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Sports Education – Top Down

As an educationalist, I’m always keen to learn about new programmes offered to prospective students – be they under-graduate or post -graduate or experienced from the ‘university of life’ in sports. My own University, Manchester Metropolitan University, has made great strides with excellent students, the outcome from such degrees as sports marketing and sports management, where I teach. The Masters in Sports Directorship (MSD) delivered in conjunction with VSi has been an extension, doing ‘exactly as it says on the tin’ preparing executives for roles as sporting directors.

This Week from my Company’s, ACROBAT FCSM, work in Salford we have been observing the creation of another ground breaking offering, the first ever, MSc, quasi-MBA, for aspirational or established CEOs in sports and leisure industries by University of Salford.

To share more, we have been given permission to replicate, an article written by VSi on this latest offering:

“This is a pioneeering first with an MBA level programme designed for elite leaders with aspirations to become a Chief Executive in the world of sport.

Managing eye-watering exponential financial growth, increasing corporate governance responsibilities and the demands of challenging club owners and Chairmen has resulted in the skills of a CEO becoming more important than ever.

Recruitment agents are acutely aware that candidates for the CEO role, in any sport, will operate under intense media scrutiny and must be able to hit the ground running with little time afforded to those from outside the industry who may need many months adapting to the fundamentals of the job.

“VSi understand the industry of sport and executive education. Armed with this knowledge they can truly innovate and be the market leaders in executive sports education. Following on from the success of their sporting directors course it’s genuinely exciting that they’re creating a high level programme to develop CEO’s”

Darren Simmons, Managing Director, Executives in Sport

VSi set about delivering the sort of education through its Masters Degree In Sporting Directorship that would satisfy the recruitment market’s demands. Four cohorts of elite athletes, coaches and managers have already studied on the VSi programmes which was taught initially in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and subsequently with the Centre for Sport Business located at the heart of Manchester’s hi-tech Media City.

Leading academics including Professor Chris Brady and Professor Simon Chadwick along with industry experts have helped catapult the program’s status and secured industry wide recognition as a must have qualification for those seeking to secure key leadership positions around sporting operations.

VSi’s Tony Faulkner reaffirms this by stating that : “Sport is now recognising the absolute need to adopt formal corporate structuring with talented, highly educated individuals in all the key leadership positions. The Chief Executive is at the top of the tree and the market is demanding that this individual must have knowledge and skills bespoke to sport.”

“VSi has been working over the last 12 months with leading academics and industry professionals to create this pioneering MBA for Chief Executives in sport. Our passion has always been to provide a pathway for current and former athletes into executive roles within sport. Marrying their experiences of competitive sport with an educational grounding in business is our purpose” . 

Professor Chris Brady who is the academic lead for the programme (pictured above with Cristiano Ronaldo) states: “During my years of interviewing CEOs from major corporations, SMEs, sporting organisations and even military leaders the one common lament was that “there’s no school for CEOs”. They realise that they are often thrust into a leadership position without any preparation for the role. They would probably have welcomed the existence of such a course.”

To learn more about the CEO education programmes contact:

Funding and scholarships may be available.

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