Masters in Sports Management | Top Universities

For prospective students who want to turn their passion for sport into a career, or current employees in the sports field looking to enhance their expertise, a Masters in Sports Management could be the key to many challenging and fulfilling possibilities.

Sports management is all about understanding how to apply business and marketing techniques to the sports world. The business side of the sports industry allows workers to combine a love of sports with management skills, which can lead to a range of exciting and rewarding careers.

Read on to find out about common Masters in Sports Management degree types, entry requirements, specializations and sports management career prospects.

Most universities will offer their Masters in Sports Management degree over a year (full-time) or two years (part-time), though this will depend on the norms of the country you choose to study in.


Sports Management Stadium


This type of course could be a good next step for those graduating undergraduate courses in fields such as business studies, leisure and tourism or sports science. However, the course is also open to graduates of a wide range of disciplines who develop to launch a range of sports management careers, offering the chance to gain expert insights into the sector and its operations.

Students will take sports-specific courses in leadership and management, facility management, event management, marketing management, ethics, law and administration. Other topics covered are likely to include sports marketing; sponsorships, deal-making and negotiations; legal issues and regulations; and entertainment industry finance.

Applicants will usually be required to have completed an undergraduate degree in a related subject, showing aptitude for managerial skills and practice. Previous relevant work experience will also be looked upon favorably, though this is not usually an essential requirement. 

Sports management is an interdisciplinary field, drawing on aspects of marketing, law, finance and business. A specialized master’s degree helps students develop essential skills in business administration, economics, finance, law, psychology and marketing – all with a specific focus on the sports sector. 

A growing number of universities and business schools are offering campus-based Masters in Sports Management programs, and it’s also possible to complete a course online. While specializations and course options will vary, most sports management degrees emphasize a strong business foundation, the ability to apply research methods, and an understanding of the specific needs and norms of the sports industry. 

Internships and practical experience constitute an important element of most sports management degree programs. The duration of this will vary, but typically students will have the chance to learn about the sports industry through a relevant work placement, under the guidance of leading professionals. This is a chance for students to apply their theoretical knowledge and skills, while also enhancing their professional network in preparation for job-hunting.

It’s also possible to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in sports – to find out more about MBAs in Sports Management, visit our sister site,

With approximate revenue of more than US$200 billion in North America alone, the sports industry is growing rapidly, and increasingly requires highly experienced, business-savvy professionals. Graduates of a Masters in Sports Management are well-prepared to fill a range of stimulating, and often lucrative, positions within the sport industry.

Sports management careers include roles in marketing, communication and media, as well managerial roles at firms operating in the sports and sporting goods industries. A sports management degree should leave you will a range of skills and knowledge relating to business and management, law, public relations, research, ethics, fitness and wellness, leading to a broad spectrum of potential roles – from legal advisors to sports agents. 

Below are some examples of sports management careers you may wish to pursue following your degree. Due to the nature of the sports industry, many of these positions will come with unconventional working hours, including evening, weekend and holiday work. 

Sports Management Careers


Sports development officer

Sports development officers aim to encourage and facilitate participation in sport among all groups within a community, aiming to make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy sport. They share information and organize sport-related projects, including facilities, classes, coaching, clubs and training, working in partnership with various organizations to increase participation in sports of all varieties. If you are enthusiastic about sport and you have strong communication and leadership skills, then this job could suit you. You will also need strong organizational skills and the ability to manage projects and budgets.

Sports marketer

A graduate with Masters in Sports Management may find work as a sports marketer, helping sports teams and related companies increase brand awareness and revenue. A sports marketer can aid a team in building their brand, providing customer service, and enhancing ticket sales and events. Careers in sports marketing represent an ideal job for those who want to combine a love of sports (either in general, or a specific sport) with knowledge of the latest marketing tools and strategy.

Sports administrator

Sports administrators are responsible for carrying out administrative tasks across a wide range of functions within sports clubs and organizations. This can range from helping to manage facilities at a community sports center, to marketing or human resources roles at a major sports club or sportswear company. There are also opportunities in sports funding bodies and local authority sports development. Some sports administration jobs will be within standard office hours, while others require working nights or weekends.

Sports event management

Event management is another highly in-demand area of the sports industry, again ranging from small-scale local events right up to international competitions. Here, there are roles for sports management graduates with in-depth understanding of the specific requirements for events in the sports industry, along with a range of organization, communication, planning, strategy and finance skills.

Venue and stadium manager

Graduates with a Masters in Sports Management may also consider roles managing sports stadiums and other venues. A venue manager oversees the daily operations of the venue, including budgets, maintenance and repairs, business administration and new construction initiatives. When a venue is not in use for sports events, it may instead be used for concerts and special events, to ensure a steady stream of income.

Key Skills

Common skills gained from a Masters in Sports Management include:

  • Communication and marketing skills
  • Business planning and strategy
  • Finance and data-processing
  • Leadership and managerial skills
  • Understanding of relevant legal issues
  • Understanding of the global sports sector
  • Customer service skills
  • Organization, time management and planning.