Why Choose a Athletic Administration MBA

An MBA degree is a Master in Business Administration. This means that graduates understand all the important elements of running a business, including such things as marketing and finance. More and more MBA programs now include a specialization, allowing graduates to focus their degree knowledge on a specific field of work. Athletic administration, as such, focuses specifically on sports and other athletic organizations.

What We Do

Most of those who have completed an MBA in Athletic Administration once dreamed of becoming professional athletes but are realistic enough to know that only very few people make it to that point. In order to still be involved in the things that they love at top level point, they choose the MBA program. You will get to work in a position that is related to sports, but it is generally not that of a coach or counselor. Rather than focusing on winning a game, someone with an MBA in this field focuses on bringing fans to the game, making sure the facilities are properly operated, managing a budget and so on.

Why It’s Hot

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies those who hold an MBA in Athletic Administration as Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers. Nationally, they earn an average salary of $115,750 per year at bachelor’s degree level. This means that those who hold an MBA have the potential to earn far more. Furthermore, the profession is set to grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022.

Another reason why it’s hot is because it involves sports. Sports is one of the foundations and building blocks of this country. Almost everybody has some sort of sports involvement, be that because they play themselves or a member of their family does, or because they support a certain team. As such, work is always available, while job openings may be competitive.

At the same time, one of the reasons why many people choose this career is because of the prestige. While it may be very difficult to become involved in an NFL or NBA team, if you do manage to get your foot in those doors, you will suddenly find yourself in a very different world.

Work Environment

Most people who have completed an MBA in Athletic Administration have office-based positions. However, more often than not, these offices will be within stadiums or other sports facilities. As their role often revolves around ensuring operations are running smoothly, a lot of time will be spent on their feet, checking the various elements of the organization itself, working together with the athletes, coaches and other people involved in the team itself. As such, these are very varied and diverse roles. Unfortunately, it is rare for someone with an MBA in Athletic Administration to travel with the team on away games. On the other hand, some travel may be included in order to experience best practice procedures from other sports organizations.

How to Do It

In order to obtain an MBA in Athletic Administration, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to complete. It is recommended to have a bachelor major in a field, such as sports management or sports education, or any other field that relates to athletic practices. Gaining admission to an MBA program is highly competitive and it is important that you learn how to sell yourself. You are likely to have to pass the GMAT exam, but demonstrating that you have other competencies through your resume, transcripts and personal statements can also increase your chances of being accepted into a program. It is recommended to apply to a number of different schools to increase your chances of receiving a place.

You can also choose between online and on campus programs. One on-campus program you could take into consideration is the MBA in Sports and Athletics Administration offered by Lynn University. This degree focuses on a student’s personal sports interests. It adds significant management skills to existing knowledge, as well as building on practical experience. This particular school is highly acclaimed on an international level, with 25% of students being international.

MBA in Athletic Administration Online

A range of online options also exist for those with an interest in this particular degree program.

  1. MBA in Athletic AdministrationSouthern New Hampshire University – This degree is designed to help graduates truly advance their career. It is perfect for middle and high school coaches, athletic directors and administrators of sports clubs. It builds on a bachelor’s degree in sports administration and increases insights in the field itself. Graduates have highly marketable and unique skills that allow them to always be a step ahead of the competition.
  2. *MBA Sports ManagementTiffin University – Tiffin University prides itself on being able to attract some of the biggest names in the sports industry, either as student or as instructor. Students must take part in a supervised mentor-ship program, which will allow them to immediately increase their real world experience and start building on professional networks.
  3. *MBA Sport Business ConcentrationSaint Leo University – This program prides itself on being the first in the country to have been accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). It can be completed in just one year.
  4. *MBA, Sports ManagementConcordia University Chicago – This program can be completed on campus or online. It takes two years to complete full time. The focus of the degree is on the economics and business elements of the athletic industry.
  5. *Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Sports BusinessGrand Canyon University – This degree has been designed to create the sports business leaders of tomorrow while maintaining strong Christian values. It focuses on policy, ethical decision making and advocacy.

Pros & Cons

All careers have associates advantages and drawbacks, and the MBA in Athletic Administration is now different.


  • You will have a choice of multiple types of employers. These include colleges, high schools, national sports organizations, non profit organizations and more.
  • Once employed, it is possible that you could be eligible for some interesting bonuses. Indeed, some report bonuses of as much as $9,000 per year, on top of an already interesting salary.
  • Overall salaries are very high, which makes it an interesting career choice.
  • You are able to influence a world that, in turn, influences the general population. Everybody loves sports, after all.


  • Your work schedule is likely to be erratic. Many sports facilities are open around the clock, 365 days a year, which means you may have to work evenings, weekends and national holidays.
  • The glass ceiling is very firmly in place within the sports industry, and there is also a strong ethnic bias. Indeed, 89% of people at this level are Caucasian, and 90% are male.
  • Your workload will also fluctuate tremendously. At the start of a sports season, you may find yourself suddenly overflowing with work.
  • Because of the erratic nature of both your work schedule and your workload, the chance of burnout is high.

Financial Aid

  • National Merit Scholarship – Available to Lynn University students who have a GPA of 3.5. They can receive full tuition, up to 16 credits per semester.
  • Concordia Supplemental Church Professional Award – Church professionals studying at Concordia University Chicago can receive this grant.
  • Citizens Bank Good Citizen Scholarship – A total of $50,000 is awarded to students, including graduate students, who are also active in their community, being good citizens.
  • Legion Scholarships – Legion offers scholarships to all different types of people, including kin of veterans and to those who participate in a Legion program.
  • Century Link – CenturyLinkQuote gives students an opportunity to earn $1,000 towards their education.

Career Paths

The career paths for someone with an MBA in Athletic Administration are vast. They include working in:

  • Professionals sports as a general manager, media relations specialist, marketing officer or sales specialist.
  • Collegiate sports as an NCAA compliance official or athletic director.
  • Sports events as an ad activation or operations manager.
  • Coaching as a trainer, team coach or player development scout, while this is less common for someone with an MBA.
  • Player representation as a marketing or sports agent.
  • Stadiums as a public relations officer or facility manager.

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in SUBJECT