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Fudan offers sports MBAs
Updated: 2004-03-26 09:26

Fudan University's business school will launch the country's first sports marketing MBA program next month, aiming to train professionals for the country's booming sports industry.

The first batch of 30 students, all of whom are middle or senior officials at the State General Administration of Sport, will begin to take courses in April, university officials said yesterday.

"Training of sports marketing managers lags far behind the industry's development, which calls for a new program," said Qiu Lijin, one of the directors of the sports MBA program.

Co-launched by Fudan and the national sports administration, the program will offer 18-month part-time sessions on management and other sports-related courses, including international sports marketing, club management and sports consumption studies, said the school.

Fudan faculty members will teach most of the classes, but some professors from the United States and other developed countries will also be invited to lecture occasionally.

"The ultimate purpose is to prepare an abundant manager reserve for China's booming sport industry, which is due for huge development after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games," she added.

Currently, most managers of Chinese sports teams are ex-athletes themselves, who naturally take up the management position after retirement, said Zhong Tianlang, a professor at the Shanghai Institute of Physical Education.

"The sports industry is about more than athletic competitions. It involves a wide range of issues such as club management, souvenir and licensed product sales. Many athletes certainly are far from qualified," said Zhong.

Fudan began to add sports management courses to its traditional MBA program in 2002. About 30 students have majored in those courses.

"Since sport-related courses only account for 30 percent of the curriculum, that program is still about business. Most graduates still work in commercial rather than sports areas," said Qing Wei, a postgraduate student at SIPE.

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