What Can You Do With a Sports Management Masters?

As the sports industry continues to grow, there are many careers with sports management master’s degree that you can pursue. Plus, as topics and concentrations in sports management range from MBAs to Exercise Science to Nutrition, choosing the perfect program for you can prepare you for a variety of careers.

Sports Industry Revenue

In 2016, the North American sports market, which combines gate revenues, media rights, sponsorships, and merchandising, had a value of $67.29 billion. By 2021 it is expected to grow to $78.53 billion.

Careers with a Master’s in Sports Management

Many sports management master’s programs are designed to teach the business and leadership elements needed for various management positions in the sports industry. This includes private companies, sports teams, and administrator roles or athletic director positions at schools or colleges.

Some of the common careers with a master’s in sports management include:

  • General and Operations Manager
  • Athletic Director
  • Director of Sports Marketing
  • Facilities Manager
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Coaches and Scouts
  • Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes

Keep in mind that these are just some of the careers available and there are many other positions that you can pursue. Continue reading to learn more about these positions and find a few graduate schools that offer them.

List of 3 Careers with Sports Management Master’s Degree

While there are many careers that you can pursue with a master’s degree in sports management, some of the most common include management or administrator roles. That’s because many programs are designed to teach theories and current research in leadership and management techniques.

Below are three of the most common leadership roles that you can pursue after earning a master’s degree in sports management.

#1: General and Operations Managers

Median Annual Salary (May 2017): $100,410i

Job Responsibilities:i

  • Formulate policies
  • Manage daily operations
  • Plan the use of materials and human resources

Many sports fans know the name of their favorite team’s general manager, who negotiates contracts with players and trades with other teams, among other responsibilities. But general and operations managers can be in almost any business, such as sports merchandising, vendors to sports teams, and others.

List of 3 Sports Management Master’s Degrees with Management Focus

#1: Southern New Hampshire University

Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University has more than 3,000 on-campus students, over 90,000 online students, and an alumni network of more than 84,000. SNHU is designed to fit the needs of today’s students and workforce to ensure that students keep pace with new technologies and professional requirements.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at SNHU

While similar, these degrees are different in the overall focus. For instance, the MBA with a Sport Management concentration focuses more on providing a foundation of business and leadership skills through courses in Finance and Human Behavior in Organizations.

#2: University of the Southwest

Founded in 1962, the University of the Southwest is built on a foundation of Christian values and a servant leadership philosophy. The community of dedicated staff and faculty committed to developing each student to help them achieve their full potential in the classroom and in their community.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at the University of the Southwest

Designed to prepare you for a variety of positions and careers in sports management, the MBA – Sports Management and Recreation will gain a foundation in economics, management, sociology, project planning, and law through courses that emphasize hands-on applications.

#3: Coastal Carolina University

Located just minutes from Myrtle Beach, Coastal Carolina University is a public comprehensive liberal arts institution that strives to develop students who are knowledgeable in their chosen fields and are prepared to be productive, responsible, and healthy citizens.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at CCU

The Master of Science in Sport Management uses critical examination of both academic and practical applications of management principles in the various fields related to the sports industry.

As the business of sports continues to expand, the sports management program has five core objectives:

  1. Prepare students for various careers in sport settings
  2. Produce graduates who use critical thinking skills to solve problems in the sports industry
  3. Produce graduates who understand the issues and principles of law in sport settings
  4. Prepare students to assess the effectiveness of strategies used by sport organizations
  5. Develop students’ understanding of basic management strategies

#2: Athletic Directors

Median Annual Salary (Postsecondary Education Administrators) (May 2017): $92,360ii

Projected Job Growth, 2016-2026: 10%iii

Job Responsibilities:iv

  • Advise student athletes
  • Communicate with parents and guardians
  • Plan and schedule events for athletic teams

Often, athletic directors work as postsecondary administrators for colleges, universities, or community colleges. However, other possibilities include high schools or for youth sports organizations.

