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Business major chooses sports arena

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
  • Paul Martin said his internship with Nike "never once felt like work." Here, he gives a Senegalese team (that was being filmed for a documentary) a tour of Nike World Headquarters.

Senior Paul Martin (Beaverton, Ore.) intends to combine his sports and business passions into one career after earning a Corban business degree. Working at Nike as a Global Basketball Sports Marketing intern last summer helped confirm this direction, and Martin eagerly anticipates impacting the sports business world as he continues to grow in his faith in Christ.

“If I can use basketball and business as a vehicle to share the Word—that’s pretty cool,” says the 6-foot point guard, who had the most assists for the 2008-09 season, was second in minutes played, and led the Cascade Conference in the assist-to-turnover ratio. Voted by his teammates as Most Inspirational, he accomplished all this on the court while maintaining a 3.4 GPA and serving as the ASB Executive Board Treasurer.

Since transferring to Corban in 2007, Martin has also assisted the college in some business ventures. This season he resurrected an under-resourced project to hang a large, new Warrior banner in the gym. Jointly financing the effort, ASB and Athletics hung the banner in February. Martin also used ASB connections to create the first annual “White Out” Weekend, where Warrior fans were encouraged to wear white to the games, ASB gave out hundreds of logoed t-shirts or sold them at low cost, and an enthusiastic crowd boosted school spirit.

Coach Justin Sherwood commends, “Paul is one of the best leaders that I have ever coached.”

The point guard said he’s had a profound opportunity for personal development at Nike. Headquartered in Martin’s hometown, Nike manufactures sportswear and equipment and operates retail stores, topping $18.6 billion USD in annual revenue (2008 fiscal year) and employing more than 30,000 people worldwide. Martin considers it an honor to be part of a company whose daily decisions affect millions of kids.

All summer Martin specialized in working with the athlete: from elite youths to professionals. Some of the clients he partnered with to market were in the June NBA draft. He even met LeBron James, NBA leader of Cleveland’s offense and Olympic team double-medalist. His greatest inspiration, though, was meeting and working with Nike’s Director of Global Sports Marketing, George Raveling. “His influence on the game is tremendous. He showed me an example of what I want to strive for.”

So with a bachelor’s in business almost under his belt and a drive to follow his dreams, Martin has set out to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ, specifically in the field of sports business.

Are you thinking about attending Corban? If you would like to ask Paul Martin more about his Corban experiences, please email paulmartin@corban.edu.