Photo courtesy of Pepperdine University
Through the Pepperdine and Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, partnership, Pepperdine students will have access to many post-graduate level and undergraduate-level educational experiences and opportunities while AEG employees will have the opportunity continue their education.
AEG — a worldwide sporting and music entertainment presenter and a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation — partnered with Pepperdine last semester. Through this partnership, AEG named Pepperdine University the exclusive Education Partner of Staples Center, L.A. LIVE and the LA Kings. Pepperdine will provide AEG employees with the opportunity to continue their education through an employee integration and internship program with Pepperdine. AEG staff will have access to the Pepperdine’s MBA program while Pepperdine undergraduates and graduate students will have the opportunity to be selected for AEG internship programs, according to a press release by Pepperdine.
“There will be opportunities for everything from educational experiences that might be classes that are available, lectures and guest lectures from sports managers at AEG and more,” said Rick Gibson, CFO and vice president for Public Affairs and Church Relations. “Right now the branding period is really what’s in place now, so we have visibility through the LA Kings, LA Live and the Staples Center.”
Marrs noted that AEG will offer networking opportunities, access to executives behind the company, speakers from its divisions such as AEG Global Partnerships and Internship opportunities with AEG beginning as early this semester.
Students have shown enthusiasm for the partnership and its potential opportunities.
“I’m excited for the potential that this could have at Pepperdine,” Tk Adedeji, a senior and Business Administration major, said. “AEG is a huge, global company and whether it’s an internship or just sitting down with an exec to get some advice in the industry there is a lot to gain.”
AEG first reached out to Pepperdine about a year ago with a specific interest in the Graziadio School of Business and Management, but Pepperdine has made efforts to extend the partnership beyond Graziadio.
“Graziadio quickly understood that this is probably more of a Pepperdine initiative – that it goes beyond just them,” Gibson said. “This will require Pepperdine to do something it’s not really done much in the past, and that is to work together across school lines as an institution, and my hope is that through this experience we’ll get good at that, because I do believe we’re stronger together.”
Specifics about the partnership and what it will include are unclear this early in the process.
“Initially we intended to start certificate programs for grad students or people who may already be in the business and then bringing on board within a year graduate school programs, masters programs, and then even programs offered through Seaver College,” Gibson said.
Together, Gibson and Rick Marrs, the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, have headed the partnership from the University’s side.
“So far everything with AEG has been really positive and the pressure is really going to be on Pepperdine to make it as good as we can make it,” Marrs, .
Courses at the Staples Center in partnership with AEG will begin in the fall of 2017.
“There are three things we are looking to do through the partnership,” Gibson said. “Extend the reach of Pepperdine’s presence in LA, we’re fairly well known but there’s not a lot of depth with who we are and we want to close that gap, build a business program, one that currently does not exist, and excite and energize local alumni, and we believe this is one way to engage them.”
For AEG, its employees will have the opportunity to continue their education through certificate programs they will offer at the Staples Center among other opportunities that are still being discussed.
“AEG owns a lot,” Marrs said. “When you start looking at how big the reach is, long term, who knows what the possibilities might look like.”
Follow Sebastian Lopez Barba on Twitter: @SebLopezBarba