A high-octane master's course giving students the skills needed to compete in the billion-pound global motorsports arena has been launched by Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS).
The new Business of Motorsport MA switches gear on existing university courses with its focus on business as opposed to the technical and engineering side.
The programme has been developed by sports lawyer and academic Genevieve Gordon, in conjunction with respected UK industry and governance representative bodies, in response to a lack of suitably qualified candidates to fill leadership and senior management roles.
Ms Gordon said: "There isn't a course like this. The degrees out there focus on engineering and only a handful offer a business-related module.
"The consensus is people don't understand the business of motorsport, as the environment is very specific.
"I was speaking to colleagues at a top rally company who said there is a general feeling in industry that this course will fill a gap in the market and help grow knowledge of business practice within motorsport.
"A Formula One team recently told me they would like their technical staff to have the opportunity to learn more about the business side of motorsport."
Ms Gordon is also programme leader of the course, which will offer students a comprehensive understanding of critical issues from governance and structure to branding and sponsorship.
Students will also be given a grounding in ethics, learn how motorsports relates to various cultures and benefit from strong links with motorsports organisations.
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Ms Gordon said: "We have gained a lot of interest from respected organisations for students to undertake Executive Company Projects.
"The course also offers students the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, volunteer at motorsport events and visit some of the most prestigious motorsport venues."
Professor Dana Brown, Principal of LCBS - De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) business school for the 21st century - said the course is the perfect addition to the school's Executive Education portfolio.
She said: "Motorsport is as much a business as it is a sport, with the industry bringing in £9 billion to the UK economy, according to the Motorsport Industry Association Annual Review.
"I am delighted to have Ms Gordon on the team, and excited for the students who will learn from someone with a wealth of motorsports industry experience, contacts and knowledge."
The course is run on a modular system with the opportunity to gain a certificate, diploma and full MA, so suitable for those already working in the industry, and has two intakes per year.
Ms Gordon added: "There are so many different types of motorsport - and it is continuing to grow. America is growing out of the idea of just NASCAR, the Dakar Rally is bigger than ever and Formula E is becoming very popular.
"Graduates can get involved in team management, sponsorship or media roles as well as the sports management side, heritage and legacy."
Posted on Friday 20th January 2017