DRBC   Life Enrichment and Education

The Dr. Dick Barnett Center for Sports Education, Business & Technology

The Dr. Richard (Dick) Barnett Center for Sports Education, Business & Technology is an education- and career-based “edifice” designed to provide exposure, preparation, and opportunity as a launchpad for young people who aspire to work in the ever-expanding sports industry. In short, “The Center” is a catalyst and conduit for intermediate and high school students, as well as for undergraduate and graduate students who may have little knowledge about the abundant career pathways in the sports industry or who may possess knowledge about the sports industry but do not know how to gain entry (as a sports industry professional and/or entrepreneur).

The organization’s namesake, Dr. Richard “Dick” Barnett, is an educator, author, entrepreneur, corporate lecturer, and motivational speaker who was a star guard for the New York Knicks during their championship heyday (1969 – 1970 and 1972 – 1973). Dr. Barnett had an “epiphany” when he ruptured his Achilles heel and was told by a physician that he (Dr. Barnett) may never play again. Dr. Barnett did not complete his degree while at Tennessee State University and never developed a “fall back plan” so he faced possible retirement. Professional basketball players were not making eight-figure annual salaries in the 1960s. Dr. Barnett knew that he had to pursue education with the same intensity that he pursued basketball. He finished his undergraduate studies, continued his education at New York University (receiving his master’s degree), and obtained his doctorate from Fordham University, making him one of the few professional athletes who can boast that educational achievement. Dr. Barnett has become one of the strongest education advocates and has spoken nationally and internationally on various topics regarding sports and education.

“The Center” has three divisions: (1) the Sports Education Division; (2) Sports Technology Division; and (3) Careers in Sports Division. While each division can function as a standalone, the core belief and core values of “The Center” warrant the three divisions work synergistically. An overview of the divisions is outlined in the succeeding sections.

Sports Education Division

The Sports Education Division serves as the main source for teaching & training (education). The educational philosophy is to render a modality of instruction that is action-oriented and outcome producing. A high emphasis is placed upon the application of subjects and competencies taught. Sports Management, Sports Marketing, Sports Communications, and Sports Analytics are the four major domains.

Sports Management examines the planning, resource procurement & allocation, coordination, monitoring systems, organizational structure, finance & budget, and evaluation that contributes to the efficient operation of a sports organization, event, or facility, as well as the application of these competencies to athlete/product/service management.

Sports Marketing introduces two core concepts: marketing of sports products/services and marketing through sports products/services. Branding is a central component of the module along with (1) crafting the message and using appropriate messaging channels; (2) target audience and target market selection; and (3) conducting marketing research.

Sports Communication focuses on media (print, digital/electronic, and broadcast), publicity, and internal/external organizational correspondence. Additionally, there is substantial emphasis on creating and utilizing social media constructively, improving interpersonal communication, and delivering powerful presentations.

The final module under the Sports Education Division may have the most utility for future sports executives—Sports Analytics. Sports Analytics goes beyond statistics which traditionally has been an instrument to inform; analytics is an instrument to empower decision making. Topics go from mean-median-mode to regression analysis-algorithms. 

Sports Education Division Goals:

  1. 1.To expose program participants to the business aspects of sports;
  2. 2.To develop essential competencies (hard & soft skills) that will enable program participants to meaningfully contribute to a sports-centric enterprise; and
  3. 3.To enlarge the existing knowledge base within the sports industry by creating and enhancing concepts, principles, theories, practices, and policies that impact the sports industry.

Sports Technology Division

The Sports Technology Division incorporates the inventions and innovations that impact the sports industry, whether it is sports apparel, facilities, transportation, broadcast platforms, equipment, playing surfaces, athlete monitoring systems, data capture and processing, spectating, etc. Sports owes its evolution, increasing popularity, and revenue generation in large measure to technology. Technology has impacted how sports are consumed and played. Athletes’ performances continue to elevate due to technology. Gambling and fantasy sports—which generate billions of dollars—are indebted to technology. Social media have been intertwined with sports giving athletes and fans a voice as well as creating unprecedented access points between athletes and fans.

Technology has become so integral to sports that its stagnation, decline, or absence could cripple the industry. Program participants are encouraged to examine past, present, and future technologies that have impacted sports and to develop ideas, as well as create solutions and prototypes.

The Sports Technology Division has three domains: Fan Experience; Athlete Training, Monitoring, and Performance Enhancement; and E-sports. Although technology has touched virtually every component within the sports industry, initially, “The Center” will focus upon the aforementioned areas.

