The University of Oregon’s Master’s of Science in Sports Product Management is now available online as a flexible 24-month hybrid program.
A highly specialized master’s degree like Sports Product Management can be a powerful asset for getting ahead in today’s competitive job market. But it can be tough for working professionals to temporarily relocate for campus-based courses at the University of Oregon in Portland, a national hub for the sports product industry.
The University of Oregon’s Sports Product Management program, which launched in 2015, is evolving to further serve industry partners and working professionals by offering an innovatively structured online master’s degree in sports product management.
This 2-year online program features part-time evening classes, mentorship, industry visits, and five onsite learning experiences (four trips to Portland and one trip to Asia).
The next Sports Product Management online program begins on March 30, 2020, and runs for eight 10-week terms, with two to three courses per term.
The Sports Product Management online program has already gained a following due to the launch of its inaugural class last April. Sports and outdoor industry professionals who want to further their education while continuing to work and pursue passions in the dynamic field are interested. And industry professionals teach and build the curriculum as well as lead student experience.
Current online student Carissa Bisnar is one example. Already a voice in the snowsports industry, former competitive athlete Bisnar has produced snowboard film festivals and co-founded a nonprofit empowerment program for girls, Duchess Ride. She said she feels a duty to create products with a positive impact. And she believes a clear purpose best drives the pursuit of knowledge and mastery.
Bisnar needed a leg up to tie the two together. The Sports Product Management online program was her answer. Bisnar, who will graduate from the online program in 2021, is already using new skills to design a product line focused on making backcountry snowsports equipment more accessible to women.
Top Sports and Outdoor Product Industry Training
Industry leaders shaped the creation of the program, and they continuously develop and teach the curriculum. Each year, the program selects senior professionals to be a part of the Sports Product Management Industry Advisory Board and help steer the program.
This guidance positions program graduates to jumpstart new careers or advance their existing ones, become leaders in the sports and outdoor industries, or even start their own businesses.
In fact, Sports Product Management alumni work at domestic and global sports and outdoor product companies. These include Nike, adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Under Armour, Athleta, Sorel, icebreaker, KEEN, Dakine, and Hydro Flask, among others.
Sports Product Management Online: How It Works
Interested applicants can apply to the Sports Product Management Online program from anywhere, and when they are accepted, they take evening courses online for eight consecutive 10-week terms.
The best news? They learn the entire product creation process from consumer insights to go-to-market strategy and receive the same master’s degree as the full-time onsite program in Portland.
The programming is based on best practices in online education, plus interactive hands-on experiential learning and onsite learning experiences.
And the curriculum draws on exclusive access to top-performing companies like Nike, headquartered in Portland, and other sports and outdoor companies around the country. So classwork is based on what’s relevant to the sports product industry — and what businesses need employees to be good at to succeed.
The program focuses on the business of product creation and includes courses such as Design Thinking, Supply Chain Operations, Green Materials, Global Business, and Leadership. Each course mixes livestreamed classes with on-demand videos and assignments to create a dynamic learning environment no matter where you live. That means online students can engage with fellow students and instructors during coursework.
The online program brings the hands-on lab portion of the curriculum directly to the students each term with specialized “toolkits” delivered to their doorsteps. These experiential guides support classroom learning and spur innovation for them to create.
SPM in Action: Residencies and Global Business Trips
Lastly, online master’s students can network in person through onsite residencies in Portland as well as overseas.
Three-day onsite “learning weekends,” or residences, take place twice a year. During the weekend intensives, online students have access to the Sports Product Management innovation lab and local industry. Students can expect company visits, networking events, panel discussions, product development time in the lab, and important face time with professors and leaders in the industry.
Additionally, there’s an immersive weeklong trip to Asia to learn about international business. In the fall of their second year, both online and full-time students travel together on a 7-day, multicountry trip. The experiential format focuses on gaining global knowledge about brand, consumer, and manufacturing sectors.
Want to learn more about the Sports Product Management online master’s program? Visit the program’s website here to learn more about it, including admissions, the application process, and tuition.