In 2005, a first chair was created, supported by the Minister of Sport of the French Community of Belgium and the insurance company Ethias. Its purpose is already to examine the capacity of sport organizations in Belgium to manage their organizational evolution in view of the transformation of the sport landscape.
In 2008, Professors Marc Maes (Universiteit Gent) and Thierry Zintz (UCLouvain) asked the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Count Jacques Rogge, for the establishment of a joint Olympic chair between the two universities.
The idea was that a few Olympic Chairs existed around the world, oriented towards values and ethics in sport, but that none of them embodied a managerial approach within Olympic sport organizations. At the same time, Belgium is the only country in the world to have had two IOC presidents, Count Henri de Baillet Latour (1925-1942) and Count Jacques Rogge (2001-2013). These two elements decided Count Rogge to support the initiative.
In 2008, the prestigious Baillet Latour Fund decided to financially support the Henri de Baillet Latour and Jacques Rogge Olympic Chair in Sports Organization Management for 12 years (until 2020)
Initiated by Professor Thierry Zintz, at UCLouvain, this chair has allowed the development of our sport management research group, which focuses its efforts on the three pillars of academic work.
In terms of research, several doctoral theses, numerous articles and books (as authors or co-authors) have been produced by the professors and researchers who are members or associates of the research group. This work has focused on governance, management, social responsibility and ethics of and in sport organizations.
In terms of teaching, the members of the research group teach courses in the management of sport organizations within the master’s degree in sport sciences, physical education orientation of the UCLouvain. Some of them are involved in academic trainings co-managed with the International Olympic Committee (Master MEMOS) or the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (Belgian Olympic Academy University Certificate) or are invited or associated professors at the universities of Ottawa (Canada), Poitiers (France) or in various business schools that provide trainings oriented towards the sport industry.
In the area of services to society, the research group collaborates with the public authorities in the Walloon-Brussels Federation and the European Commission. Prof. Zintz has been involved in the IOC Education Commission and the World Anti-Doping Agency. With the access to emeritus status of Professor Zintz (October 2020), the research group takes new directions under the name “Sport Management UCLouvain”, and the guidance of Professor Géraldine Zeimers.