The Fan Experience is arguably the area most impacted by sports technology (and if it is not the most impacted area, it may be the most significant). Technology has changed: (1) at-the-venue and remote spectating; social media as an agent of fan engagement, marketing, monetization, etc.; (3) sports betting; (4) the intersection of sports and entertainment; and (5) incorporation of virtual and augmented reality. The mission of this domain is not limited to the study of technology in the sports industry; moreover, it is the development and/or enhancement of technology in the sports industry.

Another essential module pertaining to Sports Technology is Athlete Training, Monitoring Systems, and Performance Enhancement. Training for athletes has evolved due to scientific discovery, exercise equipment, proliferation of and quality of athlete training undergraduate/graduate programs, and more rigorous requirements for certifications. Strength and conditioning has given more credence to “rest” to expedite recuperation from strenuous activities. Monitoring Systems have been enhanced by inventions and innovations that concentrated on diet, sleep, respiration, body temperature, speed, flexibility, stamina, strength, etc. Technology has also impacted performance enhancement, especially through simulations, apparel & footwear, protective wear, supplements, visual/audial aids, and many other devices. The mission of this domain involves extensive research about the current and future states of athlete development and the social, societal, medical, and economic ramifications in addition to technology’s role in enhancing athlete development.

E-sports is the largest growing sector in the sports industry. Many experts predict that E-sports will surpass any conventional sport in popularity and revenue in approximately 25 – 30 years. Colleges now offer full scholarships for E-sports athletes. Major areas have E-sports events. E-sports has become part of the programming for major television broadcasters. Professional basketball team owners have purchased E-sports as part of their (owners) portfolios. Any program focused on sports business should contain content that is millennial-centric; therefore, E-sports is an essential domain within the Sports Technology domain. The mission is for program participants to create platforms, content, hardware, etc. and extend E-sports’ popularity through marketing and revenue-inducing initiatives.

Dr. Dick Barnett


Dr. Dick Barnett

Phone: 510-365-9189

Email: drbc2019@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Sports Education Division Goals:

  1. 1.To expose program participants to the business aspects of sports;
  2. 2.To develop essential competencies (hard & soft skills) that will enable program participants to meaningfully contribute to a sports-centric enterprise; and
  3. 3.To enlarge the existing knowledge base within the sports industry by creating and enhancing concepts, principles, theories, practices, and policies that impact the sports industry.

Sports Technology Division

The Sports Technology Division incorporates the inventions and innovations that impact the sports industry, whether it is sports apparel, facilities, transportation, broadcast platforms, equipment, playing surfaces, athlete monitoring systems, data capture and processing, spectating, etc. Sports owes its evolution, increasing popularity, and revenue generation in large measure to technology. Technology has impacted how sports are consumed and played. Athletes’ performances continue to elevate due to technology. Gambling and fantasy sports—which generate billions of dollars—are indebted to technology. Social media have been intertwined with sports giving athletes and fans a voice as well as creating unprecedented access points between athletes and fans.

Technology has become so integral to sports that its stagnation, decline, or absence could cripple the industry. Program participants are encouraged to examine past, present, and future technologies that have impacted sports and to develop ideas, as well as create solutions and prototypes.

The Sports Technology Division has three domains: Fan Experience; Athlete Training, Monitoring, and Performance Enhancement; and E-sports. Although technology has touched virtually every component within the sports industry, initially, “The Center” will focus upon the aforementioned areas.

The Fan Experience is arguably the area most impacted by sports technology (and if it is not the most impacted area, it may be the most significant). Technology has changed: (1) at-the-venue and remote spectating; social media as an agent of fan engagement, marketing, monetization, etc.; (3) sports betting; (4) the intersection of sports and entertainment; and (5) incorporation of virtual and augmented reality. The mission of this domain is not limited to the study of technology in the sports industry; moreover, it is the development and/or enhancement of technology in the sports industry.

Another essential module pertaining to Sports Technology is Athlete Training, Monitoring Systems, and Performance Enhancement. Training for athletes has evolved due to scientific discovery, exercise equipment, proliferation of and quality of athlete training undergraduate/graduate programs, and more rigorous requirements for certifications. Strength and conditioning has given more credence to “rest” to expedite recuperation from strenuous activities. Monitoring Systems have been enhanced by inventions and innovations that concentrated on diet, sleep, respiration, body temperature, speed, flexibility, stamina, strength, etc. Technology has also impacted performance enhancement, especially through simulations, apparel & footwear, protective wear, supplements, visual/audial aids, and many other devices. The mission of this domain involves extensive research about the current and future states of athlete development and the social, societal, medical, and economic ramifications in addition to technology’s role in enhancing athlete development.

