HomeExclusiveExclusive: GIS President Breaks Down Australian Hub Launch

Exclusive: GIS President Breaks Down Australian Hub Launch

Exclusive: GIS President Breaks Down Australian Hub Launch

In an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport for the ‘Brand Break’ series, Global Institute of Sport (GIS) president, Sharona Friedman, discussed the strategies and upcoming launch of the institution’s teaching hub at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Global strategy:

Commenting on their global strategy, Friedman said Australia was always part of their plan and was announced as a hub in 2019.

Additionally, she said due to the MCG always being apart of their global strategy, there was no need to alter or change their strategies for their eventual teaching expansion.

Overcoming hurdles:

On the difficulties they faced in the lead up to launching in Australia, Friedman said it’s like any market, where the major hurdle is building and growing awareness.

“Things like being able to send our messages to our audience, which are both aspiring students, but also decision makers and people who are actively working in the sports industry, is really important for us,” Friedman said.

“We have a strapline, which is very accurate. We say we’re driven by sport and powered by industry, and really, what makes us so unique to any other education institution in the world is that we’re 100% sports oriented.

“We work so closely with industry and within the last week, we won a really prestigious award for outstanding partnerships in higher education. We also closely we weave industry and our industry partners into everything that we do, and we’re really trying to be the global sports network,” she said.

2023 enrolments:

On the estimated number of enrolments, Friedman said their enrolment numbers for new campuses have followed a similar trend, where there is a few dozen to start, so the institution can maintain their high-quality teaching.

Additionally, as their Melbourne hub grows, GIS will look to add more Australians to their pool of 6,000 students and alumni, which also started with a few dozen when they launched originally.

Despite majority of learning being online, all postgraduate degrees, including football business, international sports management, coaching and their executive master’s degree for sports directors, will also provide students with multiple touchpoint opportunities at the MCG and globally with their other hubs.

Expanding degrees into multiple sports:

On their certificate in the business of Australia football, Friedman said the course was designed in very close partnership with Geoff Walsh and Brad Lloyd, where the curriculum is built with an industry first mindset.

“Right now, we’re very much in the phase of linking up with other industry partners and building other qualifications with them, but what I will say is it’ll be dependent on where the jobs are and where the needs for education are,” Friedman said.

“So, what we’ll build next very much depends on the Australian market, what it needs, what it asks for and I think only in that way, are we truly going to be a successful, meaningful and helpful part of the Australian sports industry,” she said.

Additionally, Friedman said she welcomes a chat with people looking to further their careers through a sports-oriented degree.

Partnering with the MCG:

On having the MCG as a partner, Friedman said there’s no better venue to hold their Australian hub as it can be seen as the Wembley of the Southern Hemisphere.

“The MCG has specific sports that it might be better known for, but it’s an entertainment venue, they have concerts, boxing, rugby league, rugby union, football, and even international games along with AFL and cricket. So, although GIS is founded off of football, we’ve got qualifications, expertise and partners in as many sports as you can imagine,” Friedman said.

“We’ve got people from a variety of sports on our advisory board, whether it’s football, cricket, tennis or even Formula 1. So, it’s about the fact that the MCG is inspiring, and we want the hubs to inspire our students, and facilitate learning from the best in the world,” she said.

Friedman also said partnerships with stadiums such as Wembley and the MCG provide them with opportunities to link to different sports and entertainment, whether it be through stadium operations, business, coaching or a multitude industries.

To read the previous Brand Break, where New York Red Bulls senior manager of corporate partnerships, Jordan Iannuzzi, broke down the club’s partnership strategy, click here.

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