La Salle will kick off a sport management major in the School of Business in fall 2024

June 20, 2024

Lincoln Financial Field

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau | Daniel Knoll

The sport management minor in La Salle University’s School of Business is getting called up to the big leagues.  

After receiving a positive response for the sport management minor, the program is being elevated to a major in fall 2024.  

The new program will give students a comprehensive understanding of the sports business world. This major offers a well-rounded curriculum that integrates business fundamentals with specialized sport management courses, equipping students with the skills to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities within the growing sports industry.  

Students will develop versatile skills in marketing, finance, operations, events, and analytics that prepare them for various roles. The program emphasizes practical experiences through internships and real-world projects, enabling students to build professional networks and apply their knowledge in the business of sports. 

Charles Fornaciari, Ph.D., School of Business professor, and Anthony D. Pizzo, Ph.D., assistant professor of Management and Leadership, worked closely on a proposal that would build off the already successful minor and include unique options for students to differentiate themselves. Following several meetings over a four–month timeframe, the new major was officially approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2024—an accelerated timeline compared to what is customary for programmatic innovation. 

“A sport management major meets students where they’re at in this day and age,” Pizzo said. “They have an interest in this field, and there are opportunities, particularly within the Philadelphia area.”  

The major will provide students with three tracks: general sport management, event and operations management, and analytics. The School of Business will work with the School of Arts and Sciences to provide elective courses in areas such as communication and psychology that blend well with the business perspective and the overall need in the sport industry. The interdisciplinary approach gives students the ability to receive a well-rounded, customizable education and to be prepared for the ever-evolving sports industry.  

“We want to give students a practical set of skills,” Pizzo added.  

La Salle’s School of Business holds accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools. AACSB accreditation is considered the highest standard of excellence in business education. Less than five percent of the 13,000 business schools globally have earned AACSB accreditation, placing La Salle’s School of Business among the leading business schools in the world. 

La Salle’s Athletic Department will also make an investment in the program. For student-athletes in the major, this will be an opportunity to see the sports industry from another angle and for business students who are interning and working in the department, they will gain experience outside the classroom.  

“La Salle Athletics is excited to partner with the La Salle School of Business to ensure all students pursuing the sport management major receive real world experience that prepares them for careers in all areas of the sports business,” Ashwin “Ash” Puri, vice president of athletics & recreation and director of athletics said.  

Current La Salle students are also looking forward to the new major with many asking when they can begin the program, Fornaciari said. Patrick McGinley, ’25, is currently pursuing a sport management minor and hopes to one day work in a professional sports team’s front office. He’s previously interned for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Patrick McGinley, ’25

“I am very excited that La Salle is introducing sports management as a major,” McGinley said. “I am looking forward to enhancing my knowledge about an industry I aspire to work in and therefore be better prepared for my future career aspirations.” 

McGinley feels the new major will help set him apart from others looking to work in the competitive sports industry. He’s currently an accounting major and still plans to complete the program and sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.  

“I also major in accounting and aspire to receive my CPA. After a few years in public accounting, I hope to use my experience gained there to help me transition into the sports industry. My ultimate dream would be to work in the front office of a professional football team in either accounting or the departments that are more focused on player analysis/operations,” he said.  

This summer, McGinley is working for Kreischer Miller, a public accounting firm but plans to continue to stay in touch with networking connections he made at the Steelers while pursuing other sports industry opportunities.  

Pizzo pointed out the unique advantages of the new sport management major, emphasizing its significance for La Salle’s future.  

“Our sport management major is pivotal, not just as an academic offering but as a driving force for the broader development of La Salle” he said. “By merging rigorous business education with real-world sports insights, all within Philadelphia’s rich athletic scene, our interdisciplinary program will create future leaders in the sports world. It’s going to be a very exciting time for everyone involved.” 

—Meg Ryan