E-sports is the largest growing sector in the sports industry. Many experts predict that E-sports will surpass any conventional sport in popularity and revenue in approximately 25 – 30 years. Colleges now offer full scholarships for E-sports athletes. Major areas have E-sports events. E-sports has become part of the programming for major television broadcasters. Professional basketball team owners have purchased E-sports as part of their (owners) portfolios. Any program focused on sports business should contain content that is millennial-centric; therefore, E-sports is an essential domain within the Sports Technology domain. The mission is for program participants to create platforms, content, hardware, etc. and extend E-sports’ popularity through marketing and revenue-inducing initiatives.

Sports Technology Division Goals:

  1. 1.To develop program participants’ understanding of technology’s impact on the sports industry in three major areas: Fan Experience; Athlete Development & Performance; and E-sports;
  2. 2.To enable program participants to conceptualize, create, and construct technologies related to the sports industry; and
  3. 3.To apply knowledge and competencies in developing sports-industry applicable technologies that improve the fan experience, athlete development & performance, and E-sports.

Career Opportunities In Sports (C.O.IN.S.) & Entrepreneurship Division

The Career Opportunities in Sports (C.O.IN.S.) & Entrepreneurship Division is the culminating division that links The Sports Education Division with The Sports Technology Division to create career and entrepreneurial pathways in the sports industry. Many people who do not work in the sports industry are unaware of the abundant career opportunities. People see the game, match, contest, race, tournament, competition, etc., without realizing how many people work behind the scenes to create the event. How many people realize the importance of insurance, power sources, contracts, transportation, security, permits, janitorial services, commissions, lodging, traffic control, water access, on-site medical staff, sound systems, lighting, restrooms, etc.? Several people in the sports industry can testify that the business of sports is as compelling and thrilling as the actual sporting event. For instance, the bidding process for both broadcast rights involving major sports events and venue selection (i.e., World Cup, Super Bowl, Olympics, etc.) is as contentious, intriguing, and dynamic as any sporting event. The economic and financial fortunes of cities (and even countries for that matter), leagues, teams, players, advertisers/brands, broadcasters, etc., are beholden to decisions made in the boardroom, dinner table, country club, and/or golf course.

The Career Opportunities in Sports & Entrepreneurship Division has three domains: Sports Business Career & Entrepreneurial Pathways; WIN-terships; and The Mentoring & Networking Society. Producing training/education without career and entrepreneurial guidance undermines the overarching mission of “The Center.” The program participants’ success depends heavily on their being able to apply both what they have learned and the competencies developed. In short, “The Center’s” success is largely determined by the number of students who matriculate into the sports industry in meaningful capacities.

Sports Business Career & Entrepreneurial Pathways is the domain showcasing the many jobs, business opportunities, and interrelated industries in the sports business arena. You name the occupation, it has a place somewhere in the sports industry. The challenge goes beyond providing program participants with a listing of career opportunities in the sports world; the challenge is to develop program participants’ sensibilities and sophistication so they (participants) associate those careers anytime they interact with a sports-related product or service. (E.g., a knowledgeable sports business professional enters a restroom at a sports venue, counts the stalls, estimates how many rolls of toilet tissue are consumed during the event—and calculates how much revenue the toilet tissue vendor/manufacturer has possibly made.) Concessions, merchandising, licensing, and especially sales offer plentiful career and entrepreneurial opportunities. This domain emphasizes the importance of job creation in addition to job attainment, which requires that the job prospect identifies an area of work/labor that could add value to the sports organization.

WIN-ternships is a play on the words “Win” and “Internships.” Employers across various industry sectors value prospective employees who have experience. Internships provide exposure, experience, and access to people in the industry. Internships were plentiful at one time because the sentiment was, “Why intern when you can get a real job?” Since the early 2000s, colleges/universities, as well as prospective employers have insisted that aspiring professionals pursue internships. In fact, there has been a “trickle down” effect whereby high school juniors and seniors have been urged to intern because it bolsters their candidacy when they apply to colleges/universities. For many students and graduates who are seeking internships, there are two pressing matters: (1) how do I gain entry to internships that will maximize my growth?; and (2) how do I maximize the internship experience? These and other issues are addressed in this domain.

The final domain is the Mentoring & Networking Society which focuses on establishing both formal mentor-mentee relationships as well as networking opportunities. In the sports industry, success is not only predicated on your talents and work ethic; knowing people who can guide, run interference, expedite, expose, introduce you, and even protect you is equally important. Program participants are paired with notables in the sports industry and attend events where they (program participants) utilize their interpersonal acumen to forge constructive relationships.

Career Opportunities In Sports Division Goals:

  1. 1.To enlighten program participants regarding the far-reaching and ever-expanding career and entrepreneurial opportunities in the sports industry;
  2. 2.To have program participants develop a Career Entrepreneurial Pathway Plan; and
  3. 3.To create and send program participants to events where they can utilize interpersonal skills to establish or gain entry to sports industry networks.