CSU, Broncos form historic academic partnership

Two Colorado standard-bearers – the Denver Broncos and CSU – are forming an academic partnership that will give students the unique opportunity to learn while working with one of world’s best-known sports franchises.

The Denver Broncos Sports Management Institute debuts this spring at CSU. The agreement ties one of the nation’s top research universities to an iconic sports franchise synonymous with excellence.

“We are excited and proud to partner with a world-class university like Colorado State to create the Denver Broncos Sports Management Institute,” Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said. “This program will allow us to expand our involvement with higher education in our home state and help mentor local students interested in pursuing a career in sports.”

New sports management minor

The program will offer three courses in the spring semester to select CSU undergraduate students. The classes will count toward a newly developed minor in sports management in the Department of Management in the College of Business at Colorado State, pending faculty council approval.

“The Denver Broncos are rightly considered one of the finest-run franchises in all of professional sports, so the opportunity to have our students work closely with such a quality organization as part of their learning experience is an amazing opportunity,” CSU President Tony Frank said. “Combining the talents and experiences of our faculty and students with a top-notch organization like the Denver Broncos makes this a unique program, and one we’re proud to be part of at Colorado State.

“We’re excited about starting this new partnership, and even more excited about what will develop as our faculty and students work closely with the Broncos leadership. This is exactly the kind of private-public partnership that will be transformational for our students, and also in professional sports and higher education.”

Albert Bimper

Ex-Ram in leading role

Fittingly, Dr. Albert Bimper will play a lead role. Bimper, senior associate athletic director and assistant professor of Ethnic Studies, was an all-conference offensive lineman at CSU before spending a year in the NFL, and sports and academics have long played important roles in his life.

“The relationship between sports and academics have always seemed so natural to me,” Bimper said. ”As a former student-athlete at CSU and now faculty member teaching and studying matters of sports, I’m an advocate for the opportunities sports can provide. Equally so, I’m continually intrigued by the many facets of sports industries and exploring the ways in which sports intersects with our lives, communities, business ventures and society as a whole.

“The opportunities that I’ve experienced while being involved in sports have prepared me with a breadth of knowledge and experiences that I use to make an impact in the classroom and in our own athletic department at CSU. I’m excited to embark on this next chapter in the Denver Broncos Sports Management Institute to help shape and prepare tomorrow’s leaders.”

Varied course offerings

Students will benefit from a variety of course offerings developed by CSU faculty and take part in hands-on experiences and opportunities with the Broncos organization. The program will include internships with the Broncos, guest lectures from management and case studies developed in coordination with the team.

Beginning in the Spring semester, the first course offerings will be:

Bimper, Manning tied

Foundations of Sports Management and Inclusive Sport Organizations will be taught by Bimper, who was an all-Mountain West offensive lineman at CSU before playing one season with the Indianapolis Colts, where he was a backup center for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

The sports marketing class will be taught by Todd Donavan, associate professor of marketing in the College of Business.

CSU, Broncos expand existing relationship

The institute builds on an existing relationship between the Broncos and CSU that has included work on a variety of topics, including turf management, business, marketing and public relations courses and activities as well as numerous CSU student internships with the Broncos.

The program will initially be housed in the Department of Management within the College of Business, but the academic framework involves four of CSU’s eight colleges, including classes from the following schools:

College of Business

  • Marketing and promotions

College of Liberal Arts

  • Video production and public relations
  • Sports in social science

College of Health and Human Sciences

  • Hospitality management
  • Event and conference planning
  • Facilities construction and management

College of Agricultural Sciences

  • Turf management.

Current students will be able to apply to the Sports Management minor.