News & Features

OPTIONS Student Leads Class Project into Record-Setting Event

St. Louis resident and Fontbonne University OPTIONS student Steve Pona is using skills he's refined through the Bachelor of Science in Sports and Entertainment Management (BSEM) program to help break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Baseball Game ever played - 30 hours, 5 minutes, and 27 seconds.

Together with event co-chair and founder Chuck Williams, Pona has helped plan the ultra-marathon baseball game record attempt which will be played at TR Hughes Field in O'Fallon, MO. The first pitch will be at 8:00 AM on Saturday, October 13th. The record will be broken at 2:05:28 PM on Sunday, October 14th but the St. Louis organizers are planning to play for at least 32 hours.

Successfully breaking the record will bring another coveted baseball-related record home to Baseball City, USA.

The event benefits Gene Slay's Boys' Club of St. Louis. Through corporate sponsorship, personal donations and player sponsorship pledges, the organizers are planning to raise over $100, 000 to support the athletic and educational programs at the Boys' Club.

"The Fontbonne OPTIONS program has been a home run for me," stated Pona. "OPTIONS is allowing me to complete my degree and preparing me for a rigorous MBA program while I continue to work in the field of my passion, sports marketing." Pona continued, "I beta-tested the World's Longest Baseball Game event during a class project and really benefited from the significant contributions of my teammates, ideas from classmates and guidance from our experienced instructors."

"We were so excited when we learned about Steve's project turning into a reality that we immediately offered our support as an event sponsor," says Jerry Bladdick, Fontbonne's Associate VP for Graduate and Adult Enrollment. "It's a great opportunity all the way around-contributing to the Boys' Club, attempting to break a world record and backing a Fontbonne OPTIONS student."

Bladdick adds, "What Steve has accomplished represents what OPTIONS is all about: taking what is learned in class and applying those practical skills and knowledge to real world situations that adult students encounter on a daily basis. It's this practical approach and the convenience of the program that appeals to our students the most."

While other universities have sports management programs, OPTIONS BSEM provides a broad-based business foundation in sports and entertainment management. The dual focus offers a wide range of topics from a business and management perspective. The classes are taught by professionals in the field, who navigate the complicated terrain of the sports and entertainment worlds on a daily basis.

Fontbonne University has been a provider of high-quality educational programs for more than 80 years. OPTIONS is designed specifically to accommodate the needs of busy, working adults with convenient and accelerated undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

More information about this record-breaking attempt can be found online.

Learn more about the OPTIONS Program at Fontbonne.