Sports management course at Olin features industry heavy hitters

Topps Co. executive Warren Friss, vice president and general manager, is a featured speaker this semester in Olin’s sports management course.

Baseball season is here and so is one of the most popular courses at the Olin Business School.

Former New York Times columnist and sports writer Ira Berkow spoke at Olin April 6. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for national reporting for his article, “The Minority Quarterback” in the New York Times series, “How Race Is Lived in America.” His latest book is Summers in the Bronx.

That’s right, batter up! It’s time for the annual “Sports Management” course where students study the business of sports.

Todd Milbourn, PhD, professor of finance, has had an all-star lineup of guest speakers this semester:

  • Seth Abraham, former president of Time Warner’s HBO Sports and Madison Square Garden; founder and head of Starship SA (March 23, April 27);
  • Ira Berkow, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and former New York Times columnist (April 6);
  • Todd DuBoef, president and COO of TopRank Boxing (April 20);
  • Warren Friss, vice president and general manager at the Topps Co. (April 13);
  • Strategic Partners Wealth Management: Stephen Rhodes, managing partner; Kerry Robinson, former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player and director of MLB operations; and Andy McCollum, former St. Louis Rams football player and director of career development (March 30).

MBA and undergrad business students explore all aspects of the sports business during this elective course. From television rights to team and league management, from corporate sponsorship and marketing to media coverage, students are getting an overview of the sports economy.

TopRank Boxing president and COO Todd DuBoef delivers a knockout lecture April 20.

Milbourn designed the course with Abraham two years ago, and the course has been popular in the Olin curriculum ever since.