Masters in Sports Management Online

By Derick de Souza

Updated January 9, 2024
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Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.

Degrees

Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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A master of sports management essentially focuses on the business aspects of sports. Sport management professionals plan, organize, manage, and budget parts of sports or physical activity-related departments or organizations. Behind-the-scenes activities, including finance, marketing, leadership, facilities management, and event planning, are handled by sports management specialists. All levels of sports, including social groups, municipal recreation, private organizations, government athletic activities, professional sports, college-level athletics, and amateur sport, can benefit from sports management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that sports and entertainment occupations will grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030, making this a high-potential industry. Read on to discover what a master’s degree in sports management online degree program is all about and its many attributes, including curriculum, specialization, career options, and more.

Masters in Sports Management Online

Best Masters in Sports Management
Online Programs

The best colleges for sports management should command a good reputation, excellent infrastructure, offer student support services, be accredited by a competent body, and provide students with flexible curricula and programs that suit their independent needs. Finding the Best Online Masters and colleges based on these and several other factors can be challenging for students. Therefore, to save them the trouble and time, teams at Find Best Degrees (FBD) have scoured the country to find the best options from which to pick. Here is a list of the best online masters in sports management programs: *

The University of Florida (UF) is a public land-grant research university located in Gainesville, Florida. It was founded in 1853 and is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. UF has 16 academic colleges and over 150 research centers and institutes, providing a wide range of graduate professional programs, including business administration, engineering, law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
University of Florida Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611 $10,770 89%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to expect from the Masters in
Sports Management Programs

Through the study of subjects like marketing, leadership, ethics, and conflict resolution, a master’s degree in sports management will provide students with advanced knowledge of both the commercial world and the sporting world. Topics in sports and several aspects of management are covered in depth throughout the degree program, but the specific courses one can expect will be determined by both the type of degree program that one chooses and the chosen concentration.

Can you get a sports management degree online? Yes, it is possible to get a sports management masters degree online. Many universities offer entirely online or hybrid programs (that blend online classes with on-campus classes) along with their in-person programs. Students may also opt for synchronous or asynchronous learning in some cases. A typical online masters degree in sports management is a 36-credit program, requiring about 2 years to complete, full-time. In addition to the basic coursework that includes electives and concentration subjects, students may be required to complete a capstone or some hands-on training/internship before they graduate.

Most programs offer instruction in the following subject areas that will be covered in classes throughout the master of sports management online program:

Sport Sociology

This course will use sociological concepts, theories, and research to conduct an in-depth analysis of social issues pertaining to sports by studying articles from scholarly journals and book chapters. Students will learn how racism, classism, sexism, discrimination, violence, and other such aspects affect sport and what influence sport has on youth culture. They will consider and discuss their and others’ personal experiences with marginalization in society and sports cultures.

Sport Finance

This course will give aspiring sport managers the tools they need to improve their financial decision-making in a management capacity by applying concepts to the sports industry’s ever-changing landscape. Students will concentrate on financial decision-making using real-world and hypothetical challenges from the sports business. While this course focuses on some specific features of the field, the skills learned can be applied to any business platform.

Sport Consumer Behavior

This course gives students a sound conceptual foundation for understanding sports consumer behavior. It will expose students to a variety of themes and theories related to sport consumer behavior, and students will discover how concepts and principles from sport consumer behavior may be applied to sport management, our roles as sport business managers and consumers, and our daily lives. Sport consumer learning, normative and behavioral decision making, sport consumer culture, well-being, social media behavior, and emerging technology & sport consumption dynamics are just a few of the topics covered.

Management and Leadership in Sport

This course looks at the crucial role of leadership in the administration of sport companies. Students examine the degree to which leadership is strategic to organizational operations, drawing on academic underpinnings in organizational theory, organizational behavior, and industrial psychology. Additionally, students will create a climate in which they can engage in critical thinking, academic conversation, and philosophical debate about leadership and what it means to lead. The course also addresses the subject from a range of perspectives and disciplines from both inside sport and out.

