Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV), the French trade association that brings together companies in the outdoor sports industry, is setting up a new specialized course in partnership with the Savoie-Mont-Blanc University and the Institut Universitaire de Technologie (IUT) of Annecy. It plans to launch a bachelor-level course in Sports Design & Communications (SDC) in Annecy next September.

With programs designed by professionals in the sports industry, the course will provide students with concrete and professional tools to help them acquire business expertise. Delivered entirely in English by professionals, the training will also include visits to trade shows and companies and internships of four to six months, in France or abroad.

Aleksandra Liberatore, who is responsible for human resources and training at OSV, tells us that the SDC is meant to train future “go-to-market” managers, answering the need from small businesses in the outdoor industry for multitasking employees who are able to finalize the design of a product range, but can also handle marketing and the product launch. These skills are also sought after by large businesses, which are looking for employees who will have a global vision of the product life cycle.

The OSV already runs three other courses in partnership with Savoie-Mont-Blanc University and the IUT Annecy plus EMLyon, the French graduate management school. The Msc in Sports & Outdoor Industry Management (SIM), the Bachelor in Performance Sports Textiles & Footwear (PSTF) and the Bachelor for International Sales Specialists in Sport (I3S). They were attended by more than 80 students in 2016/17, with about half of those who attended the SIM course coming from abroad.

Aside from their international scope, all the courses are aimed at training new talent in the region in and around Annecy. The region is a major European cluster for the outdoor sports industry, with more than 354 companies based within its borders, according to a study conducted by the OSV. Together, they represent more than 822 sports brands and account for nearly 5,600 jobs.

More information can be found at edu.outdoorsportsvalley.org