RIC’s School of Business Offers New Sports Management Major

Coach talks to team
Rhode Island College Impact

Let the games begin: Earn a degree in the sports business beginning fall 2023.

Sports management is not only one of the biggest businesses in the country, it is one of the fastest growing majors in the country, says RIC Director of Athletics Don Tencher. This fall, Rhode Island College will launch a new sports management major under the School of Business.

“We are very excited to launch this new major and to be the first college in Rhode Island to offer it,” says Interim Dean of the School of Business Marianne Raimondo. “The sports management field offers many job opportunities at the high school, college and professional levels. We know that many students who are athletes or who just love sports will be attracted to a program that combines their passion with career opportunities.”

A longtime advocate for this major at Rhode Island College, Tencher is happy to see the major finally come to fruition. He has been and continues to be involved at the national level in the education of athletic administrators and is constantly engaged in the professional goals of RIC’s more than 400 student-athletes. Through his experience, he’s found that many student-athletes aren’t looking to become phys ed teachers but want to become athletic business professionals.

“In the past, someone interested in becoming an athletic administrator would first become a phys ed teacher and work their way up to coach and then administrator,” he says. But that has changed. For the past 15 or 20 years, high schools, colleges and professional organizations are looking for people with a business and management background.

Tencher expressed gratitude to Raimondo and RIC President Jack Warner for backing his initiative.

“When I met with Marianne about creating this major, support was immediate and enthusiastic,” he says. “She engaged in a great deal of work and research in moving the major forward, and her hard work was strongly supported by President Warner. Through Marianne’s leadership, we conducted research to find out if there was any interest in this major amongst the interscholastic league. We found overwhelming support.”

Core courses will be taught by professors in the School of Business and experts in the field of athletics. One expert in the field, Dave Roach, will be teaching SMGT 201: Introduction to Sports Management.

An extremely well-respected athletic director for 30 years, Roach worked for Brown University, Colgate University and Fordham University. He was also president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and a high-powered Division I coach at a number of D1 institutions, including the University of Tennessee.

In his introductory course, Roach will give students an overview of what it’s like to be 1) a high school athletic director, 2) a collegiate athletic administrator and 3) to work at the professional level.

“When I say professional level, I’m not just talking about professional teams,” Roach explains. “I’m talking about professional sports venues and organizations. You could work for the Patriots, or you could work for the AMICA Mutual Pavilion or you could work for a company that sells sports sponsorships for colleges and professional organizations.

“On both the intercollegiate and professional levels, there are careers in tickets, compliance, administration, fundraising and promotions and marketing. That’s why we refer to this field as sports management rather than athletic administration. It runs the gamut. The possibilities are endless.”

According to Raimondo, RIC’s School of Business is already working to establish relationships with high schools, colleges and pro sports teams in the area to provide RIC students who major in this area with internship and job opportunities.

For more information, contact the School of Business at 456-6359.