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What is an MBA in Sports Management?

Do you want to combine your love of sports with business? Whatever your background, earning an MBA in sports management online can help you get ahead in this rewarding field. With a job growth rate of 9%, the demand for qualified candidates is increasing. This data will help you find the best online schools for sports management programs.

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An online MBA with a sports management concentration prepares you for a career in the field, but it also teaches core concepts that can be applied to virtually any management position.

There are many factors that influence earnings, but none as strongly as education. The table below uses data from PayScale to demonstrate how an online MBA in sports management can lead to increased earnings, even in entry-level positions.

Comparison of Sports Management Master’s Degrees

Some schools offer degrees similar to a sports management MBA online, but these programs tend to differ in focus, scope, and outcome. An online MBA with a sports management concentration prepares you for a career in the field, but it also teaches core concepts that can be applied to virtually any management position.

Degree Description Average Salary* Length
Master of Sports Management This program’s specialized curriculum focuses on the unique administrative challenges of sports management. Coursework places less emphasis on the fundamentals of business theory. $37,113 1.5-3 Years
Master’s degree in Sport Administration and Leadership (MSAL) Emphasizing the financial and analytical aspects of sports management, this program is designed for students pursuing administrative roles in the sports industry. By examining mathematical models and statistical information alongside cultural trends, students learn the science of sports marketing. $35,000 2 years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Management An MBA in sports management offers a versatile educational experience that combines core business concepts with issues specific to the sports industry. In addition to advanced topics in marketing, strategic planning, and sales, coursework covers the economic and social factors that influence sports organizations. Students acquire a range of broadly applicable management skills. $41,248 1.5 years

While course offerings can vary between programs and schools, some skills and concepts are integral to any sports management curriculum. If you’re earning a sports management master’s degree online, you’re likely to encounter some variation of the following courses:

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Budget Management Calculate revenue and develop and maintain a budget TITLE: General Operations Manager
SALARY: growth of 21%
Operations Management Efficiently manage resources and labor while upholding quality standards TITLE: Revenue Manager
SALARY: growth of 24%
Team Leadership Develop effective relationships between team members and improve performance TITLE: Director of Operations
SALARY: growth of 11%

Earning an online MBA in sports management is the first step to getting the job you want. Below are a few of the career paths frequently chosen by graduates.

General/Operations Manager Median Salary: $60,002
  • Sporting facilities
  • Sports teams
General managers oversee every aspect of a business, ensuring that all operations run smoothly and according to standards. They develop policies, budgets, and training procedures for new employees.
Revenue Manager Median Salary: $60,745
  • Sport consulting firms
  • Sports teams
  • Fan merchandising companies
The responsibilities of a revenue manager include budgeting, financial planning, and meeting revenue goals. Through data analysis and research, they can determine a company’s best financial course of action.
Director of Operations Median Salary: $87,668
  • Athletic facilities
  • Private sporting clubs
A director of operations is tasked with managing employees, defining company goals, and negotiating sales and agreements. They help design, implement, and standardize policies while ensuring that all departments are compliant.
Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Adams State University

Location Alamosa, CO Tuition Tuition $15,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,404 School Type Public
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Ashland University

Location Ashland, OH Tuition Tuition $29,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 5,677 School Type Private
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Belhaven University

Location Jackson, MS Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 4,450 School Type Private
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Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Location Ann Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $27,261 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 899 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Concordia University - Chicago

Location River Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $24,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 5,239 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Concordia University - Wisconsin

Location Mequon, WI Tuition Tuition $27,261 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 8,268 School Type Private
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Fort Hays State University

Location Hays, KS Tuition Tuition $13,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 14,210 School Type Public
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Franklin Pierce University

Location Rindge, NH Tuition Tuition $25,545 % Receiving Financial Aid 89% Student Population 2,273 School Type Private
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Gardner-Webb University

Location Boiling Springs, NC Tuition Tuition $19,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 4,329 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Lynn University

Location Boca Raton, FL Tuition Tuition $27,380 % Receiving Financial Aid 28% Student Population 2,693 School Type Private
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Midway University

Location Midway, KY Tuition Tuition $16,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 1,055 School Type Private
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Misericordia University

Location Dallas, PA Tuition Tuition $26,640 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 2,963 School Type Private
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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $23,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 2,517 School Type Private
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Saint Leo University

Location Saint Leo, FL Tuition Tuition $25,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 15,800 School Type Private
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Shorter University

Location Rome, GA Tuition Tuition $15,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 1,472 School Type Private
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Southeast Missouri State University

Location Cape Girardeau, MO Tuition Tuition $10,725 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 11,987 School Type Public
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Southeastern University

Location Lakeland, FL Tuition Tuition $20,475 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 4,538 School Type Private
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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,572 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private
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Tiffin University

Location Tiffin, OH Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 3,496 School Type Private
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University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Location Amherst, MA Tuition Tuition $35,100 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 29,269 School Type Public
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University of the Southwest

Location Hobbs, NM Tuition Tuition $21,564 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 1,059 School Type Private
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If you’ve decided that an MBA in healthcare management is right for you, the next step is to narrow down the list of schools that draw your interest. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it’s always helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy the ability to visit campus if the need arises. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and compensation levels of recent graduates. When compared side-by-side, this information can provide a snapshot of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and be sure that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Sports Management is to find a job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. Attending a school that is well connected with local businesses can provide an advantage. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program that adheres to certain academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Sports Management program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Some positions in sports management require additional licensure or certification. While some programs cover material frequently featured on certification exams, the tests themselves are not typically taken while earning an MBA in sports management online. Depending on your chosen career path, you may be expected to apply for one of the following professional certifications:

Liscense Description
CSEE Certification To receive this certification, applicants must complete 34 hours of online coursework and hold five years of experience in the sports tourism industry.
United State Sports Academy Certifications The United States Sports Academy offers certification programs in three areas: sports public relations, law and risk management, and sports marketing.

Scholarships can be a great way to help fund your online master’s sports management, and many companies, professional organizations, and special interest groups offer generous scholarships to students earning their sports management MBA online. Awards range from $1,000 to $30,000. Depending on your personal background, academic progress, or area of concentration, you may be eligible to receive one or more scholarships, such as: