Studieren ist wie Sport: Man braucht Spaß und Ehrgeiz

Study the Way You Do Sports: With Fun and Ambition

I delivered this short speech at the freshmen day for winter term 2019 at the ALBA Berlin College (University of Applied Sciences Europe).

A warm welcome to you all. Welcome to the Berlin campus of the University of Applied Sciences Europe. Welcome to the ALBA-Berlin College.

As you may know, it‘s holiday season. That’s why the Dean – that is the head of the Department of Sport, Media and Event – is not there. That’s a pity, because our Dean is a real sportsman. Well trained. Powerful. Ambitious. Now I stand before you as Vice Dean of the faculty. And I’m probably the only one here who has no idea about sports.

I am more into media and communication. I am interested in entertainment. And you know what? That’s not so bad. After all, professional sport is nothing else than entertainment. We love the teams, we love the stars, we love the winners. Because they entertain us perfectly. With tension. With drama. With passion.

If you do sports yourself, you do not think about entertainment. But those who have to make money with sports, they have to think about entertainment. Nobody buys a fan t-shirt or a ticket or pay-TV subscription just to get bored. Think about Michael Schumacher, Real Madrid, Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt: People spend their money for good entertainment.

The entertainment value of sports is impressive. Advertising industry and the media spend in Germany alone for

• sports advertising
• sports sponsorship
• and sports rights

around 4.5 billion Euros. Membership fees and entrance fees total 11 billion. And we do not talk yet about sports equipment: clothes, shoes, things like that … So just tickets, rights, and advertising bring revenues of 15 billion Euros per year in Germany (cf. BMWI).

Sport is great entertainment. Sport is big business. Speaking of business: Let me introduce a second perspective. The UE is known as the University of Business Leadership.

What is business all about? We want to earn money with our business. This only works if we create value. This value must be higher than our effort. And we have to find the people who are willing and able to pay for that value. Business is as simple as that. Create value. Find the people who are willing and able to pay you for this value a price that is higher than your costs.

It’s all easy as long as you do something that everyone needs, and you’re the only one who offers it. But that is not the reality. If we create values that actually bring in money, then others come in, get into the business and want to get their share of the pie. Modern economies that operate through markets force us into permanent competition.

Competition. Who knows better than athletes what competition is. Competition means working 100% to be better than the others. To find something where you are the best. To do something – in a city, in a sport, in an industry, in a technology – which no one else can do so well as you do it. Google was born in competition. Amazon was born in competition. Apple was born in competition. Bayern Munich was born in competition. ALBA Berlin was born in competition.

I welcome you today to your start at the ALBA Berlin College. And I’ll give you just two words: entertainment and competition. This is how the sports business works. But that’s exactly how studies at a university works, too.

Do you have the ambition to be better than the others – as you do in sports? Will you find out what you really enjoy – as you do in sports? Which topics of study inspire you, which topics make you curious, which topics light the fire of enlightenment.

Studying must be fun – this is the only way to be successful. Only then you are willing and able to invest enough work and time. Only then will you enter the competition and become better and better until you achieve your personal best. If you do studies like you do sport – with fun, but also with the ambition to become better and better – the next years will be the best time of your life. In this sense, I wish you a great day today and a good start to your studies at the ALBA Berlin college. Good to have you here!

Thomas Becker

Bildnachweis: Von Tim Mossholder [Lizenz] via unsplash.com

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