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When Michelle McCloskey, ’22, arrived at Booth after a six-year career in sports marketing, she found clubs on campus devoted to nearly every industry—but nothing dedicated to sports. So McCloskey, a former executive with Optimum Sports who helped design sports strategies for the likes of Gatorade and Intel, recruited classmates Katie Krall, ’22—then a baseball operations analyst for the Cincinnati Reds—and Jessica Carravallah, ’22, who currently works in ticket operations for the Chicago Cubs. The three founded the Booth Sports Business club.

The club sponsored events such as pregame front-office tours with the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks. “I think our club opened up a lot of Boothies’ eyes that there are other industries that need analytical thinkers and thoughtful problem solvers that aren’t as traditional,” McCloskey says. “The talent pool of Booth is well set up to tackle the biggest challenges in sports.”

The club also sponsored a roundtable discussion on women in sports with female executives from across the industry and a case competition with digital media platform Just Women’s Sports, which provides news coverage, podcasts, and more focused exclusively on women’s sports. The fact that all three founders of Booth Sports Business are women has highlighted opportunities for women in the industry. 

“Hopefully, we have set a precedent and example for other women at Booth,” says McCloskey, who now works as a consultant at Bain while also involved in the Chicago chapter of Women in Sports and Events. “Someone might think ‘I am passionate about the business of sports, but never considered sports as a career since the industry has traditionally been a boys’ club.’ But hey, here are three women who graduated from Booth pursuing their dreams off the field.”  

“The most rewarding part, I think,” says Carravallah, “was passing along the club to the next co-chairs. Building the club up to enough of a success that we could transfer it into other people’s excited and very capable hands was so rewarding.”