Have you ever wondered how national sports events make it to your town? It’s because of people like Miranda Smith. After graduating from the Entertainment Business Master of Science with a Sports Management Elective Track program in 2011 Miranda accepted a job with the Central Florida Sports Commission. As Senior Manager of Business Development & Events it’s her job to help make the Orlando area a sought-after home for a variety of major sporting events and exhibitions.
“Basically what I do is research different events that are up for bids, like whenever NCAA basketball is looking for an area to hold a tournament in,” she says. “Several cities will submit a proposal for it, and it’s the job of the team I’m on to build relationships with the rights holder and encourage them to come to our destination.”
Once an organization has agreed to use Central Florida as host, Miranda transitions into an event coordinator role to accommodate any needs leading up to the event. Growing up in a sports family, the position is an evolution of her life as both an athlete and a fan. She played basketball through high school and college, which eventually led her to a career coaching three different sports and even operating her own tournaments and training camps.
“I actually wound up enjoying planning those events more than I enjoyed the actual coaching aspects, and I knew that there had to be a market for that kind of work somewhere in the sports world,” she says. “I did some research and that’s when I looked at the sport management event role and what Full Sail offered. It was like a merger between my love of sports and what I was really enjoying doing professionally, and I’m so happy I went this route.”
The work itself is rewarding, and so are the results it’s bringing to her hometown. Miranda has always seen Central Florida as a rich market for a range of sporting events, which is continuing to grow thanks to the Orlando City Soccer Club recently joining the Orlando Magic, Orlando Predators, and Orlando Solar Bears in showcasing local facilities and the demand for sports entertainment.
“The impact of these events can be really big and I really enjoy that about my job,” she says. “Our main objective is to provide economic impact by bringing in outside events that encourage fans to travel, shop, and stay in local hotels. We help to keep the hospitality thriving, especially at times when it’s not a tourist season. We have great venues like the Amway Arena, all of the world class golf facilities, the current renovation of the Citrus Bowl, and then Orlando City Soccer which is getting a huge stadium. This area has gotten so evolved, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the Orlando sports community.”