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Baldwin Wallace University launches new MBA in sport management

From Moneyball to mobile ticketing and social media to esports, the ways in which sport organizations and their business partners operate today are vastly different than how they operated at the turn of the century.

In this climate of change, Baldwin Wallace University and its School of Business have launched an MBA in Sport Management that will begin in fall 2020. The program is designed for professionals who would like to strengthen their strategic decision-making skills and advance their careers within the sport industry.

Developing modern business skills for success

With a focus on economic models, analytics, sport venue management and marketing, BW's Sport Management MBA program aims to develop forward-thinking and innovative professionals who will drive the growth and future of the industry.

Many sport management graduate degrees are not housed in business schools, and even fewer offer the MBA credential. However, BW School of Business faculty wanted the MBA foundation.

"We wanted to build our program as an MBA because it delivers the business focus and skills graduates need to succeed at the highest levels of any sport organization," stated Dr. Dale Sheptak, associate professor of sport management. "Sport has its own unique characteristics, but the business fundamentals of finance, accounting, organizational leadership and strategic management are necessary for professionals to be effective leaders."

Practitioner faculty, flexible delivery

The knowledge and experience of BW's sport management faculty also set the practitioner-oriented program apart. Current sport management faculty represent a combined 80 years of experience across a wide variety of professional and collegiate sport organizations, and all are currently engaged with the industry.

Flexibility is also a plus, as students can start at any of the five, eight-week terms throughout the year, take courses at their pace, and choose whether to come to campus for a scheduled class, log in and actively participate in a live class from any location or watch a recording when it's convenient.

"Having spent 20 years with the Browns, I know time is at a premium for these professionals," said Tony Dick, assistant professor of sport management. "With this program, students can stay on pace without worrying about making it to class at a specific time and place. It eases the burden and is something I wish BW had when I completed my master's degree."

Powerful national experiences

BW students work Super Bowl LIVAdditionally, the experiential learning opportunities that are a hallmark of the BW undergraduate sport management program will be available to MBA students. Past opportunities have included trips to work the College Football National Championship Game, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Men's & Women's Final Fours and the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships, with exploratory visits to sites such as Duke University, NFL Films, Citi Field, MLS Headquarters and the Barclays Center.

"The trips to work the Super Bowl, College Football Championship and even the smaller events we offer on and off campus provide an invaluable opportunity for networking," said Dr. Andi Lyons, associate professor of sport management.

"In just the past year, we've engaged with sport industry leaders from the Miami Heat, University of Alabama, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, University of Miami, New Jersey Devils, New York Mets, Learfield IMG and others through trips and classroom projects," Lyons adds. "And that doesn't include the regular interactions with our local professional and collegiate teams."

Passion for sport and success

The BW MBA in Sport Management is geared toward those who enjoy the business of sports and, therefore, fandom is not a prerequisite, although many students will have a passion for certain sports and teams.

"Effective leaders must possess exceptional strategic, analytical and communication skills that allow them to identify opportunities and mobilize others to implement innovative business initiatives," said Dr. Charles Campisi, associate professor of sport management. "Our program combines business training, experiential learning and leadership theory to help students develop skills to break into the sport industry or to advance to the next level."

Record of graduate success

With the success of the undergraduate program, which boasts graduates working at top sport organizations across the country, expectations for the MBA are high.

"With the quality of the undergraduate program, the experiences they provide students, and the industry experience and network connections of the faculty, BW's Sport Management MBA program should immediately be in contention with the best sport management master's degree programs in the nation," observed Mitch Moser, deputy director of athletics at Duke University.

Access more information on the BW Sport Management MBA online or contact Dr. Charles Campisi at ccampisi@bw.edu or (440) 826-2190.

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