Colin Stuart left the NHL to pursue his master of science in Sports Product Management (SPM) after playing several years of professional hockey in the United States and abroad. He has an undergraduate degree in economics from Colorado College. Stuart set his sights early on a career at Nike and that dream quickly took shape as he spent last summer working at Nike in three departments: Global Men’s Athletic Training, Global Football Apparel, and Global Promotional Apparel. Stuart has already accepted a position at Nike as the global equipment portfolio director. When asked for thoughts he’d like to share with prospective students, Colin had many insights to share.
Back when you were considering master’s degrees, what made you ultimately choose the SPM program?
When I chose to join the SPM program I was still competing as a professional athlete. Towards the end of my playing career I always knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree. The Sports Product Management Program’s innovative approach to a master’s degree in sports product did not exist anywhere else. Ultimately, the SPM program offered me the unique opportunity to combine the art and science of business and sport.
Can you share a few ways in which the SPM program exceeded your expectations?
First, the SPM program gave me incredible exposure to the industry on a weekly basis. Through company visits, guest speakers, and networking events I learned first-hand what it takes to be successful in the industry, while also learning the many facets of the sports product world. Second, the SPM program allowed me the opportunity to travel with my fellow classmates to Munich, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, New York, Seattle, Salt Lake City UT, and Bend OR. The experiences and learnings from those trips were invaluable to my global understanding of the industry and also a lot of fun!
What role did SPM play in helping you secure your summer internship position?
SPM’s role in helping me secure my summer internship was paramount. The program helped me zero in on my top choices and secure a coveted spot with an industry leader: Nike.
How would you describe the value of the access the SPM program has given you to sports product industry companies and executives?
This is perhaps the most impactful aspect of the SPM program on my career. I was offered incredible exposure to a number of companies which allowed me the necessary access to network and build relationships.
What do you wish you had known when you were considering master’s degree programs?
I wish I had known that the outside the classroom experience and direct application to the “real world” is as important, if not more important, than the in-class curriculum. The ability to learn the theory and then put it into practice makes for an incredibly impactful and lasting learning experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with prospective SPM applicants?
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the sports product world, look no further, you have found the program that will turn that dream into a reality.