Sport Business Management Major is Off and Running

Dec 11, 2017

by Dr. Nick Nugent
Assistant Professor of Business and Economics

“Dr. Nugent, sorry for texting you on Sunday, but did you hear that Papa Johns decided to end its sponsorship with the NFL? Are we going to talk about that in class?” Some people might find it inappropriate for a student to be texting a teacher on Sunday; however, this particular message brought a smile to my face. For one, it meant that he was actually thinking critically about his chosen major. Secondly, it meant that he was excited about school… during the weekend!

This kind of excitement seems to be the norm in the Sport Business Management (SBM) major, which is entering its third year of existence. It’s clear that this major has students showing passion and interest. Whether it’s a conversation in the classroom or a discussion about their internship, the activities relating to the major and courses are described as “fun”.

“Fun” is sometimes synonymous with “easy” in academia; it must be something about the word “sport” that makes the material interesting, relatable, and inspiring. However, while all that is true, “easy” is not the most appropriate word to describe Sport Business. Housed in the Becker Building, this major requires accounting, economics, and statistics courses — all challenging concepts.

The Sport Business Management Junior Journey attending a sports event in Europe.

Outside the classroom, the positive vibes keep flowing. This past May, we had our first “sport business” Junior Journey trip to Scotland. While visiting the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the group met with top-tier professional soccer teams, toured Saint Andrews golf links, and even attended the European Rugby Championship match. Of course, we visited a few castles, enjoyed the beautiful Scottish countryside, and even tried some haggis (not that bad for sheep pudding), however the highlights of the trip were certainly sport-related. Future Junior Journeys will include experiences in Dubai, UAE and Vancouver, Canada.

Everything seems to be clicking with this major. Recently, when walking across campus to grab some lunch, I passed by a group of students sitting outside having a heated discussion (more like a polite argument). It was centered around whether or not it was a good idea to bring the new NHL team to Las Vegas. Both sides were passionate. Both sides had some reasonable positions for their points of view. Both sides were being professional and polite. I walked by the group, gave them a wave, and smiled at how “fun” this major really is.