Purpose: To give interested Gabelli School of Business students a grounding in the key organizational, marketing, media and legal issues in professional and amateur sports. The sports business specialization integrates specialized sports-business courses into the context of the Gabelli School’s high-quality business program, making our students competitive without limiting their career choices.
Required coursework: Sports Marketing (MKBU 4454), Business of Sports Media (CMBU 4488), Sports Law (BLBU 3450) and a one-credit capstone component. Course descriptions are as follows:
Sports Marketing (MKBU 4454)
Professor Francis Petit
This class focuses on the viability of sports and the “association of sport” in today’s economy and applies the principles of sports marketing to a selected organization and industry. Topics include the business of sports, sports related products/services, utilizing the “association of sport” to market non-sports-related products/services, promotion, pricing, sponsorships and careers in sports marketing. Two papers are assigned.
Business of Sports Media (CMBU 4488)
Professor John Fortunato
Business of Sports Media examines the mass-media industry in relation to the sports field and the unique characteristics that are a part of this industry. The course focuses on the economic relationship of the media, advertisers and sports industries. Topics studied that have a significant impact on all sports include broadcast, advertising, sponsorship and public relations. Students will learn the day-to-day functions of the people who work in the sports industry. The course looks at various sports as well as various forms of media and various public relations and advertising strategies. Students will get an understanding of the industry today and will learn about the history of the sports media and the pivotal people who helped shape the field.
Sports Law (BLBU 3450)
Professor Mark Conrad
This class discusses and analyzes the applicable law, business models and rules governing the sports industry and the legal controversies and policy considerations surrounding those rules. It focuses on amateur sports and their governance; the structure and powers of professional sports leagues; the elements of a sports contract and examples of coaches, athletes and endorsement/sponsorship contracts; the confluence of antitrust and labor law issues on leagues, individual sports and athletes; personal injury and risk management; international sports, such as the Olympics; and intellectual property and media issues. An in-class midterm and a take home final are required, along with a number of case studies and oral arguments.
One-credit capstone component
What makes the Gabelli School’s sports business specialization unique is a one-credit independent-study requirement. Students choose one of three options:
Conference Presentation: Students may present scholarly research at an organization’s conference. This option would be especially appealing to students who plan to go on to graduate school or pursue academic sports administration. The following organizations are potential venues for student presentations:
- Sports and Recreation Law Association (SRLA): Covers topic involving legal issues in professional, amateur and recreational sports.
- Collegiate Sports Research Institute
- North American Society for Sports Management
- Sport Entertainment & Venues Tomorrow Conference
- International Association for Communication & Sport Conference
Internship: Students may be interns for a semester, for a stipulated number of hours per week, at the Fordham Athletic Department; for a professional league, team, individual sports organization or recreational league; or for a firm involved in sports marketing, sports communications or sports law. The internship must be approved by one of the program advisors. Students are required to write a paper about their experience.
Travel: Students may opt to travel during summer or winter break to see an international perspective on the sports business. For example, Sports Travel Academy, http://sportstravelacademy.com, a private venture, specializes in two- to three-week faculty-led study abroad programs catering to sports business majors. Its locations have included Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Australia. Students are required to write a paper about their experience.