Sports management focuses on the business side of the sports industry. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines business, marketing, and accounting skills, as well as knowledge of sports, training, and athletes. It is a great field for professionals with a passion for sports who want to build a career in an athletic environment and won’t mind being on the road a lot to do it, as it often demands consistent travel. Careers in sports management run the gamut, from entry-level to management positions in professional sports organizations.
Sports Management Course Work Basics
Accredited online colleges for sports management usually offer the degree through their kinesiology or business departments. Kinesiology-based programs often include more sports training courses as well as business courses, while a business-based program will focus more on business courses with electives in kinesiology and sports science. Depending on the focus of the program, sports management students often complete programs in partnership with the school’s athletic program. For example, they might organize fundraisers, design a marketing strategy, or develop a plan to boost ticket sales. Internships are a requirement in many sports management programs as well. Students might intern with local sports venues, semi-pro or professional sports teams or organizations, school, or universities to build on and utilize the content of their coursework. Core courses in a sports management program might include:
- Introduction to Sport Management: This course covers the fundamentals of sports organizational structure, marketing, and management.
- Sports Marketing, Fundraising, and Development: In this class, students learn strategies and theories for raising money or generating revenue for sports organizations.
- Sports Finance: This course covers finance principles related to athletics.
- Facility and Personnel Management: In this class, students discuss the human resources management issues unique to the sports industry.
- Sports in U.S. Culture: This course examines the role of sports in U.S. history, culture, and media.
The best online colleges for sports management offer a breadth of business courses in the context of the sports industry. Most programs will include courses in economics, accounting, marketing, technology, media, communications, and management, as well as focus on the ethics and legal issues at play in sports organizations. Students might also learn about the structure of various sports organizations, such as collegiate sports, education systems, and professional sports organizations.
Careers for the Sports Management Graduate
Graduates of top accredited online colleges are qualified for most entry-level sports management positions. They might land jobs in the marketing divisions of athletic venues, community sports programs, high school sports programs, athletics departments at colleges and universities, or even sales positions with athletic equipment companies. With experience and hard work, sports management professionals can advance to higher-level positions without earning an advanced degree in the field., though some choose to earn graduate degrees in a related field. For example, many top rated online colleges offer concentrations in sports management through their MBA programs.
Advanced sports management positions include program directors of community or collegiate sports organizations, as well as directors of ticketing and sales for college athletics programs, professional sports teams, or corporate sports venues. Universities also often employ sports management professionals as directors of athletics, fitness directors, compliance coordinators, or sports media or communications directors. High-level sports management positions have the potential to be lucrative. Some university sports administrators can earn approximately $83,000 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary considerably within the field based on your education, experience, and employer.