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$10M New Balance Donation Establishes the Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport at UMass Boston

Builds on $5M Gift to New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration Program

Boston – WEBWIRE

The University of Massachusetts Boston today announced a commitment of $10 million from Boston-based New Balance Athletics, Inc. to establish the New Balance Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport. The gift will provide operational funds to launch the institute and endow it in perpetuity at the UMass Boston campus.

The new commitment and institute build on the New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration program founded at UMass Boston with a $5 million gift in 2018.

 “This is a brilliant partnership,” said UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “UMass Boston is the natural academic home for the New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration program and this new institute. Innovative and interdisciplinary, the program prepares students for exemplary careers in sports management while offering a robust social justice platform to advance excellence, equity, diversity, and human rights in sports. This aligns with our foundational idea that a UMass Boston education is designed have impact and serve the greater good.”

Advancing equitable practices and social responsibility inside the sports industry is the vision that drove UMass Boston and New Balance to create the Sport Leadership and Administration program. Since the program opened in fall 2019, it has grown to 127 students majoring in sport leadership and administration, with another 34 students having already graduated. Students in the program have participated in a combined 10,000 hours of internships in the sport industry. An aim of the new institute is to expand internship and employment opportunities.

 “We can’t thank New Balance enough for investing in public higher education in Massachusetts and here in Boston, the sports capital of the nation,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. "The New Balance Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport will open doors more widely for students from diverse backgrounds pursuing sports management careers. With the skills, knowledge, and connections they will gain, these students will be change-makers for good in the sport industry.”

The New Balance Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport will provide new faculty and academic support and bolster scholarship funding to increase student enrollment in the academic program to 200-300 students annually. In addition, the institute will focus on conducting and publishing research on the sport industry and cultivating external partnerships, expanding funding sources, and gaining support within and across the sport industry.

 “We are excited to expand our investment in UMass Boston through this institute, which reflects New Balance’s focus on advancing opportunities for transformational leadership, innovation, and diversity in our industry,” said Jim Davis, New Balance Chairman. “Chancellor Suárez-Orozco and Dr. Joe Cooper have done a tremendous job to establish the Sport Leadership & Administration program. We look forward to seeing how this institute will enable the power of sport to positively impact our communities and create change-making sports leaders for the future.”

As the New Balance Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport becomes operational and grows, UMass Boston will also establish sport industry labs focused on student learning and development for career readiness, as well as a certification program for sport industry professionals.

“With this new Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport, our three pillars are sport equity, sport innovation, and sport performance and holistic wellness,” said Professor Joseph N. Cooper, the J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair of Sport Leadership and Administration. “This integrated specialization approach will allow us to engage in impactful equity-minded research, education, and programming that advances the sports industry across multiple levels and society more broadly" 

“Dr. Joe Cooper’s demonstrated passion and academic leadership on the intersections between youth, sport, race and culture has been integral to the success of the UMass Boston Sports Leadership and Administration program,” said Joe Preston, New Balance President & CEO. “We are proud to support his innovative and inspirational work to build greater opportunities for diverse communities within the sports industry.”

About New Balance

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA, has the following purpose: Independent since 1906, we empower people through sport and craftsmanship to create positive change in communities around the world. Manufactured in the U.S. for more than 75 years and representing a limited portion of our U.S. sales, New Balance MADE U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs 8,000 associates around the globe, and in 2022 reported worldwide sales of $5.3 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit and for the latest press information please visit

About UMass Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city’s history yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

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