Matthew Schaefer’s college career was shaped by athletics. He attended Slippery Rock University on a basketball scholarship, and earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration. While his competitive playing days were over after college, Schafer still had an interest in the field of athletics for his career.
“When you are around sports as much as college athletes are, it’s natural to want to stay involved with it, and make it your career,” said Schaefer.
The Parma Heights, Ohio native also had interest in the law, and confirmed that was a route he wanted to pursue after a summer in college spent working in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. He enrolled in the J.D./MBA dual degree program at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and while attending law school, an opportunity emerged for him to combine his interests and pursue a career in sports at the inaugural Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy in 2012.
Schaefer enrolled and earned one of the Academy’s coveted externship placements with Dietz Trott Sports & Entertainment Management. The learning experience and networking he took from that externship and the academy proved critical when he looked for positions after law school.
Schaefer was recently hired by The Superlative Group as director of corporate partnerships. The president and CEO of The Superlative Group, Myles Gallagher, reached out to friend and former colleague Peter A. Carfagna, co-director of the GLSELA, for a recommendation of graduates with the necessary industry and legal background. Schafer was among Carfagna’s top recommendations, which started the academy grad on the path to his position.
As director of corporate partnerships, Schaefer will work with municipalities, universities, stadiums and arenas on their naming rights, sponsorships and exclusive pouring rights, among other areas. Current and past clients of The Superlative Group include the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and other MLB ballparks, Olympic venues, major municipalities including Miami, Phoenix and Cleveland, and several NCAA Division I universities.
Schaefer’s studies at the GLSELA have prepared him to handle his new job responsibilities.
“A lot of our Academy classwork centered around mock naming rights agreements and pouring rights agreements – the way those deals are structured and how they are executed from start to finish,” said Schaefer. “We took a pretty deep dive into a lot of those areas at the Academy, and to come into this position with that understanding is really going to be beneficial.”