UO's Warsaw – and Lundquist – big draws for scholar-athletes

Alaina Bergsma
Alaina Bergsma

Think the success of University of Oregon athletic teams has helped the UO stand out on the national stage? If you credit the student-athletes, you may also want to recognize the role of the world-class educational programs that helped draw them to the university.

In the past year alone, faculty members associated with the Lundquist College of Business' Warsaw Sports Marketing Center have introduced the college and its programs to hundreds of visiting high school athletes and their parents.

"The Warsaw Center is a big draw for us and some of our most high-profile student-athletes are business majors," said Maurica Powell, assistant coach for men and women's track and field.

Volleyball star Alaina Bergsmarecent recipient of the Honda Sports Award for volleyball among many other honors – is one of many who acknowledge the Warsaw Center's influence on their decisions to attend the UO.

"I knew I could study what I loved and earn a valuable degree while doing it," Bergsma said.

The James H. Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, founded in 1993, was the first program of its kind housed within a U.S. college of business. The Warsaw Center draws from faculty members across several disciplines to provide a platform for both research and education focusing on the $500 billion dollar sports industry.

Though a potential student's interest may first be sparked by the Warsaw Center's offerings, that isn't always where he or she ends up.

"At last count, we had 65 student-athletes in the business school," said Warsaw Center managing director Paul Swangard.

That number includes students in the finance and entrepreneurship tracks, as well as those in the Warsaw Center.

"We don't view ourselves as the only place that students athletes can come to study in the business school, but we think we are a good window for them to start thinking about the business school," Swangard said.

Students at the Warsaw Center participate in an immersive, focused experience that blends classroom instruction with real-world practice. Students learn marketing and business principles in the context of sports.

Many of its graduates have become leaders in the sports industry for adidas, the NBA, Nike, Octagon, Visa International and other leading brands.

- from UO's Lundquist College of Business