BSE SPORTS: Alive and Growing

By Tony McClean
Updated: March 14, 2005

BRONX, NY—If you’ve ever attended or watched the Bayou Classic and the Battle of the Bands on television, you’ve seen one aspect of BSE Sports.

If you saw or rented the hit movie “Drumline”, then you’ve experienced another part of BSE Sports.

And, if you’ve ever been to the Capital Jazz Fest or attended the Triple Doubles Skills Camps, again, you’ve seen another piece of BSE Sports.

Incorporated in 2001, Bickerstaff Sports & Entertainment (BSE) is the brainchild of Cydni Bickerstaff, the daughter of NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff.

Prior to forming BSE, Ms. Bickerstaff spent 12 years in the sports marketing and event management business, holding positions with the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and collegiate marketer Host Communications.

BSE is a full-service sports marketing, management and event production company that achieves its client’s goals by inventing, developing and executing sensational events, integrated marketing programs, special promotions and providing athletes for appearances and endorsements.

“We do a lot of work with several HBCU’s,” Bickerstaff added. “We have different pockets of our organization because we don’t just deal with athletes.”

“Most companies that are similar to us begin just in advertising and then gradually got into sports. Because of that, I think we’ve carved out a niche for ourselves.”

A graduate of Hampton University, Bickerstaff said the roots of the organization began while working for the Historically Black College Coalition.

“During my time there, we helped to introduce corporate America to these campuses,” Bickerstaff added. “We give them that extra exposure and it in turn helps us as an organization.”

While BSE currently represents a number of athletes in the NBA, WNBA, NFL, and MLB, they also serve as the event management, marketing and/or sponsorship firm for the Bayou Classic.

Entering into its 30th year, the Bayou Classic, which matches SWAC football foes Southern University and Grambling State, is considered to be the “grand-daddy” of black college sporting events.

Among the other events that same weekend are the annual “Greek Step Show” competition and the Battle of the Bands.

The “Battle” is a fun-filled rivalry between Southern’s “Human Jukebox” and the world-famous Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band, held before a sell-out crowd of 30,000.

It’s that pagantry that many people were introduced to in the movie “Drumline” earlier this year. BSE Sports was one of the many companies contacted by 20th Century Fox for the making of the movie.

Bickerstaff was contacted by one of her former employers to help out with the logistics of the band scenes in the movie. Most of those scenes were shot at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

“We opened the Dome on a weekend free to the public and they provided the crowd shots,” Bickerstaff said. “This was very different because we had to move folks in different areas for the shots.”

“The amount of people we got in there was amazing. At first, we thought we’d only get the lower part filled, but after an hour we had nearly half of the Dome filled.”

“It was very exciting to be a part of something like that, especially after seeing it do so well at the box office.”

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