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Management Diploma for Athletes

The Management Diploma for Athletes (MDA) program marked the start of sports and business at the Stockholm School of Economics. In 2011, SSE Executive Education was invited by the Johan Cruyff Institute to launch this one-year educational program and in 2021, the 8th class launched. In terms of content, the MDA can be considered as a "mini-MBA program" as it incorperates strategy, marketing, leadership, and accounting. In total, the program is 30 days, normally consisting of 2-day modules spread over the year. Throughout all of these years, Anders Sewerin and Peter Rover have done a great job as program leaders.

Management Diploma for Athletes 

A customised entrepreneurship and management program, supporting elite athletes in their transition to their next career. 

Welcome to Your Next Career! 

Have you spent most of your life focused on your sporting career? Looking for qualified training that will help you take a big step forward in your second career while at the same time complementing your acquired skills from your athletic career? Do you want to learn how your specific and unique experiences from sports can be useful to business? 

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are well on your way to being a valuable asset to the business community - a person with a background in sport with a strong knowledge of the challenges facing businesses. 

For You with a Background in Sport

MDA is specifically for professional athletes, ready to start their next career. Our diploma program brings together people from various sports arenas who all have in common a strong commitment and determination to succeed. These are the same ingredients to make both a successful career in sport and a successful career in business. 

The Program Provides many Possibilities 

- Build a platform for a new career outside of sport

- Start your own company within or outside of the sports world

- Take the next step in your current job

- Develop in your role as a manager and a leader in a club or an association

The education perfectly complemented my background in sport and gave me a great platform to move to the next level in my career.
Christina Bengtsson
MDA Alumni
This is a great and very important foundation for a quick transition into a new phase after your sport career.
Peter Forsberg
MDA Alumni

Program Outline

The curriculum is designed to fascilitate studying parallel to your athletic career or fulltime work. Besides, due to the varied experience, situational circumstances and development needs of the participants, the curriculum is both dynamic and flexible. It entails a combination of traditional lectures, workshops, individual work, and internet-based studies.

To inspire and give different business perspectives we arrange study sessions with interesting businesses. Finally, your individual project work will become an important building block in your own career development and employability. The project will be supervised by industry leaders and centered around your own career and interest or to build a business plan to help start or continue your business. The project work is done throughout the program and presented as a method of examination at the end of the program.


Johan Cruyff, who was ranked one of the best football players throughout time, founded the Cruyff Institute as a response to recognising the possible synergies between sports and business. Early on it was clear how trade and industry sought and benefitted from educated people with professional backgrounds. Today the Institute has expanded also internationally aiming to create educational programs for current or retired professional athletes.


Core Components

The program content is built around modules that gradually build up your knowledge and deepen your insights. The education spans a total of 30 days in class spread over a year. 

Economics and Law

Being able to understand and use "economic language" is essential in all activities. We have designed this as "economics for non-economists" and we combine theoretical and practical learning that gives you the most important basic knowledge and tools you need to interpret financial information and work with economic issues. We do a review of the legal terms and conditions that are crucial both in the industry as well as in the sports world. You will gain insight into the laws and regulations on, inter alia limited companies, board work, and contracts.


We find that a high proportion of our graduates have become successful entrepreneurs after their sports careers. While many entrepreneurs start businesses without formal entrepreneurship education, learning the principles of venture start-ups and small-scale business development can reduce the "growing pains" of your new business and can lead you on the path to success at a much quicker and more efficient rate. 

Sales & Marketing

In this area, we deepen our knowledge of brands, communication, marketing, and sales. You will gain knowledge at both the strategic and practical levels. We look at what the new media landscape looks like, how to build strong customer relationships and create effective internal and external communication. We also provide different perspectives on innovation, and how new ideas and developments create greater competitiveness. 


Within this topic, you look at yourself through a managerial and leadership lens. This also includes a personality test that will help you and others to understand your leadership profile and how it can best be used. You get greater self-awareness about your motivation, values, strengths, and areas for development in leadership. 


We give you a clearer view of operational efficiency - which is about the "how" to do something - not the "what". Many companies build their success by focusing on efficient production and we learn what the difference is between resource and flow efficiency. We highlight the various issues important to leading companies. 

Strategy and Business Development

You get a comprehensive picture of the enterprise. We highlight different strategy models and methods for business planning. You and your fellow students will form management teams to operate and develop companies in realistic business situations. You will gain the knowledge and tools that allow you to write business plans.