CEO of a Sports Organisation

Designed for athletes and executives with aspirations to be chief executives in the world of sport

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Enrollment closes July 24th 2023

Course Starts

July 25th 2023

Last day of enrollment is the 24th July 2023


6 Months

Blended Format, delivered around your schedule in six blocks of 2 days over six months


Course Alumni

Network with other delegates from athletic and high-performance leadership role backgrounds

Course Overview

Shoosmiths, Spinning Fields, Manchester

VSI has developed another global first in executive sport education with a programme for executives and professionals with ambitions of becoming a CEO in the sports industry. The CEO programme will help transition those with sporting experience and others with leadership ambitions into the highest roles, by marrying their experiences of competitive sport with an educational understanding in business.

CEO Program Alumni

Meet just a few of the many delegates of the VSI CEO of a Sports Organisation course, that have gone on to achieve great success in high performance leadership roles.

Sport is your passion, you know it inside and out, but actually you need to get to know it from a business perspective. I think that even if you have been to uni before, what a brilliant add-on this course can be, because this is so different. They have changed the concept entirely and you can see why it appeals to a lot of different people.

Becky Adlington

Double Olympic champion and Swim Stars director

This course has given me a great opportunity to continue the process of developing my own skills. The challenges of leadership and governance in sport are unique and I am really getting a lot out of both the formal learning and the group of other sports professionals in the cohort.

Maggie Alphonsi

Sports Broadcaster and Ambassador, England Rugby

We have people from sporting backgrounds and outside the sporting world from corporate backgrounds. I've also been given the opportunity to network with top drawer people who have delivered the content. For example, on the very firstlearning day we had over two hours with Rick Parry. The learnings I'm able to take from this course and the skills I'm able to develop will definitely help me in my quest to build a bright future for the team.

Dave Callan

Head of Partnerships & Business Development, Team Ineos

Take your career to the next level Apply Now

Delivery Team

Chris Brindley MBA

Barry McNeil

Ed Warner

Jacey Normand

Tom Sears

Dr Rob Wilson

Victoria Hull

Book a suitability call

Speak directly to one of our team

The easiest way to apply for the CEO of a Sports Organisation course, is to first book a call with one of our team.

This will provide you with the chance to ask any initial questions, and they will be able to guide and help assess your suitability for the course. Alternatively you can email or call using the details below.

0345 459 9765

Still have questions?

If you want more information before speaking to one of our team, then we've got you covered.

Managing huge financial growth, increasing corporate governance responsibilities and the demands of challenging stakeholders, chief executives need advanced skills and knowledge to succeed in this challenging but immensely exciting industry. Executives are often thrust into the role without any preparation and this course will help with that.

The course is tailored to meet the real demands of leading sporting organisations. Covering leadership, strategic planning, operational management, commercialisation, marketing and communications, the programme will provide unrivalled preparation for the role of a CEO in a sporting organisation. The course is delivered part-time over six months in six blocks of two days, in a blended format which allows you to combine study and work in a way that best suits your working life.

This course is delivered in partnership with Shoosmiths Elite Advisory and Elite Performance Partners.

This course is powered by UCFB's Global Institute of Sport and VSI Executive Education.

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CMI recognition

This programme is recognised by CMI (Chartered Management Institute), the only Chartered professional body dedicated to management and leadership.

CMI logo

As a delegate on the programme you will receive free CMI membership for one year from the start of the programme, membership benefits including access to ManagementDirect, an online multimedia knowledge base for leadership and management. You will also receive a CMI certificate on completion of the programme.

  1. The role of the CEO
    1. The role of the CEO within the corporate structure
    2. Responsible for making major corporate decisions & managing stakeholders internal & external
    3. Understand your fiduciary responsibilities as a CEO
    4. Serve as the primary spokesperson and representative for the organisation
    5. Lead the development and implementation of the organisation's strategy
  2. The people game
    1. Creating, communicating and implementing the organisations vision, mission and overall direction
    2. Understand how to provide leadership to develop the senior leadership team
    3. The CEO as the Brand Ambassador
    4. The non-negotiables of a high-performing executive team
  3. The numbers and governance game
    1. Effectively establish and have financial understanding for performance targets
    2. Maintain high-standards of conduct and integrity aligned to compliance with best practice
    3. Understand the legal landscape relevant to your competitive market
    4. Identify new products, new events and initiatives that will align with strategic plans to grow the organisation
  4. What sets successful CEOs apart
    1. Deciding with speed and conviction
    2. Engaging for impact
    3. Adapting proactively
    4. Delivering reliability
  5. Preparing for a CEO role
    1. This module will be delivered bespoke to the needs and wants of delegates moving towards the end of the programme. It will be delivered by Elite Performance Partners.

You will study onsite in Manchester and apply your learnings in the workplace. The programme will fit around your busy schedule and allow you to benefit from specialist tuition and a series of leading industry speakers. The course is delivered part-time over one year in six blocks of two days, in a blended format which allows you to combine study and work in a way that best suits your working life. Modules are self-contained and delivered in sequence to ensure everyone on the course can learn from each other's experiences.

Start date: July 2023.

Course duration: 6 months.

By the end of the course, delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the role of the CEO
  • Develop the leadership skills required to drive high performance
  • Recognise the fiduciary and financial responsibilities of a CEO
  • Understand the corporate governance and legal responsibilities of a CEO
  • Develop strategic and operational plans to grow the organisation


Ideally an honours degree or the ability to demonstrate substantive business experience.


As this is not an academic programme leading to an award, there are no minimum entry academic requirements. However, as this is a professional programme for aspiring chief executives, applicants will be senior-level executives in sport or business, or high-performing professional athletes wishing to transition to a C-suite level role in the sports industry.

All applicants will be interviewed and are required to give a presentation on:

"The characteristics and skillsets of a high-performing chief executive."

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria for this programme, please email

To apply, please set up a discovery call using this form or you can call 0345 459 9765, or email

The course fee is £12,000.00. £1,000 is payable up front, with the remaining balance split into three payments across the year of study.

Postgraduate Loyalty Discounts

These discounts are open to any UCFB, Buckinghamshire New University and University of East London graduate who has received and accepted an offer to study at postgraduate level with UCFB's Global Institute of Sport.

  • 20% fee tuition discount on all Master's programmes, excluding MSc Sports Directorship
  • 15% fee tuition discount on MSc Sports Directorship and CEO of a Sports Organisation
  • 25% fee tuition discount on all Professional Qualifications

GIS Alumni

If you'd like to extend your time with us, we're pleased to offer all GIS graduates:

  • 20% fee tuition discount on all Master's programmes, excluding MSc Sports Directorship
  • 15% fee tuition discount on MSc Sports Directorship and CEO of a Sports Organisation
  • 50% fee tuition discount on all Professional Qualifications (also available for GIS students)

UCFB and GIS business partners

We're pleased to offer all UCFB and GIS business partners 15% fee tuition discount on all Undergraduate, Master's and Executive Education programmes and 25% off our Professional Qualifications.