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ASU sports law, business graduate learns importance of networking


A brunette man in a blue suit smiles.

While earning his degree, Trevor Goodwin worked as a graduate assistant at Sun Devil Athletics. He earned the Rodney K. Smith Founders Award for academic excellence, and service to his program, the ASU Law community and the sports industry.

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April 28, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

Trevor Goodwin never thought he would go to graduate school, let alone learn the law. 

With an obsession with sports, Goodwin knew that he wanted to go into sports marketing and game presentation. An internship at Murray State University’s athletic department at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic solidified his plan. He credits that experience with leading him to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he is graduating with his Master of Sports Law and Business

“I was applying to graduate assistantships in marketing and game presentation,” he said. “I noticed ASU had an opening, and after doing research on the the Allan 'Bud' Selig Sports Law and Business program, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.”

While earning his degree, Goodwin, who is from Little Rock, Arkansas, worked as a graduate assistant at Sun Devil Athletics. He earned the Rodney K. Smith Founders Award for academic excellence, and service to his program, the ASU Law community and the sports industry.

He said learning the legal ins and outs of the sports industry will only enhance his future career.

Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU Law — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

Answer: It was surprising to see how interconnected the sports industry really is. The sports industry is a small world with many people willing to help young professionals grow.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Aaron Hernandez, the executive director of the MSLB program, stresses the importance of networking and representing your personal brand. The sports industry is interconnected, and Arizona offers many opportunities to meet people who can further your knowledge and your career. Thinking of yourself as a personal brand is important because it makes you hold yourself to higher standards and goals. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to students?

A: Take advantage of your time here and the opportunities that are available in your program. The professors at ASU are more than willing to help you along your career journey. Professors in the MSLB program bring many prominent guest speakers to class, and students should take advantage of this by reaching out after class and continuing to grow their network.   

Q: What about advice for those considering ASU Law?

A: ASU Law is a great institution that provides an abundance of opportunities. Phoenix is a unique area with many possibilities to gain real-world experience during your time in your program. ASU Law offers top-tier professors that have real-world experience in your career field. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am currently looking for a position in a marketing and game presentation role within a professional organization or a Power Five athletic department. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would tackle the homelessness problem in the surrounding area. It is heartbreaking seeing so many people struggle, and everyone deserves to have a place to live.  

Q: What does graduating mean to you and your loved ones?

A: Graduating is a tremendous accomplishment. Growing up, I never thought I was going to go to graduate school, let alone represent the MSLB class by winning the Rodney K. Smith Award. Getting to this point took countless hours, and it wasn't easy to balance school with my responsibilities in the graduate assistantship. My loved ones are proud because they also probably never saw this coming as well. They know how hard I've worked towards this moment, so this moment is special for them as well. I am proud that I represented those who helped me get to this point in a positive way. 

Q: Who, if anyone, helped you get here?

A: There are too many people to count. God, my family, professors and colleagues all played a major role in where I am today. I am thankful to Aaron Hernandez for allowing me into the MSLB program and for his assistance during my time at ASU. The people I have met at ASU have played a huge contribution to my experience, and I am thankful for my graduating cohort. I wouldn't be here without the help of so many people. 

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