List of 3 Sports Management Master’s Degrees in Sport Administration

#1: Canisius College

As the premier private university in western New York, Canisius College is one of only 28 Jesuit, Catholic colleges in the nation. Founded in 1870 in a single building in downtown Buffalo, Canisius now consists of 37 buildings on 72 acres.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at Canisius

Designed to prepare you to compete in the fast-paced and exciting field of the business of sports, the MS in Sport Administration offers a flexible, hands-on curriculum. This coursework emphasizes emerging trends, contemporary communication skills, and cutting-edge technologies used in sport administration.

In addition, the Canisius also offers an Online MA in Sport Administration, for those who would prefer an online master’s in sports management to an on-campus one.

#2: Fairleigh Dickinson University

Founded in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University is the largest private university in New Jersey. The not-for-profit, nonsectarian institution offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, all with a curriculum that reflects the mission of a global education.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at FDU

The Master of Sports Administration teaches students the skills and knowledge to effectively manage and lead a wide range of activities in the sports industry, including fields such as:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Operations
  • Facilities
  • Event Management

In addition, FDU offers an Master of Sports Administration Online for students who are unable to make it to campus for degree requirements.

#3: Lasell College

A comprehensive coeducational college, Lasell College has been an innovator in education for more than 150 years. Through hands-on activities such as internships, practicum, service learning, and meaningful projects, Lasell is known for helping students connect classroom lessons and real-life applications.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at Lasell

The Master of Science in Sport Management: Athletic Administration strives to teach you how to become an effective administrator in the various segments and fields of the sports industry by focusing on the major themes of the field, such as:

  • Executive and strategic planning
  • Employee motivation
  • Managing diversity in sport organizations
  • Fundraising and development
  • Administrative procedures
  • Procedures of sport athletic governing bodies

Lasell also offers other concentrations for their MS in Sport Management, such as:

#3: Director of Sport Marketing

Median Annual Salary (Marketing Managers) (May 2017): $132,230v

Projected Job Growth, 2016-2026 (Marketing Managers): 10%vi

Job Responsibilities:viii

  • Work with department heads and staff to discuss budgets, contracts, and marketing plans
  • Plan promotional campaigns
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze findings to understand market opportunities

As a director of marketing, there are many businesses you can work for both in and out of the sports industry. This remains true after earning a master’s in sports management, which may lead you to a career outside of sports, though still tied to the industry.

For instance, some large corporations that advertise heavily with sports teams and leagues may have a sports marketing division.

List of 3 Sports Management Master’s Degrees: Marketing and Management Focus

#1: Sacred Heart University

Founded in 1963 as an independent, Catholic higher education institution, Sacred Heart University knows that the true worth of your education won’t be measured by the facts you’re taught. Instead, SHU strives to give you the passion for inquiry that leads to pursuing knowledge and intelligent reflection.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at SHU

The Master of Arts in Sports Communication and Media offers two academic/professional tracks:

  1. Sports Broadcasting
  2. Athletic Communications and Promotions

In both of these programs, students receive intensive training in the art and craft of digital storytelling across multiple media platforms.

#2: American University

Grounded in a strong sense of social responsibility and a commitment to cultural and intellectual diversity, American University helps intelligent, passionate, and engaged students and faculty focus on using knowledge to create meaningful change.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at American

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Sports Analytics and Management goes beyond the reach of a standard master’s degree and is relevant and immediately applicable to the workplace. The program focuses on the evaluative technologies and the analytics that is increasingly being relied on by companies in the sports industry.

#3: Temple University

With 17 schools and colleges, eight campuses, hundreds of degrees, and more than 38,000 students, Temple University has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and diverse learning environments.

Sports Management Master’s Programs at Temple

Offered by the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management, the Master of Science in Sport Business can be completed in four semesters or two years by full-time students. However, the program is also offered as a part-time program to accommodate various schedules.

