The Department of Sport Studies at Lock Haven University has introduced a new Sport Science graduate track, a concentration in International Sport Management. It is one of three tracks offered at LHU and courses are taught by the graduate faculty in the department.
The 30-credit track is now in its first full year, meeting online, with plans of having face-to-face or hybrid course options in the future.
New courses include Sport in the Global Marketplace, International Sport Organization and the Global Soccer Industry. Students examine events such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup in depth and major topics such as corruption, doping, mega-events and tourism.
"We're building off the need and desire to keep growing along with the sport industry, which is increasingly global," said Dr. Dain TePoel. "Further, International Sport Management allows us to tap into existing strengths that we have with faculty across Sport Studies, Recreation Management, Business and Finance."
Professor Peter Campbell, Sport Studies Department chair, said adding the new track will bring more opportunities for the success of LHU students. "We can now help our students explore professional experiences at the international level, as well as opportunities here in the United States," he added.
In the fall of 2019, LHU launched an educational partnership with the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, better known as the "Wolves," a notable team in the English Premier League. The partnership allows both parties to send members to work on their teams.
When LHU partnered with the Wolves, students got right to work in their Sport Marketing classroom. The students learned the facets of the international sport business from a leading club in social media marketing, and in turn, the students helped the Wolves learn more about U.S. sports fans' perspectives.
For one project, a group of students started a local Lock Haven supporter club for Wolves, nicknamed "WolverHaven." Hunter Confair, a 2021, Sport Management graduate, was appointed chair of the club.
"It was great to see an up-and-coming soccer team branching out to America and reach out to Lock Haven," Confair said. "I had Zoom meetings with their director, Alan Perrins, to discuss where they should market so they can make the most of their money. We also were invited to take part in 'Premier League Live' on NBC Sports Network in Philadelphia. There, we were going to work on marketing and promotional events for the Wolves and watch the club play."
Unfortunately, the event was canceled just weeks after the COVID-19 outbreak.
The students had additional plans, including organizing and coordinating a soccer clinic for youth in Lock Haven and the surrounding area. "We would have two Wolves players come and teach the kids how to play fundamental soccer and have the chance to go overseas to play if they were selected," Confair said.
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