Georgetown is looking to become a new training ground for budding George Steinbrenners with the kick-off of the School of Continuing Studies’s sports management program this fall.

The new program, which has recently begun enrolling students for next fall, is aimed at fostering sports career development for SCS students. According to its Web site, this program will place strong emphasis on real-world experience, offering students internships, networking opportunities and mentoring opportunities with industry leaders.

“In having a program like this in SCS, we can balance academic infrastructure with professional development . [and] learning in the classroom with interaction of leading thinkers and practitioners in an experiential setting,” Matt Winkler, associate dean of the new sports industry management program, said.

Winkler, who will be directing the program, was appointed to this position after spending about 15 years working for organizations in the sports industry, including the NCAA, NHL, MLS, Olympics and World Cup.

Along with a core ethics course and eight courses selected from one of the two specific tracks in the masters program, students will take a capstone course in which they complete a project focused on first-hand field experience. The program offers students two different academic tracks, one in strategic marketing, communications and new media and the other in business, management and operations.

Winkler said that he believes the curriculum will strike a balance appropriate for the growing industry.

“It also offers a curriculum that includes both theoretical and practical exploration of the sports industry and building relationships in a network of professionals and GU alumni in the business,” he said.

All masters and certificate degree candidates are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year university. The program admissions are rolling and based upon semester availability. Degree candidates will be offered the choice of enrolling in either a one-year, full-time study program or a two-year, part-time program. SCS will also offer an advanced professional certificate in sports management.

The Washington area has developed into a hub for the sports industry, according to Winkler.

“The Washington, D.C., region has become a major player in the industry with some of the nation’s most progressive owners, pro teams, agencies, colleges and executives. . Highlighting that group is Washington Capitals owner and GU grad Ted Leonsis (CAS ’77) who has been an inspiration in best practices of sports’ role in the community,” he said.

Senior vice president of business affairs for the Washington Nationals baseball team, Michael Shapiro (CAS ’73), who also plans to serve as a faculty member for the program, said in a university press release that it is most important for the new program to focus on business, finance, sales, marketing, communications, media, law and statistics.

“This is where the Georgetown sports industry management program is well positioned,” he said.

In addition, the program will utilize a blog to keep students informed of the most recent developments in the industry.

According to Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, the $213 billion sports industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States, more than twice the size of the U.S. auto industry and seven times the size of the movie industry.

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