watch another Purple Raider get drafted. Check out the YouTube video of Shorts being interviewed at the NFL Combine.

-Zach McMurray

“Good is the Enemy of Great”

My Schedule

My Schedule

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The time of the semester when scheduling takes places is filled with meeting with friends, advisors and planning your future semester – all the way from figuring out what classes you need to take for your major to what time you want to wake up in the morning. And, when you’re getting ready to schedule your academic classes, the best plan is to have a plan. The first time you meet with your advisor you should create a plan for at least the next few semesters.  Here are the classes I have already taken as well as the classes I will be taking in the fall of my junior year.

1st Semester Freshman Year

Intro to Art (3)

Intro to Information Management (3)

College Writing (3)

Intro to Environmental Science (3)

Freshmen Seminar- Apocalyptic Expectations (3)

Religion & Human Experience (3)

2nd Semester Freshman Year

College Life Options (1)

Management Principles (3)

Public Speaking (3)

Quantitative Methods I (3)

Wellness (2)

History & Philosophy of Sport (3)

Elementary Spanish II (3)

1st Semester Sophomore Year

Elementary Accounting I (3)

Marketing Principles (3)

Evaluating College Life & Options (1)

Life/Career Plans (1)

Intro to Microeconomics (3)

Elementary Statistics with Business Lab (4)

Sport Program Management (3)

2nd Semester Sophomore Year

Elementary Accounting II (3)

Quantitative Methods II (3)

Intro to Macroeconomics (3)

Business & Technical Writing (3)

Sport Public Relations (3)

Sport Area & Facility Management (3)

1st Semester Junior Year

Federal Income Tax (3)

Intermediate Accounting II (3)

Managerial Cost Accounting (3)

Business Law I (3)

Legal Issues in Sport (3)

Careers in Sport Business (1)

Direct Experience:  Sport Recreation (1)

(number of credits)

Guest Speaker (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

Guest Speaker (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

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My boss at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF), Pete Fierle, was a guest speaker in my public relations class today. Pete is the manager of digital media and communications, and he talked today about the HOF’s future 50 project and how the HOF uses social media. Social media is a rapid emerging market for organizations, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame is very active in social media. Check out the Pro Football HOF’s Twitter and Facebook. Pete is in charge of HOF’s social media. He and I have talked previously about my interest in social media, and I hope to potentially intern at the HOF again and help to develop its social media efforts.

Pete also touched on how to conduct a press conference (we will be hosting a mock one as a class project). I also found it very interesting how much the HOF relies on its public relations department for brand recognition. Pete gave us a lot of insight on the HOF’s induction ceremony and their involvement with Super Bowl weekend as well as the brand recognition HOF obtains from the Super Bowl. This video features Pete talking about the HOF’s interaction with Mount Union students. This special relationship will allow for numerous opportunities for future Purple Raiders.

Meet Zach

Meet Zach

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Welcome! Before I introduce myself I want to inform you on the reason I am writing this blog. Mount Union has provided me with a ton of opportunities and has allowed me to succeed from the very start of my collegiate career. I want to inform others about a truly great place that will allow you to grow both personally and academically. I have enjoyed being a Purple Raider and I know you will too. I am currently in the midpoint of my college years (sophomore), so I hope I will be able to provide experiences and advice of what to expect in the early years and what is to come in the future.

First, I need to talk about where I came from before talking about where I am now. I spent four great years in purple and black at Berkshire High School in Burton, Ohio. Burton is a small town in Northeast Ohio and is famous for pancake breakfasts. Sports were my passion in high school and this has lead directly to my major in college.

I am majoring in sport business and accounting.  Double majoring is something I have always wanted to do and these majors do not just stem from my passion for sports but more so from my passion for business. I find business very intriguing and all the components that it consists of.  In sport business I am learning how one of the most lucrative businesses in the world operates. Accounting has also always been interesting to me. My goal is to become an executive with a professional sports team and accounting is an essential skill. Businesses are always concerned with their budgets and revenue, and in accounting you learn the bottom line and how to maximize revenue.

On Mount Union’s campus I am involved with The Dynamo (our school’s newspaper), Emerging Leaders Club, Accounting Club, Sport Business Association (which I’m the treasurer of), Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (which I’m in the president of) and First Year Experience as well as a mentor in M3C, an AmeriCorps volunteer scholarship program.  Campus involvement is imperative. It provides opportunities to meet people as well as develop the ever-important resume.

The most impressive part of my collegiate career to this point is the practical experience I have gained. I am a very self-empowered person and this attitude has lead to me obtaining multiple internships.  I have interned with the Cleveland Clinic Autism Center, Cleveland Indians (where I was a data specialist), Pro Football Hall of Fame (where I conducted research), the National Basketball Academy, the National Sports Forum, the Cleveland Cavaliers (where I work as a part of its sales team), and this week I begin another internship with the Cleveland Indians (where I’ll work with its database management staff).

I will be sure to get more in depth with some of my experiences on campus and with my internships later in my blog but I want to end by answering the question, “Why Mount Union?” The interaction and the relationships I am able to build with my professors is the main reason. At Mount Union, the professors are truly there to help you. I know some of my professors on a personal level and this is very important as they are my connection to business world.

Finally, the main reason I choose Mount Union was because I saw it had the right mindset. Mount is NOT OK with status quo and it is always looking toward the future and how to improve as a university.  In only two years at Mount I have seen an athletic complex, a business and engineering building and three apartment buildings built.

Mount Union is a NCAA Division III school with a Division I mindset. I came from a small community but I strive to be successful on a large stage. I am out to prove that I have what it takes to become an industry leader in sport business and when I achieve this goal, the opportunities Mount Union has provided me with will have been a major factor.

-Zach McMurray

“Good is the Enemy of Great”