SEAT Global Magazine - Sports Industry Case Studies Issue 06 August/Sept 2017 - Page 41

But the talent is not there – at least not yet – or it is not sufficiently nurtured. According to the Association for Talent Development, the cost of properly training an employee to be technically proficient is a fraction of the cost of recruitment. But top companies throughout the U.S. are not focused on training “homegrown” talent. Instead, they continually fill positions with talented and STEAM-educated personnel from more STEAM-focused education areas of the world such as Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

But what if a company decided to take its vast amount of marketing and branding budget and actually used STEAM as a major component of its marketing platform and activated directly to that discipline? All too often, if you approach a company about creating a special event, activation or campaign around STEAM that features its product or service, it sends you to its corporate social responsibility (CSR) department, its foundation or community services - divisions that candidly, are far less funded than the company’s marketing and sponsorship group.

Part of the pushback comes with the knowledge that a STEAM impact within the educational system is most effective in grades K-8, a demographic that may not necessarily be a company’s target market. And that’s true. However, does that mean we simply give up on those in high school and college? Those age groups are closer to entering the workforce and most in need of guidance to the next steps of the ever-developing STEAM-centric jobs and professions.

Take sports and entertainment for instance. Projections show that 80% of the workforce will require STEAM-centric jobs by 2025. That’s less than 10 years away. And that includes the professions within the sports and entertainment industry. Tech is clearly driving those industries, and if one doesn’t believe it, simply read publications like Sports Business Journal or SportTechie on a regular basis to understand that virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, analytics, RFID chips, drones, wearables, 5G broadcast production, lighting, sustainability and construction design and engineering are driving the profession.

STEM concepts played a role early in my career.

Motorsports is a good outreach program for STEM because there is a lot of technology that goes into a race car. Not only do you have the technology standpoint, but you have the mechanical was well. There is a lot of expertise that comes together to make a race car go faster on the track.

~ Alex Rossi (2016 Indianapolis 500 winner)