Beginning in January 2016, the Netherlands' Maastricht School of Management will launch an Executive MBA program focused on the sports industry.
The "Executive MBA in Sports Management" aims to help "top-class sports players and professionals with the ambition to grow into senior management and leadership positions in sports management," according to a statement from the school.
Sport is a huge industry. According to recent research from Plunkett Research, the sports industry pulls in some $1.5 trillion globally each year. The European Commission in 2014 reported that, across Europe, the industry employs some 4.5 million people directly and up to 7.3 million people when including downstream industries.
And the industry is growing globally. A 2011 AT Kearney report said that the sports industry in the BRIC countries was outpacing GDP, with Russia's spending in the sector growing 53 percent since 2000.
The new MSM EMBA covers a number of important topics for those looking to break into management roles in the industry. Core curriculum focuses on subjects like accounting for sports business managers, new business ventures in the sports business, and marketing fundamentals. During a specialization phase, students can focus on specific parts of the sports industry, such as event and facilities management or sports marketing and sponsorship.
MBA programs focusing on the industry tend to be relatively rare in Europe and the UK. Among internationally-accredited business schools, the UK's Salford Business School offers an EMBA pathway in the sports business, and the University of Liverpool has an MBA focused on the football industries.
Last year, France's Audencia Nantes announced the launch of a Professional MBA program in International Sports Management, which was slated to launch this September, but has since been cancelled.
To apply for MSM's new EMBA in Sports Management, prospective students should have at least 5 years of work experience and a GMAT score of 600 or higher (or the GRE equivalent.)
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