Welcome to the first edition of your Athens newsletter!

April 23, 2019

It is very important to be prepared for the trip. Utilize these newsletters to learn more about your mentors, team members, trip details and our host event!

Program Checklist:

Below is a checklist to make sure you are up-to-date. Be sure to visit & bookmark the Living Sport Athens Portal where all details can be found. Documents that still need to be submitted should be uploaded to your Dropbox folder that was sent to you via e-mail.

Checklist Image.jpg

Passport: A copy of the photo page is needed for our records.

Student ID: A student ID (even if it is expired) can help secure you free admission to many attractions in Athens. Be sure to upload it to your Dropbox file and bring it with you on the trip!

Medical Records/Emergency Contact Forms: Both of these forms are very important and will be kept on file as we travel in case of an emergency.

Newsletter Questions & Answers and Accompanying Photos: We want to learn about you! Our newsletter will help our Athens team get to know one another prior to the trip. Please submit these items so we can feature you in a future issue.

Travel Insurance: Policies will be sent directly to your email and should be received in the next three (3) weeks. We will provide confirmation via this section in the newsletter when the policies are sent out.

Flight Information: Our Athens ‘19 team members will be booking your own personal flights. We had sent out instructions via e-mail and listed your mentor’s flight that you can join if you would prefer to travel with a mentor. Please book flights ASAP. All flight itineraries (including flight numbers and times) should be uploaded to Dropbox. If you have any questions about this please reach out directly to Alicia at alicia@livingsport.com.

Trip Information: You can find the Athens itinerary, lodging details, and emergency contact information for Living Sport on the online portal as well. 

Social Media: Be sure to follow and like Living Sport's social media pages! We encourage you to document your trip using the hashtags #iamlivingsport and #LivingAthens2019. From planning, to packing, to your journey in Greece, we’d love to see it and be able to tag you in our posts!

Remember, being selected to attend Living Sport's program should be something you are very proud of. We searched North America for the industry's up-and-coming stars. We encourage you to share your accomplishment with the world! When sharing on your social accounts be sure to tag Living Sport (@iamlivingsport). You’ll find our social media pages through the buttons below.

the OFFICIAL Athens 2019 team!

Beginning next newsletter, we will release photos and the newsletter questions for you to get to know all of your teammates! For now, here is our team of aspiring sport business professionals from around North America.

Athens Roster 2019.PNG

FREE App To Learn GREEK:

Although learning the Greek language is not necessary, it may be fun to take this opportunity to learn! It’s pretty simple through a great FREE app called duolingo. Our staff began playing this "game" and got hooked. Watch the demo video below and try it for yourself! 




Alicia Marinelli is a sport business professional that has worked in multiple marketing & sales capacities in the sport & entertainment industry including positions with Madison Square Garden, Mohegan Sun Arena, international cycling events, and with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Early in her career she realized the passion she had for helping young professionals succeed in the sport industry, a business that is difficult to break into.

Resulting in following that passion to help others, Marinelli created and revamped internship programs at five different sport organizations. The goal was to enable young professionals to receive meaningful and educational sport business experiences that would serve as a springboard for future opportunities. In 2011, Marinelli's sport industry success was featured as part of East Stroudburg University's nation-wide marketing campaign. In 2012, Marinelli innovatively created one of the first high school sports internship programs while she was working at the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. This program gave high school students studying sport management the chance to experiment working at the ballpark prior to attending college. In the same year, Marinelli created the first annual iRUNpigs 5K at Coca-Cola Park. To date the event has raised over $60,000 for IronPigs Charities, the team's nonprofit organization providing educational and recreational opportunities for Lehigh Valley youth. In 2014, she was elected as President of Kutztown University's Sport Management Advisory Board, advising faculty and staff on the current trends in the industry and helping students secure employment in the field. From 2017-2019, Marinelli has been invited to sit on the panel of the Pennsylvania Sport Business Conference serving as a judge in the annual case competition where student teams from universities all over the East Coast compete in a sport business research competition. 

Marinelli has now taken it one step further by creating and introducing Living Sport's International Sport Business Program. Her mission is to do even more for people, by using sport as a catalyst to experience the world and to inspire personal and professional growth. In the past two years, Marinelli has led the International Sport Business Program to England, Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Currently, a number of Marinelli's former interns, mentees, and Living Sport alumni continue to work in sports and have found success in professional, collegiate, recreational and nonprofit sport organizations. Through Living Sport she plans for those numbers to rise significantly. 

Marinelli received her Master's Degree in Sport Management from East Stroudsburg University where she graduated with honors. She was a dual major at Misericordia University obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in both Marketing and Sport Management. She was one of the first female Sport Management graduates at Misericordia.


