Students learn behind-the-scenes secrets of the sport and creative industries in Toronto

Master's students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have gone behind the scenes of the sport and creative industries in Canada.

Visits to Toronto's Distillery District, the National Hockey League (NHL), Exhibition Place and more showed students how technology, networks, research and even making mistakes are all part of the business journey.

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Participants were able to compare and contrast business policies and practices in North America with those in the UK and understand how interconnected the two industries are during the trip organised through international experience programme #DMUglobal.

"It was an amazing experience," said Faustyna Zak. "I learnt a lot.

"My first highlight was the talk from creative entrepreneur Janal Bechthold, who combines her passion for composing and working as an ambassador of authors' rights."

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The 23-year-old, from Poland, was equally impressed with talks on strengthening the creative industries, from not-for-profit organisation Interactive Ontario, and business management and opportunities from sponsors by representatives of the NHL.

"It was great to see how the different businesses influence each other and observe how technology is used to catalyse and develop a business ecosystem," said Faustyna, who chose the Design Management and Entrepreneurship MA to help develop her design consultancy business.

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"The chance to learn behind-the-scenes secrets helped me realise that even though each business differs in its structure, maintaining a strong network is a key benefit in the unpredictable environment of entrepreneurship.

"Several talks from professionals showed me that entrepreneurship is more than loving what I do. Having your own business is a journey and not a destination, making mistakes and evaluating them is the way of developing and learning.

"This trip has also really helped me to understand how much thorough research is needed to understand industry and adopt a business strategy."

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Course-mate Rachel Gnaniah's highlight was visiting the Distillery District to learn about the history of what was Canada's largest export, while from a cultural point of view, seeing Niagara Falls up close was a "once-in-a-lifetime experience".

The 22-year-old, from Surrey, said: "We also visited the NHL and learnt about the global strategies they use to educate many different countries about the sport. This is the kind of field that interests me."

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A highlight for Business Management in Sport MSc student 'Miko' Xiang Zhining was experiencing the excitement of North American professional sports. The group attended a Toronto Blue Jays game on Star Wars day, which helped students to see how integrated a promotion becomes to the entire event.

"I could see Toronto's love for baseball along with the use of cultural and advertising resources to achieve economic benefits," said 23-year-old Miko from China.

"I also learnt more about sports heritage culture at the Hockey Hall of Fame."

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Trip lead Dr Heather Dichter, Associate Professor of Sport Management, said another aim was to show students how professional sports, at league level, are organised around major events that take place not only across the United States and Canada but elsewhere around the world.

She added: "The trip demonstrated the interconnectivity of the sport and creative industries and how they shape a major North American city."

Posted on Thursday 27th September 2018

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