What Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management?

As you explore your undergraduate academic options, you might wonder what a bachelor’s degree in sports management is and whether the degree path is the right choice for you. A sports management education combines studies in both general business and specialized sports topics. Graduates from a sports management degree program find work in the sports industry – not as professional athletes, but instead as organizers and leaders who oversee the logistics and operations of sports-related entities. A bachelor’s degree in sports management can prepare you for work in college and professional sports organizations, sporting goods retailers, sports stadiums and arenas, sports management firms and sports marketing and advertising firms.

A Business Degree

Professionals in the field of sports management are responsible for budgeting, controlling, directing, evaluating, leading and planning the efforts of sports organizations, the Society of Health and Physical Educators reported. To perform these job duties, it’s necessary to have strong skills in a variety of business subjects. For that reason, a bachelor’s degree in sports management is often based on a core curriculum of general business classes.

A bachelor’s degree in sports management is likely to include coursework in business law, accounting, economics, marketing, finance, human resources, business communications, project management, leadership and organizational management. Some undergraduate sports management programs also offer students the option to pursue a concentration in a subject like accounting, entrepreneurship, marketing, recreational therapy or health promotion and wellness.

A Specialized Degree

Of course, the specialized nature of a sports management degree sets this educational path apart from the traditional business administration degree. A bachelor’s degree in sports management is a unique combination of general business skills and concepts with sports-focused studies. Some of the courses students take in undergraduate sports management degree programs include:

  • Accounting for sports-related entities
  • Sport finance
  • Sport budgeting
  • Sales within sports
  • Sports marketing
  • Sport facilities management
  • Sport event planning
  • Athletic sport administration
  • Legal aspects of sport
  • Sport and society
  • Sport and health psychology
  • Sales within sports
  • Sports ethics
  • Communication in sport
  • Management and leadership in sport

Of course, different sports management degree programs have different graduate requirements. At some schools, an undergraduate sports management degree program may have a strong focus on general business courses, supplemented by studies in sports-specific fields. Other schools may make the sports-related classes the focus of the student’s education, with general business courses included to enhance the student’s understanding of core skills.

The students who are best suited to a career in sports management are those interested in both athletics and the business behind sports. They take coursework in both subjects and need general business skills and specialized sports knowledge to fulfill their goals of overseeing and organizing sports initiatives and events. A bachelor’s degree in sports management is a complex educational path that equips students with the skills found in a traditional business administration and the niche knowledge needed to specialize in the competitive sports industry.

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