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Sports Management

The Breakdown

You know the ERA of every major league pitcher from the last two decades.  You religiously watch old Super Bowl games broadcast on ESPN2, despite knowing the outcome.  And you zealously debate the merits of the top NBA draft picks.  Fortunately, even though your only athletic achievement was winning the 4th grade foul shooting championship, it’s still possible for you to marry your obsession with a vocation.

If you choose to study sports management, you’ll examine the industry from a business perspective.  Many programs take a multi-disciplinary approach, requiring their students to gain a keen understanding of the historical, psychological and economic foundations of the sports and leisure market.  As your studies progress, you’ll learn about finance, marketing, media relations and revenue generation and their relevancy to the sporting industry.  Further, a number of programs also require an internship so many students graduate with practical experience.

Regardless of where you enroll, to be successful you’ll need to combine your passion for athletics with business acumen.  You will need effective communication and critical thinking skills, an aptitude for quantitative analysis, thorough knowledge of sports settings and services and, most importantly, the ability to take on a leadership role.  


Nuts and Bolts

As a sports management major, you’ll learn how to gain a toehold in the industry with classes such as: History and Philosophy of Sport, Sport and Event Promotion, Legal Aspects of Sports and Recreation, Sport Marketing, Programming and Event Management, Sport Sales Management, Introduction to Exercise Science, Financial Principals of Sport, Sport Event Sponsorship, Sports and Violence in America, Amateur Sports and the Law, and Sports Strategic Communication.

Decisions, Decisions

Sports management majors have an interest in business, athletics and the business of athletes.  Therefore, they might also be interested in studying sports psychology, marketing, finance, public relations, physical education, kinesiology, exercise science, international business, occupational therapy, economics, recreation management, accounting, advertising, journalism, physical therapy and athletic training.

What's Next

A degree in sports management is surprisingly versatile.  After all, there are many facets to the sports and recreation industries and students can easily find positions that play to their strengths and interests.  Some sports management majors go on to oversee the maintenance of sports facilities, some become agents and talent scouts and others might handle public relations for a specific team.  Opportunities also abound in broadcasting, health club management, directing school athletic programs, ticket, game day and/or stadium operations and event management.  And of course, some sports management majors ultimately earn MBAs or law degrees.  Truly, a degree in sports management is the first step to a myriad of fantastic career options.



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Don Munce