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Sports Business Degree Programs with Career Information

Students pursuing sports business degrees will be trained in various aspects of athletics and sports management. Individuals can find degree programs at all college degree levels.

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Essential Information

In the field of sports business, students can find bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Students of bachelor's and master's programs will have the opportunity to participate in field experiences and internships in sport-related settings. At the doctoral level, students will examine case studies and complete research projects and a dissertation. Some institutions may offer sports business studies online.

Graduates of sports business programs can work for professional sports teams, sports marketing firms, university athletic departments, sporting goods manufacturers in areas of public relations, facility management, sales management or operations.


Bachelor's Degree in Sports Business

Bachelor's degree programs in sports business programs focus on a wide range of sports business activities and functions. A sports business degree program may require students to complete a business minor in addition to taking core courses in sports business. In some programs, students can specialize in recreation, sports marketing and promotions, sports media relations, or sports facilities management. Internships offer hands-on experience with a variety of sports businesses and venues, including college and professional teams, sports facilities, and local and national sporting events. Applicants accepted into sports business programs must hold a high school diploma.

Courses in sports business management programs cover general business and athletic topics.

  • Sports marketing and consumer psychology
  • Sports administration and policies
  • Event management
  • Basic accounting
  • Human resource management
  • Recreation programs

Master's Degree in Sports Business

This sports business program covers the philosophy and practice of sports finance, sports facility and organization management, sports marketing and sports legal issues. Students may specialize in areas such as sports consumerism, sports public relations, sports events marketing and sports finances. Through independent projects and study, students develop sports research strategies. Students are required to complete sports business fieldwork assignments at sporting venues, sports marketing firms, and sports equipment manufacturers.

Sports business degree programs at the master's degree level require accepted applicants to hold a bachelor's degree. Students with experience in sports business or marketing may be able to earn transfer credit.

A sports business master's degree curriculum includes a variety of courses covering all aspects of sports business and sports management.

  • Managing sports operations
  • Sports market analysis
  • Sports business finances
  • Sports business research and strategies
  • Sports business law
  • Sports psychology

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Ph.D. in Sports Business

There are relatively few doctoral programs in sports business management. Those that exist cover the theory and practice of sports business, management and marketing. Students are expected to design and conduct their own research projects and complete a dissertation on a sports business topic of their choice. Students may also analyze and discuss case studies in various areas of sports business.

Doctoral sports business programs require applicants hold a master's degree. Applicants with a master's degree in sports business or related field are preferred.

Curriculums in Ph.D. sports business degree programs cover topics that enhance the research skills of candidates.

  • Research strategies
  • Human resources management
  • Sports law
  • Sports facilities planning
  • Sports business administration
  • Sports business information systems

Popular Career Options

Graduates of sports business programs may pursue careers in sports businesses, teaching, and research. Some individuals work as public relations, facility, recreational, franchise or equipment sales managers. Career options include the following:

  • Sports business professor
  • Sports agent
  • Sports facility manager
  • Sports marketing executive
  • Sports public relations director
  • Sports franchise executive

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Individuals working as general or operations managers, including in sports management, were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to earn a mean annual salary of $119,460 in May 2015. The BLS also reported that agents and business managers of athletes, as well as artists and other performers, earned a mean annual salary of $95,810 the same year.

Both graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sports business offer specialization options for students who want to focus on a specific area of sports business. Fieldwork and internships are common components of these programs, allowing students to get hands-on experience in sports business fields. Students with degrees in sports business can pursue a variety of positions. A graduate degree in sports business can help you find advanced business roles in the sports industry.

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