Background to Executive MBA in Sports Management

Contribution of the program to a global industry
The sports industry includes a wide range of closely related business sectors that provides goods, services, and experiences related to sports, fitness, leisure and recreation. It includes sporting apparel, events, sponsorships, medicine, education and equipment, among others.

Sport Industry Value Chain_1Over the past three decades the sport industry has risen to become one of the largest in terms of value added and employment generated. It is estimated to be worth at least US $600 billion on an annual basis, and growing faster than the world economy on average. In most countries, the sport industry contributes between 1 and 5 percent to Gross Domestic Product. For instance in The Netherlands, one of the top 10 sporting countries in terms of Olympic Medals, the sport industry contributes 1 percent to GDP and directly employs more than 100,000 people. More generally, in the European Union (EU) the sport industry is worth € 300 billion annually and employs 4,5 million people.

The sport industry has in addition to its huge economic impact also an important social and environmental impact. Sport contributes to individual well-being (mental and physical health) and facilitates social cohesion, teamwork and tolerance. Working in the sport industry results for millions of people in enhanced job and life satisfaction. Moreover, sport can have important positive benefits for the natural environment. As a result, promotion of sports and recreation is important also for governments and international bodies. In the Netherlands, the government spends around €1,2 billion annual on sport, encouraging fitness and recreation. The health, cultural and entertainment benefits of a sporting lifestyle has resulted in a growing consumer market. In the Netherlands 75 percent of the population take part at least once a month in a sport activity, and Dutch households spend more than € 7 billion a year on sport.

Supported by modern telecommunications, including social media and easier travel, sporting events are attracting more and more global interest – and are becoming more closely aligned to the entertainment industry. In an interconnected and hyper-competitive world successful participation in this dynamic industry requires management and leadership that go beyond reactionary decision-making. It requires sport industry leaders that can shape opinions preferably in a way that promotes the sustainability of their organization and the sustainability of their local communities – that deals comprehensively with the entire sports ecosystem consisting of media, fans, leagues, brands, clubs, players and governance structures. It requires industry leaders that can think and act differently: innovating not only to create new markets in sports and sport events for their firms, but also to promote societal innovation in how people across cultures interact and gain from organized sports. And it requires industry leaders who can ultimately change the game rules  – including ethics- of sport business in a positive manner.

This new Executive MBA in Sports Management departs from the belief that developing these industry leaders and managers needs to be based on a solid foundation and understanding of sport business as an international, multicultural business, characterized by innovation, where modern management principles apply.
The degree program therefore aims to take the essentials of marketing, finance, economics, business analytics, human resource management, entrepreneurship and project management and apply these to the business of sports, including consumer markets for sport products, sport events, and others.

Partners in the program

About SportBizz
SportBizz is together with MSM an initiator of this MBA in Sports Management, reflecting the sportbizz_wit_646strong innovation and entrepreneurship foundation of this program.
The international sports business agency SportBizz was founded in 2004 by Camil Smeulders and John van de Laar. Both hold an academic degree in business economics and have a combined experience in the international sports business of more than 30 years. Sport and business are in the DNA of SportBizz that is active in 4 lines of business connected to sports:

  • Innovation
  • Internationalization
  • Education
  • Ventures

SportBizz helps her clients to grow their existing and future business. Over years SportBizz has built an extensive board room level network in the international sports, public and business community. SportBizz amongst others is co-founder of Orange Sports Forum, the renown Global Champions Tour, the World Dressage Masters and now the Executive MBA in Sports Management


About Topsport Limburg
NIEUW Logo TLTopsport Limburg offers the youth in the province of Limburg the possibility to realize their sport aspirations in an environment with Olympic ambitions. It is a dynamic and diverse network of professional partners with a distinguished record within the sports networks of
Limburg. Through the services of these professional partner organizations, Topsport Limburg strives to create an excellent top sport environment in Limburg. Topsport Limburg has offered its expertise and network to contribute to the success of the Sports Management Executive MBA.


About Orange Sports Forum
PrintOrange Sports Forum (OSF) is a platform for the promotion of companies, organizations and institutions affiliated to Dutch sport. It is about ‘hardware’ (infrastructure, accommodations,
financing, advising, etc) and ‘software’ (training, coaching, education, organization, sports marketing, etc). OSF maps the opportunities for Dutch companies and creates a platform where Dutch companies and institutions can get in contact with clients and possible partners from new markets. Orange Sports Forum will incorporate the expertise of its members and extensive network of 300+ companies and institutions to enrich the program with living cases and guest lectures, giving students a unique opportunity to learn from the best in the world of sports.