What made you want to get into the sports industry?

Sports was the one thing in life that defined me as a person. Anyone that knew me saw my natural passion for being active and participanting in every sport I could! When it came time to pick the one thing that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, sport business was it.

What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams?

My favorite sport to play has always been baseball/softball. Currently my favorite sport to watch is American football. My favorite sports teams are the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Penn State Nittany Lions football team.

What is your dream job?

My dream job was always to create my own sport-related business. I didn't always know what type of business it would be, but I always had confidence that I could do something great. The dream continues to evolve as we take the steps to enable Living Sport to expand across the sport industry.

What is a unique trait that you bring to our team?
My sport business story started off very rocky and finding that first job in sports didn't come easy for me. Because this industry is so competitive, I believe my story of struggle and triumph resonates with students and young professionals that may be dealing with the same obstacles. It is my hope that by sharing my story it provides motivation to those who may need it to fuel their fire to keep pushing forward to make the their dream a reality.

What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far?

I hold all of my accomplishments close to my heart as they were all huge milestones in my life. Some of my favorites were working at Madison Square Garden alongside NBA legends and superstars, and creating/directing the first 5K race held at Coca-Cola Park, home of of the Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A Affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The 5K was creatively coined the iRUNpigs 5K & Piglet Run. My largest accomplishment thus far is developing the Living Sport program, providing young sport business professionals and seasoned mentors the opportunity to see the world through sport! 

Depicted below: (Left) Alicia and crew working a WNBA game at MSG (Right): The first annual iRUNpigs 5K hosted nearly 700 people.


What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program?


One of the major goals of this program is to enrich the lives of our participants both personally and professionally. It is my hope that the Athens mentors and myself can inspire each and everyone on this trip. I hope to develop lifelong relationships with everyone and further grow the Living Sport family.

Photo Description: Alicia takes a photo during a dinner with two of Living Sport's 2017 Barcelona participants, Josh and Jon, that were traveling nearby Alicia’s town. Not knowing each other before the trip Josh and Jon have become great friends!

Favorite city or country you have visited?

I can't pick just one... Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, or Venice.

Depicted below: Alicia and the Living Sport Barcelona ‘17 crew working the Red Hook Crit International Cycling Series


What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have?

If the circus was hiring, I would be a great candidate... I can both juggle and make balloon animals! 

For a sport-related fun fact: I live in one of the largest areas in the nation for competitve cycling where professional riders from all over the world come to town to train each summer. The last few summers my fiancé and I have hosted athletes from Trinadad, South Africa, and New Zealand in our home.

Depicted below: Alicia and her fiancé Bobby organized a baseball game to teach cyclists from New Zealand and South Africa how to play "America's Pastime". This was the first time many of them put on a mit or picked up a bat.


What college/university did you attend? Major? Where do you reside now?

I attended Misericordia University for my undergrad degree in Marketing/Sport Mangagement and East Stroudsburg University for graduate studies, majoring in Sport Management.  I currently live in the small town of Kutztown right outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

Let’s get to know the ATHENS 2019 team!

Noelle Spinosa LS Photo.png


What made you want to get into the sports industry? I have been around sports my entire life. I watched my older brother play then played when I was able to. I love how sport is so unique and the passion that people have for it whether you’re a player or a fan. I think it's so interesting to see all that goes into these sporting events since I’ve always been the player or fan attending them.

What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport to play is soccer. My favorite sport teams are the Giants, NY Yankees, and the Rangers.

What job would you like to have in 5 years? Five years from now, my goal is to work in the front office of a professional or collegiate sports franchise. Ideally this position would involve event management or public relations, which would give me experience to excel in leadership roles later on.


What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job is to lead the event management or public relations department for a professional sports franchise, preferably in the Tristate area (Greater New York area) where I was born and raised. Sports fans in this region of the country are passionate and I would enjoy utilizing the evolving new media landscape to communicate with them our franchise’s latest updates. 

What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? A unique trait that I bring to the team is my social awareness and ability to understand what drives fans to the game. I’ve excelled in my sports management classes at York College, which certainly helped me attain tangible skills, but the business of sports requires something more -- an innate understanding of what people love about sports. Ultimately, the ability to create a contagious energy around a franchise is what makes it successful. As an NCAA student-athlete, I have an intuitive comprehension of sports that is unique and valuable to a franchise.

What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest sport business accomplishment so far is making a video promoting intramural soccer at York College. I was tasked to do this for a semester for my practicum experience. I had to be very organized and creative on what to do with the video. I gained experience in iMovie and York College has shown the video to prospective students during open houses and on accepted students day.

What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? Through the International Sport Business Program I hope to gain knowledge about international events and how they differ from ones run in the United States. I think it will be awesome to see how culture affects sports in different countries. 

