SBJ/February 21-27, 2010/Sports in Society

Wharton is adding high school academy

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Sports Business Initiative is creating a new monthlong summer academy for high school students, marking the latest in a series of new ventures for the prominent research and education-focused think tank.

The Wharton Sports Business Academy, a residential, on-campus program designed for high school juniors and seniors, will particularly target minorities, females and students from underprivileged backgrounds.

“We think this is going to be incredibly impactful, particularly in giving kids some of their first exposure into the industry,” said Derrick Heggans, the initiative’s managing director. “We expect to bring in kids from not only all over the country but internationally as well.”

Since Heggans’ arrival last spring, the organization has pursued several other new projects, including creation of a Sports Business Innovation Conference in April and a “State of Sports Business” luncheon series at major sports events that began at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.

The initiative has also expanded its consulting practice, taking on projects in recent months from the Basketball Hall of Fame, Penn Relays, Philadelphia Eagles and U.S. Tennis Association, among others.

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