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Why You Should Study a Master’s in Sports Industry Management

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From the World Cup to the Olympics, the Superbowl to the Six Nations, nothing unites a group of people quicker than the thrills of live sport. Even people with little interest in sport can often be swept up by the hysteria, cheering on their country or local team as they bid for victory. It’s no wonder, given the passion it inspires, that sport is one of the world’s most dominating industries with an estimated value of .

As the sports industry evolves and adapts to novel technological developments, lifestyle amenities and cultural changes, there’s an increasing demand for those who have the skills and knowledge to work in the industry and its international market dynamics.

It’s an industry all of its own which offers a plethora of opportunities from running a sports club behind the scenes, to working on the digital marketing of a sports brand or investigating the data analytics of merchandise sold in the club shop.

Emlyon business school’s specialized is a great starting point for those looking to get ahead in an industry that’s currently dominating the management landscape. Students can study several electives covering topics ranging from marketing to entrepreneurship.

We spoke to Antoine Haincourt, head of the at to find out more about the program, and why it’s a necessary subject.

What makes the MSc in Sports Industry Management at emlyon business school stand out?

To understand the big changes, one needs to look at them from above. The MSc in Sports Industry Management is global, and is also taught in English. We’re based in Paris, but we run our observations and connect with industries in the UK and Germany as well.

We also spend one full semester at the emlyon business school campus in Shanghai, China, which is a country where the pace of innovation and change accelerates, and where every individual in the industry looks for innovation at every level.

Why should people choose to study the MSc in Sports Industry Management at emlyon business school?

Almost half the cohort is international, with students coming from India, China, the USA, Canada, Russia, Africa, South America and, of course, Europe and France, meaning part of the success lies within this diversity.

Another reason is because of our learning activities. We like to consider ourselves as makers, people who learn by doing, who look into innovation and entrepreneurship first. But what probably makes us different, is the way we look at sport – we don’t look at sport as an end, but as a starting point. Students learn and experiment through sport, but should also be able to use their experiences in other industries.

How do students learn in this master’s program?

“Hands on” is really how we do it! We work with companies within the industry, whether they’re global or just start-ups. From day one, students focus on innovative projects with industry professionals, asking questions such as, “What could destroy my business in the near future?”, or “How can new technologies change the rules of the game?”.

We don’t censor either – students are taught to try, experiment and learn the theory from doing. In the end, we evaluate the ability of the students who can work with others, as well as learn from others. We also help them take the lead, and help them understand what holding responsibilities really mean, such as coordinating and managing a project team.

What specific skills and knowledge can students take away from studying the MSc in Sports Industry Management?

We develop soft skills in individuals with a hard skill mindset. At the start of the program, students study business analytics, data science and statistics for market research as well as anthropology. We look into sport as a lifestyle, and design thinking is a starting point when it comes to looking at a project.

We like to play the business game, but we like to also question the sustainability of our models. We don’t just want to be different as one thing is for certain: passion is no longer enough!

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Written by Stephanie Lukins

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