Education is vital to the future of the global sports industry

1 June 2021 | Social Responsibility
Education is vital to the future of the global sports industry
Brendan Flood, chairman of the Global Institute of Sport (GIS) and University Campus of Football Business (UCFB), explains how specific sports industry knowledge and education is central to its long-term future…

Around the world there hasn’t been one industry that has escaped the impact of COVID-19, and sport is no exception. Jobs have been lost, organisations folded and revenue ripped apart. Athletes have returned to the field, but the sports they’ve dedicated their lives to have been changed dramatically.

No industry survives without forward thinkers and organisations that aren’t afraid to think outside of the box to attract new audiences and investment. Sport has often been at the front of that curve and it’s my belief that it can continue to be so as we all strive to work our way through this pandemic.

Since the turn of the century, the sports industry has developed on and off the field in ways many of us couldn’t have imagined. With this in mind I believe that it’s vital that those working in it must have the knowledge, skills and adaptability to span continents. The demand for virtual and flexible education is greater than ever too – COVID-19 has highlighted this. We must ensure that individuals and organisations have access to insight from sports leaders around the world instantly, even for those who prefer to study on location.

My goal when launching UCFB was to create the ‘Harvard of Sport’, and I believe with the launch of GIS we’re close to realising that. As well as learning from the best in the business, students can learn and network at some of the world’s best sports arenas to further fuel their ambition. With Wembley and Etihad stadiums already established as GIS venues, students have access to the Inter Miami CF Stadium, New York’s Red Bull Arena; Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Toronto FC’s BMO Field and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With each continent comes a new sport and business model to learn, digest and tackle. We believe that by gaining the knowledge of each market, individuals become better equipped to succeed in this industry wherever in the world and whatever the circumstances. That is why we are now also tailoring our education provision for each region, with live sessions delivered around the world in multiple time zones.

So whether it’s teaching via the classroom or through experiences and networking, it’s up to us to ensure we continue to push sport and its rich financial, cultural and social benefits on to those who’ll be carrying these responsibilities into the future.

To find out more about UCFB and GIS, head to

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