Favorite city or country you have visited? Rome, Italy

 What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? I’ve spent almost half of my life on a soccer field, so omitting “soccer” as a hobby  would be frankly inaccurate. I love to compete and it’s always been a great stress reliever for me. Off the field, I especially enjoy traveling to new places and spending summers with friends on the Jersey Shore.

What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I am a junior Sport Management major at York college of Pennsylvania and live in Long Valley, New Jersey.

Griffin Foster LS Photo.png


What made you want to get into the sports industry? I have loved sports my entire life and when I realized the business behind sport it was something that immediately interested me and made me want to pursue my passion.

What is your favorite sport? I have played soccer my entire life but my favorite sports are football and basketball and my favorite teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Sixers. 

What job would you like to have in 5 years? In 5 years I would like to have a job with a sport organization in either sales or corporate sponsorships.

What is your dream job? My dream job is to work in the front office of a sports team.


What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? A trait that I can bring to the team is being a reliable, hardworking member as well as taking a leadership role and helping the rest of the team succeed. 

What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest accomplishment so far is working with SponsorUnited and learning a lot while helping to company grow in its early years. 

What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to learn more about sport business while also having a great experience in a foreign country. 

Favorite city or country you have visited? I have not traveled often but my favorite place in the world is Kiawah Island in South Carolina. 

What’s a hobby, fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? In my free time I like to play video games with friends.

What college do you attend? What is your major? What city do you reside in currently? I attend High Point University. My major is Entrepreneurship and I reside in Medford, NJ.

Emma Falter LS Photo.png


What made you want to get into the sports industry?  I have always played sports growing up and they always helped me have an outlet. Knowing that one day I won’t be able to play competitive sports anymore I wanted to stay involved some way. When I saw that Mercyhurst had a Sports Business Management major I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine my life without sports and I love helping others. 

What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport is hockey. I love playing and watching hockey. My favorite sports teams are the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills. 

What job would you like to have in 5 years? In the next five years, I would love to be assisting a professional sports team with game day operations. If I wasn’t doing that I could see myself doing corporate partnerships, I have a creative side and I like being able to use it.

What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job be the operations director for the Buffalo Bills or the Buffalo Sabres. If I wasn’t doing that I would love to be an ESPN news anchor. The next job I want to have is something with operations. I am not a person who can sit at a desk all day long so I need to have a job where I am required to move around throughout the day. I do like being behind the scenes and putting on an event.  

What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? One unique trait I’m bringing to the team is that I am a quick problem solver. If I am in a tough situation I am able to come up with a solution rather quickly. This trait will help me be successful in the operations field. You have to be able to think on your feet without being stressed out. 

What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? One thing that I am very proud of is how determined I am. Last summer I wanted an internship so I started emailing places in Buffalo that I would like to intern for. I emailed the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission if they did any internships and I ended up getting the position. After the internship was over I asked them why thy took me on board because they usually only take 3 interns and that summer they took 4. They told me that I impressed them because I reached out not knowing anyone or if they even had an internship program. They could tell I was determined, hardworking and had potential so they took me on. I think that is my greatest accomplishment, even though it’s small I’m glad I put myself out there.

What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? The two main things I hope to gain are new connections in the professional sports industry and to see and learn about the Greek culture. 

Favorite city or country you have visited? My favorite city was Rome, Italy. I went there last summer and it was so cool how it was a mix of historic and modern. 

What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? This past year I was injured so I was not able to play lacrosse my senior year in college. This was really hard for me so I started practicing yoga. It helped me stay fit and helped immensely with my mental state. It was frustrating sitting out but yoga helped me come to peace with my situation and was able to find a new passion in unfortunate situation!

What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently?  I will graduate from Mercyhurst University in May 2019. I have a dual major in Sport Business Management and Marketing. I currently live in Buffalo, New York. 

Trenton Gaston LS Photo.png


What made you want to get into the sports industry? My love for sports and not having the ability to play them professionally, which lead to me wanting to work in the front office side. 

What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport is hockey. My favorite sport teams are the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco Giants, and the Sacramento Kings. 

What job would you like to have in 5 years? Working in the marketing department for a professional team. Specifically, the role of identifying what markets to target.

What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job is to be the general manager of a professional sports team. Gaining experience, graduating college, and obtaining an entry level job and working my way up.

What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? The ability to relate to anyone.

What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? Making graphics, credentials, game notes, assisting the media, and calling the games for the Division II Men’s Basketball tournament, Atlantic Region 2019.

What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? A great experience and an understanding of the differences between athletic events/facilities held and created in another country such as Greece, compared to here in the United States. As well as new friends. 


