Life as a Sports Management Student   

Considering a graduate program in sports management? Hear from SAinSports member and grad student, Rishav Dash – MS Sport Management Candidate ’18 at the Isenberg School of Management University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Every athlete, former athlete or sports fan possesses a certain zeal for sports that in my opinion, words cannot do justice. Belonging to the latter two categories, I have been closely associated with sports throughout my life. It was during my undergraduate days when I started contemplating the idea of pursuing a career in the sport business and hence took on marketing responsibilities in the athletic department of my undergraduate college in Dubai, UAE. With time, my desire and aspiration to study sport management grew exponentially. I knew that it would be only a matter of time before I would embark upon my journey to chase my dream of working in sports.

A couple of years after graduating with an engineering degree, I was convinced that the time was right for me to march on to the next step – a Master’s degree in Sport Management. The most important part of the process was choosing the right program. For me, there were two deciding factors – the quality of faculty and the alumni network. That is where the prestigious McCormack Department of Sport Management at UMass Amherst came in. The program ticked every box I could think of – be it from having electives of my choice to providing to providing the exciting prospect for hands on learning by participating in real life projects.

One of these projects was the 10th Annual “Octagon Bowl”. The Octagon Bowl is a semester-long graduate level sport marketing competition where teams of graduate students work on designing a sponsorship and activation campaign which upon completion, is presented to judges at the Octagon Headquarters. This particular experience has been the highlight of my sports ‘journey’ so far. I was a part of the winning team for this year’s Octagon Bowl which was very fulfilling and of course, encouraging. The project has also been instrumental in firmly establishing my aspiration to work as a sport marketer in the sponsorship space. I was able to network with several people in the sport industry. I am presently in the last few months my program, once again working on another real-life project for espnW which I’m really excited about.

I had the valuable opportunity to attend the Sport and Technology Panel organized by South Asians in Sports in New York City last fall. Today, I’m very proud to be a member and student ambassador of a community like SAinSports because it is an amazing platform to connect with like-minded people from the South Asian Community. For aspiring sports business professionals like myself, becoming a member of SAinSports presents a truly remarkable chance to learn about different experiences and seek valuable guidance from senior professionals in the industry. I’m convinced that my association with SAinSports will prove to be fundamental in my search for a breakthrough opportunity and my ultimate quest for successfully converting my passion into my profession.

You can connect with Rishav on social media:
LinkedIn – rishavdash
Twitter – @rishavdash