Top-Ranked German Business School Partners With Hoffenheim Soccer Club

Mannheim Business School and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s new partnership highlights trend of b-schools delving into the sports industry

Mannheim Business School (MBS) – ranked the best business school in Germany by the Financial Times – has partnered with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, a top-four German Bundesliga soccer team, with a view to working on research and teaching projects together.

MBS are looking to profit from Hoffenheim’s cutting-edge digital training and research facilities, set to be expanded with the construction of a new research lab later this year.

“In this regard, TSG Hoffenheim is not only a national but also an international pioneer of professional football,” said MBS president professor Jens Wüstemann. “We are happy to be both receiving and providing new impetus in these areas.”

Professor Wüstemann signed the agreement with Hoffenheim managing director Dr Peter Görlich - responsible for innovation, digitization and internationalization at the club – in Mannheim on Tuesday.

There’s no denying that sport is big business globally – PwC predicts the sports market in North America alone to reach $73.5 billion by 2019. With millions of dollars spent on player’s wages, stadiums, sponsorship and the branding and marketing of teams, business skills in sport have become increasingly important.

On MBS’ new partnership, Dr Sabine Staritz, director of corporate relations at MBS, said: “The demands on competitive athletes and top managers in many disciplines are very similar. It will be exciting to bring about the transfer of scientific concepts, and thus gain new insights.”

Outside Germany, specialized sports management MBAs degrees have become increasingly sought after.

The George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) offers an MBA specialization in sports management designed to develop future sports industry leaders.

In the UK, both the FA and the University of Liverpool Management School offer an MBA in Football Industries, which sees students placed on projects with top European soccer clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, Celtic, and Galatasaray.

At multi-campus EU Business School, MBA students can study sports management in big soccer cities like Barcelona and Munich.

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