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.

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

Ashland University

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

Based in Ashland, OH, Ashland University offers learners an MBA online sports management degree to train students to apply business concepts to the sports industry. Ashland’s MBA degrees can be completed in as few as 12 months, with several self-paced options available. The program also features flexible start dates throughout the year and GRE/GMAT waivers.

Ashland’s 30-credit curriculum includes core coursework in operations and financial management. The specialization in sports management covers topics such as social and ethical issues in sports and sports marketing. Students participate in survey and field-experience classes to develop the analytical and decision-making skills needed to thrive in the sports industry.


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Belhaven University

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

Maintaining Christian values and traditions, Belhaven University in Jackson, MS, offers an online MBA with a concentration in sports administration to students interested in the sports industry. Belhaven’s 42-credit curriculum emphasizes business principles and management fundamentals. It also features advanced topics in current trends and issues in sports, legal and regulatory aspects of sports, and sports finance and budgets.

Students develop the decision-making and analytical skills needed to succeed individually and as part of a sports administration team. Applicants can transfer up to six hours of graduate coursework into Belhaven’s program and must hold a 2.8 GPA or higher in undergraduate coursework.


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Bryan College

Location Dayton, TN Tuition Tuition $19,620 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 1,489 School Type Private

An MBA sports management online degree from Bryan College prepares learners to effectively manage a variety of sports-related programs and organizations. Students at Bryan take 36 credits, such as managerial economics, strategic planning, and marketing, that emphasize business fundamentals from a Christian worldview. With advanced coursework in sports facility and event management, leadership in sports, and sports finance, students gain the skills and experience for sports management careers in as little as 18 months.

Applicants should submit a formal application, resume, two professional references, and a statement of intent with transcripts to Bryan’s online portal.


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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

Concordia University - Chicago’s MBA in sports management online emphasizes ethical, global leadership to provide students with the skills needed to succeed in a variety of roles within sports organizations.Through Concordia’s 36-credit program, students gain an understanding of the diversity within the field while studying advanced economic principles, business finance, and regulatory aspects of policy as they relate to sports.

Concordia does not require students to take the GRE for admission and there are no admission fees. Applicants should submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, an objective statement, and transcripts for consideration.


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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

Concordia University - Wisconsin offers an MBA in sports and entertainment business to learners who want to pursue a managerial or executive role within sports or entertainment organizations. Concordia’s 39-credit program includes classes on business fundamentals with field-specific coursework and experiential learning exercises that inform students about public relations and sales strategies, client and event management, and brand activation. Internships and an industry leader seminar series open up networking and career opportunities for students.

Students can complete Concordia’s program in less than two years with up to six hours of transfer credit available. Applicants do not need to take the GRE, but must submit a resume, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts.


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Fort Hays State University

Location Hays, KS Tuition Tuition $12,527 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 15,100 School Type Public

The online MBA health and human performance/sports management concentration at Fort Hays State University prepares learners to work in sports management by emphasizing decision making in sports planning and promotion. FHSU’s 34-credit program can be completed in as little as 18 months, with concentration coursework in sports marketing, regulatory issues in sports and recreation, and athletic facilities. Students without an undergraduate degree in business must complete an additional 12 hours of foundational content.

Applicants must submit a resume, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, GRE/GMAT scores, and transcripts for consideration.


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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

Franklin Pierce University offers an MBA sports management online degree to learners interested in business leadership careers in amateur, professional, or intercollegiate athletics. Franklin Pierce’s curriculum combines qualitative and quantitative coursework in business practices, finance, research, and leadership, with sports-related classes in facility management and media relations.

For admission to Franklin Pierce’s program, students must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 2.8 GPA or higher. Applicants should submit a resume, short essay, transcripts, and an outline of professional aspirations.


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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

An MBA online sports management degree at Gardner-Webb University includes 30 credits of core coursework and six elective credits of field-specific classes. Sports management students study business economics, strategy, and marketing as they relate to the sports industry while learning to solve problems and make informed business decisions. Students also participate in service opportunities, internships, and group project activities to collaborate with others through real-world experiences.

Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA or submit GRE/GMAT scores to be considered.


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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

Lynn University’s online MBA sports management program prepares students for careers in intercollegiate or professional sports organizations by developing the interpersonal and business skills needed to effectively work in this industry. The MBA program comprises 37 credits of foundation and specialization courses, taking students as little as one year to complete.

Students apply management theories and techniques to real-world scenarios in coursework on legal aspects of athletics, management of sports business, and issues in professional and college sports. Learners also participate in a sports management internship to gain practical experience. Lynn University does not require the GRE or GMAT and accepts applicants three times a year. Applicants must submit transcripts, one letter of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.


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Midway University

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

Midway University offers a 36-credit MBA online sports management degree, which can be completed in 15 months. Midway’s program provides core classes on business fundamentals, such as strategic management, global business, and organizational behavior. Field-specific coursework includes sports law, sports organization finance, and organizational behavior in sports.