Some of the other courses students can expect in an online masters in sports management are:

  • The Technology of Sport
  • Sport and Society
  • Sport Marketing and Media
  • Strategic Sport Management
  • Philosophy, Principles, and Leadership in Sport
  • Public relations in sports
  • Introduction to Sports Analytics
  • Ethical and Legal Aspects of Sport
  • Sport Marketing
  • Issues in Sport Law
  • Sports Organizations: Leadership Theory & Application
  • Management of Sport Organizations
  • Financial Perspectives in Sport
  • Seminar in Sport Management
  • Research Methods in Sport Management
  • Internationalization of Sport Business
  • Sports Business
  • Strategic Sport Communication
  • Finance and Economics of Sport
  • Revenue Generation in Sport

Some of the optional electives in the sports management online masters are:

  • Nonprofit Management in Sport
  • Athlete Sexual Health and Wellness
  • Sport Events and Community Development
  • Sustainability and Sport
  • Athlete-Centered Coaching and Leadership
  • Athlete Development
  • Coaching Character Literacy in Sport
  • Name, Image, and Likeness: College Athletes as Brands
  • Sports Sales Strategies
  • College Sports Management
  • Sport Event Management Principles and Applications
  • Behavioral Profiling and Application to Sport
  • Digital Media in Sports
  • Labor Relations
  • Globalization of Sport
  • Sports Sponsorship
  • Management of Olympic Games Functional Areas
  • Sport in Social Context
  • Business of Sport Law
  • Entrepreneurship in Sports
  • Advanced Sport Law
  • Fair Competition in Sport
  • Sport Ethics
  • Sport Psychology

To understand more about a master’s degree, read the Guide to Master Programs.

Degree Types for Masters in Sports
Management Programs

The master of arts in sports management is predominantly of three degree types – the Master of Arts or MA in sports management online, the Master of Science or MS in sports management online, and the Master of Business Administration or MBA in sports management online.

Master of Arts in Sports Management

The Master of Arts in sports management or MA sports management is a more academic degree that heavily leans on humanities and liberal arts subjects. This degree is best suited for those who wish to pursue their Ph.D. or pursue careers in academia.

Master of Science in Sports Management

The Master of Science in sports management or MS sports management is a more technical degree that leans on subjects in the sciences and mathematics. This degree is best suited for those who want to work immediately after graduation or pursue a terminal degree.

Master of Science in Sports Management

The Master of Business Administration in sports management or MBA sports management is fundamentally a business studies degree that teaches business topics in relation to sports management. This degree is best suited for those who want to start their own business or seek jobs in commercial sports organizations.

Other than the MA and MS degrees, there are other ways to obtain a degree in sports management, such as the Master of Professional Students in Sports Management, Master of Education in Sports Management, and the Master of Kinesiology in Sports Management to name a few.

