Student life in the Sports Product Management program (SPM) is busy!
The terms are short and course topics are broad, so students and instructors move quickly through the material. Most coursework is done in teams, and students meet outside of class to collaborate on homework and projects. The program also offers several networking events and supplemental experiences with student clubs, industry experts, and alumni.
Graduates will tell you that time flies, but each term is challenging in its own way. Being a part of the SPM community is exhilarating, engaging, and sometimes exhausting—very much like the experience you will have in the industry after graduation.
Student Project Teams
A key differentiator of the Sports Product Management program is its intense focus on building skills in product creation through a multifunctional team. During Orientation, students are placed on a team of students who represent diversity in undergraduate degrees, functional interest, country-of-origin, gender, ethnicity and communication style. Students work on these teams throughout their time in the program, and develop skills in collaboration, problem-solving, innovation and iteration.
Watch the video below to meet Team Friction Skate Co,. one of our student product teams that set out to create a shoe that lasts longer than the competition and reduces its carbon footprint along the way.
Every student is matched with an industry leader during their first term. These leaders volunteer their time to support the students throughout their time in the program, and often, relationships are formed that follow the students into their post-graduation careers. Mentors offer perspective and make connections on behalf of their mentee.
Teaching through the Heart and Hands
Student product creation teams practice the concepts they are learning in their academic work when they meet weekly in the world-class product creation lab. These concepts are applied, explored and developed as they collaborate to identify a consumer need, develop a product offering, create a brand, establish and and execute launch strategies, and extend that offering to multiple regions.
As part of that process, students leverage the SPM Innovation Lab, a specially designed product-making space that provides direct, hands-on experience in concept ideation and execution. In the lab, students use specialized equipment to design, make, and test prototype sports and outdoor apparel, footwear, and equipment.
Domestic and International Trips
Global experiential travel is required to give students hands-on learning in diverse consumer marketplaces, as well as an understanding of the cultural and business environment of offshore manufacturing. Our Portland cohort of Sports Product Management master's students travel to Europe in their first year to learn about global drivers of sport and outdoor products, investigating how those drivers influence consumer behavior globally.
Both our Portland and online cohorts also travel to Asia in their second year to visit key industry suppliers in footwear, apparel, equipment, materials, and manufacturing, as well as spend additional time in Asian retail marketplaces.
Internships and Jobs
Students in the Portland-based program are required to complete an industry internship during their summer term that immerses them in a sports or outdoor product company in the United States or abroad. Students in the online program are encouraged to participate in these too but are not required.
The Sports Product Management program has full-time staff sourcing internships and providing career guidance and networking opportunities to facilitate this process and works with each student according to their interests and needs. Graduates leave the program with strong skills in job search, networking and leadership, with recent data showing that more then 90 percent of Sports Product Management graduates accept roles in the sports and outdoor industry in a wide variety of functional areas.
Depending on their undergraduate education and interests, our graduates enter roles in strategy, product development, commerce, marketing, merchandising, design and many other functional areas.
Events and Workshops
Students also optionally attend several industry engagement events hosted by the Sports Product Management program throughout the year, including networking events, panels, speaker series, and more. These events provide students with valuable industry insights and connections while they explore career options.
Still Not Convinced?
Experience a Week in the Life of a Sports Product Management Student
Join us as we follow SPM students through a week in their lives enrolled in our programs.