SMBA ’15 began its “deep dive” into sports business with what Rosner referrers to as the “fundamentals” or the “blocking and tackling.” This discussion was focused on an introduction into professional sports. The cohort learned about the history of sports business, the leagues and teams and their main revenues streams and expenses, the key differences between the main leagues, as well as the uniqueness of sports in general. The entire class noticed extremely quickly that in addition to how incredibly knowledgeable Rosner is about the material, he has an incredible talent at keeping students engaged, connecting with his students, and getting his point across. He did this with his incredible sense of humor and vast array of unforgettable stories and examples that really drove his point home. Six and a half hours of lecture, and everyone was ready for more.
Prof. Rosner finished up his introduction into professional sports by breaking up the class into groups and asking that they present ideas as to how to enhance the in-game experience for fans. There were several ideas that Rosner liked, including establishing a system in which the crowd is rewarded for how loud they are when the home team is on defense by lowering concession prices by a certain amount. The class then turned its attention to ownership, beginning the discussions with the history of ownership as well as the different ownership models.
Day three began with a discussion of the various motivations owners have for owning a team, as well as the Do’s and Don’ts for sports team owners. This fascinating discussion then turned to an in-depth discussion of the structures and background of the various domestic leagues as well as global leagues. The international perspective gave the class an understanding of why things work differently in different leagues and geographic locations, as well as concepts that different leagues and countries could take from one another. Prof. Rosner and the class spent a great deal of time on a compelling discussion of the main concerns going forward for the big four” sports leagues in the United States, as well as possible solutions. Class ended with a conversation of sports leagues as monopolies and the growth of global sports leagues.
This day began with the cohort discussing the economics of major soccer leagues, spending a majority of the time looking into the English Premier League. The conversation then turned to emerging and niche leagues. This very interesting topic focused on monetizing an emerging sport, the five traits that are absolutely necessary for the emerging league to even have a chance at success, and an in-depth look at what went wrong with the XFL. Class ended with a brief, but very informative conversation about the history and challenges of revenue sharing and competitive balance.
There is a consensus among many of the cohort members that this week was one of the most fun and informative weeks anyone can remember having in school. Without a doubt, the cohort can’t wait until Prof. Rosner comes back for one more week of classes … only 45 more days!