UOnline and Florida Panthers form partnership to provide internships in sports management and ‘Hockey 101’ educational courses

Newswise — University of Miami UOnline has signed an agreement with the Florida Panthers to provide students in the University’s Master’s in Sport Administration program with internships, as well as launched a new online Hockey 101 course to educate fans about the game.  

As part of the partnership, the Panthers will work with UOnline to create an internship program to offer students the real-life experience of working at a top sports franchise. Each year, the team will make six intern positions available to students in the Master of Science in Education Sport Administration program.

“This is truly an excellent opportunity for the University and our UOnline students,’’ said Rebecca MacMillan Fox, dean of the Division of Continuing and International Education (DCIE) and UOnline. The Master’s in Sport Administration is offered in collaboration with the University’s School of Education and Human Development.

“Not only will our students get direct, hands-on experience through internships with the team, they will also be able to build relationships that could lead to full-time positions in the future,” Fox added. “We are extremely excited to be the only college or university to partner with the Panthers in this way.” 

Ranked among the best online graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report, UOnline offers a wide range of graduate degrees and certificates that are provided virtually, allowing students to access them anytime, entirely online. The courses are taught by the same University faculty members who teach on campus. 

“University of Miami’s Master’s Program in Sport Administration is perennially one of the most respected programs in the country, so we are delighted to have this partnership in place granting access and placement to Miami graduate students within the Florida Panthers organization,” said Panthers Executive Vice President of People & Facilities Rob Stevenson. 

In addition to the internship program, UOnline has collaborated with the team to create an educational hockey series that fans and the University community can take online for free to enhance their knowledge of the game. The non-credit course will consist of three parts: Hockey 101, Hockey 201, and Hockey 301, and will be hosted by UOnline, as well as on the Panthers website. 

Those who complete the class will receive a certificate of completion signed by team captain Aleksander Barkov. Barkov opens the course with a brief welcome video. The course is narrated by veteran broadcaster Doug Plagens, who is entering his seventh season as the official radio announcer for the team. 

Created by the University’s Distance Learning Institute, with expert guidance from the Panthers, the course covers everything from the origins of modern ice hockey to the basic rules of the game and the structure of the National Hockey League and its season. 

Through the partnership, UOnline will also receive special promotional benefits such as LED banners at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise and virtual logos displayed on the ice. 

In addition, UOnline will receive one “takeover night” per season and be designated as “presenting partner” of a home game, with co-branded giveaways, extra announcements about the program during the game, and the ability to set up a table to interact with fans. 

“On behalf of the Florida Panthers organization and the Viola family, we are honored to have UOnline as a part of our Panthers Territory,’’ added Shawn Thornton, chief revenue officer for the team, which made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. “It’s an exciting time for our franchise, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about our partnership with UOnline as we embark on a new era of hockey in South Florida.”

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