Two Recent UTC Grads To Grow Sports Tourism In Chattanooga

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Brant Dolan and Patrick Sutton
Brant Dolan and Patrick Sutton

UTC alumni Patrick Sutton and Brant Donlon are teaming up for the Chattanooga Sports Committee to grow sports tourism in the Scenic City.  They graduated in December and landed newly created positions. 

Mr. Sutton, sorts sales manager and a former Mocs football player from Sevierville, Tenn., promotes Chattanooga as a terrific venue.

“Right now I’m working with a client who will bring a youth and adult softball event with 68 teams and 40 of those teams will come from 90 miles or further from Chattanooga," said Mr. Sutton.  "When you think about it, there are 12 athletes per team plus others who will join them, that’s a lot of people.  They’ll be playing ball in Ooltewah, staying in local hotels and eating in restaurants.”

As Health and Human Performance majors at UTC, both Mr. Sutton and Mr. Donlon were required to take two internships.  Before they were hired for their current jobs, they both interned with the Chattanooga Sports Committee, which is overseen by the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

While they were students, their internships gave them the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and it gave their future employer an idea of what the two new positions could accomplish for the Committee.

“We can add value to every single event planned for the Chattanooga sports community,” said Tim Morgan, president of the Chattanooga Sports Committee.  “As the sports business in our region grows, we needed to grow and assist with sales and service.  Patrick and Brant hit the ground running, they understand our mission.  I love to see their energy and enthusiasm.  And I was excited to hire local graduates from a strategic partner, UTC.”

Mr. Sutton learned quickly that the Committee’s efforts affect much more than the sports community he said.

“Our office plays a huge role in bringing people to Chattanooga for the first time for an athletics event," said Mr. Sutton.  "When they have a good experience, they want to come back for a vacation.  We help them take the first step toward making our city a travel destination."

Mr. Donlon, of Cleveland, Tenn., is sports services manager.  He delivers what the clients need by planning their events with them and making sure everything runs smoothly during the events, said officials.

“I’ve always been a detail-oriented person," said Mr. Donlon.  "In my classes at UTC, all the faculty from Health and Human Performance really encouraged us to stay on top of details and think creatively, two very important parts of my job."

He is working with United States Tennis Association in Tennessee, planning the junior team tennis championships in Chattanooga.  He’s also excited about plans for the Ironman—the triathlon coming to Chattanooga in September. 

“I love my job," said Mr. Donlon.  "After one week as an intern, I thought if there was any way I could work at the Chattanooga Sports Committee I would jump at the chance.  It was a no-brainer."


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