Areas of Specialization for Masters
in Sports Management Programs

Specializations always add immense value to a master’s degree by providing additional knowledge and skills on a specific aspect of the subject. Having a specialization can potentially improve one’s employability and job prospects. The online master’s in sport management degree program offers distinctive specializations and credentials that support new trends, satisfy the market need, and allow students to tailor their education to their interests and future aspirations. Students can choose from the following specializations:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer O ptions
Master in Sports Management High Performance CoachingThis specialization, when combined with core training in sport administration, enables coaches and athletic administrators to achieve optimal performance in the administrative and athletic domains of their sport organizations. Students interested in learning how to improve athletic performance by enhancing their understanding and application of cutting-edge science from the domains of coaching, kinesiology, physiology, and psychology will benefit from this specialization.Sport Agent, Athletic Director, Fitness Manager, High-Performance Coach, Athlete Development Specialist
Master in Sports Management Athlete DevelopmentThis specialization is designed for students who want to work directly with athletes to help them grow as individuals during their sporting careers. This new field of study offers a lot of promise for athletes and those who wish to help them with things like professionalism, financial literacy, and behavior, as well as career development.Athlete Development Specialist, Athletic Director, Fitness Manager, Sport Agent, Contract Analyst
Sports AnalyticsThis specialization offers technical and leadership training for important jobs in sports team management and analytics. It teaches students how to work in sports administration roles in today’s data-driven and data-intensive world. It examines essential technologies in analytics and modeling, statistics, applied mathematics, probability theory, and programming and builds on predictive analytics and data science. The specialization demonstrates how analytic tools can be used to evaluate the player and team performance as well as to manage sports teams.Sports Analyst, Sports Data Analyst, Sport Marketing Consultant, Sport Operations Manager, Business Development Coordinator
College Sports ManagementThis concentration focuses on the management difficulties unique to collegiate athletics in the United States. The $8 billion college athletics sector is critical to the U.S. sports market, higher education, media, and social justice fields. Students in the college sports management specialization learn how to manage an athletics department’s internal and external operations, as well as the particular compliance, legal, human resource, marketing, public relations, sponsorship, and financial concerns that college athletic departments face.Athletic Director, Athletic Coach, Athlete Development Specialist, College Athletics Manager, Sport Agent, Facilities Manager, Stadium Business Manager, Event Coordinator
Director of Racquet SportsThis specialization is ideal for tennis professionals looking to advance their careers. This focus prepares students for the business encompassing the racquet sports industry, whether managing a country club or league or running their own tennis business. Students learn useful sport management strategies, such as the fundamentals of sport marketing, program building, human relations, and budgeting, among other things. Students who complete this specialization are also prepared to become USPTA-certified tennis professionals.Sports Coach, Sport Agent, Tennis Coach, Operations Manager, Personal Trainer (Racquet Sports)
Master of Science in Sports Management & Digital MediaThis specialization highlights the changes in how sports organizations communicated with their audience through traditional broadcast media versus the modern-day use of engaging them through social media, video streaming services, and various other advancements. Students learn how to effectively use digital media, and this specialization provides them with the skills they need to manage, assess, and analyze the success of social media efforts in a digital age.Sport Public-Relations Manager, Sports Media Specialist, Sport Agent, Sports Marketing Specialist, Guest Relations Manager, eSports Event Manager

Apart from these specializations, some colleges allow students to opt for other specializations or specialization courses. These can be used independently to obtain a certificate or applied to the elective requirement of the masters in sport management program. Example include:

  • Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Sports Law
  • Athletic Administration
  • Coaching
  • Facilities & Event Management
  • Sports Public Relations
  • Sports Finance
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Sports Operations
  • eSports Management
  • Sport Leadership
  • Sports Psychology
  • Athlete & Player Career Management
  • Global Expansion in Sports
  • Leadership & Innovation in Sports
  • Ethics & Professionalism in Sports
  • Sports & Technology
  • Integrated Sports Marketing Communication

Why should I do a Master in Sports
Management Online Degree?

A degree in sports management is recommended for anyone interested in working in the sports industry and focused on the business aspects that support the operation of sporting activities. These degrees give students a comprehensive understanding of sports, business, and management, as well as how they interact with each other. Students are taught directly about sports business themes, and most programs offer valuable hands-on experience managing sports organizations and/or sporting events. Moreover, they can specialize in a specific aspect of the sports industry through concentration in sports tourism, esports, sports finance, global sports, sports marketing, sports communications and media, or sports facility management.

But how hard is a sports management degree? The answer to this question is highly subjective and depends on one’s athletic ability, interest in sports and business (or management), and career objectives. The best thing about discipline is that working in the sports sector does not always necessitate a high level of athletic ability. Management is a fantastic opportunity for sports fans with business interests to break into the industry. The sports management degree will prepare students for a career in the fast-evolving field of sport in a unique way.

