In Semester 1 of the 2016/17 academic year I started teaching a module "The Economics of Sport" for the first time at UCC. This elective module (for 3rd year students) explores aspects of economics through the lens of sport. Participants are introduced to economics concepts such as industry analysis, competition, public finance and labour markets using examples and data from the professional sports industry.
The structure of the module has altered a slightly since the first deliver and this year students covering the following six sections:
- Section 1 – Introduction to the economics of sport;
- Section 2 – Competition design and rule changes;
- Section 3 – Demand and profit maximisation;
- Section 4 – Labour market issues and imperfections;
- Section 5 – Economic impact and mega-events;
- Section 6 – Sports broadcasting (past, present and future).
Since it was introduced, the uptake has been remarkably strong. The figure aside illustrates this for the three years of the module's existence.
While it is not possible for me to verify this, I have been told by colleagues in the sports economics domain (whom I meet at conference) that the undergraduate class in Cork is probably the biggest sports economics in any third level institution.
Regardless, my objective of spreading the message that sports economics' content seems to be working. Our research masters is then a natural pathway for those that wish to continue in the area, and delve deeper into the subject.