Sports Business Academy

Sponsored by the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative (WSABI), the Wharton Sports Business Academy (WSBA) is a three-week summer program that provides an opportunity for ambitious rising high school juniors and seniors to study sports business leadership at the Wharton School. This program teaches students about leagues, media, innovation and emerging platforms, marketing, labor issues, and social impact/responsibility as they meet and learn from leaders in the sports business world.

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Industry guest speakers
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Hot topics in sports business discussed
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Minutes of discussion about current events in sports business

Overview

Sponsored by the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative (WSABI), The Sports Business Academy examines various academic disciplines as they apply to the sports industry with an overview of the business and legal aspects of various intercollegiate, Olympic, and professional sports enterprises. Students ultimately gain insight into the leadership, management, and increasingly global nature of the sports business. Through academic and co-curricular activities, WSBA students have the opportunity to test their potential as future sports business leaders.

Each summer, Sports Business Academy students:

  • Attend lectures and presentations from outstanding Wharton faculty and guest speakers such as sports agents, broadcast network executives, league and team executives, and brand marketers
  • Be introduced to core business disciplines such as management, law, negotiation, marketing and leadership as they intersect with the sports industry
  • Discover career opportunities available in the business of sports
  • Virtually visit relevant sports businesses and meet with industry leaders in order to explore the qualities essential to leading a successful sports organization
  • Develop and enhance leadership skills through collaborative teamwork in a small team of talented and diverse students working on a business plan for a new sports-focused business

All participants who successfully complete the program will earn a Wharton Global Youth Certificate of Completion.

Details

Academic classes are held Monday-Friday with extracurricular activities available in the evenings and on the weekends. Students move in on Sunday pre-program, and move out the final Saturday of the program. For more information on campus life, visit our residential experience page.

While each day varies slightly in format, a typical day includes:

  • 9:00-9:45am – Discussion on current events
  • 9:45-10:00am – Mid-morning break
  • 10:00- 11:30pm – Morning topics lecture
  • 11:30-1:30pm – Lunch
  • 1:30-3:00pm – Topics lecture, guest speaker, or afternoon site visit
  • 3:00-3:15pm – Afternoon break
  • 3:15-4:30pm – Recitations/group work

Session topics may include:

  • Sports law
  • Sports, Society and Culture
  • Sports, Science and Medicine
  • Professional sports franchises
  • The business of television/streaming
  • Collective bargaining and negotiation
  • Innovation/emerging platforms
  • Media, social media and content
  • Social/responsibility impact
  • Youth sports

In the evening, students will have a number of extracurricular activities to choose from. Students can also opt to work on their final project with their group, meet with the program TAs, and/or relax at the dorm.

Please note, some days may not follow this schedule as there could be a site visit off campus or a simulation in lieu of lecture/recitation schedule.

Eligibility

Eligibility

High school students currently enrolled in grades 10-11 with a strong academic background and interest in sports, business and management. International applicants are welcome.

Admission

Admission to the Sports Business Academy is selective. Wharton will select approximately 100 students to attend the 2022 Academy. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, and a genuine interest in sports industry. Interested students are encouraged to submit an application by the priority deadline.

Please note that participation in the Sports Business Academy program does not guarantee admission into Penn.

Instructional Team

Program Leader: Sam Mondry-Cohen

Sam Mondry-Cohen currently serves as Senior Sports Analytics and Business Initiative. Previously, Sam served as Assistant General Manager for the Washington Nationals, where he worked for twelve seasons.

Sam built and led the Nationals’ first Baseball Research & Development department, culminating in a World Series championship in 2019. With the Nationals, Sam oversaw the front office’s analysis of baseball data and the development of department-wide baseball systems.

In addition to his work at Wharton, Sam is currently a consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies and Executive in Residence at Reboot Motion. Sam graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants consist of both undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania. TAs facilitate small-group discussions, ensure student understanding, assist with final project development, and hold office hours to answer student questions and share their Penn and Wharton experiences.

“I have always wanted to pursue a career in Sports Business, and this course not only furthered my interest but offered me the connections and experience for it as well.” - 2021 participant