University of Colorado Denver Business School students recently had the opportunity to travel to London to learn more about the global sports and entertainment management industry by experiencing it directly, through the school’s London Calling course. Part of CU Denver Business School’s Sports and Entertainment Management program, the London Calling curriculum is based upon experiential learning, allowing students to be exposed to new ideas and practices in the industry. Twenty-seven took part this year in the two week accelerated study abroad course in London, England May 19th through June 3rd. An annual event, London Calling gives students the chance explore the global sports and entertainment industry by talking with leading industry executives and visiting important sports and entertainment sites in London.

Some of the sports and entertainment sites that students had the opportunity to visit during their London Calling experience include:

  • Wimbledon
  • The 0² Arena
  • The BBC
  • Chelsea Football Club
  • Arsenal Stadium
  • Twickenham Rugby Stadium

These site visits included presentations from industry insiders into current and relevant industry issues. The visit to Wimbledon, for example, included a discussion by Richard Atkinson, the CFO, on the topic of maintaining Wimbledon’s unique world class brand and what drives revenues. The Finance Director at Chelsea Football club, on the other hand,  talked about the impact of the Financial Fair Play rules by UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations), and the Director of Global Partnerships at the 0² Arena outlined their cutting edge practices to cultivate customer loyalty, deliver memorable brand experiences and create “brand love” for their sponsoring partners.

Patrick Turner, one of this year’s London Calling participants, highly valued the experience he received during the course. “Our London Maymester took us from one amazing venue to another with top notch speakers presenting to our group at every turn” says Turner. “ It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this kind of inside access to fascinating business and people in a country that shares so many commonalities with our own, but, at the same time, is dramatically different.”

It wasn’t all business, however. Students had the chance to take in some spectacular sports and entertainment from a spectator’s perspective, representing opportunities to really experience the traditions, customs, and mores surrounding sports and entertainment in a different culture. Examples of some of the opportunities presented to students included:

  • Watching a football match at Wembley Stadium that pitted England against Belgium
  • Attending a Coldplay concert at Emirates Stadium
  • Watching a Noel Coward play, “Hayfever,” at the Noel Coward Theatre
  • Seeing Jay-Z and Kanye West play the 0² Arena

For stories of the London Calling trip 2012 from a student’s perspective, visit student Courtney Powell’s blog, dedicated to her experiences on the trip. More information about London Calling and the Sports and Entertainment Management program can be found on the program’s homepage.


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