Why you should study sport management in New Zealand

New Zealand is the perfect place to study sport management, being the most physically active nation in the world and with a sports industry that is constantly developing.

If sport is the toy department of life, then New Zealand’s playroom is about as good as it gets. New Zealand is a nation that values sport. New Zealanders value the contribution that an active lifestyle makes to their enjoyment of their natural surroundings, how sport delivers benefits to themselves and the nation, and how participation in sport brings individuals, families and communities closer together.

There are thousands of organisations that contribute everyday to the development and strengthening of sport and recreation activities. Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) is the crown entity responsible for the sport and recreation industry in New Zealand. SPARC measures it success in terms of New Zealand being the most physically active nation in the world, having athletes and teams winning consistently in events that matter to New Zealanders and having the most effective sport and physical recreation systems. It is this final criterion where sport management education is able to make its greatest contribution.

Why you should study sport management in New Zealand

“Auckland University of Technology, Massey University and Unitec offer specialist programmes in sport management”

The growth and development of the New Zealand sport industry has created opportunities for management professionals in a wide variety of settings. Boosted by advances in the sport sciences, increased government and corporate sector investments, the industry continues to develop new facilities and new programmes, introducing new concepts that provide quality experiences for consumers.

New Zealand is an excellent place to study sport management. This is because the approach to teaching sport management in New Zealand brings together a number of closely related fields. These fields include management, marketing, sports science, community and economic development, outdoor recreation, tourism, event management, physical activity and health promotion. Demand for managers with the competencies to work across these fields has grown rapidly in recent years.

Auckland University of Technology, Massey University and Unitec offer specialist programmes in sport management. Otago University offers a sport management pathway as part of their physical education programme. Through the provision of double majors, conjoint degrees and double degrees students are afforded the flexibility to create their own programme combinations. Internships provide students with real world experiences within which they can contextualise their studies. Postgraduate programmes in sport management are also available. These range from advanced coursework through to research-based master’s degrees and doctoral programmes.

New Zealanders are quick to assert that strangers in New Zealand have only two degrees of separation, whereas elsewhere in the world it is six. This is very much a feature of the New Zealand sport sector. This is useful for students as they are quickly able to get connected to advance their sport management career, or to participate in sport at one New Zealand’s many sporting clubs.

Geoff Dickson PhD
Board member
Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand