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WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, and SPONSORS, a leading information editor and conference organizer in the sports business, have established the "Sports Business Academy by WHU" (SPOAC) in Düsseldorf. The partners to the cooperation signed a multi-year agreement. In the future, the combined expertise of both institutions will provide needs-based, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented education and training opportunities for executives in the sports sector.

SPOAC provides companies and institutions alike with a platform for recruiting and employer branding. It is designed to develop future decision-makers in the sports business who are equipped with the best that science and practice have to offer. Graduates of the "Sports Business Academy by WHU" join both the SPONSORS network of more than 10,000 contacts in the sports business and the WHU network comprising more than 4,000 contacts among students, faculty and alumni.

"An industry with billions in turnover each year, sports are steadily becoming more and more professionalized. The resulting requirements in terms of the training and specialization of tomorrow's decision-makers pose major challenges to employers and employees alike. This leads to pressing demand for specialized, practical and progressive education and training programs at the highest level, a demand we will meet together WHU," said Marco Klewenhagen, managing editor-in-chief of SPONSORS.

"The transfer between science and practice is especially important to us. We also provide outstanding access and opportunities for our students," added Professor Sascha L. Schmidt, Scientific Director of SPOAC. "We welcome the practical cooperation with SPONSORS and very much look forward to the network that this involves. Together we will provide the best possible preparation for the executives of the future as they face the coming challenges of the sports business."

Dr. Rebecca Winkelmann, Managing Director Executive Education at WHU, confirms: “We have been successfully designing Executive Education programs for executives from different industries for over 10 years. Offering such programs to executives in sports business adds a new industry to our portfolio and a new milestone to WHU’s impressive growth and track record of the past 30 years.

WHU and SPONSORS will soon announce the first well-known partners of "SPOAC – Sports Business Academy by WHU." Further details will be announced at the SPONSORS Business Summit 2015, which will be held February 9-10, 2015, in Düsseldorf.

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