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Sport Management online master’s program gears up for January as professors solidify industry relationships

JU Sport Business professors Dr. Carol Dole and Dr. Todd Hall, who are gearing up for the January launch of the region’s only fully online business-focused Sport Management master’s degree, recently traveled to the inaugural Warsaw Sports Business Analytics Symposium at the University of Oregon.

The symposium provided a forum for discussion with sport industry professionals, graduate students and other leading sport business educators.

Dr. Todd Hall
Dr. Todd Hall

“As we launch our graduate program in January, we feel that focusing on analytics really gives us an opportunity to differentiate our degree from our competition,” Hall said. “With the growing importance of analytics in the sport industry, the symposium provided a great opportunity to meet and learn from some of the industry’s best marketers.”

The new online Master of Science in Sport Management, which is pending approval of SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges), is an interdisciplinary program between the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences and the  Davis College of Business. It is accepting applicants and will launch its inaugural class in January 2017.

The program is not only for those with undergraduate degrees in a sports-related field, but also those interested in refocusing their careers to target the sport industry. It’s designed to help build the skills needed to succeed in today’s sport environment.

Dr. Carol Dole at the recent
Dr. Carol Dole at the recent Warsaw Sports Business Analytics Symposium.

In addition to being completely online, the program is designed so that students can finish in as little as 12 months, taking the 12 courses in eight-week terms to complete the required 36 credit hours. Students can enroll in spring, summer or fall, and a GRE and/or GMAT is not required.

Much of the master’s curriculum is quantitative and analytics-based, and Hall said he and Dole learned at the symposium that JU’s Sport Business program “is already ahead of the pack when it comes to implementing analytics in class.”

Dr. Carol Dole
Dr. Carol Dole

That is exactly what Dole envisioned when she revamped the curriculum and adopted the sport management program into the Davis College of Business.

“We knew several years ago the importance of focusing on the quantitative side of sport business,” she said. “Sport organizations and their partners need to be able to validate their decisions tracking data and using results.”

The symposium featured marketing and data analytics experts from the following organizations: T-Mobile, ProKarma, San Jose Sharks, NASCAR, Jordan Brand, Nike, Visa, ESPN, and the University of Oregon.  JU will be able to take the network and experiences gained at the event directly into the classroom to benefit students, Hall said.

Keynote speaker Rich Luker, a founder of ESPN Polls and one of the most prominent analysts in the sport industry, noted the growing importance of data, especially as the sports market continues to evolve.

Dr. Todd Hall
Dr. Todd Hall visits Nike headquarters during the Warsaw Sports Business Analytics Symposium.

“Most of the speakers addressed how changing demographics will impact marketing dollars and how professionals must be able to make their case for how budgets will be used,” said Dole.

Dole and Hall also took advantage of the geographic proximity to global icons Nike and adidas.

“We were able to reconnect with friends and make new connections at both Nike and adidas,” Hall said. “In the near future, we hope to provide students with the opportunity to travel to Oregon to witness and learn for themselves what takes place at the top two sport apparel brands in the world. This type of exposure and experiential learning activity is offered by only a handful of sport business programs in the country. It would put our program in a very strong position.”

The JU Sport Business program has a robust history in providing experiential learning opportunities and industry exposure for students. The program has hosted executives from industry leaders NASCAR, the PGA Tour, the NFL, the ATP, ESPN, and the Jax Sports Council, among others.

To learn more and apply to the JU Master of Science in Sport Management program, visit http://www.ju.edu/chs/AHS/Pages/Online-MS-Sport.aspx.