So, is an online sports management degree any good? Considering the many options available to students after graduating, yes, an online master’s in sports management is good to pursue. The discipline of sports management is growing, and more qualified experts are required to keep up with demand. Entertainment and sports occupations are expected to rise by 22% between 2020 and 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Graduates with an online master’s degree in sports management are well prepared to pursue a wide range of professions in this field, armed with the knowledge and skills required for their careers, such as the ability to:

  • understand the multidisciplinary aspects of sport management;
  • put management and leadership theory into practice; 
  • use analytical and logical reasoning skills in sport business organizations to solve problems and identify functional areas; 
  • effectively communicate with peers and create a moral and ethical framework for sports;
  • use formal and informal assessment procedures, and conduct qualitative and quantitative analyses;
  • analyze and use sports data strategically for various functions of sport and management of sport;
  • introduce sport groups to advanced principles of planning, organizing, leading, and assessing organizational goals;
  • apply basic marketing concepts to the sport business, develop marketing plans, assess market segments, and forecast customer behavior;
  • develop financial strategies for sport groups and assess budgets, revenue streams, and expenses;
  • evaluate basic legal ideas, contracts, and constitutional law, as well as how they apply to the subject of sport management; and
  • understand how sport is influenced and shaped by both internal and external elements.

Free Courses for Masters in
Sports Management Students

Online master’s degree in sports management students have the option of taking up free courses from many reputed universities worldwide. While most free courses do not come with a certificate of any value in the job market, they are useful for students to broaden their perspectives and gain more knowledge in sports management. Here are a few platforms offering free courses:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Various Topics Related to Sports ManagementedX is home to a handful of sports management or related courses, including Sport Business Management, Sports Management: Business Principles in Sport, Value Co-Creation in Sport Management – A New Logic in a Changing Society, Sustainability & Major Sport Events, etc.edX
Various Topics Related to Sports ManagementThe United States Sports Academy (USSA) provides free sample courses to help people improve their sports knowledge and skills while also entertaining and enriching them. Participants in a free sample course do not have to be Academy students. Because participation does not require registration in the Academy, USSA’s free courses do not provide academic or continuing education credit.The United States Sports Academy (USSA)
Various Topics Related to Sports ManagementClass Central has a wide range of sports-related topics to choose from. Some of the world’s greatest institutions, like the University of California, Irvine, Duke University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and others, offer over 230 free sports courses, many of which are at the beginner and intermediate levels. Some topics covered are Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Sports and Society, Prediction Models Using Sports Data, etc.Class Central

How to get into the Masters in Sports
Management Online Program?

So, how to get a sports management degree? Admission into a masters in sports management online degree program requires students to have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a sports-related discipline, although others may also apply. During the admissions review process, each component of one’s application is considered; so, students must meet all the listed eligibility criteria and submit all the material asked by the admissions office. Because the admissions requirements for online masters in sports management programs vary by college, it is always prudent to check what the requirements are for the universities to which students are applying. Here are a few standard admission requirements for a sports management masters:

  • Undergraduate Degree, preferably connected with sports
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more
  • Online Application Form with the prescribed fee
  • College/University Academic Transcripts
  • Graduate Résumé
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation (at least 2)
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

Note: Some colleges recommend submitting GMAT/GRE scores, but they are generally not required for admission. Additionally, submitting one’s sporting achievements (if asked for) could help enrollment.

Masters in Sports Management
Online no GRE Programs

Most colleges in the U.S. require students to submit their GRE or GMAT scores when applying for a master’s program. Fortunately, many colleges have online masters in sports management online no GRE programs, having waived this requirement in the past few years. Instead of GRE or GMAT scores, they look at other aspects of an applicant, such as their Grade Point Average (GPA) and extracurricular achievements both on and off the field. In some instances, students may be asked to submit test scores if their GPA is lower than expected. Here are a few examples of colleges offering No GRE sports management masters:

The University of Kansas

offers an entirely online Master of Science in Education (MSE) degree in health, sport management, and exercise science with an emphasis in sports management that does not require a GRE or GMAT score.

