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July 25, 2012

DWU’s sports management department helps bring basketball to Windsor, Canada

MITCHELL — Dakota Wesleyan has helped make Canadian history.

The DWU Sports Management program worked in conjunction with an ownership group in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, last school year to create a business plan for the city’s first national basketball league – which was approved in June by The National Basketball League of Canada. The Windsor Express will join the league as its eighth professional basketball team. The DWU students involved were under direction of Darryl Greene, assistant professor of sports management at the university.

“I’m already doing business with professional basketball teams in Canada, so I was introduced to an ownership group that wanted to bring a team to Windsor,” Greene said.

Windsor is located on the southern tip of Ontario, across the Detroit River from Detroit, Mich.

Greene created a sports analysis application course for the sports management program, and during that semester the students worked solely on mapping out a business plan for Windsor, which included conference calls with the ownership group and the owner of the league they were working with. At the end of the semester, the plan was taken through the appropriate entities for approval and adjustment, and the team was officially approved in June.

The sports management program at DWU began in 2010, and this is the first project of this size that the program has taken on.

“It is a lot of responsibility because I knew these individuals wanted to put a team together and were looking to us to spearhead the whole project,” Greene said. “There was a lot of pressure to make sure we did things correctly, but we all got together as a group and just made it happen.”

This undertaking has been a tremendous teaching tool, Greene said, especially in a world that values experiential learning.

“The students were more focused on the project because they knew I wasn’t the only person grading them, and they put in a lot of extra effort,” he said. “It allowed them to sit back and see how good they potentially are at working in the sports management industry.”

Dakota Wesleyan now has a unique opportunity for students – sports management students can now intern for the Windsor team each year while taking DWU courses online, giving them real-life experience with a team that DWU helped create.

“Now they know they were a part of history. This is something they can put on their resume and as the team grows, they can say, ‘Hey, I was part of the group that put that team together.’”

The sports management program at DWU continues to grow and Greene is already working on another learning opportunity which he hopes to announce this fall.

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, visit www.dwu.edu, and visit www.dwu.edu/spm to read more about the sports management program.

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Last updated: 7/25/12