Sports have been a big part of Tyrah Perry’s life, but the Clemson University senior management major in the College of Business wasn’t sold on making it a career until she studied abroad this summer.

A premier-level soccer player who traveled abroad with the U-16 National Team in high school, Tyrah was immersed in athletic excellence as an adolescent. She is the daughter of Trini and Michael Dean Perry, former Clemson standout and six time all-pro defensive lineman who played 10 years in the National Football League. And, she has family connections to Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, and Michael Jordan.

Tyrah Perry's summer study uncovered a new career option.

Tyrah Perry’s summer study uncovered a new career option.

“Even with my love for sports, I was turned off to some aspects of it because I saw a side of the business growing up that steered me away from considering it as a career,” she said. “But this summer, I was introduced to a different side of the sports business, specifically the concepts and practices of sports marketing.”

Tyrah’s sports marketing studies in Barcelona came through a partnership between Clemson’s Marketing Department and Arcadia University. Much of her work centered on professional soccer in Spain’s cosmopolitan capital, under the tutelage of a seasoned international sports marketer.

“There were two components to my studies in Barcelona and one involved studying Catalan, the native language here,” she said. “The sports marketing curriculum had us determining the correct social media platforms to reach fans, making presentations on team identity and social media platforms, and visits to the Olympic Stadium, which hosted the ’92 Olympics.”

Beyond the sports marketing immersion, Tyrah said cultural exposures to the language, traditions and social interactions of the region enriched her learning experience.

“I’ve traveled around the world, but six weeks is the longest I’ve ever stayed in a country. It gave me an opportunity to absorb so many aspects of the culture,” she said. “You learn to adapt to things beyond the need to understand the language. Not only did I get introduced to a career option that appeals to me, I met some great people who enjoy life and celebrate it in very different ways than we do in the U.S. I loved every bit of it and would go back in a heartbeat.”

Tyrah said growing up with an NFL father played more into her childhood desires and interests in athletics than it did in determining a career choice. However, she said the experience taught her traits that should benefit her down the road.

“I think my four siblings and I all benefited from some inherent attributes that high-level athletes have built into them, and that is a competitive spirit and a willingness to accept the challenges of life without thinking twice about it,” she said. “For me personally, I think my environment taught me to be committed and to always finish what you start, regardless of the outcome. I think those are all qualities that will give me an opportunity at success, whether I choose sports marketing, or go another direction.”

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