In October 2022, WHU and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA, will launch a new Executive Education program offered as a fully asynchronous online course on MIT xPRO’s global platform. The new course will teach participants how to navigate game-changing technologies in the 21st century in both their private and professional lives, and how these technologies will change existing business models and customer behavior in their respective industry. In the following interview, Professor Sascha Schmidt, Director of the WHU Center for Sports and Management & Faculty Director of the online course ‘Transformational Technologies: Applied Lessons from Sports’, gives insights on the new course.
Dear Professor Schmidt, why is the sports business industry so exciting?
Sport is far more than pure competition of athletes; it is a global industry that accounts for 1% of global GDP. But even more important, sport – whether played professionally or on an amateur level – creates emotions and engagement like no other industry. Just think about the Olympic Games or the annual NFL Superbowl with more than one billion spectators worldwide! In addition, the sports industry is experiencing rapid growth, mainly driven by new opportunities emerging through groundbreaking technologies and data.
Why can anyone interested in strategy and innovation learn something from this business?
Unlike other industries, the core product of the sports industry is fair competition. However, sports were and always will be a fight between two teams or athletes with distinct capabilities. Especially small teams with less budget therefore need to find innovative ways to improve their performance and gain competitive advantage. In the end, the sports industry is the perfect playground for game-changing innovations which might be applicable to any other industry.
What is special about the upcoming ‘Transformational Technologies – Applied Lessons from Sports’ online program?
In our course, we combine world-class faculty in their respective fields of technology with insights from the sports industry to explain game-changing technologies in a digestible and entertaining way. This is a ‘tech for the non-tech’ course where tech knowledge is not required to attend the course. It is the first course of its kind and the first co-branded MIT xPRO program in this field.
Who should consider participating in the course?
The course is designed for participants with various backgrounds. It targets business professionals looking to better understand artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things (IoT), robotics, and web 3.0. for their own benefit. Examples from the sports industry should inspire participants to identify new opportunities within their own industry.
What are the key benefits for participants of the course?
There are so many emerging technologies out there, that it is hard to stay on top of all recent developments in the field. The course, therefore, aims to enable participants to navigate the technology revolution. Participants will be able to identify industry-specific opportunities and threats associated with technological changes. Finally, we prepare them to identify relevant technology trends and effective responses to stay ahead of their competitors.
Professor Schmidt, thank you for the interview!