Eric Olson
Venkat Reddy

Students with a passion for soccer will be able to pursue a business degree with an emphasis in soccer management at the UCCS College of Business beginning this fall.

Students in the program will gain hands-on experience through professional practicums with the Colorado Rapids organization, according to a news release. Soccer management will be housed within the high-demand sports management program, an area of emphasis in the bachelor of science in business degree at UCCS.

“We have worked diligently to build our relationships with soccer clubs that can provide the type of rigorous professional learning experience students need to launch successful careers in the soccer industry,” Eric Olson, director of the sport management program, said in the release. “There’s a very good reason this program is part of an internationally accredited, world-class business degree. In the ultra-competitive world of sport business, this is the kind of education and experiential training that opens doors and sets you apart as a sports professional. This is the only program of its kind in the nation.”

Subjects include sport marketing, sport law, accounting and finance taught in small classes by doctoral degree-holding university faculty and industry professionals. Students supplement classroom education by rotating through professional practicums where current Rapids front office staff will provide real-world learning experiences in areas such as marketing, ticket sales, sponsorship sales and soccer operations. Additional training will occur in the UCCS Education Center, a suite at the Rapids facility, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

“We are delighted to launch such an innovative sports business program with UCCS,” Tim Hinchey, Colorado Rapids president, said in the release. “We feel that the blend of the Rapids’ practical know-how and the academic reputation of UCCS could help create some of the sports business leaders of tomorrow.”

“I’m delighted to see the realization of over two years of hard work between UCCS and the Colorado Rapids,” Business Dean Venkat Reddy said in the release. “This first of its kind program truly exemplifies both our organizations’ passion for preparing students for bright futures in the exciting and expanding business of soccer.”

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