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Bachelor of Sport Management seniors gain real-world consulting experience

Wednesday, February 21 2018 12:00am

The Bachelor of Sport Management capstone class will present consulting projects for sport industry clients in Atlanta, GA

In recent years, Ohio University’s Department of Sports Administration has revamped its capstone course to include high-level sport business strategy content and a consulting project with industry-leading clients. The goal: to create an opportunity for graduating seniors to challenge themselves through coursework and experiential learning. It’s a real-world experience that gives students a glimpse into the industry. 

“Four years ago, when we redesigned the Bachelor of Sport Management degree based on feedback from the previous year's graduates, we changed the capstone class into high-level strategy content coupled with a real-life consulting experience. The value in terms of learning, experience, and placement for jobs has been considerable for our students,” said Norm O’Reilly, chair of OHIO’s Department of Sports Administration.

Past capstone courses have provided students with an opportunity to work on consulting projects in Chicago, Milwaukee, Toronto, Charlotte, Columbus and West Virginia. This spring, OHIO's capstone trip will be held in Atlanta, home to many major sport business organizations, OHIO alumni, and the benefactor of OHIO’s annual Darren Butler Sports Business Forum.

Supported financially by the AECOM Center for Sports Administration, Bachelor of Sport Management (BSM) seniors will work on more than 20 major projects under the guidance of O’Reilly; Annie Brackley, sports management instructor for OHIO’s College of Business; and Luke Sayers, sports management lecturer and associate director of OHIO’s Professional Master of Sports Administration program. Their clients include AECOM, the Atlanta Hawks, George State Athletic Department, IMG College, IMG Live, Live Nation, PGA Tour, and Van Wagner – many companies of which have hired OHIO's BSM alumni.

“The BSM capstone is where a culmination of our students’ academic history meets their professional future,” said Sayers. “This is a key component of helping students advance into the ‘real world’ by taking a deep dive into a scope of work provided by one of our industry alumni.”

Unlike a theoretical and traditional case study, this project charge is determined by some of the top executives within the sport industry. And as you can image, the work is demanding and high level. “Students stretch themselves far beyond campus by crafting strategy and making recommendations that can impact sport business immediately,” said Sayers.

The learning outcomes for this project are threefold. One: students graduate with examples of their work that can be added to their resume. Two: students immediately gain a professional network within leading companies. And, three: students have the unique opportunity to make a difference in the sport industry before they even leave the classroom. 

“The sport management capstone project provides an extremely unique opportunity to supplement our resumes in the classroom with the ability to demonstrate that students are capable of solving real-world problems for potential employers,” said Griffin Ward, current BSM student in the capstone course. “I know I have a leg up on other job applicants when I'm able to say that I played a role in creating the volunteer schedule for next year's Superbowl in Atlanta. This class is unlike any other and is part of the reason OHIO continues to be the best of the best in sport management education.”

Learn more about OHIO’s Bachelor of Sports Management.