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Why Earn a Sports Management MBA? + Online Options


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The field of sports management is incredibly wide and varied, if you look at the business elements of professional, amateur, and semi-pro sports and athletics, but equally at those of recreation. Additionally, a sports management MBA will look at issues outside of traditional sports, such as accounting, marketing, business administration, and management. Because of this, graduates are presented with a great deal of opportunities.

Why Earn a Sports Management MBA?

If you complete a Sports Management MBA, you will be immersed in the fundamental skills and knowledge relating to law, marketing, management, and finance, but with an emphasis on the sports industry. Typically, you will be able to find employment in professional sports organizations, but equally in collegiate or amateur groups.

When you have obtained your Sports Management MBA, you will be able to capitalize on a range of different opportunities relating to sports. If you were previously a manager in a non-sports related field, you will be able to seamlessly transition your career. Consider, for a minute, that the sports industry in this country is worth some $200 billion and you will quickly see just how many opportunities there are.

The Sports Management MBA is a true niche degree, and you will, upon graduation, be ready for the management and running of any part of any kind of sports organization. You could get involved in anything from coaching to marketing, and from scouting to managing. Essentially, you will be able to fit in fully in the huge industry that is sports and athletics, with the skills and knowledge required to improve that industry.

Admission Requirements

The Sports Management MBA is still quite a rare MBA program, although more universities are starting to offer it. Each of these universities has its own admission requirements, but those specified by San Diego State University – Fowler College of Business Administration are commonly seen. They include:

• A 3.0 GPA minimum
• Professional resume
• Two professional letters of recommendation
• An interview
• A personal statement
• GMAT/GRE scores
• TOEFL for non-native English speakers
• Prerequisite courses in areas such as finance, accounting, and statistics
• An undergraduate degree in any field
• Work experience, preferably in the sports industry

Curriculum and Courses

Again, each school is at liberty to determine its own core and elective courses within the curriculum, although those that have received accreditation do follow a reasonably similar format. At the EU Business School, for instance, subjects include:

• Management skills
• Organizational behavior
• Managerial accounting
• Marketing
• Quantitative business methods
• Negotiation
• Business law
• Personal and professional development
• Finance
• Human resource management
• Global economics
• Strategic management
• Management information systems
• Business strategy simulation
• Job career planning
• Communication skills
• Financial management applications to sport
• Sports marketing management
• Sports management issues
• Sports sponsorship
• Crafting unique sports events

It is very common for schools to start their program with core courses in the field of business administration, and then later focus specifically on sports management topics towards the second half of the program.

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

There are many different jobs and careers that you can go for once you graduate from a Sports Management MBA program. Common career choices for graduates include:

• College athletic administrator
• Athletic trainer
• Coach agent
• Player agent
• Team marketer
• Operations manager
• Athletic team coach
• Athletic team manager
• Sports event planner
• Communications manager

It is also quite common for students to further specialize within the sports management niche itself. Fitness nutrition is a particularly popular subspecialization to consider.

Naturally, the field of professional sports is incredibly competitive. Athletes are global super stars, and while many of us may dream of working with them, very few will have that opportunity. Those who do almost always hold a sports management MBA, as well as having completed an internship in the front office of a sports team.

Job Salary & Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners earned an average of $46,840 per year as of May 2015. However, this was at the bachelor’s degree level, and MBA programs tend increase annual salaries by an average of $15,000. Furthermore, if you are one of the lucky few to get to work in a popular, professional athletic team, it is likely that you will earn well in excess of that. The BLS has also projected a 10% growth in demand for these professionals by 2024, which is faster than average.

Scholarships and Grants

Zeta-NEF offers the General Graduate scholarship for women who intend to complete a professional degree. The award is available for a single academic year of full time study and is paid directly to the recipient. Maximum value of the scholarship is $2,500 per year.

Scholarships 4 Moms has launched a $10,000 scholarship giveaway, which will be handed out on March 15th, 2017. To apply for the scholarship, students simply have to complete an online entry form and wait to see whether they have won or not. Winners will be contacted after the random draw on March 15th.

American Association of University Women (AAUW), which offers female students Selected Professions Fellowships so long as they can demonstrate that they intend to take part in a full time, accredited program that focuses on an area in which women are underrepresented, including the master of business administration. Only permanent US citizens can apply for the grant, and they must be women of color. For MBA participants, the grant is only available in the second year of study.

Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP), which understands that education is what opens the doors to new opportunities. Their scholarship is available specifically to domestic violence survivors, as the WISP aims to ensure those women can become personally independent through employment opportunities, rendering them self sufficient as well. The scholarship is available to all women at any school, so long as the educational institution is properly accredited. This includes state supported universities, colleges, and community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, private universities, private colleges, as well as for profit schools.

Additional Resources

Elsevier Sport Management Review
North American Society for Sport Management
World Sports Management
European Association for Sport Management (EASM)
African Sport Management Association