Sports Business - a growing sector
The recent widespread shift from club-based (amateur) to semi-professional and professional sports management structures, associated in many cases with investment in sports facilities and recreational resources, has created considerable challenges and opportunities in the business sectors. So too has growth in demand for sports-for-all events (catering for all participants from elite to purely social/recreational), such as the recent Wanaka Challenge Ironman, Mountain-biking challenge events, endurance/orienteering events and the like.
The growth of these sorts of sports events has taken place in association with heightened demands upon sport entrepreneurs and event managers to be specifically skilled and business savvy. One legislated focus of Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011), created by the Labour Government in 2007 to host the next Rugby World Cup, is to create a legacy of success in hosting major international sports events as an investment in the future of the New Zealand economy. This is one of many aspects of sport business development that has resulted in heightened demand for sports and sport event business professionals.
There now exists and clear and rapidly growing need for qualified managers to serve sport, recreation and leisure organizations and businesses. Such careers are available to students who are enthusiastic about sport, and academically qualified in both business and sport-related subjects. The University of Otago offers existing courses in the School of Business and the School of Physical Education that, in combination, provide strong business skills, business acumen, and a rich scholarly and practical understanding of sport, recreation and leisure, as required for graduates seeking careers in sports-related fields of business.
The city of Dunedin, and the wider regional context, provide learning environments that are rich in opportunities for applied learning, field-based enquiry, practicum development and, ultimate, graduate research. The wider national and global contexts are rich in career development opportunities.