World First Cricket-themed MBA Hones Athletes Into Leaders

A world first MBA program created for cricketers is being designed to help hone professional athletes into managers and leaders of the sport.

The three-year $100,000 course is the result of a partnership between the University of NSW’s Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and Australian Cricketers’ Association.

Part of the course involves travel to India to study how the board organises one of cricket’s biggest events – – the Indian Premier League.

Business-oriented units will be blended with cricket specific units like fan engagement, governance in sport and sports law.

AGSM Executive Education Director Magnus Gittins said the aim of the sport MBA was to provide career pathways that enable professional athletes to remain involved in the sport in a management or leadership capacity after their playing careers have concluded.

“The players acquire a world-class business education through UNSW and build the contemporary skills required to step into a business environment and be ready to make an impact immediately,” he said.

“The intention is to combine core MBA courses with courses that relate to cricket and sport administration, management and leadership. The program would be exclusively for professional cricketers drawn from the top tier men’s and women’s teams”

“An MBA provides core management and leadership capabilities that are invaluable in the increasingly competitive business of sport. To ensure relevance we are proposing a number of sport administration specific courses to complement core MBA courses

“Students are immersed in active learning experiences and are exposed to practical skills and tools they can immediately apply to real-world business problems.”

Gittins said first hand experience of the sport could only be good thing given the importance of developing the game at all levels.

“Professional athletes, over the course of their careers, develop many skills that are relevant in corporate, government, and social impact organisations – teamwork, time management, communication,” he said.

“Over the past few years several professional athletes have completed or are currently studying MBAs at AGSM including an Olympic sailor, an NRL player, a water polo player, and cricketers.

“In 2019 AGSM introduced a new scholarship for elite athletes to study a Full-Time MBA. The AGSM Sport Leadership Excellence Scholarships.

The Scholarships recognise elite athletes who have held leadership positions at a national or international level in sport. Both full and partial fee-waiver scholarships are available.”

Gittins said domestic professional cricket players from the top tier men and women’s teams would be the focus of the program initially, but opening up the course to international players was a possibility in the future.

Doug Estwick
Doug is an author for MBA News and Fixed Income News Australia. Doug has been a media and communications professional for more than 10 years, including working as an editor for News Corp's Quest Newspaper group.