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Thunder and OCU create innovative graduate degree program

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business are partnering to create the Thunder Leadership MBA program.

Formerly known as the Leadership MBA, the Thunder Leadership MBA curriculum includes collaboration with senior leadership from the Thunder who will provide insight into strategic business initiatives and guidance to graduate students as they complete a semester-long project that culminates with a presentation to team executives at Paycom Center.

“The opportunity to engage Thunder Leadership MBA students in present-day case studies and offer unique job-shadow experiences aligns with our vision to create the optimal conditions for people to thrive,” said Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Thunder. “We are honored to collaborate with OCU’s MBA program and provide an innovative forum that will positively impact their professional journey.”

The partnership also includes opportunities for OCU undergraduate business students to leverage the home game experience as a Thunder practicum, enriching their understanding of business operations. Selected students will participate in a variety of exercises such as event planning, curating guest experiences, understanding marketing analytics, content design and multi-channel distribution.

“The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Meinders School of Business will become substantive partners in business education providing meaningful learning experiences for our students,” said Russell Evans, interim dean of the Meinders School of Business. “As students engage in these experiential learning opportunities in one of the most exciting environments in the city, a deeper understanding of classroom principles will emerge. This partnership is an example of our commitment to forming deep and strategic community relationships, and then leveraging those relationships on behalf of our students.”

The Thunder Leadership MBA and Thunder practicum will begin this fall. Applications are now open.

To learn more about the collaboration, please visit https://okcu.edu/thunder.

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