The University of Oregon's Sports Product Management master's degree program has officially kicked off, welcoming 39 students from around the United States and the world to start their journeys to become future leaders in the sports product industry.
The students are immersing themselves in the program, Portland, and Oregon through an intensive two-and-a-half-week orientation before classes start at the end of the month. Orientation includes meeting with mentors, a visit to the Eugene campus, and introductory workshops, such as The Art of Sports Apparel Making and Brand and Business Innovations: How Big Ideas Make New Markets.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the University of Oregon as we continue to expand our international reach and position the university as the worldwide leader in sports product education and research," said Jane Gordon, interim vice provost for Portland programs. “Portland is the epicenter of the global sports product world, making it the perfect home for our new Sports Product Management master's degree program."
Students follow an 18-month journey through the complete product life cycle with a focus on innovation, sustainability, and global business. They'll be immersed in theoretical learning and hands-on practice while gaining high-demand skills.
“Our students get the powerful combination of theoretical knowledge from the best academics in their fields and hands-on industry insights from sports product industry greats," said James Terborg, interim dean of Lundquist College of Business.
An advisory board made up of sports product executives helped shape the program and continues to influence its direction and strengthen student connections within the industry.
In addition to industry experts, students have access to the White Stag Innovation Lab, a product-making space with specialized equipment to design, make and test prototype sports footwear, apparel and equipment. Through course work, firsthand experiences and company visits, graduates will be prepared for positions such as product development manager, product line management, brand management, innovation management, sustainable supply chain management and more.
“Our inaugural class comes with a robust list of credentials, including impressive undergraduate and advanced degrees, an average of three years of sports industry experience, 11 spoken languages, and numerous former professional and collegiate athletes," said Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, Sports Product Management Program director. “I'm delighted to help take this high-potential group to the next level as the future leaders of the sports product industry."
Although the program welcomes its first class, applications are being accepted for next year.