Sports Management Careers

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The sports industry is massive, and it has a significant impact on the global economy. It employs millions of people worldwide. And it generates billions in revenue each year. Sports play an essential role in promoting health and wellness. And they also have a strong social and cultural impact. Athletes and sports events serve as symbols of national pride and identity. 

In this article, we will look at what jobs can you can get with a sports management degree. We examine various sports management programs and what areas of study they include. We will also explain what to look for in a degree program and how to find the best one. Finally, we will hone in on some specific sports management careers. And of course, we’ll look at sports management degree salary figures as well.

sports management jobs

Just How Big Is the Global Sports Industry?

This year, revenue in the global sports industry will reach over 500 billion U.S. dollars. And by 2027, the global sports market is expected to be worth over 623 billion dollars. It’s a highly lucrative field. Studying sports management can prepare you for a great-paying career in an area you’re passionate about! Do you have a penchant for sports and dream of turning your interest into a fulfilling career? A degree in sports management could be your gateway to an exciting future. 

What Can You Do With a Sports Management Degree?

sports management jobs

Sports management is a sprawling field. It encompasses managing any business that has to do with sports and recreation. Sports management professionals work in many different roles and areas. These include college sports teams, recreational sports, and marketing for sports teams. They also include events and facility management, sports media, and finance. Sports managers may even work in sports equipment and apparel manufacturing. There is really no limit to the different sport management degree jobs you could pursue. We’ll get into more specific roles and salary figures further in this article. 

Sports Management Courses

sports management jobs

Sports management degrees focus on financial, marketing, management, and legal issues. They are offered at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. You’ll learn about business, management, and marketing. And these skills don’t just apply to sports management professionals. These are all things you can apply to other sectors of the economy as well. This makes them highly versatile degrees with a good return on investment. 

Undergraduate sports management programs typically begin with foundational courses. Graduate and doctoral degrees are more focused on studies specific to the industry. For example, they may feature courses in areas like:

  • Sport and Society
  • Sports Media
  • Sports Facility Management 
  • Sports Facility Design
  • Principles of Sports Marketing
  • Sport and Business Finance
  • Legal Issues in Sports
  • Leadership in Sports
  • Sports Psychology
  • Risk Management
  • Contract Negotiation

Accreditation for Sports Management Degrees

sports management jobs

When considering sports management programs, look for nationally reviewed non-profit programs. It is also vital to make sure your school of choice is regionally accredited. Regional accreditation ensures that the college you attend offers high-quality academics. It is also necessary for students to be eligible for federal financial aid. Finally, regional accreditation ensures you can transfer your credits should you wish to change schools. 

For sports management programs, you’ll also want to look at programmatic accreditation. The gold standard is The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. COSMA is an accrediting body focused on excellence and comprehensiveness. It accredits schools offering baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in sports management. COSMA doesn’t just certify the quality of degree programs. The organization also takes a developmental approach to building those programs up. They suggest improvements that enhance students, employers, and the public’s experience.

The National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education accredits sports coaching programs. The NCACE is the top authority in accrediting sports institutions featuring coaching education. They take an empirical approach. They aim to guide the “creation, implementation, and evaluation of coaching education programs.”

sports marketing managers jobs

Types of Sports Management Degrees

We’ve reviewed a few sports management courses and accreditations. Now let’s look at the online degree options available.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management

This undergraduate program covers foundational business, marketing, finance, and management courses. This degree in sports management focuses on applying these principles to the sports industry.

Online Master’s Degree in Sports Management

A Master’s degree in sports management provides more specialized knowledge. Study areas include sports marketing, event management, sports law, and sports analytics.

Online MBA in Sports Management

This degree in sports management combines business administration principles with a sports management focus. It prepares students for leadership roles in the sports industry.

Online Certificate Programs in Sports Management

These programs allow sports professionals to enhance their skills in specific areas. Examples include sports marketing or facility management.

Online Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Sports Management

A Ph.D. program is the highest level of education you can achieve in college. This degree in sports management is for those interested in research and academia within the field.

Online Graduate Certificates

These programs are shorter and more focused. They allow sports management professionals to gain expertise in a specific area. Examples include sports analytics, sports leadership, and sports marketing.

sports marketing managers jobs

How To Find The Best Sports Management Degree Program

The best sports management degree programs should be flexible yet affordable. They should target your interests and be delivered in a format that suits your life. On-campus and hybrid programs offer hands-on learning and experiences. However, online options allow you to maintain your current schedule while learning. You can get the same quality education without sacrificing your current job or responsibilities. Online learning can also allow you to get your degree faster. Many online programs are offered in accelerated formats. 

Finding the best online sports management degree program can seem daunting. At Online College Plan, we work hard so you don’t have to. We make your search for an online college degree as easy and successful as possible. We accomplish this goal by ranking programs and answering frequently asked questions. We also profile different careers and create engaging infographics. Online College Plan gives you the resources to help you make decisions about your education and career.