Favorite city or country you have visited? New Orleans. 

What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? I moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue acting and lived there doing so for 8 months. 

What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I attend the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). I am a Sports Administration major. I currently reside in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania


Tourism Award.jpg

The Athens ‘19 team will be a part of an event that won the 2019 Greek Tourism Award! We will learn from sport business professionals that work across numerous different sports events and organizations in Greece and beyond!

The OCEANMAN open-water swimming series was established in 2015 as the world’s first open-water swimming competition. The event is held in more than 35 different countries spanning all seven continents. It is the only international open-water swimming competition for elite and amateur swimmers, making the 2016 OCEANMAN race groundbreaking as it was the only World Championship in the open-water swimming world.


OCEANMAN events attract nearly 1,000 swimmers and are comprised of multiple styles of races spanning different lengths. Oceanman Oitylo Bay, set in the picturesque bay of Oitylo in the heart of Mani, will include the 10KM Oceanman race (individual), 3 x 500M Oceanteam race (relay), 500M Oceankids race, 2KM Sprint and 5KM Half. Wetsuits are not allowed in the race, however the ocean temperature is predicted at a warm 22 °C (72 °F) for the event. While the races are very competitive, the Oceanman atmosphere is always festive and showcases a display of great comradeship.



1. Greece averages over 250 days of sunshine each year.

2. Due to the country’s diversity and passion for food, more than one dish is considered a national dish which includes gyro, moussaka, souvlaki, fasolada, magiritsa and kokoretsi.


3. 98% of the total population is made up of ethnic Greeks, and 40% of the total population resides in Athens.

4. Only 227 Greek islands out of a total of 6,000 islands are inhabited.

5. The island of Ikaria is one of the world’s five “Blue Zones”, as scientists call them, where the people have the longest lifespans in the world.


6. Theater was born in ancient Athens, dating back to the time of the first democracy. Athens is now home to 148 theater stages, 90 of which are open air cinemas for the summer.

7. Democracy originated in Greece around 8,000 years ago. The city of Athens, which is Europe’s oldest capital, is sometimes referred to as the cradle of Western civilization.

8. The official name of the country is Hellenic Republic or Hellas. In English the country is called Greece, which is derived from the Latin name Graecia meaning “land of the Greeks”.

9. The Greek culture is very superstitious and has a slew of superstitions and traditions that vary across villages and regions. The evil eye, a popular Greek superstition, is a curse or legend that happens when you are cast a malevolent glare when you are not aware. It is believed that by receiving the evil eye you will be caused misfortune or injury.


10. The Parthenon is a temple built in the mid-5th century B.C. in honor of the goddess Athena Parthenos and sits on the high hill of the Acropolis in Athens. It was lined by 46 outer and 19 inner columns, and boasts a 39-foot gold and ivory statue of Athena. Not only was it originally built as a dedication to Athena, but also for use as part of the state treasury.



1. The Olympic games are called Olympic because they were originally held in the Greek town of Olympia. What started as a one-day event which only Greeks were allowed to participate in, is what we now know as the massive global event.

2. Football (soccer) is the country’s most popular sport, with basketball a close second.

3. Greece is one of the founding members of FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and is considered one of the best teams in the world. Greek athletes currently playing in the NBA include Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Kostas Koufos (Sacramento Kings) and Tyler Dorsey (Atlanta Hawks).


4. At the semifinals for the 2006 World Basketball Championships, the Greek national team defeated the USA team making itself the only team in the world to defeat the United States during the Mike Krzyzewski era (2005-2016).

5. Olympiakos is the most widely supported and successful football club in Greek history, and holds the record for the most consecutive Greek titles won (seven in a row, twice!).

6. Outside of Karaiskakis Stadium, which opened in June 2004 and is home to Olympiakos FC, you’ll see a monument commemorating the death of 21 Olympiakos fans that were crushed exiting the stadium after a match against AEK in 1981. There are also 21 black chairs among the stadium’s red chairs in memory of the fans.

7. Greece is one of only five countries that have participated in all Summer Olympic Games since 1896 when they began. They even sent their athletes to Moscow for the 1980 Olympic Games despite the Greek government's support of the US-led boycott.

8. The ancient Greek Olympic athletes always competed in the nude. The word gymnasium is actually derived from the Greek term gymnós, meaning “naked”.

9. The ancient Games included the javelin, long jump, discus throwing, wrestling, running, Pakration (form of martial art), Equestrian events and boxing.


10. The rules of the ancient Games were much different than we are accustomed to today. To start, women were not allowed to compete and married women were not allowed to watch. In boxing, there were no points, time limit or weight classes. In Pakration, the only two rules were no biting and no poking the opponent’s eyes.