Master of Science (M.S.) in Sport Venue & Event Management
Hundreds of broad-based sport management master’s degree programs exist that provide students with an overview of content across a number of topic areas. The problem with such a model is that students in these graduate programs may not get the focused specialization in any one area they need to successfully launch their sport industry careers. Syracuse University’s Master of Science degree in Sport Venue and Event Management (SVEM) was designed uniquely to provide students with a specific knowledge and skill base in managing and operating sport and entertainment facilities and events. If you have a career interest in this area, here is why the SVEM program may be the perfect platform to launch your career in sports venues and events:
Competition for jobs in the sports industry is high. Everyone seeking to enter the industry will ultimately be faced with the question of what unique skills and experiences do they bring to a sports organization. While the majority of sport management programs are broad-based and lacking in specialization and focus, the SVEM program was designed differently. Understanding that the sports industry seeks employees with a specialized skill set, our curriculum is designed to provide a set of courses focused on the management and operations of facilities and events in the realm of sports and entertainment. If you are seeking a career in areas such as stadium/arena management, events production and programming, and venue food, beverage, and hospitality, you will not find an educational program better served to educate you on this area of the industry. Additionally, you will find that SVEM coursework consistently contains theory-to-practice elements where students apply concepts learned in the classroom to actual industry settings in a hands-on manner.
Our curriculum recently underwent a revision based on feedback from alumni, faculty, and industry professionals. Here is a look at a typical plan of study for SVEM students:
The program begins with two summer courses intended to quickly immerse students in the program and in the sports industry:
SPM 614 Foundations of Sport Venue & Event Management:
The Foundations course is designed to provide an overview of the sports industry with an emphasis on venues and events, as well as a focus on sports industry career exploration and planning. This course has recently included a field trip to the NASCAR race in Watkins Glen and a "speed networking" event to help build students' networks among area sports industry professionals and to lead to potential internship opportunities.
SPM 634 Sport Event & Hospitality Management:
Our Event Management course gives students an understanding of the planning and execution of sporting events of many sizes and scopes. Students in this course spend three days in New York’s picturesque Finger Lakes region assisting in the operations of the Musselman Triathlon, providing an opportunity to put into practice lessons learned in the classroom.
Students take a full course load in the fall and spring semesters while also identifying internships to gain experience in venue and event management. The fall semester also contains an immersion trip where students travel with faculty and staff to visit sports venues and events to make industry connections leading to future employment opportunities.
SPM 624 Sports Facilities Management:
The Facilities class offers an overview of the design and operations of sports facilities, including arenas and stadiums. Students in this class recently used Syracuse’s Carrier Dome as their classroom all semester and conducted an analysis of the customer path for Carrier Dome events. Students presented actionable findings from their analysis to senior administrators upon completion.
SPM 635 Marketing of Sport Venues & Events:
An understanding of marketing and revenue generation concepts is vital to practitioners throughout the sports industry. Our Marketing course involves conducting market research for a sports organization and then utilizing the findings of that research to create a marketing plan to present to the sport organization’s leadership.
SPM 645 The Strategic Management of People in Sport:
The Management course was recently added to the SVEM curriculum as a result of feedback from our students and alumni working in sports facilities and events. This course focuses on both leadership and human resources management in an effort to prepare students for careers in the management of sports facilities and events settings.
Students have the opportunity to customize their degree by taking elective courses in areas of their specific career goals. The SVEM program was designed in collaboration with SU's School of Information Studies (iSchool), S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Each of these programs is among the national leaders in their respective disciplines, allowing SVEM students to maximize their education experience at Syracuse University.
Students again take a full course load and gain experience outside the classroom. The search for the summer final practicum begins in earnest early in the spring, with many students choosing to complete three credits of practicum experience in the spring semester while also searching for their final practicum that summer.
SPM 664 Financial Management of Sport Facilities & Events:
Comprehending finance, budgeting, and economic principles is essential to the management of sports facilities and events. The sports industry is becoming more data-driven on a daily basis, which is the focus of this class.
