The second edition of an innovative study programme which focuses on sports governance and which has UEFA's full support has got under way this month. The Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO) is intended to serve and benefit the European sports movement.
The MESGO programme is open to elected representatives and managerial staff working in sports organisations. The programme has been pioneered by five renowned universities, and comprises nine one-week sessions over a period of 18 months, starting this month. It features courses in Paris, Brussels, London, Barcelona, Mainz/Frankfurt, Geneva/Lausanne and New York.
In recent times, the sports industry has undergone radical changes, related to the commercial and financial growth of competitions, the ongoing development of European political and economic institutions, and a wide variety of social issues. Tried and tested forms of governance have been called into question amid an increase in the number of stakeholders.
As a result, decision-makers face new challenges, and the MESGO course is designed to help them have a better understanding of the key current and future challenges facing the sports sector. The course sessions look at the context of international sport, sports organisations, governance, legal frameworks, marketing issues, sports events, ethics in sport, the North American model, and the future of sports governance.
Within the course, there is in-depth analysis of legal, political and economic matters – notably competition law, prevention of litigation, risk management, regulation and media policy – and a focus on the testing situations sports organisations must confront in the areas of sport's specificity, competitive balance, exploitation of commercial rights, social dialogue, violence, doping, and social responsibility.
The course has been established and is delivered by a number of academic bodies: Birkbeck Sports Business Centre, Birkbeck College, University of London; Centre de Droit et d'Economie du Sport, Université de Limoges; Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz; Institut Nacional d'Educació Física de Catalunya, University of Lleida; and Sciences Po, Paris.
In addition, team sport partners – UEFA; European Handball Federation (EHF); International Basketball Federation, Europe (FIBA – Europe); European Rugby Association (FIRA-AER); European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) – are giving their support.
"The Executive Master in European Sport Governance is a unique platform for training, social and professional contact, knowledge-sharing and personal development for sports organisations' elected representatives and managerial staff," said UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, who took part in a round table at the opening session in Paris with general secretaries and presidents of team sports partners.
"The MESGO is designed to stimulate the analytical reflexes of decision-makers in sport. It invites them to analyse the governance of European sport at its most complex and explore the diversity of international practices. The strength of the MESGO lies in its consideration of European sport from multiple angles. It incorporates economics, politics and law, draws comparisons between different sports and uses carefully selected examples from other sectors to help participants develop appropriate responses to the important challenges they face.
"With the MESGO, decision-makers in sport finally have a programme destined to meet their needs and expectations," added Mr Infantino.
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