So, You Want to Talk Sports? He’s Your Guy.
Jong-Chae (J.C.) Kim,
Professor of Sport Management and Director of the Sport Management Program, Metropolitan Campus
By Sara Campione
Being born into a family of educators — including his parents and his sister — influenced Jong-Chae (J.C.) Kim’s decision to become a college professor.
“As a professor, your job is to teach, advise and conduct research. You help the younger generation,” says Kim.
When he arrived at FDU in 2012 to teach in the sport management program, only a master’s degree was available to students interested in the subject.
He saw an opportunity to grow and expand the program. “No one pushed me; no one told me I had to change the program,” says Kim. “But I personally felt a responsibility.”
FDU’s sport management program is now one of the fastest-growing programs at the University, with more than 260 students currently enrolled on both New Jersey campuses.
Programming includes a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a combined degree, a sport management minor, an esports minor and certificates in sport management and esports. The esports minor is the newest addition to the program and is one of the largest-growing markets, thanks to streaming services such as Twitch.
“There are almost 200 esports varsity programs in the U.S. The number has grown from 70 in 2018, 130 in 2019 and 175 in 2020. Because of the rise of esports in higher education, facilities for online gaming have become a must-have,” says Kim. He presented on the topic in May 2021 at the International Conference Center for Esports at Kyungsung University in South Korea.
A unifying element of the sport management curriculum is Kim’s emphasis on experiential learning.
“On-site visits provide an understanding of the management of sports facilities. Students get insight into facility development; operational considerations; crowd, alcohol, concession and box-office management; and medical emergency and evacuation plans,” he says.
On a class visit to MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, N.J., for instance, students might tour the facility, meet with the security manager, operations manager and marketing manager and engage in a Q&A session.
“Experience is an important part of education,” Kim continues. “Beyond site visits, there’s Sports Internship I and II, international travel and study at Wroxton College, volunteering at sports events and games, stadium tours, conference participation and more.”
Program alumni currently work with the New York Giants, the New York Jets, the New York Red Bulls, the New Jersey Devils, the NBA and several collegiate athletic departments.
“Students should proactively try to learn different parts of the sports business, show a willingness and effort to relate to sports and get their feet in the door now.”
FAMILY NIGHT AT CITI FIELD
Over the summer, Kim attended a New York Mets baseball game with his family for Korean Heritage Night. His children performed with their choir before the game. “I really appreciate the people who created the event and the opportunity.”
READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL
Every May, Kim offers a travel experience at Wroxton College so students can visit sports locations around the United Kingdom.
BECOMING A TRAVEL WRITER
Kim is working on a travel book with a friend — the two send one another to various locations. Kim’s been visiting landmarks in New York, his friend in South Korea, and then they write about their experiences.