An Interview with Professor Tyler Hajek, Assistant Professor of Business and Sport Management
by Joel Willsey
A Growing Industry
In the age of information and the continual demand for entertainment, the sport industry is booming and primed to grow with the emerging workforce. According to a 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the industry is expected to grow nine percent in employment by 2032. Given this growing industry, many students see great potential and opportunity in the sport industry. Crown College has offered an opportunity for students to obtain a degree in Sport Management for many years. Today, Sport Management is a popular program for students in the Crown College School of Business.
Professor Hajek’s Sport Experience and Background
When asked what drew Professor Hajek to the sport industry he responded: “I grew up surrounded by it.” Growing up, Professor Hajek remembers attending several sporting events with his parents and supporting his two older siblings in their activities. ” In his high school and college years, Professor Tyler Hajek competed in track and field. While pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Sport, Recreation, and Park Management, Professor Hajek was an NCAA Division I collegiate pole vaulter for South Dakota State University. When listening to Professor Hajek speak about his background in sports and the formative role they’ve played in his life, his passion for sports and the impact they make on our lives even from a young age was evident. One quote that has inspired Professor Hajek comes from Nelson Mandela when he said: “Sports is a language that the youth understand”. Sports have served as a barrier breaker and a means of building relationships for Professor Hajek. Before Professor Hajek started his higher education career, he spent several years accumulating career experience in the sport Industry for companies including Daktronics, Mankato Moondogs, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx and events like the 2016 Ryder Cup. During this time, Professor Hajek was encouraged to pursue a career in higher education by mentor and professor Dr. Suzannah Armentrout of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
In 2022, Professor Tyler Hajek joined Crown College as the Assistant Professor of Business and Sport Management. Before coming to Crown, Professor Hajek was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Northern Colorado in the School of Sport and Exercise Science where he is pursuing his PhD. Additionally, he taught as an Adjunct Instructor for Minnesota State University Mankato, where he taught Sport Management courses through an online format.
Studying Sport Management at Crown College
So, what makes studying Sport Management at Crown College unique? Professor Hajek started by saying: “Well, the classes aren’t just talking about your favorite sports team—full disclaimer”. Studying Sport Management in the Crown College School of Business digs much deeper than sports fandom. The heart of the program is to “develop men and women of integrity, with a strong foundation of the Word. To develop bold, honorable, innovative, and courageous kingdom-minded leaders in all disciplines. In sport or out of sport.”
A unique advantage to studying Sport Management at Crown College is the proximity to many internship opportunities and Crown’s commitment to developing relationships with local sports clinics and local high schools. The Twin Cities also provide opportunities for large events such as the Ryder Cup as well as opportunities with major sport organizations and teams. In the past year, Professor Hajek has led student groups to networking events with the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Timberwolves organizations. In addition to the opportunity in the metro area, St. Bonifacius is closely located to suburban and rural areas that can provide students with unique opportunities. Groups such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Uncommon Sports Group, and Skyhawks have been invited to campus for networking opportunities.