You’ve been playing sport all your life, or perhaps you’re just crazy about it.
So you’ve decided you want a career in sports. What next?
If you’re thinking of moving into the sports industry, it’s time to consider enrolling in an MBA.
Maybe you’re asking yourself, ‘what’s the benefit of getting a Master of Business Administration in a niche industry like sports?
Craig Robinson can tell you all about it.
Craig grew up in Adelaide where he still lives with his wife, Sandy, and two young boys, Kai and Dane. He’s played sport all his life, and his passion for Australian Rules football, in particular, led him to the sports industry as a career.
He’s worked in sports in a range of different roles: in retail, as a manager, and running his own business.
“I’m obviously really passionate about sport and the wider industry around it, particularly the commercial side through sponsorship and partnerships.
“My driver is to work in an industry and with roles that I’m absolutely passionate about. It’s about positivity – to put yourself in an environment where you can give 110%, be creative, and be around like minded people daily who share that same passion.”
Craig is now working as a Corporate Partnerships Executive for South Australian National Football League (SANFL).
“We manage sponsorship portfolios over our men’s and women’s state league competitions, community football, juniors, talent pathways, umpiring and for indigenous players.
I am responsible for bringing all the partnership benefits to life, whether that is through activations, fan engagement, digital integrations or through broadcast. I also look for new revenue streams, and assist in the prospecting of new partners.”
Craig has just made the decision to enrol in an MBA at Torrens University. With a successful career already in sports, you might well ask, ‘why go back to school?’
Here are 3 reasons why he thinks an MBA is going to be great for his career.
1. New essential skills
Over the course of your MBA, you learn a variety of business skills that can be directly applied to important areas of the sports industry. Strategic management, business principals, leadership development and influencing and making business decisions are just some examples of the key subjects you’ll learn.
“I felt an MBA was the vehicle that would help me progress professionally by demonstrating a deeper level of analysis, decision making and knowledge over a range of topics.
I’m hoping to expand my knowledge base over a range of business topics, in particular, the leadership of people and teams. It’s still one of the most challenging parts of my career so far.”
2. Industry connections and opportunities
The sports industry is all about networks, partnerships and negotiations with sponsors. It’s essential to study your MBA at a business school that can deliver new industry connections and opportunities to you, that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to access.
For example, the MBA in Sports Management at Torrens University offers students the opportunity to participate in a two-week placement at the Real Madrid Football Club in Spain! Plus, the partnership between Torrens and SANFL means that you have the opportunity to intern and network with SANFL, while completing your course.
“I love the commercial partnerships space that comes largely with modern day sport. Working with clients to create meaningful relationships, with successful business outcomes, is really rewarding.
I have been on both sides of the sponsorship landscape having been the investor and also the one servicing the partnership, so I feel I have a really good handle on what sponsors expect and deserve.”
3. Develop your career with support
Of course, you can always develop your career and skill set while on the job, or outside of a school environment. But, when you’re developing your career within an MBA, you can take advantage of all the support and assistance on offer.
“Torrens has a great student support network from guiding you through the beginning of study, right through to handing in your assignments.”
So, what are Craig’s hopes for his career, when he’s completed his MBA?
“I’m so glad I made the call to pursue the MBA, and encourage anyone with the same doubt to just do it! There is never a perfect time to start, and I think if I can get through, anyone can.
My goal is to run an innovative, driven, productive and happy corporate partnerships team, while promoting and developing that strong culture. Ideally I would still like to remain in football and in the AFL landscape. I’m a Geelong fan so the ultimate dream would be to land there!”
See here for more information about the Torrens MBA, and here for more information about the MBA in Sports Management. Craig will also be speaking at the Business Open Day at our Adelaide campus on the 19 Jan, register now.