Catawba College

offers a Master of Sport Management (MSPM) degree for which no GRE or GMAT is required.

Lasell University

offers a 100% online Master of Science in Sport Management with four specializations to choose from and does not require GRE or GMAT score submission.

How long does it take to complete the Masters in
Sports Management Online Degree

How long is a master’s degree in sports management? In almost all instances, students require about 2 years to graduate from an online masters in sports management program, provided it is pursued full-time. Part-time students would require longer. However, aspects such as the chosen courses, electives, concentration area, and whether or not classes are synchronous or asynchronous will influence the overall time to graduate. A capstone or internship can also lengthen the duration of the program. However, in general, this typical 36-credit sports management degree’s timeline would be as follows:

Full-time masters in sports management online: about 2 years

Part-time masters in sports management online: between 2 and 4 years

Accelerated Masters in Sports Management
Online Programs

Accelerated degrees are an excellent option for those who want to finish their studies as quickly as possible and join the workforce. Many institutions offer accelerated programs that combine a 4-year undergraduate degree with a 1-year graduate degree, enabling students to finish their studies in 5 years instead of the standard 6 years. Some programs may simply allow students to take additional classes, making it possible for them to complete their degrees in much less than the typical 2-year norm. Here are a few examples of accelerated sports management master’s degree online:

Tiffin University

offers a 32-36 credit online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Management that can be completed in 14 months.

The University of Indianapolis

offers a hybrid course model for its Master of Science in Sport Management that allows students to complete most of their coursework online while meeting face-to-face several times each semester with an expert practitioner. Students can choose from a 33-credit hour curriculum in an accelerated track that takes 12 months to complete or a standard track that takes 21 months to complete.

Western Carolina University

offers a Master of Science in Sport Management that is 100% online and tailored for working professionals. On a full-time schedule, the program can be finished in 1 year, and on a part-time schedule, it can be completed in 2 years. Although there is no requirement for a minimum course load, the degree must be completed within 6 years.

Accreditations for Masters in Sports
Management Online Programs

Prospective students should consider a school’s accreditation as one of the most critical factors to examine. Accreditation is granted to educational institutions in the United States by organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or both. Accreditation is achieved through a process that entails a comprehensive examination of a school’s instructional programs and student services.

Because the accreditation of a school determines whether or not students can transfer credits between institutions and whether or not they are eligible for federal financial aid, students need to make sure that the institution that is offering the program has been granted either national or regional accreditation from accrediting bodies such as:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Some colleges also offer accredited online sports management degree programs. These may be programmatically accredited by accrediting agencies such as the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

Students applying for a master’s degree in sports management online can check their college’s accreditation status on the official USDE or CHEA websites.

Discover why accreditation is a critical component of college education in the Guide to College Accreditation.

How to Pay for Masters in Sports
Management Online Programs?

In most instances, colleges charge different tuition rates for those from within the state and those from other states. Along with these varying tuition fees, students must also pay for their accommodation (if they are from another state), transportation, meals, books, stationery, etc. The greatest advantage for online students is that they do not have to (usually) bother about the in-state or out-of-state status and factor in the other mentioned educational expenses. Nevertheless, with tuition fees for a master’s degree running into tens of thousands of dollars, students are often left wondering – How to Pay for College? Here are some of the funding options they can consider to pay for college:

Scholarships

Scholarships are usually merit-based, in that the student’s academic track record is the foremost criterion for awarding them. In some instances, financial needs and achievements besides academics are also considered. Scholarships may be given out by individuals, community groups, for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, and even universities.

Grants

Like scholarships, grants are available from various sources, but instead of being primarily merit-based, they are financial need-based, in that the financial strength and background of the applicant are considered the most. Grant money may be used to pay for tuition or other educational expenses.

