Mark Cuban (@mcuban) was recently quoted in the SportsBusiness Daily that “Everyone majors in sports marketing. There is no more worthless major.” As the director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, I beg to differ and hope you all do as well. DeVos is a top 5 graduate program in sports management and also has an undergraduate minor. Sports marketing is an important part of the curriculum.
Our curriculum prepares our students for a potential career in the sports industry. Sports Law, Leadership, Sports Marketing, Diversity, Ethics, the Business of Sports Media and International Sports Business are only a few of the courses which provide students with insight and specific practical knowledge of the issues which sports industry organizations and executives face on a daily basis.
The sports industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Comprised of professional sports leagues and franchises around the globe, college athletics, sports marketing agencies, brands which believe in the power and reach of sports marketing and more, it is almost impossible to place a total dollar amount on the scope of the sports industry. I would have to ask Mark Cuban if he would seriously want someone running his sales and marketing department without actual sports marketing knowledge? The Mavs are one of 30 NBA teams. There are hundreds of professional sports franchises globally. And, as stated, franchises and leagues comprise only one aspect of the sports industry.
The DeVos Sport Business Management Program is a graduate-level program offering a dual degree: MBA and MSBM to tomorrow’s sports industry leaders and decision-makers. Recently the DeVos Program was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top five of such programs in the country. Previously we received the same ranking from The Wall Street Journal, NYTimes and ESPN the Magazine. Clearly not everyone agrees with Mark Cuban’s position that sports marketing is a worthless field of study.
As a lifelong NBA fan, I have enjoyed Mark Cuban’s successful tenure as an NBA team owner and his often humorous “shooting from the lip.” The team’s president, Terdema Ussery, is a close friend. I welcome the opportunity to have Mark Cuban come to UCF as a guest speaker to our DeVos Sport Business Management Program cohort as well as UCF’s College of Business students. I believe Mr. Mark Cuban and our students would find it mutually beneficial.