SPM 665 Advanced Sport Event Management:
Students in the Advanced Events course apply what they've learned throughout the SVEM curriculum to the planning and implementation of an actual sports-related event, which the students themselves design.
Second Summer Semester
The program culminates in the final practicum, intended to launch students into a career in sports venue and event management.
Leading Faculty and Staff
SU’s Department of Sport Management possesses one of the largest and strongest faculties in the world. Faculty in the SVEM program have an ideal combination of industry experience, scholarship background, and content area expertise to provide students with excellent teaching and mentoring. Faculty teaching in the SVEM program include:
Rick Burton – Burton is the David B. Falk Distinguished Professor of Sport Management and teaches the SVEM management course. Burton was previously the Chief Marketing Officer for the United States Olympic Committee and the Commissioner of the National Basketball League in Australia.
Dr. Jeff Pauline - Pauline is the director of the SVEM program. He is a certified consultant of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. He has consulted with a variety of amateur and professional athletes and teams. His consultations have focused on performance enhancement, team building, stress management, and creating balance between mind, body and spirit.
Dr. Rodney Paul – Paul is a sports economist and one of the most prolific scholars in the sport management discipline. His research has been published in journals and textbook all over the world.
Dr. Gina Pauline – Pauline teaches the event management courses in SVEM, where she brings expertise as both a scholar and an industry professional, having managed championship events for two collegiate athletic conferences.
Additionally, students have the opportunity to connect with other Department of Sport Management faculty such as Michael Veley, SPM Department Chair and former senior administrator in college athletic departments at Cornell, Illinois, and Syracuse; and Dennis Deninger, an Emmy Award-winning producer at ESPN for 25 years.
Each SVEM annual cohort typically consists of less than 20 students. These cohorts benefit from small class sizes, allowing a dynamic interactive learning environment. Throughout the curriculum, students work frequently in teams to collaborate on industry-based projects. Outside the classroom, students benefit from small faculty-to-student ratios in advising and mentoring opportunities. This attention also extends far beyond the year on campus in our program, as our students are forever members of the Syracuse University family and proud alumni of the SVEM program and David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
SVEM faculty and staff emphasize the importance of career planning from the very first days of the program’s start each summer. This one-year program goes by quickly and students are pushed to maximize every chance to take advantage of opportunities provided. Early in the program, students are encouraged to explore different career opportunities related to sports venues and events, but our philosophy is that quickly students should identify a specific area of interest and work with our faculty and staff to execute a plan toward pursuing that career path. Practicum coordinator Jenna La Manna-Johnson facilitates this process with students.
Ultimately, our SVEM philosophy is that the student must take ownership of their own individual career pursuit, and our role as the program, faculty, and staff is to do everything in our power to work alongside students in that pursuit using a combination of teaching, advising, mentoring, and leveraging industry connections to assist students in their quest for fruitful careers related to sports venues and events.
Some of the specific activities built into the program toward facilitating students’ career development include networking events, immersion trips, personality testing and career matching, and workshops on areas such as resumes, salary negotiation, and networking. Additionally, our program has developed strong partnerships, both locally with area facilities and events, as well as nationally and globally with organizations like Aramark, AEG, and Disney Sports, to help students pursue sports industry careers.
If your career aspirations are focused on sport facilities and events, we believe you’ll find no program better able to educate, mentor, and assist you in launching your career in these areas. Please find information below about the admissions process and on contacting us for more information.
Our admissions committee conducts a holistic assessment of each applicant to determine their likelihood of success in the program and the industry. Applications received by January 15 receive full consideration for our limited funding opportunities, with March 15 being the deadline for applications into the summer cohort, which typically begins the first Monday after the Independence Day holiday.
Admissions materials required include:
- GRE scores (GMAT scores permitted)
- TOEFL scores (for international students)
- undergraduate transcript(s)
- three recommendations
- a resume
- a personal statement
- a video interview
For more information about admissions:
Office of Admissions,
David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
340 White Hall
Syracuse, New York 13244
Visit admissions web page >>
For more information about the SVEM program:
Dr. Jeff Pauline
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
402 MacNaughton Hall
Syracuse, NY 13224