The 2018-20 and 2019-21 classes of the Sports Business MBA came together for the first time in Kaunas, Lithuania, for their respective fourth and second in-person sessions. The Sports Business MBA class of 2021 was the first to arrive and the students started their week by presenting midterm papers, which they had prepared during the first part of their studies under the supervision of the module leaders. The students also heard the first lectures of the following modules, sports management, sports economics & finance, and sports law & governance.
"Overall I’m very happy, relieved and really excited because I had to keep up with all the assignments and deadlines in such a demanding program and I was able to do it," said Eleni Manoura, a former basketball player and office coordinator at Mondera.
"It was hard in the beginning, but now I feel more confident with the topics and I believe that I will gain a lot of knowledge in this program," added Artem Pervyi, the director of Eastern Europe sports consulting at Nomos LLC.
The students also had some fun and group bonding with a beer tasting session at the Volfas Engelmann brewery and a trip to Trakai and Vilnius before continuing the transfer of knowledge from the Zalgiris Kaunas senior managers. The students learned from presentations and practical knowledge on topics such as marketing, ticketing, experience economy, strategy, communication and sports analytics. They also benefitted from a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Europe’s best basketball arenas, Zalgirio Arena.
"It was very interesting! Zalgiris Kaunas is like a phenomenon at this moment, they give you the possibility to understand how this is possible, how they made this possible," exclaimed Michele Diracca, marketing intern at Aquila Basket Trento.
For the class of 2020, it was the culmination of a unique learning experience that started at Euroleague Basketball headquarters in Barcelona back in September of 2018. The students defended their final master thesis in front of a commission led by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management of Vytautas Magnus University. After successfully graduating, students collected their graduation caps and gowns for the graduation ceremony in the University’s Big Hall, where they received their respective diplomas.
"It just feels amazing to be able to finish the program," Begum Unal, production coordinator at DAZN Germany, said. "This program lets you meet a lot of great minds from sports and basketball as well and it helps you to deepen your knowledge on the field."
"Honestly, I feel much more confident in myself because I got a lot of practical knowledge, which I already implemented in my job," said Oleksiy Yefimov, General Manager of AS Monaco Basket.
Both classes ended the intense week with the wonderful experience of attending a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game at the sold-out Zalgirio Arena.