Students also complete a capstone course at the end of the program. Students without an undergraduate business background must take an additional three credits in the foundational graduate business course. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a formal application.


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Misericordia University

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

Misericordia University’s 36-credit online MBA sports management program provides students with practical critical-thinking and decision-making skills to effectively address issues within the sports industry. Through 24 credits of core coursework and 12 credits of sports-related classes, students learn management, leadership, and financial techniques applicable to careers in sports organizations.

Field-specific classes include public relations and communication in sports, sports marketing, and the business of sports. The course concludes with an integrative capstone that affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. Applicants do not need to take the GRE or the GMAT, and part-time students can complete the program in 2.5 years.


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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

An MBA sports management online degree at New England College provides students with fundamental knowledge about how sports and recreation relate to intercollegiate coaching. Survey, research, and experiential coursework explore theories and practices in sports and recreation management and the psychological aspects of coaching. Field-specific classes include current issues, law, and management and practice in sports and recreation.

Students can complete New England College’s 40-credit program in as few as 20 months. Applicants do not need to take the GRE or the GMAT, but must submit a resume and official transcript for consideration.


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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

Saint Leo University offers an online MBA sports management program to prepare students for careers in professional, college, and retail sports organizations. Students complete 36 credits, including 21 credits in the business core, in as little as one year. In addition to classes in business finance, ethics, and communication, learners take field-specific coursework in risk management and legal considerations in sports, sports marketing, and facility planning in sports.

The degree also includes an optional six-credit internship for students to gain experiential knowledge and networking opportunities. To apply, learners must submit GMAT scores, a resume, statement of purpose, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation with their formal application and fee.


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Shorter University

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

An online MBA sports management concentration from Shorter University incorporates business fundamentals and sports-specific content to provide students insight into the business side of sports. Shorter’s 31-credit curriculum includes coursework in managerial accounting and finance with classes in risk management, leadership and administration, and marketing in sports. Students can also take a business sports internship course to gain practical experience in the field.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a 2.75 GPA or higher from the last 60 hours of coursework. Applicants must also submit a resume, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts.


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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

SEMO offers an MBA sports management online degree to learners that want to explore finance, communication, and regulations within sports organizations. Through 33 credits of coursework, students study global issues, fundamental practices, information technologies, and diversity within business as they relate directly to sport. Students can also take part in one of SEMO’s internship opportunities to gain experience and network in the field.

Applicants must submit GRE/GMAT scores and have earned a “C” or higher on all undergraduate prerequisite coursework.


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Southeastern University

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

An MBA in sport management online from Southeastern University offers students the opportunity to use Christian values to make informed decisions and gain understanding of modern business issues in the sports industry. The curriculum for the sports management concentration includes risk management and governance in sports, foundations of the sports industry, and concepts in sports marketing. Learners complete survey, experiential learning, and capstone coursework to apply their skills in real-life scenarios.

Students can complete Southeastern University’s 39-credit program in 12-24 months. The GMAT/GRE is typically not needed, but applicants must possess an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher and submit transcripts, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation for consideration.


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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

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an MBA in sports management online degree that equips learners with brand activation and business development skills in the sports industry. Students study core business concepts and the principles of sports business in SNHU’s 36-credit curriculum. Concentration coursework includes sports and society, internationalization of sports business, and management of sports organizations.

SNHU has five graduate terms throughout the year. Applicants must submit an application with the fee, transcripts, and a graduate attestation form.


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Tiffin University

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

An MBA sports management online degree from Tiffin University combines coursework on fundamental business theories and practices in the sports industry to provide students with the knowledge and skills for a managerial role in a sports organization, business, or institution. Students also complete 200 hours of supervised mentoring with an industry professional, a practical experience that develops expertise and increases students’ marketability.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Tiffin requires applicants to complete undergraduate coursework in at least eight business-related subjects. Students must also submit a resume and statement of purpose.


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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

The University of Massachusetts - Amherst offers an MBA in sports management online degree for students that want to pursue or advance careers in the sports industry. Students with a sports management concentration complete 45 credits of business fundamental coursework alongside concentration classes in topics such as sports analytics and sports marketing research. By integrating business principles and field-specific content, students develop the skills needed to thrive as a sports management professional.

Applicants must submit a resume, GRE/GMAT scores, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and official transcripts with their formal application and fee.


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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

An online MBA in sports management and recreation from the University of the Southwest combines theories, principles, and practices in business, sports, and fitness to prepare students for careers in sports and recreation fields. Coursework deepens knowledge of business and includes advanced classes on sports marketing, sports management economics and finance, probabilities and statistics, and physical education and sports administration. Students learn leadership, management, finance, and communication techniques applicable to the sports industry.

Applicants to this regionally accredited Christian university develop the skills needed to represent and manage professional athlete clients, work within sports organizations, and improve organizational communication and sales. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher from a regionally accredited institution and submit a personal essay and professional resume.


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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.

Search Programs by Concentration

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: