In-Demand Sports Product Management Careers

Sports Product Management students are supported through the career exploration process by our dedicated instructors and staff.

In addition, students are given access to countless sports and outdoor product companies through site visits and guest speakers along with domestic and international sports product industry events and experiences.

Program graduates are prepared to enter the following types of positions in the sports and outdoor product industry:

Product Line Management
The process of using consumer insights and market research to build and manage a product line. Once a product line is built, other factors must be considered, including pricing, forecasting, marketing, sales, and retail.

Product Development
The complete process of making designer's dreams come true by bringing a new product to life. This includes idea generation and market research and analysis, as well as product design, engineering, materials, costing, and manufacturing prototypes for consumer testing.

Product Merchandising
How a product is presented to make it more appealing to the target consumer. This can be done at a retail in-store level and/or online in how products are presented digitally.

Product Innovation Management
The creation and introduction into the market of a product that is either new or improved. An emphasis is on new and innovative ways to create and/or introduce the product to market.

Materials Management
Decisions related to the selection and use of materials in the product creation process.

Product Engineering
Sports product engineers work with design and marketing to engineer and test prototypes that meet the performance need of athletes.

Demand Planning
A business-planning process that results in a product demand forecast. Understanding product demand aids in the planning of production, inventory, sales, and service needs.

Product Sourcing and Costing
Sourcing: The procurement practices aimed at finding, evaluating, and engaging suppliers of products and materials.
Costing: The process of determining product cost.

Retail Management
The business of day-to-day retail store operations. This involves product management, product merchandising, human resources, store operations, and customer service.

Brand Management
A marketing function that looks at how a brand is positioned in the market and how to best connect with the brand’s target consumer.

Factory Management
Overseeing, designing, and controlling the process of goods production. Using lean manufacturing to ensure optimal efficiency in terms of how inputs (materials, labor, energy) are converted to outputs (goods).

Sustainable Supply Chain Management
A focus on optimization of limited resources, such as water and energy, as well as the reduction of waste in the product supply chain.


Industry Connections

Our alumni currently hold positions at numerous domestic and global sports and outdoor product companies—including Nike, adidas, Under Armour, Athleta, Icebreaker, Keen, Dakine, Hydro Flask, and more—or they have started their own product business. To connect SPM students with the industry, both those in the Portland-based and online programs are assigned their own industry mentors to start building advisory relationships.

Discover SPM Industry Connections

Internships and Immersion

Students in the Portland-based onsite program complete an industry internship that immerses them in a sports or outdoor product company in the United States or abroad. Students find their own internship placements with the assistance of our industry engagement director. In addition, students are given access to countless sports and outdoor product companies through site visits and guest speakers, as well as through domestic and international sports product industry events and experiences.

Our students have interned at an impressive list of the following companies:

  • adidas
  • Camelbak
  • Ching Luh
  • Columbia
  • Dakine
  • Hydro Flask
  • Mizuno
  • New Balance
  • Nike
  • Patagonia
  • Revant
  • Saucony
  • Skechers
  • Under Armour