Assistantships

Many universities allow students to assist teachers in certain classroom activities or academic tasks in exchange for a stipend or fee rebate. These part-time working students are called Graduate Assistants. Those who help in research activities are called Research Assistants.

Work-Study

Like assistantships, students can work part-time in non-academic roles for their educational institution in exchange for benefits such as free or reduced tuition, accommodation, or other costs. Work-Study jobs can be found in a variety of settings, from residence halls and fitness centers to libraries and research labs, as well as in locations off-campus. Although work-study may not be possible for online students, those attending in-person programs could consider this option.

Student Loans

Another way of funding a college education is by taking out a student loan. One must remember that loans attract interest, which although lower than most other loans, adds to the overall cost of education. Students must pay back the loan along with interest either as a lump sum or in equated installments over a specified period. Read about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans to learn how to qualify for loan forgiveness and perhaps avoid having to repay a loan from one’s pocket.

The Free Application For Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a federal financial aid application that all prospective and current college students must complete to determine their aid eligibility and obtain the best financial aid package possible. To learn more, consult the FAFSA Student Aid Guide.

Learn about ways of funding college in the What is Financial Aid? guide.

Scholarships for Master in Sports Management
Online Programs

A scholarship is the most popular choice among students looking for external funding for their master’s degrees. While several individuals and corporations promote sports and offer scholarships for deserving students, universities also award them to those at their institutions and outside. Here are a few scholarships for online masters in sports management students to explore:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
McCormack Department of Sport Management ScholarshipsMcCormack Department of Sport Management Scholarships by the Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst, are available for students interested in sport and the administration and management of sport. In all, 13 scholarships are up for grabs and have varying eligibility criteria.VariesMost – September 8, 2024; others vary
West Virginia University CPASS ScholarshipsThe College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (CPASS) at West Virginia University offers many scholarships to the future generation of innovators and leaders in the field of physical activity and sport sciences. Applicants must be admitted to the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and are encouraged to include an overview of their activities with their résumé.VariesClosed for 2023 | TBA for 2024
Barry UniversityBarry University offers scholarships that students can apply for every year. These scholarships have been funded by contributions from alumni, faculty, staff, private donors, parents, corporations, and campus organizations. Only students enrolled at Barry University may apply.Up to $1,000 each yearClosed for 2023 | TBA for 2024
Make a Dent Endowed Sports Management ScholarshipThe Columbia College, Chicago’s Make a Dent Endowed Sports Management Scholarship was established to recognize a deserving, qualified sports management student who has excelled academically and/or athletically while exhibiting financial need. This scholarship is open to incoming or continuing full-time sports management students.Varies (usually about $5,000)Closed for 2023 | TBA for 2024

FAQs Related to the Masters in Sports
Management Online Programs

Is a sports management masters online?

Yes! A masters in sports management can be earned entirely online. Pursuing this degree online is a practical approach for someone who works full-time and wants to acquire this degree to either change careers or advance in them. Many online colleges provide students with the useful option of scheduling classes at times that are most convenient for them. Furthermore, a student who enrolls in online sports management courses has the flexibility to attend classes from wherever they wish. Students can attend online classes in a library study area, a cafe, or even their own living room!

How long is a masters in sports management?

What is the difference between an MS in sports management and an MBA in sports management?

What can you do with a Masters in Sports Management?

How much is a sports management masters?

Is a sports management degree worth it?

