February 8, 2023

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The Sports Fanatics

College of Business partners with Australian university to launch sport management double-degree program

Ohio University has launched a new double-degree program for the Bachelor of Business in Sport Management from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and Bachelor of Sport Management from OHIO’s College of Business.

Officials from the two universities held a signing ceremony in Melbourne Dec. 6, marking the beginning of the partnership.

The ceremonial signing commemorated the official start of the program, which is set to begin in the fall of next year. The ceremony was attended by Matthew Cacciato, who will serve as director of the program, and Jim Strode, director of undergraduate programs in the College of Business, as well as officials from Deakin University.

“We’re excited to bring this agreement to the finish line, as it’s been a long time coming. We couldn’t be more excited to provide more international sport opportunities for our undergraduate students,” Cacciato said.

The partnership provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students interested in the business of sports. Deakin University hosts the top-ranked sports management program in Australia, and Melbourne is widely considered to be the sporting capital of the country. OHIO students enrolled in the double-degree program will spend their sixth and seventh semesters abroad at Deakin University.

Between the two semesters, students will have the opportunity to work with the Australian Open, the Australian Football League and various cricket teams. In turn, Deakin University students will spend their third year at OHIO, leveraging the sports management program’s deep network of connections for summer internship opportunities.

“The College of Business is committed to experiential learning, and the launch of this program provides another meaningful opportunity for Business Bobcats to study abroad at one of the world’s best sport management programs,” Strode said. 

The partnership was first conceived seven years ago by Norm O’Reilly, former chair of the Department of Sports Administration at OHIO, and David Shilbury, chair of Sport Management at Deakin University. This past summer OHIO President Hugh Sherman and Mike Ewing, executive dean of Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University, officially signed the partnership into effect.

“It’s pretty exciting. It’s been a long time coming,” Strode said. “Their faculty is absolutely amazing.”

Ohio University and Deakin University first officially partnered in 2019 when OHIO hosted the Sports Sponsorship Workshop and Field Tour, in partnership with Deakin University.

Beyond both universities hosting some of the most respected sports business programs in their respective countries, the partnership makes practical sense because of OHIO’s relationship with AECOM, an American multinational infrastructure consulting firm that has longstanding ties with OHIO’s sports management program and operates an office in Melbourne.

Strode is hopeful the partnership with Deakin University will be accessible for OHIO students abroad because Australia is a primarily English-speaking country, making international education easier for native English speakers.

OHIO students enrolled in the program will pay only OHIO tuition with no additional cost aside from room and board. Students interested in enrolling can apply for scholarships from AECOM, which recently announced a scholarship for OHIO students attending Deakin University. Strode is also seeking to establish funding for additional scholarships for individuals in the double-degree program.

Deakin University was established in 1974 and describes itself as the most progressive university in Australia. It has approximately 65,000 enrolled students, including 16,000 international students from 130 countries.