Greg Letter, Ph.D., and Professor Dan Bedard have high hopes for Adelphi's new online M.S. in Sport Management program.
by Cecil Harris“When you learn the skills to help a team fill a 20,000-seat arena or a 100,000-seat stadium, you become a valuable commodity.” – Dan Bedard
Opportunities in the sports industry abound in the metropolitan New York area—the world’s No. 1 media and entertainment market. But those aspiring to enter this burgeoning field need credentials and connections.
That’s why Adelphi University’s online Master of Science in Sport Management program, which debuted in Spring 2015, should prove a worthy complement to Adelphi’s well-established traditional graduate program in sport management.
“This program can take someone already in the sports industry to the next level, or enable someone in another field to enter the sports industry,” said Greg Letter, Ph.D., director of the sport management program and an associate professor in the Department of Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport Management in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education.
“Someone might be working in retail management, for example, but wants to work for a professional sports team in licensing and merchandising. They’re using their undergraduate degree in retail management now. But getting the master’s degree in our program can help them get into sports.”
Dr. Letter (pictured on the right) presides over Adelphi’s online program along with Dan Bedard, a clinical assistant professor in the department who is teaching the Introduction to Sport Management course. Bedard and Dr. Letter both have at least two decades of experience in academia and sports.
“My course introduces students to a variety of avenues in professional sports—anything from administration to public relations to ticket sales to sponsorships,” said Bedard, a former pro hockey goalie in France and Sweden who then coached college hockey and worked for the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders and New York Rangers before his current side job coaching youth hockey.
“Just as we recognize talent on the playing field or the ice, the business world recognizes the talent it takes to get people to come to the games—or the talent it takes to attract sponsors for a team or league,” Bedard added. “When you learn the skills to help a team fill a 20,000-seat arena or a 100,000-seat stadium, you become a valuable commodity.”
Students in the program specialize in sport marketing or collegiate athletic administration. All students take classes together in the first year and then go into their specialization. To earn the M.S., one must complete two foundation courses, four core courses, five courses in either sport marketing or collegiate athletic administration and a capstone project that incorporates everything learned in all the courses.
Adelphi’s online program in sport management has attracted students from as far away as California, Alabama, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Out-of-state students have the same opportunity to excel as someone in the metropolitan New York area, Dr. Letter said.
“Our adjuncts who teach in the program work in the business—New York Islanders, Hunter College, Saatchi & Saatchi, Major League Baseball Players Association, among others—and our graduate students will have networking opportunities with our faculty,” Dr. Letter said. “Our students are already working. What they’re trying to do is move into sports or move up the ladder.”
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