The University of Guelph is launching a sports business institute to study the multibillion-dollar world of athletics, from sponsorships to social media.
Led by International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound, the International Institute for Sports Business and Leadership will aim to bring scholarly and commercial minds together, including grad students and an advisory board of industry leaders.
The new centre for research and teaching lands in the middle of a North American industry that athletic department director Scott McRobertson says is on track to hit $80 billion annually by 2022.
According to the North American Society for Sport Management, academic programs in that field now number 16 in Canada.
Pound, a champion Canadian swimmer who served as founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, says the centre will help organizations looking to boost attendance, leverage e-sports and study links to health and wellness.
Organizers expect institute members will produce peer-reviewed research and train industry up-and-comers, churning out data for use by sports groups.
The Canadian Press