Bachelors In

Sports Management Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on February 15, 2024

Why We Love It

  • $92,940
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 11-9032 Education administrators, elementary and secondary school 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

In a bachelor of science in sports management program, students learn how to apply marketing, business, finance, and law concepts to sports organizations.

This allows them to take on roles as sports scouts, athletic directors, and sports coaches after graduation for all different types of sports at multiple levels. Graduates work in sports management for grade school teams as well as professional teams.

What is a Degree in Sports Management?

Whether you’re a talented athlete or just a sports lover, a degree in sports management may help you turn your passion into a career. A sports management degree teaches students how to apply important business, marketing, law, and finance concepts to sports organizations, allowing them to work as effective coaches, athletic directors, scouts, administrators, and agents.

You may work at any level—from elementary school sports to professional sports teams for nonprofits and corporations alike.

While studying for a degree in sports management, you’ll learn how to apply business and management best practices to sports administration, providing the skillset needed to work as an athletic director or sports facility manager.

You’ll study marketing concepts, enabling you to work as a team or event promoter, or to manage the reputation of players you represent as an agent. You may find work for a variety of sports teams, including baseball, football, basketball, tennis, soccer, hockey, and others.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Sports Management?

  • Sports Marketing
  • Sports Law
  • Sports Event Planning
  • Financial Accounting
  • Organization Management
  • Sports Business Finance
  • Sport, Society, and Ethics
  • Brand Management

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Sports Management?

Sports are a staple of the entertainment industry. From grade school teams to the NBA, there is always demand for talented coaches, agents, scouts, and administrators. Though the field is competitive, passion for the game can set graduates apart.

Growth in the number of jobs available for graduates of sports management degree programs is on par with the national average for all job types, so students are just as likely to find work with this degree as they are with most other degrees.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Sports Management will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Sports Management Degree

Online sports management bachelor degree programs are commonly available. Students are required to complete around 120 credit hours to earn their degrees.

However, students are required to complete practical training in field experiences or practicum which may require moving to the university campus or other places. Students are also required to complete one or two internships where they work for partner institutes in the field of sports management as a full time intern.

What Can You Do With a Sports Management Degree?

If you are a big fan of sports and dream of working in this exciting field, then you should probably consider having a degree in sports management. Sports have greatly developed in the recent years changing its nature from just a hobby to become a huge industry that generates hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Sports industry is also an important foundation for other industries as advertisement, fashion, mobile applications and sports equipment.

Sports management is a profession that handles an exciting and rapidly changing world that lies behind the scenes of sports competitions, clubs and athletes. Sports management includes planning, organizing and budget management related to sports. Managers get the responsibility for the finance, marketing and management of sports events and facilities. Sports management is not limited to professional sports but it also includes amateur sports, school or college teams as well as governmental, social and private sports organizations.

What does a sports management student learn?

Sports management degree programs focus on four main elements: finance, marketing, management and law of sports. Sports management programs aims at preparing the students to deal with sports organizations. Students need to apply critical thinking to solve the problems and boost the growth of these organizations.

The following list includes the common courses included in sports management degree programs:

  1. Foundation courses include: principles of management, principles of marketing statistics, algebra and accounting.
  2. General psychology, biology and physical science.
  3. Humanities and public speaking
  4. More advanced courses include: sport facility design and management, sports and society, ethical issues in sports, sports business finance and sports law.
  5. Students are commonly required to complete an internship in one of the sports management companies.

Students may choose a specialization as marketing, scouting or coaching.

Now I have the sports management Degree…where can I work after graduating?

Sports management degree prepares the students to work in any position related to athletic teams, organizations and facilities. The starting income for sports management jobs is usually above average compared to other jobs.

Career opportunities can be enhanced when the students have athletic experience as professional or amateur athletes. If you have a sports management degree, you should consider the following career options:

  1. Couching: people would consider this the most exciting career option in this field. You will manage athletic teams which may be national teams, professional teams or school and college teams. It includes setting the playing strategy, training schemes, selecting players and leading the team in general.
  2. Scouting: If you enjoy watching athletic games and travelling, then this career is the best choice for you. Scouts are responsible for recruiting promising players from school leagues, amateur games or small professional teams. They are also responsible for the transfer of players within teams of the same level. Scouts are responsible for matching the team needs and available players as well as negotiating the recruiting terms.
  3. Facility management: sports facilities have special requirements to fulfill their intended purpose. Some sports facilities as stadiums host events that may have more 100,000 attendees. Management of such facilities is a huge task that requires strong management skills.
  4. Career options also include jobs related to marketing as marketing consultant and coordinator, public relation manager and sales coordinating.
  5. Other available jobs include: business development coordinator, contract negotiation manager, event coordinator, fitness manager, fraud manager or sport lawyer.

Should I choose a sports management degree?

Sports management is a highly competitive field that is known for having very high pace. People working in this field sometimes get one chance that makes huge difference for their teams or organizations. Accordingly, sports managers are expected to have unique set of skills.

  1. Flexibility and multitasking: sports management is not a job with clearly defined and limited duties. You will usually need to work on new types of tasks and to deal with several tasks at the same time.
  2. Time management: time is critical to sports management. You cannot delay things that need to be done because the competition will never wait.
  3. Communication: sport managing is eventually about working with teams of staff and athletes. You need to have good communication skills to deal with them in a proper way.
  4. Analytical and problem solving skills: sometimes things will start going wrong and if you do not have good analysis, you cannot figure out the reason for that. You should also know how to deal properly with the problem you are facing.

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Best Jobs for Sports Management Degrees

Graduates of sports management degrees can find work in a variety of roles in sports administration. Many work as scouts, agents, athletic directors, or coaches for basketball, football, and baseball teams.

Graduates are qualified to work for elementary, middle, and high school teams, college teams, professional organizations, and private local sports organizations or sporting event facilities.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Sports Management degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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Get a Certificate in Sports Management First

While a certificate in sports management probably won’t be enough to get you a job in sports management for a professional team, it will certainly qualify you to work in sports administration for a school or local sports organization.

By earning a certificate first, you can find work in a small organization, gaining experience and earning an income while later pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Plus your credits may transfer to reduce the number of courses required to earn a bachelor’s degree.

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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