We’ve already found and ranked the best online sports management degrees for you. Check out the 30 Best Online Masters Programs in Sports Management. Also, check out the Top 5 Online Ph.D. Programs in Sports Management. We’ve ranked the schools on our lists by several metrics. These include freshman retention rate, graduation rate, and affordability.

So, now you have the tools to find the best sports management degree program for you. But what can you do with a sports management degree?

sports programs for a successful career

What Are Some Good Sports Management Careers?

Earning a sports management degree gives you versatility that can open many doors. It allows you to work closely with athletes, coaches, and other sports professionals. You can also work with sports startups, small businesses, and sporting goods manufacturers. And that’s not all. There are a wealth of opportunities available to those interested in sports management degree jobs.

Potential Jobs With a Sports Management Degree

Event and Facility Management

Planning, organizing, and overseeing sporting events, tournaments, and competitions. This involves coordinating logistics, scheduling, and ensuring smooth operations during the sporting events. Sports facility management includes maintaining and optimizing the use of sports venues.

Team and Athlete Management

Contract negotiating, player recruitment, and sports team talent scouting. Also, you’ll support athletes in various aspects of their careers.

Marketing and Promotion

Managing administrative tasks related to sports organizations. These include maintaining records, handling logistics, and coordinating operations.

Financial Management 

Managing budgets, revenue streams, and financial aspects of sports organizations. This may also involve handling ticket sales, merchandise, and fundraising activities.

Sports Law and Compliance

Understanding and ensuring compliance with sports regulations, contracts, and legal requirements. This includes dealing with player contracts, intellectual property rights, and other legal issues.

Sports Business Analytics and Data Management

Utilizing data analysis to make informed decisions. These relate to team performance, player scouting, fan engagement, and sports business strategies.

Community Relations

Engaging with the local community and building positive relationships. The goal is to enhance the team’s reputation and community involvement.

Athletic Development and Training

Collaborating with the coaching staff to implement training programs. The aim is to optimize player performance and development.

Sports Broadcasting and Media

Working with media outlets and broadcasters. The purpose is to enhance the coverage and visibility of sports events and teams.

Sports Merchandising

Overseeing the creation and distribution of team merchandise and memorabilia. This involves selecting and maintaining inventory that will be sold in stores and other retail venues. 

Ticket Sales and Customer Relations 

Managing ticketing operations. This means you’ll be ensuring positive experiences for fans attending sports events.

Sports Governance and Administration 

Managing administrative tasks related to sports organizations. This includes maintaining records, handling logistics, and coordinating operations.

sports world careers

What Jobs Can You Get With a Sports Management Degree?

A sports management degree opens the doors of opportunity to many jobs. Depending on your degree level and experience, you can turn your love for sports into a lucrative career. Let’s look at some of the best jobs in sports management.

Sports Management Career: Teachers or Professor

A doctorate in sports management will prepare you to teach at the university level. Providing sports business and sports management education to others can be extremely rewarding. The average salary for educators is $79,640. However, top earners with significant experience can make much more.

Sports Management Career: Sports Agent

A sports management degree can push you past the competition. And it can help you enter the top ten percent of sports agent salaries. On average, sports agents earn $80,509 per year. Job growth for agents is expected to rise through 2031. These professionals represent talent and negotiate contracts. They are extremely plugged into professional organizations. Cultivating a strong network of connections is key to being a successful sports agent.

Sports Management Career: Sports Marketing Director

One of the most coveted roles in the industry is sports marketing director. These professionals earn between $94,222 and $226,000, with a median salary of $137,369. Sports marketing directors coordinate marketing strategies to grow sales. They oversee event success, make press kits, talk to the media, and more. They need incredible organizational and communication skills. These directors must have the ability to coordinate and motivate people.

Sports Management Career: Athletic Director

An athletic director makes crucial decisions for organizations. The athletic director will be in charge of many aspects of franchises, professional sports teams, and other sports programs. These sports management professionals order equipment and perform HR duties. Another role of the athletic director is to ensure personnel are complying with organizational and legal regulations. An athletic director can earn anywhere between $49,730 to $92,000. Salary depends on experience, education, and other factors.

Sports Management Career: Analytics & Sports Data Managers

Sports management often intersects with math and statistics. All levels of athletic organizations need math professionals. Sport data analysts know sports management and business. They also have strong analytical and mathematical abilities to make data-driven decisions. Sports Analytics Managers or Sports Data Analysts gather, analyze, and interpret sports-related data. They aim to improve team performance, enhance player scouting, and optimize strategies. They help make informed business decisions for organizations. The average median pay for this career is $70,357.

