Columbia Sports Management Graduate Program Begins Its Tenth Year Amidst Unprecedented Growth


NEW YORK— Columbia University’s Sports Management graduate program begins its first full week of fall classes this month amidst unprecedented growth following a summer of forging new partnerships, expanding offerings and developing a student body of full and part-time students that is reflective of a program that now ranks among the top three graduate sports management programs in the world.

“We are very excited about the new academic year as we welcome back our elite students and our largest and most experienced class to date,” said Vince Gennaro, now entering his second year as director of the Ivy league’s only graduate program in sports management. “This past year we have created a series of new partnerships and added elite programs and faculty to serve our growing and enthusiastic student body. We all share the goal of helping make our industry more global, more socially conscious and more progressive than it has ever been before, and we are all very bullish on the future of both the business of sports and what we are doing at Columbia.”

The fall 2015 incoming class will include 49 full-time students from 19 countries, with an average age of 27. Many of the new students are working professionals from finance, consulting or law; 22 percent have a law degree and 29 percent already possess a graduate degree. The program is also welcoming in 16 part-time students, most of whom are working at some of the biggest brands and organizations in professional and intercollegiate athletics, to raise the total of students in the incoming class to 65, the largest the program has ever had. The diversity is also reflected in some of the more unique backgrounds of the students, which include a member of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, a former pro baseball player, a former Olympic table tennis player, and a recently retired WNBA player.

Reflective of that growth and level of expertise, this year the program is offering new cutting-edge classes focused on the global marketplace. They will include a course on the Globalization of Sport, the first-ever graduate class in Baseball Analytics and a social media project based around the program’s recently announced partnership with FC Bayern Munich, one of the biggest and most valuable clubs in world soccer. The program’s recent partnerships with OptaSports, one of the world’s leading sports data collectors, and with the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE), a Madrid-based leader in legal education, will also enhance and expand future offerings for the program's students present and future.

The faculty has also expanded to meet the demands of the growing student body and includes some of the most accomplished professionals in analytics, marketing, finance, law, communications, digital media and facilities of any university in the world.

Recently recognized as one of the top three global programs by Sports Business International magazine, Columbia University’s master’s degree program in Sports Management, available part-time and full-time, trains professionals in all sectors of the sports industry by teaching specific management skills in the areas of finance, analytics, digital media, sports personnel management, law, sports marketing, and facility or event management. This combination of broad-based and specific skill training is a hallmark of the program and is evident in both the content and sequencing of courses.

George Calderaro
PR for Columbia University