IUPUI has launched what it calls a first-of-its-kind "bridge" to the central Indiana sports industry. The Sports Innovation Institute’s goal is to help Indianapolis become an innovation and entrepreneurial hub for sports. The Indiana University Public Policy Institute estimates the sector, which encompasses all levels of play, from Little League to professional, has a $3.4 billion annual economic impact on the region.
School of Physical Education and Tourism Management Dean Jay Gladden says the institute will have three areas of focus:
- Talent development
- Fan experience
- Grass-roots sports advancement
Its partners include the Indiana Sports Corp. and the American College of Sports Medicine, both based in downtown Indianapolis. American College of Sports Medicine Chief Executive Officer Jim Whitehead says "’innovation’ and ‘sports’ are two powerful words for the future – globally, nationally, and right here in Indianapolis and central Indiana. The Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI will create a pipeline of new ideas and exciting ventures. We very much look forward to collaborating in accelerating and elevating progress at all levels."
The institute will draw together the resources of all eight schools at IUPUI: Informatics and Computing, Physical Education and Tourism Management, the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Engineering and Technology, Liberal Arts, Education, Herron School of Art and Design, Public and Environmental Affairs and the Kelley School of Business. It will seek connections throughout the region.
ISC President Ryan Vaughn says "we believe that every event is bigger than the game itself. We are very pleased to have the Sports Innovation Institute capturing, analyzing and promoting all of the activities around sports in our community. The Sports Innovation Institute will serve as a great resource to demonstrate the impact sports have on our community on a variety of different fronts and will assist Indiana Sports Corp in presenting competitive bids for future events."
Key initiatives already launched by the Sports Innovation Institute include an integrated degree program focusing on sports analytics, an online coaching development program called Next Level Coaching Academy led by the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management.
School of Physical Education and Tourism Management Dean Jay Gladden, who led the formation of the institute, says it will key in on three areas.