SportsBusiness Journal Spotlights Columbia’s Innovative Sports Management Program

In the June 15, 2015 issue of SportsBusiness Journal, director of the M.S. program in Sports Management Vince Gennaro discusses the program’s curriculum and how it equips students with the global, digital, and analytics skills that today’s top sports employers are looking for.

A global perspective

Gennaro explains why sports management pros need to think globally: “The sports world is interconnected; you can’t simply view sports within the context of the American landscape. There are more international soccer games shown on American television, from ESPN to Telemundo and Univision, than MLB games. You can’t position yourself for a job at the NBA if you don’t have a global perspective; you have to consider what’s going on in the European leagues. One of the most-watched sports in the world is cricket.” One of the partners for the Sports Management program at Columbia is FC Bayern Munich, Germany's most successful soccer team, which will offer case studies based on their own business challenges and solutions.

Digital expertise

“Where is the digital world taking us?” Gennaro says. “It’s taking us everywhere from content development and distribution of traditional sports to the explosion in fantasy sports and gaming.” He says, “We’ve added a digital component to our curriculum because it allows our students to think more broadly about their careers, and where their futures will take them.”

Big data skills

Gennaro grants that technological innovations have greatly changed how the sports industry measures and monetizes their games. “We can measure things now that we never could before,” he says. “We need to be able to interpret all that data. The sports world has begun to adapt the business world’s tools. We have teams now, for example, that calculate weather forecasts into dynamic ticket pricing. Analytics has grown into a major driver of revenue strategy.” To meet that need, the sports management program offers the course Fundamentals of Sports Analytics.

SportsBusiness Journal notes, “In only its second year as a full-time cohort, Columbia’s full-time master’s program has already accepted 35 students for fall 2015. More than half of those are international students that represent 14 countries.”

Find out more about the Sports Management program.