With an extraordinary demand for talent in the sports and entertainment space, AEG and Pepperdine University are partnering to offer a postgraduate- and undergraduate-level educational experience that will combine AEG’s expertise and international network of venues, sports properties and franchises and live entertainment assets with Pepperdine University’s academic excellence. The agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, names Pepperdine University the exclusive Education Partner of STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE, and the LA Kings and will give students unprecedented access to the business acumen behind the world’s leading sports and entertainment company.
The partnership will provide Pepperdine University the opportunity to build out a branded classroom within the iconic STAPLES Center, home to four professional sports franchises and numerous concerts and special events, providing the top-ranked college a strategic educational hub in downtown Los Angeles and cementing the school’s place within Los Angeles’ vibrant business community. Students enrolled in the sports and entertainment-focused program will be able to gain hands-on experience through an AEG “best-in-class” speaker series as well as first-person experiences in one of the world’s most successful arenas. The agreement also facilitates AEG providing speakers from across its world-class divisions such as AEG Global Partnerships, AEG Live, AEG Sports, AEG Facilities, and more — further distinguishing the program by offering guidance from some of the top executives in the industry today.
“By partnering with AEG, Pepperdine will be at the forefront of academic innovation, creating world-class educational programs in sports and entertainment management,” said Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University. “We look forward to working with professional athletes, entertainers, and business professionals — as well as our students and alumni — as we develop new initiatives that will powerfully engage and serve the Los Angeles community.”
The partnership not only directly contributes to the knowledge of the students enrolled, but also the sports and entertainment industry at large. As part of the partnership, the University will have the opportunity to collaborate with AEG to produce a sports, music, entertainment, and business conference. The conference would be hosted in the heart of Los Angeles’ preeminent downtown sports and entertainment district, L.A. LIVE, and the University would work strategically with AEG and its brand partners to produce a conference that provides attendees an insightful view into the rapidly evolving sports and entertainment industries.
“As one of the nation’s most respected Universities, Pepperdine is an exceptional partner for the LA Kings, STAPLES Center and AEG,” said Dan Beckerman, president and CEO, AEG. “Working closely with their respected faculty and staff will not only enable us to create unique sports-related curriculum and programming, but will also allow us to provide their undergraduate and graduate students with valuable insights and lessons from some of the industry’s most respected leaders. Through this partnership, we are also excited to offer students valuable hands-on training through our renowned internship program, while providing our employees with continuing education opportunities through the University.”
AEG will also have the opportunity to further the education of some of its own staff through an employee integration and internship program with Pepperdine. The program will afford a number of AEG’s staff the chance to participate in the University’s prestigious MBA program while placing select Pepperdine undergraduate and graduate students in AEG’s competitive internship program.
Additionally, Pepperdine will help further educational opportunities outside the classroom by developing a series of events and custom content with the LA Kings. In accordance with the University’s educational mission, it will serve as the presenting partner of “LA Kings Business of Hockey,” a regularly scheduled event that gives participants a chance to meet and gain advice from top hockey and sports business professionals both in and out of the AEG organizational network. Past events have included speakers such as Luc Robitaille, president, business operations, LA Kings, and more.
AEG will also host Pepperdine University alumni at a co-created networking night at one of the 250 events at STAPLES Center each year. The event will focus on connecting the University’s prestigious alumni with top AEG executives.