Belk College plans graduate degree in sports marketing management

Friday, March 10, 2006

NOTE: Some of the details about the Sports M.B.A. program have changed since this press release was written in March 2006. For current information about the program, visit



While the City of Charlotte prepares to build the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Belk College of Business at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is building the foundation for the next generation of sports business leaders.

Belk College Dean Claude Lilly announced this week that UNC Charlotte is proposing a Master of Sports Marketing and Management degree within the business curriculum.

“There’s no denying the influence of sports in American culture and the global economy,” Lilly said. “As the industry continues to grow, there is a need for specially-trained employees to manage the increasingly complex behind-the-scenes operations.”

UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois cited the sports marketing and management program as one of his top initiatives during his installation address last month.

“The addition of the NASCAR Hall of Fame confirms Charlotte’s status as a sports hub as well as a global financial services center,” Dubois said. “UNC Charlotte is uniquely positioned to supplement the sports marketing and management curriculum with real-world applications.”

Upon approval by the University of North Carolina system, the new master’s program would enroll its first class of students in the fall of 2007. Students would take classes in various components of sports marketing and management, with exposure to team sports, motor sports and individual sports. A nationally-recognized advisory board of industry leaders would provide guidance to the Belk College on curriculum and career development.

A year-long internship with a sports team or sports-related company would be an integral part of the two-year, full-time program. “Our students would have incredible internship prospects in Charlotte,” Lilly said. “From our professional sports teams to the Wachovia Championship golf tournament to the myriad NASCAR-related enterprises, we can tailor the internship experience to the student’s skill set and career aspirations.”

Lilly is planning a series of meetings with sports industry leaders to lay out plans for the program, which will be unique in the state and one of the few master’s-level programs in the field in the Southeast. “The reaction has been very positive thus far,” Lilly said. “We’re excited about the program and the opportunities it will present, both for the students and the industry. The combination of major-league education and major-league sports will be unbeatable.”

Read more at the Charlotte Business Journal website(registration may be required)