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Alumnus Tod Caflisch ’83 speaks to Sports Marketing class

Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

Tod Caflisch ’83, a former FSU football player now with nearly 30 years of experience working with professional football, hockey, and basketball teams, joined Marketing Department Chair Michael Harrison’s course, “Sports Marketing,” as a guest speaker on Zoom April 16.

Harrison said he has taught this course since 2014 and it is an elective for both the marketing major and minor.

“Tod is such an accomplished executive with an incredible depth of experience in the sports industry,” he said.

First, Caflisch expressed his excitement when he heard through an alumni newsletter the University added a sports management program, which expanded in fall 2023 to offer a bachelor's degree in sports management.

He said he went to graduate school for two years at the University of North Texas and planned to become an architect.

His pursuit of architecture laid the groundwork for his interest in a career in technology integration in sports venues, Caflisch said.

“When I graduated from Framingham State, I had never touched a computer. … If you can believe that, I am that old,” he said.

Caflisch said he now works as a sports technology consultant to drive up profit and technical efficiency in the sports and entertainment industries.

Attendance at professional sporting events is on a downward trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the improvement of at-home viewing experiences, he said.

Caflisch said sports teams are working to integrate technology with promotions, fantasy sports, and legalized betting to improve the experience for fans attending games and to sell more tickets.

He said, “Fans want to share moments with others worldwide,” and noted the upward trend of social media as an aspect of the fan’s experience.

The fan experience greatly differs between college and professional sports and larger and smaller markets, Caflisch said.

He said leveraging innovative uses for technology improves the fan experience and increases revenue for the team.

Caflisch said he cannot stress enough how important networking is in career development.

“It’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know. But bringing value to the table is also very important,” he said.

Harrison said, “Tod was able to bring to life how technology is used to create a better consumer experience, enhance fan engagement, and drive revenues all at the same time. He tied together how political, economic, social, and environmental factors intersect with technology and sports venues, which is something we have been discussing in class all semester. I thought it was particularly inspiring for the class to see such a highly successful Framingham State grad who is a technology expert in applications that didn't exist when he was in college.

“I thought it was incredibly gracious that Tod invited the students to connect with him and become part of his network as they look to break into the sports industry,” he added.



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