With an MBA in Sports Management, you are able to gain a career in a fantastic industry. Sports and recreation go hand in hand. And with an MBA, your focus will be on the business side of sports, of course, allowing you to improve this part of the industry.
What We Do
Sports is an industry that is worth billions of dollars across the world. Within organized sports, there are many different management levels. There is also a growing need for those who have skills in communication and finance that are relevant to sports. An MBA in Sports Management gives you the training, skills and knowledge to address the serious, business side of recreation and play. It is the perfect combination for someone who is a sports fan but also wants to work on a professional level. Various roles are available, from events organization to team management to marketing, for instance.
With this degree, you will be ready to take on a range of employment opportunities relating to sports. Critical is branding and marketing, which is seen in professional sports, amateur organizations and college programs alike. This is why there is also a requirement for those who have added knowledge in media awareness, communication, finance, event management and law. This knowledge allows you to address the various challenges of sports management.
Why It’s Hot
According to Forbes.com, the industry has grown by $145.3 billion since 2010. This means that there are many different opportunities to be held in the field as well. Demand is on the rise in many areas, including:
- Sports media, as well as social media
- Sports sponsorship and marketing
- Sports in higher education, where a growth of 15% is being experienced
- Sports facilities management
Unfortunately, as sports is such a popular field because it crosses into recreation, competition is fierce.
There is a large number of options to choose from in terms of work environment for someone with an MBA in Sports Management. Sports organizations exist across all levels of society and come in various sizes, with various budgets.
Many graduates work directly with sports professionals and amateurs, choosing roles, such as coach or athletic trainer. Others opt for the role of sports marketing manager. Meanwhile, many also work in a field that is not directly involved in performing sports. Indeed, the above roles can also be completed with a bachelor’s degree in sports management, rather than an MBA.
How to Do It
To earn an MBA in Sports Management, you will first have to achieve a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to complete. After this, you will need to choose a graduate school and apply. However, competition in MBA programs is fierce, so do make sure you have a range of schools to choose from.
In many cases, you will first have to pass the GMAT exam. Indeed, this is what will determine the majority of your admission score. Hence, it is vital to prepare yourself properly before taking the exam, by reading publications, doing volunteer work and studying hard.
The MBA program itself can be completed both online and on campus. One example of an on campus program is offered by the University of Central Missouri. Their program is known as being outstanding, placing the goal of the student as the focus. Students learn by doing, which means it offers various real-world experience options. Graduates are in high demand for their knowledge and confidence. It develops true leaders in the field. Classes are offered in the evening and it is possible to complete the degree in as little as one year. Students may focus on sports economics, sports marketing and the legal aspects of business decisions.
MBA in Sports Management Online
The following schools are offering MBA degrees via an online option, and after the name of the degree and the school it is offered at, contains important information about the degree program in order to provide a basic idea of the differences between the various schools offering MBA degrees with concentrations in sports management.
- Master of Business Administration in Sport Management – Southern New Hampshire University – This no GMAT degree program can be completed completely online, and can be finished in as little as 18 months. The program has many successful graduates working in established sports organizations, and many of those alumni are part of this degree curriculum. The class interactions are guided through online discussions, group projects and case studies. SNHU is featured in our 2017 America’s Best Online MBA programs ranking report.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports & Entertainment Management – University of Dallas – This degree is designed for those interested in executive positions in the sports and entertainment industries. It involves the basic fundamentals of a top-notch MBA program, with the additional knowledge of how those skills can be best utilized in the evolving sports industry. The curriculum also includes joint relationships with area corporations so the students can work as consultants on real-world business dilemmas and resolve the best solutions. The program involves 45 credit hours and does not require the GMAT test score to apply. The length of the program depends on the pace that each students works at to complete the required courses.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports Management – Concordia University of Chicago – Classroom-like communications are achieved through cohort groups and the online technology of video conferencing. The online flexibility allows students to complete assigned coursework as their schedule allows. There are 14 classes that make up 39 credit hours to complete the degree. This can all be done in less than two years, one class at a time. This school does not require a GMAT test score for admission.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports Management – Tiffin University – There is no requirement for a GMAT test score in this school in order to apply. This well known program has an impressive list of alumni working in many sports teams and sports-related companies and organizations. Their connections to the school can always provid a valuable added benefit when the degree is completed and the job search begins. These connections also lead to a very thorough combination of sporting professionals who teach their courses as well.
