Sports communications professionals work in a variety of fields, including public relations, broadcast media and athletic journalism. A Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a sports communications concentration will generally qualify you for entry-level positions in these realms. A master's degree in sports communications can lead to senior-level careers, such as sports information director or team promotions manager. The program fields in sports communications are Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Master of Arts in Sports Journalism and Master of Science in Sports Journalism among others. Bachelor's degree programs require a high school diploma or GED prior to admission, while master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree, some work experience in the field, and competency in writing and public speaking.
Bachelor of Arts in Communications
In this specialty area of mass communications, students learn to provide information to a highly engaged audience with a deep interest in sports.
This baccalaureate concentration requires classes that address current issues in sports, their relationship to society and the evolving methods of communicating information to enthusiasts. Possible subjects in the curriculum are:
- Sports, communication and culture
- Promotion and public relations
- Sports media
- News writing
- Legal issues
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Master's Degree in Sports Communications
In master's degree programs in sports communications, students study advanced theories in communicating sports information to a diverse audience including the media, investors and fans. By examining the effect sports have on American society, they will also develop skills for advocating for sports as a means for greater social and economic good.
Classes combine theoretical knowledge of communications with explanations of how these lessons can be applied. They explore strategies for relaying key messages on all aspects of sports, including competition, athletes and business. Topics include:
- Sport psychology
- Leadership in sports communications
- Marketing and business tactics
- Media and broadcast relations
- Fundraising and sponsorship
Graduates of master's level programs in sports communications will be equipped to seek managerial and senior-level positions in the sports communications and information industry. Some career options include:
- Sports information director
- Public relations specialist
- Community outreach manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job opportunities for reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts to decline 9% from 2014 through 2024. For reporters and correspondents, the median annual salary was $36,360 as of May 2015, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Sports communications programs equip students with the theoretical aspect of sports communications and its application through courses such as sports media, sports psychology and media marketing.