Sport Management Department to Introduce eSports Minor


Karina Krul

Graphic Illustration by Tyler C. Butler/Charger Bulletin

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

The wildly popular eSports industry has taken over the world, and it has now made its way into academia. The University of New Haven sports management department is proposing a new eSports minor that would expose students to the business side of the multibillion-dollar industry.  

The proposed minor would consist of a required four course sequence, along with two electives from the traditional sport management palate of courses.

The required four classes would include courses on eSports basics, eSports technology, eSports business, and sport technology and entrepreneurship. The eSports basics class explores the history of the industry, and how it has grown and expanded over the last half century. The class will explore the authenticity of eSports as a sport, ethical issues in the industry, the future of the industry, and potential career paths within the field. The second course, eSports technology will discuss what goes into developing the games that gamers know and love. Students will gain a basic understanding of hardware and software, streaming, and developing matches.

In eSports business, students will learn about the traditional business practices that have helped shape the industry over the years. They will learn about the various people in the industry and the roles they play to keep the industry moving towards the future. The final class, sport technology and entrepreneurship will discuss various issues and trends in the industry, along with the process of developing a business plan, funding, product development, and marketing.

Gil Fried, sport management department chair, has been monitoring the industry over the past few years and sees great potential in the expansion and development of the industry.

“So many people think of eSports as games, baseball was a game, and so were so many other sports that have grown into billion-dollar industries, eSports is the same way,” said Fried. “The popularity of the eSports industry is rapidly expanding with new titles, new leagues, professional teams, talks about the Olympics, gambling totals exceed wagering on NFL games, etc. Around all this are businesses and business best practices, and that is where the minor will provide students with a critical business case for the industry and help students learn some key skills needed for the industry.”    

The minor will also help interested students find and develop different career paths that they could utilize in the future.

“Those already in sport management, hospitality, or music industry already understand the value of event management, and putting on eSports competitions is a major opportunity” said Fried. “There are also opportunities for those with social media savvy, broadcast skills, storytelling, computer programming, criminal justice, clay animation, and numerous other areas.  There are several large corporations in this space (such as Sony, Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, etc…) that are hiring all over the world.  There are also so many technology areas out there that will keep evolving (such as virtual reality and augmented reality) and there will be application of the gamification mindset to solve numerous problems and help teach new topics.”