- Master of Business Administration in Sport Management – Florida Atlantic University – This program does require all applicants to have taken the GMAT test. This focused program aims towards those interested in the sports and entertainment industries, and becoming managers and executives in those fields. It is not oriented for those interested in physical education or training. It is a requirement as well that students may not be employed in any job that is not part of the sport industry while in the program, but does require employment/internships throughout the completion of the degree requirements.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports and Entertainment Management – University of Colorado at Denver – In order to get ahead in the sporting industry, getting connections into organizations is often one of the most important parts. This school offers internships for their students, and works to keep many available for them to benefit from. Courses can be directed towards a student’s particular interests, and can be towards the marketing, legal and negotiating, or financial aspects of the management of sporting organizations. Their London Calling program offers students a lesson in global sports and the factors involved in sports activities crossing international boundaries. The program involves 48 total semester hours.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports Marketing and Management – University of North Carolina at Charlotte – This MBA degree program consists of 37 credit hours, and they do allow students to transfer up to six hours of previously completed coursework. The required courses of this specialization include sports economics, management of Motorsport, management of professional team sports, and marketing of sports. There are additional choices depending on each student’s particular area of interest. There is an option to participate in Directed Individual Study Internship, whereby successful completion earns the students credits towards their degree requirements. This online MBA can be completed in as little as 17 months on a full-time schedule, or in two years on a part-time schedule. They do require a GMAT test score as part of the application process.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports Management – University of the Southwest – This degree program covers many of the areas involved in possible sports management careers, such as marketing, economy, finance, as well as probabilities, statistics, physical education and sports administration. The online program has options which can have the degree completed as quickly as one year.
- Master of Business Administration in Sport Revenue Generation – Nova Southeastern University – This unique online program is targeted at an area of the business that all sports organizations are looking for, which is the specific skills needed to increase the revenue base within the business. The ability to master revenue enhancement gives these graduates a very sought after skill in the marketplace. The GMAT test score depends on the GPA that the applicant received while completing their undergraduate degree. For those with GPAs over 2.49, the GMAT is not required.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports Business – University of Oregon – The admission to this degree program requires a minimum GMAT score above the 60th percentile and professional, relevant work experience of at least two years. This program’s close relationship to the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center provides an invaluable benefit to students looking for real world connections and case studies throughout their studies. Coursework topics cover marketing and sports properties, marketing research, sports sponsorship alliances, legal aspects of sports, sports products, and economic aspects of sports. These courses are in addition to the 10 core classes required of all MBA students at the University of Oregon.
- Global Master of Business Administration in Hospitality, Sport and Leisure Management – London School of Business & Finance – The GMAT is not a requirement of all applicants, but may be required for some based on a lack of previous work experience or undergraduate GPA results. The test score is considered an advantage by the admissions department. Based on the pace at which a student completes the required courses, the online degree can be completed in as little as 12 months or as long as 60 months. All teaching is done with the desire to relate general business practices to the unique and thriving hospitality, sport, and leisure industries on a global level.
- Master of Business Administration in Sports Management – Anna Maria College – Focusing mainly on high school, collegiate, and professional sports, this program is geared to prospective students whose career aspirations lie within these settings. The degree can be earned after completing the 36 credit hours required for graduation. Available courses under this specialization cover all aspects of the sporting industry, including market research, sports marketing, international factors, and fiscal management of sporting endeavors. The GMAT test score is not required for application to this MBA degree program.
Pros & Cons
There are both pros and cons to obtaining an MBA in Sports Management. These include
- Someone with an MBA is always highly desirable.
- Positions generally include interesting rates of pay.
- You may be able to work with sports legends, or world famous teams.
- You have an opportunity to improve the health and well being of people.
- You will get to attend a range of fantastic sporting events.
- An MBA can be very expensive to achieve.
- Competition is fierce, particularly in the field of professional sports.
