“I feel I have gained a new outlook on the world of sports and on the many interesting career paths that are possible in the sports industry.” — Joseph Steinberg
This course provides students with an overview of the business of professional sports, with particular emphasis on its unique evolution and manifestation in New York City, a nexus of the sports industry. Through a combination of lectures, discussion, in-class activities, site visits, and attendance at various sporting events, students are permitted a deeper understanding of the various sectors that comprise this ever-expanding and ever-changing industry.
The course begins with an historical overview of sports in America, looking at two distinct phenomena: the marriage of athletic competition with technology (such as indoor lighting) in the late 19th century, and the marriage of sports and corporate America in the 1980s. Following a survey of the contemporary business of sports, the course next considers a range of topics critical to the industry: athlete management, financing, facility and event superintendence, media, and marketing. Finally, the course suggests avenues of continued engagement with the industry, through high school, college, and beyond.
Joe Favorito, a graduate of Fordham University, has over 30 years of strategic communications, marketing, business development, and public relations expertise in sports, entertainment, brand building, media training, television, athletic administration, and business. He has managed the day-to-day activities in strategic communications for the New York Knickerbockers and Philadelphia 76ers, the WTA Tour, the U.S. Tennis Association, and the U.S. Open. He also oversaw the strategic planning, investor relations, and communications and digital business development of the International Fight League during its two-year run as a Mixed Martial Arts venture and a publicly-traded company.
Favorito serves on the board of the National Sports Marketing Network, is an instructor in Columbia University’s Strategic Communications program, and maintains a well-trafficked blog on the sports marketing and publicity field, “Sports Marketing and PR Roundup.” He authored the first-ever text on the sports publicity industry, Sports Publicity, which is used in over 35 sports management programs throughout the United States. He has been a guest speaker on sports marketing, social media, and communications at a host of institutions, including Princeton University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, the University of Florida Law School, New York University, and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Guy Fortt attended the University of Bridgeport and is currently a candidate in Columbia University’s M.S. program in Sports Management. He has enjoyed being an integral partner in planning, creating, and managing football clinics for talented players all across the country. Through his company ForttSports LLC, he encourages young athletes to develop mind, body, and spirit and to become not just great athletes but also great and successful people.
Chaliya Rivers graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland and is currently a Master’s candidate in Sports Management at Columbia University. She is a dancer who has trained and performed globally and a certified Pilates instructor, personal trainer, physical therapist, and dance teacher. Chaliya is also an entrepreneur with a business training, conditioning, and rehabilitating dancers and athletes.