This fall Cal Lutheran kicked off its bachelor’s degree in sports management in response to student demand.
The university first offered a sports management minor in 2013, and in five years it grew to the fifth most popular choice among 42 minors.
“All of our sports-oriented classes are almost always full with a wait list,” said Bruce Gillies, an assistant professor of business administration who led the effort to launch the major and serves as the program’s first director.
Most sports management programs are in the Midwest and on the East Coast, but California is a major employment base. Drawing on expertise in the region and beyond, the School of Management developed the Bachelor of Science program with input from more than 20 professionals. They included representatives from the LPGA, Western States Hockey League and the Los Angeles Rams, which has its training facility on the Thousand Oaks campus. Many organizations offered to provide internships and guest speakers.
“This major will help people engage in sports in a number of ways — recruiting, operations, retail, marketing and the fast-growing field of e-sports,” Gillies said.
Sports was a $71-billion industry in North America in 2018 and is projected to grow to $83 billion by 2023, according to PwC. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average job growth for coaches, scouts and sports marketing managers.
The number of graduates earning degrees in sports and fitness administration or management programs more than doubled nationwide between 2005 and 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Curriculum covers sports from ethical, legal and global perspectives. The Business of Sports explores tensions between amateurism and professionalism, strategies for developing athletic talent and the interaction of business and politics. The Sports, Media and Society elective will examine issues such as race, sexuality, consumerism and civic life. Other electives include Sport Psychology, Broadcast Sports Production and Sport Facility Design and Management.
To learn more, go to callutheran.edu/academics/majors/sports-management.