What do an NBA champion, a former world No. 1 tennis player, and an Olympic figure skater have in common?
They’re all currently enrolled at Harvard Business School, learning how to build a second career outside of sports thanks to professor Anita Elberse.
Elberse runs the “Crossover Into Business” program, a semester-long program that pairs MBA student mentors with professional athletes to “develop their business acumen.”
Elberse also teaches “The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports,” a four-day course that regularly brings A-listers to Cambridge to learn “new approaches for driving revenue and success in today’s entertainment environment,” among other skills.
Some of the big names to take the class in the past include Grammy-winning singer Ciara, former Miami Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, husband-and-wife stars of HGTV series “Fixer Upper” Chip and Joanna Gaines, and actors Channing Tatum and Katie Holmes.
This semester, a total of 28 current or former pro athletes are taking Crossover Into Business, including tennis star Caroline Wozniacki — who was the top player in the world in 2010 and 2011 — and her husband, former New York Knicks and Boston Celtics power forward David Lee. Also enrolled for the semester: former Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner, Knicks shooting guard/small forward Reggie Bullock, Orlando Magic shooting guard/small forward Terrence Ross, and tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
“The fall 2019 edition of @HarvardHBS’s #crossoverintobusiness program is underway!,” Elberse wrote on Instagram. “A total of 28 athletes from the NBA, WNBA, WTA, NFL, MLS, NWSL, NHL, Olympians from other sports, and two ballet dancers are enrolled, and they visited our campus the past few days to kick things off.”
Some of Elberse’s students took to Instagram to share their excitement as well.
View this post on Instagram
The fall 2019 edition of @HarvardHBS’s #crossoverintobusiness program is underway! A total of 28 athletes from the NBA, WNBA, WTA, NFL, MLS, NWSL, NHL, Olympians from other sports, and two ballet dancers are enrolled, and they visited our campus the past few days to kick things off. Judging by these photos you would think we spent most of our time in an elaborate photoshoot on the steps of Baker library 😉, but they worked hard to get smarter about business through case discussions, study groups, and exercises. And they absolutely crushed it. 👏👏👏 I can’t wait to see what else they’ll do this semester! 🏆 (Big thanks to @melcolmx and @kaiasimmz for all their efforts behind the scenes, and @mrkkess for his 📷s! 👌)
“Sooooo I did a thing!!!,” Wagner wrote on Instagram. “So honored and excited to be going back to school after a decade and take part in @harvardhbs #CrossoverIntoBusiness program.”
Kevin Slane can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.