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"If they can survive and thrive in this market, they can tackle most markets."

Three Deakin sport management students have taken advantage of a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience working amongst the world's largest sport business, the Indian Premier League.

The three-week internship, established through a partnership with the Rajasthan Royals cricket team, has a number of important implications for Deakin as a whole, alongside those directly experienced by students, explains Dr Sheila Nguyen, Director of Deakin's Master of Business (Sport Management) program.

'It is a high profile relationship with two highly respected entities, which reinforces the position of our program as one of exceptional quality and represents how our program has reach beyond Australian sport borders.

'It reflects our commitment to the idea that sport management is truly a global industry,' she says.   

The internship program aims to challenge and enhance students' cross-cultural industry experience, subsequently preparing them to be open and able to traverse diverse working environments.

As part of the experience, students Michael Speakman, Angus Murray and Yogesh Sapkota work with Rajasthan Royals team management in areas of ground operations, sponsorship management, merchandise, CSR and social media. 

Dr Nguyen says that the opportunity will give them exposure to best practices of other regions in the world, which contributes to their academic and professional understanding of how business is done and done well on an international level.

'The experience tests their knowledge about sport business concepts in a real world environment, sharpening their practical skills and thus, enabling them to be 'work-ready'.  

'Working in India is unlike any other market, because the Indian sporting industry is at a particular point in its lifecycle, has its unique challenges, and is managed by a culturally specific management lens, and thus, our sport management students receive a truly unique, first-hand experience of elite sport business, like none other!'

'If they can survive and thrive in this market, they can tackle most markets,' she says.

Deakin University was announced as the official education partner of the Indian Premier League's Rajasthan Royals cricket team in 2014 and was the first of its kind for the Indian Premier League.

'By being first, we are pushing the boundaries of what sport management education can be, and since our foray, others have followed in imitation,' Dr Nguyen says.  

The partnership continues to work on promoting sport business education in India, as well as enabling research into sport management innovations and facilitates mutual projects such as a case study, IPL internships, and scholarships opportunities.