How hard is a degree in sports management

How to become a sports manager?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Masters in Sports Management Degree

Sports management encompasses all aspects of the sports and recreation industry. Sales, marketing, finance, facilities management, legal compliance, promotion, and business development are all options for industry professionals. They may also work for equipment manufacturers, sporting goods marketing firms, sports leagues, professional sports teams, and universities. Sport management careers are diverse, encompassing a wide range of interests, hobbies, and career objectives. Graduates with a master’s degree in sports management may pursue one of the following occupations:

  • Sales Coordinator
  • Operations Manager
  • Sport Marketer
  • Sports Event Marketing
  • Stadium Business Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Director of Operations
  • Facility Operations Manager
  • Athletic Coach
  • Fitness Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Event Sales
  • Facilities Manager
  • Sport Lawyer
  • Business Development Coordinator
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Athlete Development Specialist
  • Game Day or Event Coordinator
  • Guest Relations Manager
  • Athletic Director
  • Sports Agent
  • Corporate Partnerships Manager
  • Sport Agent
  • Contract Administrator
  • Athletic Director

The sports business is rapidly expanding and appears to be highly promising, with several job opportunities accessible both in the United States and abroad. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3 % since 2014, the global sports market reached almost $488.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach roughly $614.1 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 5.9%.

Here is a breakdown of some promising sport management occupations with some statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Payscale:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredJob Growth (up to 2030)Median Annual Salary
Marketing Managers (Sport Marketer)Sport marketing experts are responsible for creating talk about the franchise or organization they work for, as well as managing sponsorships that may impact the team’s image. Overall, their goal is to increase sales and develop the organization’s voice by promoting the club, its players, and whatever other stories or assets catch the public’s attention.Organizational skills, creativity, analytical skills, decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills10% (as fast as average)$133,380
Facilities Managers (Sport)Facility managers make the most of the resources available to maintain and improve a sports facility. They may oversee employing custodial personnel, maintaining sports facilities, managing construction contractors, supervising office activities such as recordkeeping and mail distribution, organizing ticket sales, and planning emergency response preparations.Leadership skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented9% (as fast as average)$99,290
Public Relations Specialists (Sport)Public relations specialists build and maintain a favorable public image for the sports persons, teams, or organizations they represent. They are responsible for ensuring that patrons have a good time interacting with every member of the customer service team at a facility. Sometimes doubling as guest relations managers, they collaborate with staff members to make sure that everyone follows the rules established by the organization. When disagreements or challenging circumstances emerge, public relations specialists and guest relations managers take the responsibility and initiative in finding a solution.Writing skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, speaking skills11% (faster than average)$62,800
Management Analysts (Sport)Management analysts in sport make recommendations for increasing a sport company’s efficiency. They advise executives on ways to make the business more lucrative by lowering costs and increasing revenues. They collect and organize information on problems that need to be solved or procedures that need improvement. Management analysts also examine financial and other statistics, such as revenue, expenditure, and employment reports, and provide recommendations for new systems, methods, or improvements to the organization.Problem-solving skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, time-management skills14% (faster than average)$93,000
Athletic DirectorsAthletic directors are frequently the most influential decision-makers in sports organizations, overseeing practically every aspect of a team, club, or franchise. They might be in charge of everything from ordering equipment to hiring and terminating employees. In the collegiate setting, they may also be responsible for maintaining compliance with rules and regulations. On the field, they coordinate athletic activities and ensure all operations run as intended.Problem-solving skills, time-management skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, detail-orientedNA$60,618

Certifications and Licensing for Masters
in Sports Management Students

Certifications always add value to an individual’s education and qualify them for industry-specific jobs. Certification and licensure requirements in sports management vary greatly depending on the career, sector, and geographic area in which one works. Coaches in public high schools, for example, may be required to be certified or complete compulsory education courses. As part of their state licensing requirements, coaches who are also teachers must pass a background check, which varies by state. Organizations dedicated to specific sports, such as golf, football, or tennis, may provide certification programs for sport management graduates. Students should check with the sport’s national governing organization for the most up-to-date information on certification applicable to the sport.

