As a university professor teaching sports management, Patrick Rishe knows that interest has only grown for students wanting to pursue a career in the sports industry. But that interest extends all the way to the high school level, as he has discovered.
“The sports industry is very competitive,” said Rishe, the director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis and a longtime economic impact consultant. “If a kid has some guidance and mentorship now on what careers are out there and how to get there, it will impact the classes they take in college.”
Acting on instinct during the pandemic, Rishe launched the online Sports Business Boot Camp offering high school students a primer in different aspects of the sports industry. His first class received 60 participants from around the country. Since then he’s offered three more workshops with the fifth set to take place July 12–14.
“The whole concept was basically born out of the pandemic,” he said. “I realized high school students across the country don’t have any great access to sports business education.”
For a fee, students who are interested in studying sports management in college or are thinking about a career in the industry get a 10-hour deep dive on 12 topics: an industry overview, revenue sources for professional and college sports, media and ticketing revenue, analytics applied to ticketing and partnerships, trends in sports venues, salary cap management in football and basketball, athlete representation, expansion teams in professional sports, sports marketing, gamification of sports, marketing to Hispanic fans and the business of college sports including name, image and likeness. Students also get to hear from eight live guest speakers and get access to other video presentations from sports industry executives during the program.
“This short boot camp will not only give them an idea to which majors and which classes to take if they want to work in analytics or marketing or architecture,” he said. “But it will also give them the opportunity to hear from other industry professionals who have been there and done that.”
Another key goal for Rishe is to show students that there are any number of ways sports industry professionals can reach their desired job once they start their careers.
“It will simply show kids not only all the different opportunities to work in sports,” he said, “but also the different paths.”