- Marriott Golf PGM Minority Annual Scholarship – Applicants must be enrolled at Ferris State University and must have a GPA of at least 2.5. Additionally, they must be sophomore standing and must already have completed an internship. Priority is given to those with financial need or those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Comcast Internship Scholarship – Applicants must already be enrolled in a master’s degree in sports management. They must also demonstrate financial need and they must have an excellent educational background. Furthermore, they must have been nominated to take part in a Comcast-Spectator Philadelphia practicum.
- Erik K. M. Kjeldsen Leadership Scholarship – Financial need must be demonstrated by applicants. Additionally, they must be able to demonstrate they have excellent leadership abilities by being involved in organizations or projects.
- Chuck McPhilomy Scholarship – This is a grant specific for undergraduate students who are focusing on sports management or other types of physical education. It is only available to full time students and military veterans take preference.
- Lourdes P. & Rafael A. Sanchez Scholarship – A scholarship for St Thomas University undergraduates who are in full time educational. Awards are granted based on financial need and academic accomplishments.
Some of the many exciting career options worth pursuing with this type of MBA are the following:
- Sports marketing director. With an MBA in sports management, you can become the leading marketing manager or director in your organization. You will be in charge of managing various activities at sporting events, business events and charity events for your sports-related organization. You also may help your organization to boost ticket sales and possibly raise awareness for a cause. Professionals in this position have to have superior business management and and communications skills. You may utilize advanced and innovative ways to increase sales, such as group ticket sales, giving away of prizes and working with sponsors to increase awareness of their products at events. You will spend the majority of your time planning and managing sports marketing events and fundraisers.
- Sports information director. With your background in business administration, you are perfect to serve in this position as a liaison between an athletic organization and the media. You will most of the time create or oversee the creation on news releases and organize press conferences for people in your sports organization. You will be the point man for managing public relations and business relations for your team. You also will work on improving ties with business sponsors and improving communications between your sports organization and businesses.
- Brand manager. Most sports organizations need to have advanced business and marketing professionals more effectively manage their brand. When people think of your particular sports team, you and the organization will want them to think of something positive and profitable for the organization. Maintaining a consistent and profitable brand is very important and you will have learned advanced strategies to do this in your sports business classes. Another very important area of brand management is crisis management and damage control. When a sports organization has a bad bout of PR, you will need to have strategies available to minimize damage and recover the reputation of the organization.
- Stadium manager. With a business degree and sports management degree, you can manage an athletic facility or stadium. You will need to oversee the entire operations of a stadium or sports facility, including finances, repairs, business administration, construction, event management, maintenance and more. When the stadium is not used by the sports team, you will need to work on various concerts and special events to make sure that the venue has a steady stream of income. You also could be a stadium or athletic facility operations manager.
- Sports agent. Although it is a fiercely competitive industry, some professionals with an MBA in sports management eventually represent professional athletes. The purpose of this role is to represent the best interests of a professional athlete. You will need to negotiate the best contract for your client, handle media communications, public relations and recruiting of new clients. Having the best honed negotiating skills in business is what will make or break you in this competitive industry. You also will be responsible for handling any public relations problems that your client is going through.
- Financial manager. You will provide detailed financial analysis to support budget development, resource requirements and decision making that affects how the sports organization will allocate spending resources. You will need to have a good background in accounting in this vital sports organization position. You also will be the main overseer of cash management, investment activities and financial procedures. With your direction, your sports team or facility will meet annual fiscal objectives. Also, financial managers often are involved in sports organizations in raising capital and acquiring and merging business assets.
- Management consultant. A business professional with a sports background and an MBA can provide the type of focused direction that sports organizations need to be as profitable as possible. Management consultants usually work in a certain niche, and sports management is one of the most important and competitive. You will work with your sports organization client to solve complex management issues, control costs, increase revenues, boost ticket sales, increase worker productivity and efficiency across the sports organization.
In addition, there are many opportunities to work directly with sports teams. These can be amateur, professional or semi-professional, across communities, schools and professional organizations. The number of opportunities out there for someone with an MBA in Sports Management are truly endless.
- The Leisure Media Company
- International Journal of Sports Management and Marketing
- Journal of Sport Management
- North American Society for Sports Management
- The Business of Sports
Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Sports Management