What Is Sports Management?

Sports management encompasses the various business-related aspects of overseeing sports and recreation. Here we define sports management. discuss sports management jobs and more. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is Sports Management?

The field of sports management encompasses a wide range of business-related careers involved in sports and recreation. Sports management jobs might involve balancing a team's finances, managing the logistics of a sporting event or working as a liaison between coaches, players and the media.

The sporting industry often uses sports management and sports administration interchangeably. However, sports administration focuses more on the management and development of sports players, while sports management focuses on the whole sport and team from a business perspective. Here we discuss degree programs and careers available in sports management in more detail.

Degree Programs in Sports Management

Degree programs in sports management are widely available and can be pursued at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels. Many of these degree programs are available in online formats for flexibility. Compare some of the different degree levels in sports management below.

Undergraduate Sports Management Information

At the undergraduate level, students can pursue associate's or bachelor's degree programs in sports management. Associate's degree programs are available as Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees. These programs can generally be completed in 2 years and help prepare students for further study at the bachelor's level or for entry-level positions in the field. Coursework may include topics in:

  • Sport financing
  • Sport promotions
  • Legal aspects of sports
  • Management

Bachelor's degree programs in sports management are also available and are typically offered as Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees. Some schools may offer dual BS/Master of Science (MS) degree programs in sports management. Most bachelor's degree programs take 4 years to complete, may include an internship experience for hands-on learning, and may cover topics in areas like:

  • Brand management
  • Sports event planning
  • Sports facilities management
  • Ethics in sports

Graduate Sports Management Information

At the graduate level, students can most commonly pursue master's degree programs in sports management and there are some sports management doctoral programs available. However, at the graduate level the distinction between sports management and sports administration becomes more defined and master's and doctoral programs in sports administration and management are available.

Master's degree programs in sports management are usually offered as MS degrees and typically take 2 years to complete. These programs often include hands-on learning opportunities through projects, activities, and practicum experiences. Students may be required to complete a thesis or research project and study topics in areas such as:

  • Marketing
  • Sport media
  • Leadership
  • Social issues in sport

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sports Management degree programs usually take 4 to 5 years to complete and require a dissertation. Students may take on teaching responsibilities during their studies. Programs like these often include a fair amount of research and courses in topics like:

  • Sport sociology
  • Sport consumer behavior
  • Research methods
  • Sports economics

Sports Management Jobs

There is a wide range of sports management jobs available to fit students' interests and needs. However, students should consider what level of education they may need for certain positions. For example, there are more advanced careers with a master's degree in sports management, such as director positions, versus entry-level positions available to those with only an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field, such as marketing assistants or facilities managers.

While some students may dream of taking on some of the more popular careers in sports management, such as becoming a sports agent, there are many behind-the-scenes business-related careers available as well. Some examples of possible sports management careers include:

  • Professors of sports management
  • Athletic director
  • Promotions manager
  • Marketing consultant
  • Event coordinator
  • Facilities director
  • Sports commissioner
  • Contract negotiation manager
  • Sales manager
  • Sport lawyer

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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