Nate Henry wants to be a sports agent when he grows up.
The School of the Osage junior took a huge step toward that goal by placing fifth in the International DECA competition last month in Anaheim, Calif.
The son of Randy and Anita Henry of Rocky Mount made it to the elite level of DECA competition by placing first in District Competition in February and then first in State Competition in March. He was among 170 high school students from the United States, Mexico, Canada and Germany to compete.
He finished first in Districts and State last year, but failed to make the finals in the Salt Lake City competition.
Theme of the project given to all competitors this year was Sports and Entertainment Operational Research. His objective was to find a way to increase the revenue of a business through better use of a website. He chose Pistols Plus in Osage Beach as the business website to research.
Henry worked with owners Jim and Pam Reis, who are family friends. He analyzed the Pistols Plus website and then wrote a paper on how he felt the Reis’ could improve their online presence to boost their income.
He used his research and interviews with the Pistols Plus owners to write a 30-paper and then condense that into a 10-minute presentation to a panel of judges. The intent was to sell the idea and the plan to the judges, which he did in winning fashion.
“I developed a marketing plan for Pistols Plus to identify the weaknesses in their website and then change those into strengths,” Henry said. “The idea was to find a way to make it better.”
Although his ideas were hypothetical, he presented the paper to the Reis, who may or may not use his ideas.
Henry figured other students would do traditional sports for their research, so he decided to do something unique. He estimates it took him between 20 and 25 hours to complete his project.
He said organizing his thoughts was more difficult than writing the paper.
What lies ahead for Henry is encouraging.
As a freshman, Henry took an elective marketing class and has enjoyed marketing ever since. He took those skills into DECA and won the district and state DECA titles last year as a sophomore, and now has the Top 10 finish at Internationals as a junior.
His hope is to become either a sports or marketing agent, and his list of post-secondary schools includes the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) or University of Southern California (USC) — both known for their strong sports management programs.
Page 2 of 2 - Ironically, Henry doesn’t participate in sports. But he’s certainly a fan, especially baseball which is where he hopes to put his marketing and presentation skills to good use.