W. P. Carey Sports Sales team earns top spot at national competition

Two W. P. Carey students, Kyle Gaspari (Sports Business/Marketing ’22) and Kira Stanley (Sports Business/ Marketing ’22), qualified for the National Collegiate Sports Sales Competition (NCSSC) finals, and finished in first and fifth place, respectively — and W. P. Carey placed No. 1 in the nation.

Photo credit: Fauzan Saari

The National Collegiate Sports Sales Competition (NCSSC) is an annual event for students interested in sports sales from across the country. The competition began in November with a virtual sales role-play with about 180 students and 60 universities, and culminated in 64 students qualifying for the championship rounds in Atlanta last week.

Two W. P. Carey students, Kyle Gaspari (Sports Business/Marketing ’22) and Kira Stanley (Sports Business/Marketing ’22), qualified for the finals, and finished in first and fifth place, respectively, after having to compete against each other in the round of eight. Not only did the two students' scores win them individual accolades, but W. P. Carey placed No. 1 in the nation.

The students competed in 20-minute sales role-play scenarios, and the finals were held on stage in front of all attendees. “The most challenging round was definitely the championship with more than 100 people in the audience. In all the other rounds, it was us in a room with one judge and one “buyer,” explains Gaspari, who won the competition. “While that round was the most challenging, it also had to be my favorite. The adrenaline rush and nerves were crazy, but it was super awesome getting to see all the preparation and hard work pay off that round.”

Detra Montoya, clinical professor of marketing, coached the team through the finals. “Kyle and Kira were dream students to coach — they worked hard, stayed focus, made adjustments based on feedback and, most importantly, worked well together as a team,” Montoya says. “Kyle and Kira represented ASU with the highest level of integrity and earned their top place finish.”

More than winning a competition, the NCSSC prepares students for careers in sports sales. “I hadn’t previously considered a career in sales, but after doing this competition, I realized this is something I am good at and enjoy,” says Stanley. “I would not be surprised if this competition completely changed the path my life is on, in regards to my career choice and the opportunities that have arisen from this!” Both Stanley and Gaspari talked with representatives from sports companies who attended the competition.

Most of all, Gaspari and Stanley urge other students to get outside of their comfort zones and try something new. “It sounds cheesy, but take all the opportunities that you can while in school. This all happened to me because I did the three-minute ‘sell an iPad’ for extra credit for Professor Montoya's class. She thought I did a good job and recommended me for this competition. I just said ‘Why not,’ and I truly believe that it has fundamentally changed where my life will go from here.”

“This experience competing in the NCSSC was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding of my time at ASU," says Gaspari. “I was honored to represent W. P. Carey and ASU in Atlanta, and it was a privilege competing alongside so many talented individuals across the country. There are way too many people to thank, but a special shout out to Professor Montoya for helping coach us leading up to and in Atlanta, and Kira Stanley for being the best teammate.”

Students who are interested in sports sales are encouraged to join the Sports Business Scholars and the Sports Business Association student groups.

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