Sports Product Management Image with Bikers in Porltand

Sports Product Management Master's Degree Launches

The University of Oregon's Sports Product Management master's degree program became official on March 12, 2015. Applications are now being accepted for fall 2015 admission to the new master of science in sports product management in Portland.

"This is a great moment inaugurating a new program that combines global engagement with intensive hands-on and cutting edge learning for innovation," said Frances Bronet, UO acting senior vice president and provost. "This master of science degree in sports product management will enhance Portland and the state's identity as a trailblazer in the industry and as a gateway for international leadership. We also benefit from our connection to Portland State University and look forward to collaborating to offer the best resources for our students."

The state of Oregon is home to more than 800 sports product-related companies, with 90 percent located in the Portland metro area. Companies like Nike, adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Dakine, and KEEN Footwear have headquarters here, creating a significant impact on the regional economy.

"Industry leaders conveyed the need for highly specialized graduates in the field," said Kees de Kluyver, dean of the Lundquist College of Business. “It made sense for the business school to respond by creating a program to prepare our students to meet the employment and knowledge needs of a robust and growing industry."

Students admitted to the 18-month program will learn the consumer-driven business of sports products through the complete product life cycle with significant focus on innovation, international markets, and sustainability. They will engage in theory and hands-on practice while gaining high-demand skills. Graduates will be prepared for such positions as product line management, merchandising manager, product development, brand management, sustainable supply chain management, and much more.

"This program will give our students direct connections to top talent in the industry. Many of our instructors are not only leaders and innovators in the sports product industry, but are also educators and experts," said Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, director of the Sports Product Management Program, and a 30-year veteran of the industry. "Our advisory board is made up of sports product executives who helped us shape this program to educate students to be an integral part of the companies they will work for after graduation."

Students will 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. The lab is located near the White Stag Block, home to most of the University of Oregon's Portland programs. A retail innovation store is planned as well and will give students a hands-on experience in consumer behavior analysis, store design, layout, inventory management, merchandising, profitability, and retail marketing.

"Following the university's tradition of innovative programs, such as the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and UO Product Design Program, this new program will put the University of Oregon and Portland in the position to become the worldwide leader in sports product education and research," Schmidt-Devlin said.

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