Breaking into the sports industry can be difficult, but UMD students are getting a leg up on the competition with a newly launched Sports Management Program.
Beginning this fall, the 12-credit program represents a partnership between the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, the School of Public Health's Department of Kinesiology, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism's Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and Maryland Athletics.
The new curriculum provides the necessary skills, foundational knowledge and professional opportunities to succeed in the sports industry. Students can attend site visits, fireside chats with industry professionals, sports industry-focused career fairs and sporting events.
Intended for rising juniors and seniors, the Sports Management Program aligns with one of the guiding principles in Smith’s strategic plan: making business education accessible to all students at the University of Maryland, regardless of their major.
Its interdisciplinary approach has the potential to produce well-rounded, knowledgeable, innovative leaders in the sports industry, says Tori Shay, associate director for the program.
“SMP students have an exciting opportunity to leave this program with a tangible way to show their knowledge with hands-on experience,” says Shay. “Our sports network at UMD is large, and I cannot wait for students to learn from some of the best in the industry.”
Program courses include KNES287: Sport and American Society, BMGT383: The Business of Sport and a third elective course that students can select from an approved list to tailor their experience to their specific career interests.
The final course, BMGT483: Sports Management Program Capstone, sees student teams developing and pitching solutions for a multifaceted real-world case study from a corporate partner in the sports industry. They’ll use knowledge from other SMP courses to inform their proposed solution and pitch their findings to a panel of judges.
Last April, the first cohort, comprised of 27 students, was welcomed during a kickoff dinner for the fourth-annual Maryland Sports Business Conference. Recruitment for SMP’s second cohort will begin at the end of the 2023 fall semester, with applications due in early February 2024.
The program hopes to continue attracting driven and motivated students committed to building a community of leaders in the sports industry. Students interested in enrolling in the program can get a head start in the classroom or get involved in the UMD Athletics community.
“If you are a first-year or second-year student who does not have 60 credits yet, my recommendation would be to enroll in KNES287 and engage in Sports Business Society events, as this will keep you connected to the SMP until you can apply,” says Shay. “I also strongly recommend that students check out the Maryland Sports Business Conference in April.”
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.