In Germany, soccer is and will always be a driving force for job creation. In the 2016/17 season, more than 54,000 people were directly employed by or contracted to licensed clubs (source: Bundesliga Report 2018), and the number is growing. A recent study by the management consultancy McKinsey estimated the value of professional football at 7.9 billion euros--roughly the same as the chemical industry.
This has resulted in a need for further professionalisation of the stakeholders and workforce involved. This not only applies to the 1st and 2nd divisions of the Bundesliga, but also to lower leagues, associations, marketing agencies, sponsors, and service providers. The demand for professionals with specialised training for the soccer industry is increasing.
With its Soccer Management specialisation (as part of the Sport & Event Management study programme), the University of Applied Sciences Europe has created the perfect foundation for preparing students to enter the world of soccer.
As professors and programme directors for this specialisation at the University of Applied Sciences Europe, Stefan Chatrath and Michael Welling bring both academic and practical expertise to our university, as well as providing access to an exclusive soccer business network.
Furthermore, partnerships at all three of our campuses enable us to draw on many other lecturers from the world of soccer.
In recent semesters, we have collaborated with numerous organisations on projects, partnerships, and teaching contributions from practitioners, including Hamburger SV, FC St. Pauli, Hertha BSC Berlin, Union Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, VfL Bochum 1848, MSV Duisburg, Rot-Weiss Essen, the Berlin Soccer Association, and the sports rights agencies Sportfive and U! Sports.
The first two semesters focus on Soccer as Sport and Soccer as Business. The lectures explore the fundamentals of soccer management. How, for example, is German professional football organised? What role does FIFA play in world football?
The 5th and 6th semesters focus on Soccer Marketing. Which special features should be considered in soccer marketing? How do I manage a brand like Borussia Dortmund? What role do fans and fan culture play? How do I deal with sponsors? Our lecturers from the soccer industry will provide answers to these and many other questions.
In addition to the theoretical foundations provided in the lectures, study trips and case studies form an essential part of this specialisation. Our students should not only learn from the professionals, but also apply their knowledge in practice. The best way to do this is on-site at stadiums, clubs, and agencies.
Thanks to the unique networks of our programme directors and other lecturers, we are able to offer exciting field trips and project work providing our students with the best preparation for careers in the soccer business. In Hamburg, stadium tours of Hamburger SV and FC St. Pauli were combined with subsequent project presentations to managers; our soccer students then received feedback directly from the club managers.
In Iserlohn, our students were able to learn directly from the professionals at FC Schalke 04 or Rot-Weiss Essen enabling them to establish contacts in the industry quickly and easily.
In Berlin, some of our students were involved in organising the 2015 Champions League Final at the Olympic Stadium allowing them to play a part in coordinating one of the world's largest single sports events.
Since the 2014 winter semester, the Iserlohn campus has hosted the discussion event ‘90+4 - Der RevierSport-Talk’. Four guests answer a presenter's questions on the latest topics from the world of sport. In collaboration with the soccer magazine RevierSport, we were able to welcome well-known sports and soccer professionals to the University of Applied Sciences Europe for two events. So far, our guests have included former German national soccer player, Jens Nowotny, Head of New Media at Borussia Dortmund, David Görges, and Head of Brand Management at FC Schalke 04, Björn Endter.