International Experience Gives Students a Global Edge
Global sporting events such as the Olympic Games, FIFA's World Cup, and even the Commonwealth Games - all of which are taking place in 2018 - leave an important legacy with their venues, workforce, and memories for spectators. How these venues are used after such 'mega-events' is a key commercial topic in sport. Sports Business educations are beginning to address the importance of 'Legacy' in a global business as Leicester Castle Business School demonstrates.
With the importance of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and embracing learning opportunities, students studying the Business Management in Sport MSc at Leicester Castle Business School recently travelled to Germany and Austria as part of their degree to visit several sporting sites and to speak to a variety of sport industry professionals. As part of their Sport Heritage class, these experiences have helped students gain insight into how sport venues are marketed to domestic and global audiences to promote brands, sporting events, and experiencing what elite athletes experience.
During the trip students visited the 1936 Olympic ski jump in Germany and the Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton Track just outside of Innsbruck, Austria which was used for the 1976 Winter Olympics and 2012 Youth Olympic Games. Students also visited the home of FC Bayern Munich, taking a behind the scenes tour of Allianz Arena. They also spent time exploring Bayern’s club museum and spoke with Fabian Raabe, who helped design the museum and its exhibits.
Student Prommanee Sombattpiboon stated that “all three days have been so amazing” and believes that the trip has allowed her to widen her vision and appreciation of the creativity used in the world of sport.
Dr. Heather Dichter, Associate Professor and Programme Leader for the course, organised and led this trip, which included historic venues from mega-events and a major professional sport venue, as well as sport history museums. She said that "incorporating a global approach to the sport industry, and the ability to visit another country which promotes sports which are popular in Britain and globally, such as football, as well as other sports such as ski jumping and bobsleigh, really helps students expand their horizon.”
Previous Business Management in Sport MSc students have enjoyed trips to locations such as Toronto, Canada where they learned about North American styles of organising sport venues and events, including attending a Major League Baseball game. These trips form part of #DMUglobal, a wider De Montfort University initiative to provide students with a broader cultural and contextual perspective.
These trips help prepare the students for their Fieldwork Experience as well as their Executive Company Project, which they will have the opportunity to complete as part of their course. The Executive Company Project is a three-month research project undertaken with an organisation, allowing students to gain work experience in their field of interest.
For students seeking a career in the sport industry, this trip to Germany and Austria has allowed them to gain a better understanding of how sport organisations can capitalise on their history and heritage, providing a rich legacy on which to expand their brand and global reach. This knowledge can make them stand out as a strong candidate when applying for future positions within the sport industry.
"Not only did we get to visit the track and speak with the woman whose event company offers guest bobsleigh rides, but we also had the chance to go down the track in a 4-person bobsleigh! We had a chance to feel what elite athletes experience -- not quite at the same speeds -- which is amazing,” Dr. Dichter said. "With the increased interest for people to have experiences, knowing how to offer and promote these kinds of opportunities will be a valuable tool for the Business Management of Sport MSc students as they enter the sport industry after graduation.”
Leicester Castle Business Management of Sport MSc students experience the bobsled ride in Austria as part of marketing heritage sport tourism
Recent graduate Leighton James secured a role with Notts County FC, the oldest professional league club in the world, after working with them on their award-winning Football in the Community (FITC) programme. Speaking about his opportunity to gain both industry experience and networking contacts, Leighton said “Without doubt the ECP has been the best part of the course.”
With fierce competition for jobs in the sport industry, it is important that individuals looking to break into the sport industry gain a clear understanding of its practices and develop their skills to coincide with the current and future needs of the industry. A course that offers both practical and networking opportunities, along with a global outlook, will prepare students for roles in just about any segment of the sport industry.
This article was written by our partner Leicester Business School. To find out more about their Business Management in Sport (MSc) and other opportunities available from Leicester Castle Business School please click here.