MBA in Sports Management

The sport experience is following all the major global trends: digitalization, internationalization, and data-driven analytics. An online MBA in sports management provides professionals with the up-to-date knowledge and network necessary to handle a dynamic, interdisciplinary industry valued at over $400 billion dollars.

Those in traditional sports industry roles, such as sports agents, event and facility managers, sports equipment manufacturers, marketers, executives at professional sports teams, intercollegiate athletics administrators, and sports lawyers can all benefit from an MBA in sports management, preparing them for the complicated, intersectional challenges of the future.

The past two decades have seen an overall shrinking of domestic athletics markets in Western countries, but a massive proliferation of satellite and telecommunications to wider audiences abroad. Industry professionals therefore not only need to adapt to a new technological landscape, but also to a new set of management, financial, and accounting policies. An online MBA in sports management familiarizes students with this new terrain while also equipping them with the strategic methods and leadership skills necessary to excel within it.

The opportunity to pursue such programs entirely online allows working professionals to continue to advance their career while simultaneously furthering their education, proceeding at a customizable pace, with minimal logistical disruption. Advances in digital collaboration mean that online students can now access a school’s alumni and peer network just as they would on-campus, with opportunities for mentorships, internships, and job placement within the industry, all facilitated by the school’s partners and affiliates.

As the sports industry continues to evolve, so will its job demands. An online MBA in sports management equips professionals for the industry as it is today, as well as what it will be tomorrow.

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Professors to Know in Online MBA in Sports Management Programs

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    Janet S. Fink, PhD University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Isenberg School of Business

    Dr. Janet S. Fink is the department chair of sport management at UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Business, where she is also a professor. She received her MS in higher education and student affairs in 1994, and her PhD in sport management in 1997, both from Ohio State University. She teaches classes in sport consumer behavior, sport marketing, and sport law. A prolific researcher and academic author with an interest in topics such as diversity issues and consumer behavior in sport, Dr. Fink has been academically cited over 2,000 times in the last five years alone. She received the Ohio State University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007, and was a distinguished lecturer at the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota in 2012.

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    Rick A. Goeb, PhD - Tiffin University

    A former NCAA national champion wrestler, Dr. Rick A. Goeb is currently an associate professor of sports management at Tiffin University. He received his PhD in educational leadership and administration from the University of North Dakota in 1997. His teaching philosophy centers on connecting students with the community to find marketing and event management opportunities that create win-win scenarios for both parties. In a previous role, as director of athletics at Bemidji State University, he successfully fundraised for a new $65 million sports facility, and, through implementation of specialized priority, club, and suite seating, he raised its revenues by over 700 percent. Dr. Goeb is a recipient of the Herb Brooks Outstanding Service Award.

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    Jim Riordan, PhD - Florida Atlantic University

    Dr. Jim Riordan is the director of the MBA in sport management program at Florida Atlantic University, a program he himself initiated. He received his PhD in educational leadership and higher education in 2009. Dr. Riordan served as director of training and quality control for the New York Mets in 1994, while also assisting in the management of Shea Stadium. With extensive experience in planning and implementing crowd management operations, Dr. Riordan has helped orchestrate some of the largest spectacle events on the planet, from a Live Aid benefit concert; to the Stanley Cup Finals; to official public visits by Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II. He serves as an expert commentator on sport, stadium, arena, and crowd management issues for major media outlets across the United States.

Featured Online MBA in Sports Management Programs

SNHU offers one of the most affordable MBAs in the nation, and one where students can pursue additional certificates beyond the standard curriculum that add significant credentials to one's resume with minimal additional coursework. All MBA students take nine core courses which cover topics such as financial analysis, marketing and strategy, organizational leadership, government impact on business, and ethics and social responsibility. The sports management degree courses explore sport and society, the internationalization of the sports business, and management of sports organizations.

Those with non-business academic backgrounds may be required to take foundational courses in mathematics and statistics, economics, financial reporting, business law, and/or human behavior in organizations. The program consists of 36 credits and can be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission. Please note that the school also has an MBA concentration in athletic administration.

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Accreditation: NEASC, ACBSP
Expected Time to Completion: 15 months or more
Estimated Tuition: $627 per credit
2Florida Atlantic University, College of Business

FAU's MBA of sport management program has been ranked as one of the best in the world, and its alumni have gone on to work for some of the biggest sports teams and sports media networks across the globe. The core curriculum contains courses such as financial accounting, the global environment of management, advanced analysis of accounting data, and marketing management in a global environment. The sport management classes cover topics like managing the sport enterprise, sport law, sport marketing, financial aspects of sport management, and sport business analytics. Students take another elective in either management and administration of intercollegiate athletics, or management of sport, entertainment, and convention venues. The program consists of 40-46 credits, and may be completed entirely online. GMAT or GRE scores are requested, but may be waived in consideration of relevant work experience.

Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Accreditation: AACSB
Expected Time to Completion: two years
Estimated Tuition: $800 per credit hour
3Husson University, School of Business and Management

Husson University's online MBA with a specialization in athletic administration features small class sizes that merge interdisciplinary theory and practice to prepare students for the dynamic landscapes of politics, law, and marketing in how those elements reach into the sports industry. There are no undergraduate prerequisites to the graduate level coursework, so as to encourage working professionals from a wide range of fields to join the program. All students take core courses like managerial economics, managerial accounting, global strategic management, and strategic change management. The athletic administration specialization includes classes such as information management in athletics, legal issues and risk management in athletics, and governance and policy in athletics. The program consists of 36 credits and may be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required to apply.

Location: Bangor, Maine
Accreditation: NEASC, IACBE
Expected Time to Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $480 per credit

Selected as one of Apple's Distinguished Schools for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, the curriculum of Lynn University's online MBA is designed to give students global managerial and decision-making skills that can position them for leadership roles in a multinational environment.

The core curriculum is made up of foundation courses in organizational leadership, marketing management in a global economy, financial and operations management, and managerial accounting.The sports management specialization includes classes in management of sports business, issues in intercollegiate and professional sports, and legal aspects of athletics. Students will round out their education with elective courses from other specializations like international business, human resources, and media management. The program totals 37 credits, and may be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required to apply.

Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Accreditation: SACSCOC, IACBE
Expected Time to Completion: As little as one year
Estimated Tuition: $740 per credit

Saint Leo University's MBA in sports business offers a diverse student body, an ethically-focused Catholic faculty, and bragging rights for being the first MBA program to be accredited by the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA). Students will take classes in organizational behavior, managerial economics, and global business management, and pair these with courses in sports marketing, financial aspects of sport, facility planning and management, and risk management and legal concepts in sport. The program consists of 36 credits and may be completed entirely online. The school encourages applicants to submit GMAT scores, but this requirement may be waived in consideration of other factors such as work experience, GPA, motivation, and leadership qualities.

Location: Saint Leo, Florida
Accreditation: IACBE, ACBSP, COSMA
Expected Time to Completion: one to five years
Estimated Tuition: $555 per credit
6Southeast Missouri State University, Harrison College of Business

As one of only four US institutions accredited by the Network of International Business Schools (NIBS), students in SMSU's sports management MBA program receive an education deeply focused on the internationalization of every facet of business. Core classes focus on organizational behavior, integrated decision information systems, strategic marketing, and the financial environment. For the sports management specialization, students will choose classes from areas such as principles of sport management, design and operation of sport facilities, management and leadership in sport organization, and topics and trends in sports management. The program consists of 33 credits and may be completed entirely online. GMAT and GRE scores are required in the admissions process.

Location: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Accreditation: AACSB, NIBS, COSMA
Expected Time to Completion: One to two years, but tailored to the individual student
Estimated Tuition: $537.75 per credit

Tiffin University's online MBA in sports management features a 200-hour mentorship program that gives students practical experience with sports franchises, athletic departments, and agencies that have links to the university. The school also holds an accreditation from the European Council for Business Education (ECBE)—part of a close working relationship with international organizations, which is evident in both Tiffin's alumni network and its study abroad programs in Europe.

The core curriculum of the online MBA program includes courses such as financial accounting, information and decision support, managerial economics, global and transnational management, and business research analysis. For the sports management specialization, students take classes on communication and fundraising in sports, business strategies in sports, and personnel management in sports. The program consists of 36 credits and may be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required to apply.

Location: Tiffin, Ohio
Accreditation: ACBSP, ECBE
Expected Time to Completion: 1.5-2.5 years
Estimated Tuition: $700 per credit
8University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management

One of the top ranked online MBAs in the nation, the program at UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Management provides graduates with a comprehensive knowledge base and a network of over 3,500 alumni currently working in the industry. Students take 11 core classes in subjects such as strategic information management, business data analysis and statistical methods, business law, and operations management. The sports management focus offers electives in topics like sports analytics, negotiation theory and practice, applied sport market research, and data management for business leaders. Depending on their academic background, some students may be required to take foundational classes in accounting and finance. The program consists of 45 credits and can be completed entirely online, with campus visits optional. A GMAT or GRE score is required for admission consideration.

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Accreditation: AACSB
Expected Time to Completion: Three to five years
Estimated Tuition: $900 per credit