What is a Sport Business Management Degree?

The business of sports is exciting, engaging, and growing. In fact, a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers anticipates the market value of the North American sports industry will reach $80.3 billion by 2022, up from $69.1 billion in 2017. When you choose to study sport business management, you set yourself up to play a rewarding role in the growth of this powerhouse industry.

A businessman holds up a basketball while sitting at a desk in an office

What is a sports management degree, and how can it support your career? Through this degree, you will navigate the intersection between sports and business, opening the door to a number of positions and opportunities. Sport management degree programs, such as that offered by Maryville University, position yourself for success in this exciting industry. Your work can unite athletes and fans while also supporting time-honored athletic traditions.

Build skills that can lead to success in the business of sports

A sport business management bachelor’s degree program can equip you with a variety of skills to help you thrive in the business of sports. The industry is changing, and modern degree programs focus on building skills that allow you to understand data analysis, spearhead marketing campaigns, manage relationships, and build memorable brands. What a sports management degree offers is an advanced understanding of the intricate business side of sports and how it impacts teams, agencies, brands, sporting goods and apparel manufacturers, and administrative bodies. These skills can make you a well-rounded professional in the field, so you can establish yourself as a leader in retail, corporate, and administrative athletic environments.

The online bachelor’s degree in sport business management at Maryville University can teach you to think critically, approach sales and partnerships strategically, and make sound business decisions that benefit your organization. The program also provides opportunities to build a strong foundation in data analysis, sports sales management, and creative thinking.

Maryville’s sport business management degree offers two concentrations: results-centered sales and sport data analytics. Through these concentrations, you can partake in hands-on, experiential learning designed to provide you with real-world practice to prepare you for success in your organization. Some of the skills you could cultivate in these concentrations include:

  • Data analysis. As our world becomes more digital, the amount of data available increases in volume and nuance. Within sports, analytics can provide insight into performance, fan and consumer sentiment, and market patterns. Our sport data analytics track helps students learn how to capture data and use it to make informed decisions, identify and follow trends, and predict future outcomes. Whether you find a career with a sporting goods company, apparel brand, or sports team, your data analysis skills can help you track information like the effectiveness of marketing, player health, and even audience engagement.
  • Sport sales management. Sports are dynamic, and so are its fans. Just like a coach wants to run plays that lead to a team victory, business professionals want to ensure their sales efforts are met with success. Maryville’s results-centered sales track helps achieve this by taking a holistic view of the sales process. Students learn how to determine which approaches are working, which aren’t, and how to adjust course when necessary.
  • Creative thinking. Both the sport data analytics and the results-centered sales tracks rely on innovative thinking that leverages emerging technologies. Sport business management professionals can make more informed decisions than ever around product placement, merchandise creation, and more. The development of captivating digital strategies, along with exciting methods to encourage and track fan engagement, are invaluable.

What is a sports management major’s potential career path?

When you earn your degree in sport business management, you can open up a wide range of possible career paths. Your options will differ based on your chosen track, skill set, experience, and personal interests, but possible pathways include:

  • Sports marketing. Through this role, you’ll be responsible for the creation and implementation of innovative marketing campaigns that promote a specific team, brand, or product. In addition, you’ll leverage skills in data analysis to interpret the results of marketing campaigns and make adjustments to future initiatives.
  • Brand relations. Identity is everything in sports. It’s what draws fans in and encourages them to form long-lasting connections to a team, athlete, or product. Working in brand relations can allow you to help determine the look, feel, and voice that comprise the identity of a particular organization or company.
  • Social media. In the modern digital age, communication barriers between fans, teams, brands, and organizations are shrinking. This means it’s more vital than ever that sports organizations are present on popular social platforms where fans engage and share their passion. Leveraging the social media skills you gain through your degree, you can curate relevant information, share updates, interact with fans and consumers, and manage the reputation of your brand across social channels. Data analysis plays an important role in this work, as information drives social media strategies.
  • Corporate partnerships. As brands build relationships with corporate sponsors and donors, it’s essential to maintain strong business relationships. With your sport business management degree, you can build your knowledge and experience to pursue corporate partnerships on behalf of your organization. You may find yourself maintaining valuable relationships between business partners, conducting negotiations, and forging new partnerships to enhance a brand or increase an organization’s outreach.
  • Fundraising and sponsorships. Fundraising and sponsorship efforts are key to the financial success of sports teams at all levels. If you pursue a career path within this area, you may be involved in developing and executing fundraising plans, tracking progress toward important goals, and identifying potential new relationships.

These are only a few of the numerous rewarding career opportunities that a sport business management degree can prepare you to pursue. Choose to pursue one of the above areas, or find your place in public relations, sales, facilities management, guest relations, education, or research. If you have a passion for sports, earning an online sport business management degree through Maryville University can help you find a career that resonates with your interests and talents.

Earn your sport business management degree online.

There’s plenty of opportunity and excitement in sports — and not just on the field. At Maryville, we designed our online bachelor’s degree in sport business management to empower you to enhance your sport business acumen flexibly, on your schedule. Prepare to build important foundational skills, such as sales and data analysis, that you can use as you pursue a rewarding future in the field.

Take the first significant step in preparing yourself for your career in the dynamic world of sports with an online sport business management bachelor’s degree at Maryville University. Check out our program’s curriculum, and discover what a sports management major can do to help you achieve your professional goals.

Sources:

Deloitte, “2018 sports industry starting lineup: Six trends expected to disrupt and dominate the industry”

Deloitte, “How data can help drive sports sponsorship and fan engagement: Upping your game”

Digitalist Magazine, “4 Ways Sports Management Can Use Data To Drive Sales”

Forbes, “Changing the Game: The Rise of Sports Analytics”

Maryville University, Online Bachelor’s Degrees: Sports Business Management

PwC Sports Outlook, “At the gate and beyond: Outlook for the sports market in North America through 2022”