Real Madrid’s Sports Management Division Expands into Australia |

Real Madrid’s Sports Management Division Expands into Australia

By Tim Dhoul

Updated June 25, 2019 Updated June 25, 2019

The global brand that is Real Madrid CF continues to grow, this time in the realms of business education.

Not only is the Spanish football (soccer) team rated as the sport’s most valuable club – a position it has held since wresting first place from Manchester United in 2013 – but, in the estimation of Forbes, it is has also been valued higher than any other sports team in the world for the past three years. Indeed, the US$3.26 billion valuation of Real Madrid in 2015 places it at the helm of a top 10 that is dominated by seven US teams spread across the country’s three favored sports of (American) football, basketball and baseball. Real Madrid is said to have brought in US$746 million in 2014 – the same year in which it won its 10th UEFA Champions League title (La Décima as the followers of the club have rather grandiloquently termed it).

So, perhaps it’s no surprise that Real Madrid’s global presence in the world of sport has also seen it venture into the educational arena, especially in view of the growing interest being shown in sports management programs.

Real Madrid Graduate School looking to spread its impact

The club worked with Universidad Europea de Madrid to establish the Real Madrid Graduate School (La Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid) in 2006, through which part-time and online MBA in sports management programs are now offered alongside master’s degrees in related areas.   

In 1999, Universidad Europea became the first acquisition made by Laureate Education (then known as Sylvan Learning Systems) – a company whose global network of educational institutions has since grown to more than 80 members in 28 countries. It is this network that has allowed the Real Madrid Graduate School to enter into overseas partnerships. For example, it already enjoys links to an international sport and event management master’s at the Business and Information Technology School (BiTS) in Germany and offers a concentration in the hospitality management undergraduate degree available at Kendall College in the US city of Chicago – both of which are members of Laureate’s International Universities network.

Its latest move, however, involves a linkup to Torrens University Australia. The Adelaide-based institution recently announced that it would co-deliver an online MBA in sports management with the Real Madrid Graduate School, starting in 2016.

Torrens was set up by Laureate and began teaching as recently as last year, with an official launch ceremony presided over by former US president and now, Laureate honorary chancellor, Bill Clinton.

General manager at Real Madrid Graduate School and club legend, Emilio Butragueño said the school has “high hopes” for the new collaborative program because of Australia’s love for sports. “We’re going to begin with the MBA in Sports Management with the plan of continuing to grow,” Butragueño explained, adding, “we think that it’s a great opportunity not just in terms of Australia, but also in terms of many places in Asia.”

Options for the MBA in sports management and its related areas  

From its base in Madrid, the Real Madrid Graduate School offers a sports management MBA on a flexible part-time basis, as well as an online MBA, both of which are conducted entirely in English. Earlier this month, the school also launched its first MOOC – a five-week course that will look at approaches to leadership and management seen among high-performance teams in sport.

Of course, the field of sports management is certainly not without its own level of high-performance competition. There are a number of options now catering to this particular business education specialization – for example, the MBA in sports management at the European University Business School or the football-focused MBA available from the University of Liverpool Management School. There are also programs in North America that may also be tailored to a specific sport – such as (ice) hockey at Canada’s Athabasca University – or targeted at former professional athletes themselves, as is the case at both Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the University of Miami School of Business. And of course, in Barcelona – the home city of Real Madrid’s biggest rivals – one can take a master’s in sports management.

This article was originally published in August 2015 . It was last updated in June 2019

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