University of New Haven Esports Academic Program, Team Get Lift From HyperX
The University of New Haven and HyperX, a manufacturer of computer peripherals used by prominent gamers and esports organizations, have signed a deal under which HyperX will support the university’s groundbreaking academic programs in esports and its new varsity esports team, which will begin competing in the fall.
“HyperX has opened its doors to the University of New Haven and is enabling students from our College of Business to have access to the company’s senior management to share their insights as gamers and students in the interdisciplinary field of esports and gaming,” says Brian Kench, dean, College of Business, University of New Haven. “This academic access to interact with executives of a gaming leader is unique in the esports industry.”
As part of the collaboration, the university will receive gaming peripherals for its varsity esports team, and HyperX will be the official peripheral sponsor of the esports program. The equipment will be used in the university’s new esports training and competition center, centerpiece of its $35 million Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, which is scheduled to open in April.
The agreement also will enable six members of the university’s incoming class — who are part of the university’s first-of-its kind program in esports management — to travel to HyperX’s Orange County, CA, headquarters to work on an academic project related to consumer preferences in the gaming-mouse peripheral category. In addition, the six students will be trained on how to be elite product testers and have the opportunity to develop a remote product testing center for HyperX.
“HyperX is glad to be working together with a university that sees the value of gaming and esports-management skills,” adds HyperX GM Mark Leathem. “We see the benefits of education and experience, and the university can help develop new leaders in this expanding business segment.”
HyperX is the high-performance–product division of Kingston Technology, the world’s largest independent memory manufacturer. The company is a major industry player and sponsors a variety of well-known personalities, such as popular Twitch streamer Pokimane, NBA star Gordon Hayward, fighting-game legend Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, NFL star Juju Smith Schuster, and Grammy Award-winning artist Post Malone.
Jason Chung, assistant professor, sport management/executive director, esports program, University of New Haven, will also have the opportunity to collaborate with company leaders to develop future opportunities for onsite coursework at HyperX.
A lawyer who specializes in building programs focused on succeeding in the business of esports, Chung indicates that a university gaining such direct access to a major esports and gaming hardware vendor — such as HyperX as part of an academic affiliation — is unique compared with the current relationships that exist between endemic gaming and esports sponsors and academic institutions.
“Not only has HyperX offered the University of New Haven a significant initial amount of equipment for our varsity esports team — a type of sponsorship that it typically pursues only with larger universities — the company has also opened the doors to its corporate headquarters to our students,” says Chung. “This means University of New Haven’s students will have the unique opportunity to work on real-world product and management issues with HyperX leaders and then travel to their Orange County offices to present their findings and solutions to senior executives, as well as benefit from job shadowing and mentorship opportunities.”
Last fall, the university announced it was launching a comprehensive academic curriculum in esports management that is the first of its kind to be part of a business curriculum accredited by AACSB International.
This fall, the university will also begin offering an interdisciplinary major in esports and gaming that will be housed in the College of Business and feature innovative concentrations offered by the university’s School of Health Sciences, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, and College of Arts and Sciences. A master’s-degree program in esports and technology, the first such graduate program in the U.S., is also in development.
“The relationship that HyperX is building with the University of New Haven signals their ambition to support an academic program that is preparing students to excel in the esports industry,” adds Kench.