As the birthplace of sports business education, students come from far and wide to OHIO University to pursue the world’s best sports business graduate experience. Graduates are employed nationally and internationally in key positions in the U.S. and around the world. Alumni and current students (PMSA) hold positions in intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, international sports organizations, media, and sponsorship. The program leverages a deep network of industry experts, particularly appealing to many students looking to expand their professional opportunities.
Lisanne Manders graduated with a dual degree from the MBA/MSA program in 2019. This two-year residential program is based on the Athens, Ohio campus and results in two individual master’s degrees. The dual MBA/MSA is ranked by SportsBusiness as the #1 Postgraduate sports business course. Born in the Netherlands, Manders has long held a keen interest in international business and a deep passion for sports (she played 18 years of competitive field hockey and competed in sailing for eight). When she began working in the competitive sports business field, Manders recognized the need to differentiate herself with a master’s degree. By pursuing the degree, Manders could develop a deeper understanding of the industry: “It’s a degree you can use for the rest of your life. The business needs people with a broader view.”
There was representation from almost a dozen other countries in Manders’ cohort, including students from Denmark, Brazil, Malaysia, China, and beyond. During her studies at OHIO, a highlight for Manders was organizing the international consulting trip for 43 students and two staff members, traveling to Italy and the Netherlands.
Today Manders is the coordinator of events and activations at KNSB, the Royal Dutch Skating Federation. Her current role blends marketing, communication, and account management. OHIO’s MBA and MSA coursework in strategy, ethics, and analytics all inform her current work for the Royal Dutch Skating Federation.
For prospective students who are contemplating an MBA, MSA, or dual degree at OHIO, Manders offers the following advice: “Open your eyes to everything that is coming, try to take advantage of everything given to you. You can learn so much.”
Opportunities to build lasting connections with sports administration students, alumni, and faculty are an intentional component of the program. Reflecting on her time at OHIO, Manders remarked, “What surprised me most was to hear ‘You are an OHIO Bobcat now. You are part of the Bobcat family. Every Bobcat will help future Bobcats.'”
Ohio University’s MBA/MSA and Professional MSA Ranked ‘Best in the World’
Ohio University’s Professional Master of Sports Administration (PMSA) is both innovative for higher education and cutting edge for the sports industry. The program is created exclusively for sport management professionals eager to develop in-demand skillsets to keep up in a rapidly changing career landscape.
When Mads Quist Boesen, PMSA ’19, began the program in 2018, he already held a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He worked as an attorney for the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark, focused on dispute resolution within the sports sector. When he researched sports administration degree programs, Boesen learned OHIO ranked best in the world and he knew he wanted to enroll; SportsBusiness ranked OHIO’s PMSA as the #1 online graduate program.
Boesen saw an opportunity to pivot into sports business and organizational development within the professional sports industry. “I wanted to break into the business side of sports as a lawyer but also to become more engaged in leadership and driving revenue.” Today Boesen serves as the attorney and COO at Spillerforeningen, the Denmark players association, and trade union for elite-level soccer players in Denmark and Danish players abroad.
Since its inception, networking has been a vital component of the PMSA program, intentionally designed in a cohort style that brings students together for 21 months, in a primarily virtual setting that includes a series of in-person residencies. The alumni network in Ohio university sports administration adds an unquantifiable benefit for graduates. As Boesen reflected on his OHIO experience, he expressed that the peers and faculty members were the best part of the program. “I honestly feel that I can always reach out, and I think it is opened a lot of doors for me and my classmates who want to take new positions,” said Boesen.
“Because I have this network, I feel like I can leave my comfort zone in current decisions because I have someone out there, in all kinds of positions in sports that I can always reach out to. I have my existing network of classmates but also a large potential support network. The connection is genuine. ”
Offering a sports program for business professionals allows students to further their education without leaving current positions within the industry. Based on a cornerstone of building deep relationships with students, faculty staff, alumni, and industry experts across the globe, Manders and Boeson both exemplify the impressive qualities and careers of OHIO graduate students.
For more information about the Professional Master of Sports Administration, please click here.