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By Bernard O’Rourke, J.D.

Sport management is the latest addition to Caldwell University’s business programs. (While its official title is sport management, most people add an “s” and make it “sports management.”) The program got off to a successful start, with over 20 students enrolled in the first course offered this past fall semester. Our students are very enthusiastic; for example, Michael Balkovic, a senior management major and basketball team starter, told us, “Once I heard that Caldwell would be offering sport management, I wanted to take it right away. Now that it’s here, I love the class! The sport management program will definitely help me in attaining my career goals.”

The program introduces students to the fundamentals of sport as a business, and they also take specialized courses in sport marketing and communications and in facilities management and operations. With 14 major league professional sports franchises located in the New York/New Jersey metro area, Caldwell is well positioned to offer students a total package of sport business-related academic and career opportunities. The Business Division is very keen that students integrate internships into their programs, and for this purpose we are developing affiliations with teams such as the New Jersey Devils, the New York Mets, and the New York Red Bulls. With a background in sport management, our graduates will have the opportunity to pursue careers in sport marketing and sponsorship, sport media, and sport operations on the professional level. Beyond major league sports, this growing area offers careers in the administration of minor league, collegiate, high school and recreational sports programs. While athletes provide the majority of students in sport management, the non-athlete population has quickly shown an interest as well.

According to Forbes Magazine, the sports industry in the United States is projected to grow to $145.3 billion by 2015. Careers in the industry are growing faster than 15 percent annually. Sport management education programs have come a long way over the last 30 years. From 1980 to 2010, the number of undergraduate programs in sport management increased from three to over 300.

Caldwell’s program has recruited experienced adjunct professors immersed in the business of sport who run their own successful sport management companies. According to Neil Malvone, adjunct professor of sport management and founder of Cutting Edge Sports Management, “The new sport management program has been exceptionally well received by the students here at Caldwell University. They really enjoy the opportunity to apply business concepts to the sport industry. Indeed, I see my students improving their understanding of core business issues as they incorporate the lively world of sport business into their classes.”

Caldwell business administration majors can obtain a concentration in sport management by taking 12 additional credits. Sport management is available as a concentration for business administration majors or as a minor for all other majors.

Bernard O’Rourke, J.D., is associate dean of the Business Division.