University of New Haven Announces First-of-Its-Kind Academic Program on Business of eSports

University of New Haven Announces First-of-Its-Kind Academic Program on Business of eSports

The University of New Haven announced yesterday that it is establishing a comprehensive academic curriculum in esports management that will be the first of its kind to be part of a business curriculum accredited by AACSB International, an accreditation that places the University’s College of Business among the top five percent of business schools worldwide.

The introduction of the University’s esports curriculum will begin with the launch of a concentration in esports management as part of the University’s bachelor’s degree in business management. The new concentration will begin enrolling students for the fall of 2020.

In addition, the University will create an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in esports and a companion master’s program in esports and technology, the first such graduate program in the U.S. A 2,500-square-foot esports training and competition center is a centerpiece of the University’s $35 million Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, scheduled to open in the spring of 2020.

“The esports industry is one of the fastest growing in the world,” said University of New Haven President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D. “Developing these in-demand, unique academic opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will enable the University to maximize the interdisciplinary strengths of our programs in business, technology, engineering, and computer science, creating a pioneering opportunity for our students that will prepare them to be the future leaders of the esports industry.”

According to the Global Esports Market Report published by Newzoo, esports industry revenue this year will exceed $1 billion, with global revenues predicted to reach $3.2 billion by 2022. In North America, the world’s largest esports market, revenue in 2019 is expected to reach nearly $410 million, with estimates of an increase to $700 million by 2022.

Distinguishing the University’s esports program is the opportunity for students to study esports management while participating in a comprehensive business-based curriculum accredited by AACSB.

“Our rigorous business curriculum has a proven track record of preparing successful corporate leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Brian Kench, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. “The creation of an academic program in esports management capitalizes on these strengths and sends a clear message that the University of New Haven is committed to being at the forefront of preparing students to be leaders on the business side of this emerging industry.”

The University of New Haven was among the first in the U.S. to create an accredited sport management program. The program’s alumni work in many capacities within professional sports and collegiate athletics.

“The time is right for the University to take the lead in esports education,” said Gil Fried, J.D., professor and coordinator of the University’s highly regarded sport management bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Professor Fried is currently writing what is expected to be the field’s most comprehensive esports textbook with more than 60 co-authors from across the globe, including conference commissioners, general managers of professional esports teams, and several professional gamers.

“There will be many opportunities for students with a broad range of skills and experiences to pursue lucrative careers in this high-growth field,” continued Fried. “From the management and business side to technology, game development, broadcasting, and media rights to actually competing professionally, students will be able to pursue their passions.”

The planned esports competition and training center will host esports competitions that enable students to gain hands-on technical and operational experience. The space will also engage students through the University’s esports club, which has more than 200 members.

In addition to creating an esports curriculum that includes courses in entrepreneurship and the business of esports, the University will look to develop interdisciplinary classes focusing on gambling in esports (Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences), gaming disorders (School of Health Sciences), broadcasting and graphic design (College of Arts and Sciences), and video game development (Tagliatela College of Engineering), among others, incorporating expertise from across the University.