Meet the Academic: Jonathan Grix, Global Online MSc in Sport Business, Management and Policy

Picture of Jonathan Grix. Professor of Sports Policy, Manchester Metropolitan University

We spoke to Professor Jonathan Grix about his academic background and our Global Online master’s in Sport Business, Management and Policy, which he leads on with Paul Michael Brannagan


Tell us a little bit more about your role and responsibilities as programme lead for Global Online

I’m Professor of Sports Policy and, as well as being the Head of the Sports Policy Unit, I am also in charge of the University’s on campus and online MSc Sport Business, Management and Policy programmes. It’s my responsibility to make sure our unit’s students have the best learning experience possible, regardless of whether they are learning with us here in Manchester or remotely.


Can you tell us a little bit more about your academic background and experience in education?

In a nutshell, my journey into academia started when I met a German woman, moved to Berlin and did my university entrance exams while abroad. I haven’t always been a sports academic; I actually read German as a first degree, completed a master’s in Contemporary European Studies and then did a PhD in German Politics. My interest in sport developed from my experience as a middle-distance runner in the 1980s (I ran 4.09 for the mile at 17 years old). From here, my interests evolved and I turned my attention to sports as an area of research.


What is your particular area of academic expertise, and why are you passionate about it? 

​​I’m an expert in sport policy and sport politics. In particular, my focus is on the political use of sport by states, whether that’s funding elite sport success, using sport to meet political goals or hosting sports mega-events. I’ve written widely on the latter – exploring how such events are used by nations to gain international prestige and soft power. My last two monographs have been on the East German Sports ‘Miracle’ (2012) and Sport Politics (2016).


Why should people choose the Global Online Sport Business, Management and Policy programme? 

​​We have worked with experts – both in online learning and sports – to develop a programme that couples academic expertise with a great learning experience. You will be taught by world-leading academics, who actually research and produce the work they are teaching, and who have strong connections with sporting organisations across the world. From the support you will receive throughout your two years to the unique topical content covered in the course units, we can guarantee our offering is unique.


What can students expect to come away with after completing the course? 

​​Students completing this programme will not only improve their career opportunities but also their ability to critically engage with one of the most exciting topics of our time: the role sport plays in society and the growing importance of industry across the world.


Aside from being able to meet the programme’s entry requirements, is there anything else that you would like to see in your students? 

​​We are looking for people with the same level of passion, interest and engagement for the study of sport that we, the tutors, have – and that’s a lot.


What excites you most about teaching on the Global Online programme?

I think the most exciting thing about teaching on this programme will be the chance to discuss what I am researching, every week. These are the topics that fascinate the tutors and, I have no doubt, will inspire our students too. This is not a job but a hobby!