What Do You Study in a Sports Management Degree Program?

sports management degree program

Are you business savvy and passionate about sports? You might wonder what you study in a sports management degree program and whether that educational path is right for you. A strong sports management degree program will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to handle the business side of sports. Responsibilities range from managing arenas and sporting events to marketing teams and selling merchandise.

Business Courses

Sports management professionals hold a number of different job titles and handle a range of job duties. Many of their responsibilities relate to the field of business. For example, the Society of Health and Physical Educators identifies important business skills such as:

  • budgeting
  • controlling
  • directing
  • evaluating
  • leading
  • organizing and planning

You need these crucial skills for success in the field of business management. What you’ll study in a sports management degree program reflects the skill sets prospective employers will look for in job candidates.

To learn these skills, you need to develop a solid educational foundation in business. Many online sports management degree programs require you to complete a general business core as part of what you study in a sports management degree program. These courses might include:

  • financial accounting
  • managerial accounting
  • business law
  • principals of finance
  • business systems analysis and design
  • introduction to marketing
  • human relations in administration
  • strategic management
  • operations management
  • human resources management
  • global management
  • international business
  • brand management

Students might also take related courses such as:

  • advertising
  • public relations and communications
  • journalism

Sports Classes

Of course, a special emphasis on sports is what separates a sports management degree program from a general business administration program. A good deal of what you study in a sports management degree program falls into the category of specialized business courses that focus on applying business concepts and practices to the sports industry. It’s not unusual for sports management students to take courses in subjects like:

  • sport marketing
  • sporting event management
  • sports facilities management
  • sports finance
  • budget and financing of sport
  • sales within sport
  • sports facility design
  • ethical issues in sport
  • administration of sport and physical activity
  • sport promotion

You can’t learn every sports management skill or how to apply those skills in the classroom, regardless of whether you study on campus or online. To help students gain valuable experience, many sports management degree programs offer students the opportunity to complete an internship, field experience or practicum in sports management.

If you want to work behind the scenes in the sports industry and oversee the business side of athletic organizations, you’ll need an educational path that offers both a breadth of business studies and a depth of specialized studies in sports. What you study in a sports management degree program will aim to educate you in general business fundamentals as well as the ways you can apply business strategies and practices to the sports industry.

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