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There have never been many meaningful links between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Formula One but that is starting to change. In 2000 the IOC and several other institutions founded the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS), a graduate school at the University of Lausanne, and it has recently put in place for the first time a course about the business of F1.
The course is part of the school's Masters degree which lasts for one year full time and is open to sports enthusiasts aiming for a career in sports management. Called the MSA (Master of Advanced Studies in Sports Administration and Technology), the course covers disciplines such as economics, sociology and medicine in a sports context.
AISTS doesn't just teach students about sports management, it also claims to ensure that they leave equipped with the contacts to find work which is increasingly tough in today's environment. Developing connections is one of what the school refers to as 'three pillars' on which it is founded. Education is the second and applied research is the third - it makes a course about F1 well-suited to it.
Students get first-hand knowledge from a master networker as the course is taught by Kolja Spoeri, a German sports marketing expert who has over 15 years of experience in F1 and currently works closely with Michael Schumacher. "Bernie Ecclestone has developed Formula 1 into a successful business platform. With some of the biggest corporate and entrepreneurial names attending Grands Prix, it is almost an Economic Forum every two weeks. A lot can be learned from Formula 1" says Spoeri.
However, like all good things in F1 the course doesn't come cheap. It costs 31,000 Swiss Francs (around £22,750) for the year so it really is best suited to budding Bernie Ecclestones.
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