Sports business minor to come

The entrepreneurial craze at UNC has spread to the sciences and arts — and sports is next.

The economics department will offer a sport business track within the entrepreneurial minor in spring 2013, said Deborah Stroman, a professor in the exercise and sport science department.

The entrepreneurship minor, which was created about seven years ago, is part of a large effort to introduce students to innovation as a field of study. The minor also offers social, artistic, commercial and scientific tracks.

In the spring of 2011, Stroman developed the first sports entrepreneurship course as a first-year seminar that was well-received.

She then partnered with Joseph DeSimone, director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, who was managing the commercial track of the minor.

“He said, ‘Wow, why aren’t you in this entrepreneurship minor?’ and I said, ‘Not sure, but it makes sense,’ and he agreed so he was really the catalyst to make it all happen.”

In the spring, Stroman will teach Sport Business Venture, which is the required course for the sports track of the minor, in addition to the other entrepreneurship courses.

She added students need to apply for the minor to be in the sport business track, and although spots will be reserved for the minor and sports administration students, anyone can enroll in the course with permission.

Stroman said she plans to bring in sports entrepreneurs who work in the field to talk to her class, as the world of sports business is booming, with over $350 billion invested in it.

“We’ve got a very strong athletic and academic brand so it would make sense that we would offer a course where students can actually follow their dreams, their passions,” she said.

DeSimone said there are a lot of important aspects of athletics that align with entrepreneurship.

“You think about competition, teamwork, leadership … having those essential characteristics or qualities more integrated into our campus, I think, is an important dimension,” he said.

He added that he expects the program to be very popular.

Senior Meghan Lyons, who is on the field hockey team, said pursuing an entrepreneurship minor is the best thing she’s done at UNC.

Typically, each track in the minor has about 25 students in it, but Lyons said she thought it would be difficult to narrow the sport business track down to only 25 students.

“I know the entrepreneurship minor is only going to become bigger and bigger on this campus — it’s phenomenal,” she said.

“I think a lot of people in the classes are very into sports. Obviously here at Carolina, you’ve got some sort of passion for athletics.”

Contact the desk editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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