What Is an Online Master's in Sport Management Degree?
The best master's in sport management programs focus on developing leadership skills, covering areas like strategic planning, risk management, financial management, and sport marketing. A sport management master's degree also helps students hone soft skills in areas like collaboration and communication.
The ideal applicants for a master's in sport management program holds a bachelor's degree in a related field and has previous professional experience, though some programs may accept students with an unrelated bachelor's degree. Applicants may also need to submit letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and a resume.
Choosing an Online Program
Online master's in sport management degree programs can come in a variety of formats. For instance, some programs deliver courses asynchronously, meaning students can watch lectures and complete assignments at their convenience within set deadlines. Students seeking more structure may prefer synchronous programs, which have set login times. The link below provides additional information about how to choose an online program.
What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Sport Management Program?
An online sport management master's degree prepares graduates for jobs at all levels of sports, including professional, amateur, recreational, collegiate, olympic, and interscholastic. The following sections outline common courses found in these programs, common careers and salaries for graduates, and relevant organizations and professional certifications for sport management professionals.
Master's in Sport Management Curriculum
This course reviews ethical issues in sports, such as gender equity, spectator behavior, and performance-enhancing drug use. Students use theoretical frameworks to examine issues of ethics and morality in sports. Common topics include sportsmanship, coaching, youth sports, injury, and health.
Students in this course explore principles of financial management and learn how to apply them to the finances of sports teams or clubs. Learners study topics like generally accepted accounting principles, cash flow, balance sheets, and supply and demand as it applies in athletics.
This course examines the sporting ecosystem and how data is used to inform strategic decisions. Students explore revenue streams, fan engagement, and the metric challenges posed by fragmentation. Learners may also study market segmentation, consumer behavior, and revenue projection.
Sport Management Certifications and Licenses
NBPA Certification: To represent talent in one of the four major U.S. sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL), a sports agent must obtain certification from the players' union. For example, pro basketball agents must apply for an NBPA license, which requires applicants to hold a degree from an accredited college or university and successfully pass a 50-question proctored exam.
NIAAA Certification: This voluntary certification is awarded upon completion of a professional development program in interscholastic athletic administration. There are five NIAAA certification levels, each requiring a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants for the certified athletic administrator credential need at least two years of experience as an athletic administrator.
Sport Management Professional Organizations
Sport management students and graduates can take advantage of professional organizations, which offer networking, professional development, and continuing education opportunities. They may also offer job and mentorship opportunities or discounts on professional resources.
North American Society for Sport Management
NASSM furthers sport management research, study, and academic writing. The organization's official research journal, the Journal of Sport Management, focuses on the governance, management, and marketing of sport organizations.
Sport Marketing Association
Founded in 2002, SMA develops and expands the knowledge of sport marketing professionals by providing them with networking opportunities, online forums, and career development opportunities.
National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
With more than 12,500 members, NACDA is the largest association of collegiate athletic administrators in North America. Members have access to continuing education and networking opportunities.
Careers in Sport Management
Graduates with an online sport management master's degree can pursue careers in areas like public relations, management, and coaching. The following list outlines a few example job opportunities available to sport management graduates.
Sport managers specialize in the business aspects of sports and recreation. They may manage facilities, orchestrate marketing campaigns and promotions, or oversee events. These professionals may also negotiate contracts and seek player endorsement deals.
Sport managers must be skilled in financial management, public relations, and sports administration. These professionals typically have at least a bachelor's degree, but many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master's degree and relevant experience.
Projected Growth Rate
Coaches work with athletes at all levels, helping them develop the skills required to succeed in their respective sports. They lead practice sessions, call plays during games, and direct physical conditioning programs. Scouts help coaches search for new athletic talent, evaluating athletes' skills and potential for future success. They may offer incentives for prospective players, coordinate with coaches, and study athlete performance statistics.
The best candidates for both positions need excellent communication, observational, and strategic management skills. They typically hold a bachelor's degree at minimum and extensive knowledge of the field.
Projected Growth Rate
Public relations managers develop and direct marketing campaigns to influence the public image of their client or organization. They identify target audiences, write press releases, and create promotional programs. Fundraising managers specifically oversee campaigns seeking donations for their companies, which can mean securing donors, applying for grants, or planning events.
These professionals usually need at least a bachelor's degree and relevant experience. While not required, professionals can earn certification through the Public Relations Society of America or the Certified Fund Raising Executive program to demonstrate their expertise to potential employers.