The program also offers four concentrations to tailor your curriculum to meet your goals, which are:

  • Athletics Administration
  • Recreation and Event Management
  • Sport Analytics
  • Sport Marketing and Promotions

List of 4 Other Sports Management Master’s Degrees

As such a diverse field with many different aspects, positions, and industries, many master’s in sports management programs can prepare you for a variety of careers that may not fit into any of those mentioned above.

Check out these four programs to see some of the other concentrations and careers you can pursue with a master’s in sports management.

#1: Sport and Athletic Management

Northcentral University

The Master of Education – Sport and Athletic Management at NCU is designed to enhance leadership skills, strengthen teaching and administrative abilities, and apply ethics and values to all aspects of athletics at the PK-12 levels, as well as collegiate athletic administration.

Plus, the program also offers professional development opportunities for those already serving as coaches and athletic administrators by advancing their skills and knowledge.

#2: Exercise and Sport Science

University of Western States

The Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Science at University of Western States is designed to prepare you to provide expert education, guidance, and services as a leader in exercise, fitness, and wellness. The evidence-informed curriculum uses first-hand knowledge for both concentrations, which are:

  1. Health and Wellness Promotion
  2. Nutrition

#3: Sport Nutrition

New York Chiropractic College

During recent years, the role of nutrition has become understood as an increasingly key component of how athletes can reach their performance potential. As a result, the Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition at New York Chiropractic College uses an evidence-based approach to sports nutrition to enhance athletic performance and recovery.

#4: Sport Tourism

Liberty University

One of four concentrations of the MS in Sport Management at Liberty University, the Master of Science: Sport Management: Tourism (Non-Thesis) analyzes the sport and tourism culture, business, community relations, legal issues, ethics, marketing, hospitality, and event planning to effectively analyze the business and consumer side of tourism.

Common Courses in a Sports Management Master’s Degree

Many of the courses you’ll take while pursuing a sports management master’s degree will depend on the concentration or specific aspect of the field you’re studying. For instance, an exercise and sport management master’s will have a different curriculum than a sports data and analytics master’s.

However, many programs have a number of courses that are more foundational to the concepts, theories, and applications specifically to the sports industry. Some of these courses include:

  • Sports Event and Facility Management
  • Management and Leadership in Sport Organizations
  • Economic and Financial Management of Sport
  • Applied Exercise Physiology
  • Design, Analytics, and Critical Evaluation of Research

Keep in mind that while these are common courses, every school has a unique design and different curriculum. As a result, you probably won’t take all of these courses while earning a master’s in sports management.

Growth in Management Careers

The BLS projects that job growth for management occupations in all fields will grow 8% during the years 2016 to 2026, which would result in more than 800,000 new jobs.viii

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Sports Management?

In addition to the careers listed above, there are a number of other careers you can pursue in sports management, which can be helpful when deciding if you should get a master’s degree.

However, you may need an additional degree, or a dual master’s degree to enter some of these fields, as some are more specialized and outside of strictly sports management, which usually focuses on business aspects and leadership and management skills.

For example, in order to become an athletic trainer, many employers only require a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, though a master’s degree in athletic training is becoming more prevalent and may be preferred by some employers. In addition, nearly all states require that athletic trainers to be trained or certified, though the specific requirements vary from state to state.ix

Some of the other careers you may pursue after earning a master’s degree in sports management include:

  • Athletic Trainers: $46, 630x
  • Coaches and Scouts: $32,270xi
  • Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes: $64,940xii

Find the Perfect Sports Management Master’s Degree for You!

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[i] bls.gov/oes/CURRENT/oes111021.htm [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm#tab-5 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm#tab-6 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm#tab-2 [v] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-6 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-2 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/ [ix] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/athletic-trainers.htm#tab-4 [x] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/athletic-trainers.htm#tab-5 [xi] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/coaches-and-scouts.htm#tab-5 [xii] bls.gov/oes/current/oes131011.htm

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