Here are a few examples of certifications for sports management graduates to pursue:

Sport Specific Training Certification

The Online Sport Specific Training Certification from the American Sports & Fitness Association (ASFA) was created for fitness professionals who want to increase their expertise by studying sport-specific essentials on their own and then taking an online sport-specific training certification. Candidates must choose the proper fitness and sports instructor training certification when seeking this certification. ASFA’s sport-specific training certification was created by fitness industry professionals exclusively for fitness industry professionals.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Basketball Certification

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Basketball Certification process allows activity operators to receive League Certification, which allows Division I student-athletes to participate in the activity, and/or Event Certification, which allows NCAA Division I coaches to attend and observe prospective student-athletes who are participating in the activity.

National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification Program

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification Program is a free professional service for athletic administrators based on the principles of continuous education, professional development, and program development in the field of interscholastic sports administration. It recognizes and embraces the Leadership Training Institute’s possibilities for professional development. The execution of a comprehensive self-improvement plan that will improve the athletic administrator’s ability to better serve the school, community, and profession is required for NIAAA professional certification. Certifications include:

Certified Sports Nutritionist by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN)

The International Society of Sports Nutrition’s (CISSN) Certified Sports Nutritionist program is for health, fitness, and medical professionals who work with athletes or active people and want to gain a basic understanding of the adaptive response to exercise and the role of nutrition in acute and chronic exercise responses.

Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP)

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) created the Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) program to enhance the sports safety and security industry by recognizing abilities in a range of specialized areas. This certification for sports safety and security professionals will provide them with a basic understanding of public safety measures and show them how to apply those abilities in the unique environments that entertainment venues and events offer.

Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE)

The Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) credential is provided by the Sports Events & Tourism Association (SportsETA). This certification provides individuals with the knowledge they need to progress in their careers and demonstrate to employers that they are capable of leading a sports events and tourism organization, department, or event.

Additional Resources for Masters in Sports
Management Online Students

Graduates of sports management degree programs can join a variety of professional organizations that can help them advance their careers and provide support. By becoming a member of one of these organizations while one is still in school, one can improve their chances of obtaining unique insights into the field as well as possibilities and opportunities to network. Additionally, attending conferences, events and seminars, networking with others, and sharing opinions and ideas in forums can significantly help students and working professionals in sports

College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)

The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) is a national organization of information professionals and sports communicators established in 1957. It currently counts more than 3,100 members from collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada as its constituents. CoSIDA offers training for professional development, encourages advocacy, supports career development, and assists members in pursuing leadership roles in the sports sector.

Sports Networker

SportsNetworker is an excellent resource online for sports management and business professionals looking for the latest information on how to advance in their career and take it to the next level. The organization covers a wide range of topics, spanning Sports Marketing, Sports Technology, Sports Networking, Sports Business, Sports Social Media, Sports Sponsorship, Sports Events, Sports Sales, and how to get a job in sports.

WorkInSports

WorkInSports offers an industry-leading sports job board, complemented by tools to help individuals perfect their resumes, become skilled networkers, ace job interviews, and obtain tips and strategies from established industry experts. The organization helps people identify sports jobs they love and assists sports employers to find the right candidates as well.

National Sports Marketing Network (NSMN)

The National Sports Marketing Network (NSMN) is the country’s trade association for the sports business industry, founded in 1998. It has over 12,000 individual corporate and student members with chapters in key markets and members in over 50 cities across the United States. It is dedicated to the growth of the sports business industry through networking and the creation of thought-provoking, issue-oriented seminars designed to enhance the level of conversation on crucial topics in the industry. NSMN facilitates personalized member-to-member introductions, complimentary job matching, and industry-wide discounts on trade magazines, in addition to presenting panel discussions.

National Association of Sports Agents and Athlete Representatives (NASAAR)

The National Association of Sports Agents and Athlete Representatives (NASAAR) aims to serve as a source of information for the public and the industry, monitor legislative and regulatory activity impacting sports agents and athletes at both the state and federal levels, and monitor related enforcement actions, judicial proceedings, and other regulatory matters. Members of the organization get access to all these benefits and more.

Author Bio:

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.

Degrees

Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

Disclaimer:

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