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Published On: October 21st, 2021

University and Northwoods League Team to Create First of it’s Kind Academy

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers Baseball Club and Ohio University are teaming up
for an unprecedented project with Ohio University Sports Administration students creating a
virtual sales academy on campus. While still attending classes and residing in Athens, Ohio,
five Bobcat students will be interacting with fans and selling ticket packages for the team based
in Kalamazoo, MI.

Jim Kahler, Executive in Residence for Ohio University’s Sports Administration Program and
professor of the Sport Management undergraduate ticket sales class, will be leading the charge
for Ohio University. Jim will select students in his class, as well as select members of Ohio’s
Sports Business Association, a student organization, and educate about the best ticket sales
strategies implemented across the country.

Brian Colopy, Owner of the Growlers and OU alumnus of 2009, and CJ Hurley, Corporate
Partnerships Manager of the Growlers and OU alumnus of 2020, will be heading up the project
from Kalamazoo. Brian and CJ will conduct virtual training sessions and online interviews to
select five students for the inaugural Ohio U. Virtual Sales Academy. Once chosen, the five
Bobcat students will receive continual training all semester and experience actual, hands-on
sales experience with the Growlers ticket team – while still participating in classes and
organizations from Athens, Ohio. The students will be interacting as if they were based in
the local community of Kalamazoo.

The idea was successfully beta-tested in 2019 with CJ Hurley as a virtual Inside/Groups ticket
representative. Through making calls and generating revenue while still living on Ohio
University’s campus as a student, CJ realized this was not only doable – but a fantastic
opportunity for students looking for hands-on ticket sales experience and a team looking to
generate more revenue for their ticket department.

Training sessions for the Ohio U. Sales Academy will begin on November 2nd, and
training/virtual interviews will continue later the same month. The five chosen students will be
announced in December, and they’ll begin making sales calls prior to the holiday break.

The Kalamazoo Growlers are a summer collegiate baseball team in Southwest Michigan and a
proud member of the Northwoods League. Their season runs late May through mid-August, and
they continually rank top 10 in total summer collegiate attendance nationwide.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having
completed its’ 28th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world
with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its
kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 270 Northwoods League
players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto
Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series
Champion Max Scherzer (LAD), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford
(SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021
Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019
Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the
Northwoods League website at For more information, visit or
download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.