Sport Management Majors Gain Industry Experience in Germany

June 24, 2014  |  by Michael Freedman

  • Germany

    Niagara University sport management majors recently spent 12 days studying abroad in Germany, a trip that took them to Commerzbank Arena, among many other sites.

  • Germany

    Here are the sport management students pictured in front of Olympic Stadium.

  • Germany

    The NU students were excited to have an opportunity to see the German Parliament.

Dr. Rachel Madsen and eight Niagara University students recently visited Germany as part of the sport management program’s first-ever study abroad experience.

During the trip, which took place May 12-23, the group spent time in Jena, Berlin, and Frankfurt exploring historic and tourist sites while learning about Germany’s unique approach to sport management.

The participating students were Zachary Laguzza, Adam Listman, Anthony Nappo, Anthony Perez, Steven Persaud, Eric Smith, Victoria Swider and Megan Van Auken.

Faculty from Friederich-Schiller University of Jena offered lectures pertaining to European sport economics, and the group was also hosted by the German National Olympic Committee, the human resources department of Adidas, Commerzbank Arena, the Ministry of the Interior, and Fusche Berlin Reinickendorf, a professional handball team.

Along with learning a great deal about European sport, the group enjoyed sampling German food and culture and came away with new perspectives on transportation, fitness and activity.

Perez, an NU sophomore, was particularly impacted by the bike culture in Germany, “Seeing the way everyone walks and rides bikes has made me reconsider how much I use my car to go to a corner store or somewhere close by and waste gas. It has also encouraged me to be healthier.”

Other highlights of the trip included:

  • Berlin Olympic Stadium
  • Frederick the Great’s summer palace (Potsdam)
  • A bike tour of Berlin
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Berlin Holocaust Memorial
  • Topography of Terror
  • German Bundestag (Parliament)
  • Berlin Wall Memorial
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Pergamon Museum
  • Jena v. Rathenow soccer match

Nappo, a senior, summed up the group’s experience: “Going to Germany was a very eye-opening experience for me. Before I went, I only thought about the American way of doing things. After being there, I now see that Americans can be ignorant to some of what’s happening in the rest of the world.”

Dr. Madsen plans to offer this trip on an annual basis every May. It is open to sport management majors who are at the sophomore level and above.

To learn more about Niagara University’s sport management program, please visit