The Iconic Media City and the Centre for Sports Business Hosts the VSI Sporting Directors programme

MANCHESTER’S Media City was today revealed as host to the latest group of aspiring strategic leaders in sport who will be studying on VSI’s MSc Sports Directorship validated by the Centre for Sport Business at the University of Salford.

Former England football manager, Steve McClaren, international cricketer and Warwickshire Sporting Director, Ashley Giles, Aston Villa Director of Football, Steve Round, Manchester City women’s ‘keeper Karen Bardsley and Blackpool’s promotion winning Manager Gary Bowyer are but a few of the high profile names on previous VSI/MMU Master in Sporting Directorship programmes.

VSI staged three courses in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School and, in moving the programme to Salford’s centre for sports business MSD founder, Tony Faulkner explained that: “An elite program needs an internationally iconic setting and Media City fits the bill perfectly. We approached Salford University, and the Centre for Sport Business in particular, because of their outstanding reputation in, and commitment to, the business of sport. The University’s campus is located a stone’s throw from BBC & ITV. “We are thrilled to have secured a relationship with Salford which is committed to further driving the Sporting Director success story,” said Faulkner.

The structure of the programme is based on detailed research from VSI which revealed an appetite among individuals, clubs & sports organisations across a range of global sports for a new generation of leader. Todays leader needs to be capable of managing, massive financial growth, media profile and expectation and yet with this comes challenges on their traditional, creaking corporate infrastructures.

Clubs recognised the need for a Sporting Director, equipped to sit as a statutory board member and capable of shaping an organisation’s vision and philosophy while managing its sporting operations. Their challenge was the absence of an appropriately qualified talent pool.

The programme is designed to accommodate individuals who may have left the classroom as 16-year-olds but had enjoyed a life-time of extraordinary experience the like of which made them uniquely equipped for such a ground-breaking finishing school.

The Master’s degree qualifies you for one of the most important roles in modern sport. Tailored to meet the real demands of leading sporting organisations. Covering Personal leadership, Leading a High Performing Sports Organisation, Innovation and Change & Sport governance and best practice along with a diverse range of extra curricular experiences. Central to the delivery of the programme is developing an understanding of neuroscience (How our brains function) within the context of personal and organisational performance. Recent advances in brain science are dramatically improving the way leaders work with colleagues to drive performance. As the brain is increasing examined remarkable insights are being uncovered: insights that are leading to powerful new strategies for improving business execution as a strategic leader in global sport.

Faulkner added: “This is fundamentally a vocational programme with a qualification aimed at leading to real jobs at the highest level in the industry of sport. It is not an ivory tower program but one that the most high profile recruitment agents recognise as a blue-chip qualification.

“Part of that road-map to the top involves the relationships that are created between individual members of each cohort. It really is the ultimate in life-long networking opportunities.

“Our supervisory board is made up of all the major NGBs so they

have a first-hand experience of placing the brightest talent.

“An extra ordinary group of master-class speakers exposes cohorts to owners, Chairman, Chief Executives from the world of sport, business and politics.

“Working with VSI and the Centre for Sports Business represents the perfect chance for individuals with ambition to showcase and refine their talent at a location seen as synonymous with innovation and change.”

Professor Dave Spicer, Dean of the University of Salford Business School is delighted that VSI has identified his team for its unique contribution to this venture.

He said: “This is a really exciting time for the university. This programme fits perfectly into our aim of creating Industrial Collaboration Zones which work closely with business and industry to ensure that all our courses are tailored to real world demands and provide our graduates with the skills to flourish in their chosen careers.

World leading academic in the business of sport, Professor Chris Brady, will direct the teaching programme and he is confident the impact his team will have on their celebrated cohort will be huge. “Most will not have been in a classroom for many years and despite their profile they will still be nervous but they need not be.

“They can be assured that our purpose is to equip individuals with the skill sets to lead sporting organisations and in order to achieve this the teaching methods have to be contemporary and relevant.

Faulkner is confident that the relationship can be a big success in the long-term but recognises that it is the efforts of the first three VSI cohorts that have laid the foundations for this programme and made the position of Sporting Director one of the hottest topics in sport.

For more information contact:

Tony Faulkner

VSI Executive Director

07879 673 406