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A premium program for sport professionals

Deakin’s Executive Master of Sport Business program delivers in-depth knowledge and tools to take sport careers to the top.

Deakin’s Executive Master of Sport Business program delivers in-depth knowledge and tools to take sports careers to the top. 


Over the past 20 years, the sport industry has evolved into a big business player with professional roles that require high-level organisational, communication, and commercial skills. 


Professor David Shilbury, Deakin’s Foundation Chair in Sport Management says many sport organisations are now streamlined businesses administered by highly-qualified managers. 


‘There is more money in the big sports – and even the mid-range sports – that requires careful management. The culture of sport has changed from a pure leisure mindset to a mix between leisure and business,’ he explains.


To meet this professional demand, Deakin’s Executive Master of Sport Business (EMSB) has been developed as a premium program for sport professionals with at least five years of industry experience. 


‘This specialist program is strategically designed to address a gap in the availability of advanced knowledge for experienced sport professionals working in developed sport markets,’ says Prof. Shilbury.


Kieran Donohue


Kieran Donohue has been employed in the sport industry for more than 15 years where he’s held roles with the AFL and Cycling Australia.


Now in the education sector, he leads the delivery of K-12 sport programs alongside an industry-leading wellbeing program that’s conducted in partnership with the NSW Institute of Sport.


He was keen to join Deakin’s first EMSB cohort in 2020 and says the course content, with its strong industry connections and flexible online delivery, is well-suited for busy sport professionals.


‘The self-paced structure means I’ve been able to complete classes at a time that suits me, and each unit is delivered uniquely using multi-modal styles such as podcasts, guest speakers, simulated negotiations. In particular, the intensive units have provided flexibility to study a topic in-depth over a shorter time period. The program really takes into account existing knowledge and experience.’


Kieran plans to use the EMSB to expand and advance his career and says it’s a stand-out qualification within the sport industry.


‘Many executive-level roles in sport now require a master’s degree, so being able to do this in a specialty area such as sport business is a really unique value proposition.’


Sheila Galloway


Like Kieran, Sheila Galloway will complete the EMSB in 2022 and says she chose the course to formalise the skills and knowledge she’s built over 20 years in the sport industry.


‘I wanted to explore the sporting landscape from an academic perspective and increase my knowledge base in areas that I haven’t formally studied or gained experience in. Considering the outcomes I wanted to achieve, I reviewed all the master of sport offerings across Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately I chose Deakin because of EMSB’s curriculum offering and the skillset and knowledge of senior executives I’ve worked with who are Deakin Master of Business (Sport Management) graduates.’


Working with more than 30 sports across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, Sheila’s career has included coaching state and national-level athletes as well as administration, management, and leadership roles with Swimming New Zealand and other institutes of sport environments.


She says the EMBS has challenged her perception of the changing global sporting landscape.


‘It has increased my knowledge base and skillsets relevant to any high-performance manager working within sport and given me the knowledge and skills to consider different roles across the sport sector.’


Planning to complete her studies in early 2022, Sheila says the program is tailored for anyone aspiring to work at state, national or international level sport.


‘The flexibility of full-time or part-time studies makes it accessible no matter the stage of your career journey, the academics are extremely knowledgeable and well-recognised within their areas of expertise, and the standard of online delivery is excellent.’


More information about Deakin’s Executive Master of Sport Business can be found here.

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