UW News

December 12, 2002

Sports management is newest certificate program

Sports fans now have a convenient way to prepare for a business career, thanks to a new certificate program at the UW.

This winter quarter, the UW will offer a new Certificate in Sports Management, a five-month, evening program specifically designed for people who need the skills to work on the business side of a sports team, athletic department or a sports-related business or organization. This is the first such program offered by an educational institution in the Puget Sound area.

“This program is for people who are interested in a sports-related field as a career,” said Barbara Hedges, UW athletic director, one of the advisory board members guiding the new program. “I think there is a need for this type of education, and this program provides an opportunity.”

UW faculty and top-level professionals in all levels of sports — including members of the Seahawks, Sonics and Mariners sports organizations — helped design the program’s curriculum. It covers critical skills such as leadership, contract negotiations, market research and public relations, budgeting and financial planning.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of sports management. It will show the broad range of positions available in the industry and also offer a tremendous introduction to a ‘dream job’,” said Gary Wright, vice president for communications with the Seattle Seahawks and an instructor in the program.

The program will also provide insight into the culture and vocabulary of a sports organization, skills particularly useful for getting noticed in the highly competitive and guarded business of sports.

“What a student will get out this course is the ability to go to a sports franchise, get an interview and discuss the business of sports,” said John Dresel, former executive vice president of the Seattle Supersonics and one of the program instructors. “They will understand all about planning and running the many aspects of a sports business.”

Students in the program will meet once a week in the evening, with some additional weekend classes. Though most of the program is classroom instruction, the last term will be devoted to an intensive research project of the students’ choice. Those who successfully complete the program requirements will earn a valuable certificate and UW graduate credits that may be applicable toward a degree.

The Certificate in Sports Management is being offered by the UW Business School through UW Educational Outreach (UWEO), the UW division that administers continuing education, evening degrees, distance learning and other opportunities for non-traditional students.

“The business school approved the program after reviewing the course content and finding it reflected an appropriate focus on management and marketing, topics that must be addressed by any enterprise that wants to succeed,” said Philip Kienast, an associate professor of business. He is also an instructor in the program.

For more information about the sports management certificate, visit http://www.outreach.washington.edu/extinfo/certprog/spo/spo_main.asp.

For more information on UWEO programs, visit: http://www.outreach.washington.edu/.