About Sports Management Associations

sports world careers

It is vital for your success that you know about sports management associations. Joining a sports management association is crucial for any sports management professional in the field. It aids in career growth and recognition. And it helps you stay competitive in the dynamic sports industry. 

Sports management associations provide invaluable networking opportunities. They connect professionals with peers, industry experts, and potential employers. Building a solid network within the industry can lead to collaborative opportunities. 

Membership in an association also grants access to industry-specific resources, research, and publications. This lets you stay updated on the latest best practices and developments in the field. It enhances your credibility and fosters professional development. It may also provide access to exclusive job and internship opportunities. 

Here are the four major sports management associations to look into:

North American Society for Sports Management

NASSM was founded in 1985. It promotes the study, research, and scholarly writing of sports management. This association provides a platform for academics, practitioners, and students in sports management. The platform enables them to connect, share knowledge, and collaborate. NASSM offers networking opportunities, publishes academic journals, and hosts conferences. It facilitates the exchange of ideas and research findings in the sports industry. 

National Association of Sports Agents and Athlete Representatives

NASAAR was founded in 2012. It represents and supports sports agents and athlete representatives. The association aims to promote ethical practices, standards, and professionalism within the industry. NASAAR provides resources, educational programs, and networking opportunities fostering member development and expertise. It maintains high ethical standards. And it plays a pivotal role in advocating for the interests of sports agents.

Sport Marketing Association

SMA was founded in 2002. It focuses on the promotion and advancement of sports marketing principles and practices. SMA brings together industry professionals, marketers, academics, and students. It enables them to share insights and stay updated on the latest trends in sports marketing. SMA offers networking opportunities, hosts conferences, and publishes resources and research. It aims to support the growth and success of its members in the dynamic sports marketing field. SMA plays a vital role in enhancing the understanding of sports marketing strategies.

National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics

NACDA was founded in 1965. It represents college and university athletics administrators in the United States. The association promotes the highest standards and ethical practices in collegiate athletics. It provides educational programs, resources, and networking opportunities. These are for members to enhance their leadership and management skills. NACDA serves as a unifying force for athletics directors and administrators.

sports world careers

Top Colleges for Sports Management Degrees Online

Sport management degrees online are plentiful. We’ve got a list of the 30 Best Online Masters Programs in Sports Management. And graduates may also want to check out the Top 5 Online Ph.D. Programs in Sports Management. But before we close, we’ll detail a few of the best colleges for sports management bachelor’s degrees online. Here are some of our top picks:

University of Florida

UF program for sports management majors

Gainesville, Florida

Online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management

The University of Florida is a public land-grant research university. It was established in 1853 and is one of the oldest universities in the state. UF is a member of the State University System of Florida. It is known for its comprehensive academic programs and research activities. Plus, the school has a vibrant campus life. The school boasts a 97% retention rate and a 90% overall graduation rate.

UF is considered one of the best sports management schools. And UF Online offers an excellent Bachelor of Science in Sport Management degree. The program prepares students to apply core management ideas to organizations. Students also learn sports marketing, finance, and legal issues. It is designed for students whose obligations make regular campus attendance problematic. UF provides flexible academic alternatives. And they feature the same excellent faculty and rigor as the on-campus degrees.

UF Online also offers a master’s degree in sport management.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges 

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,381

Liberty University

LU program for sports management majors

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Bachelor of Science in Sports Management 

Another one of the best colleges for sports management online is Liberty University. Liberty University is a private Christian college. It was founded in 1971 and is one of the largest evangelical Christian universities in the world. LU is known for its strong commitment to evangelical Christian principles. The school emphasizes the integration of faith and learning. 

LU is well-known for its extensive online education programs. It offers a high-quality online bachelor of science in sports medicine. Courses run for eight weeks, and students can transfer in up to 75% of the total degree credits. The program utilizes interdisciplinary academics to meet the demands of the sports industry. Graduates are prepared to enter this competitive field and make a real impact while following their passions. 

Liberty University also offers an online MBA with an emphasis in Sports Management

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges 

Undergraduate Tuition: $22,511 

Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU program for sports management majors

Manchester, New Hampshire

Online Bachelor of Science in Sports Management 

SNHU is a private, non-profit college in Manchester, NH. It serves over 164,000 students a year. And it offers degrees at all levels. The school is known for its excellent range of online programs. In fact, there are over 200 career-focused areas of study at SNHU. 

SNHU is also one of the best sports marketing colleges. The school features an online BS in Sports Management. This 120-credit program is ACBSP- accredited. And it focuses on the business and economic aspects of sport. The degree was designed by professionals with experience in the field. Students will take business, liberal arts, and sports management courses. 

You can transfer in up to 90 credits toward your degree. And no SAT or ACT scores are required for admission. SNHU also offers an accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s option. 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,380

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