Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs In Sports Management

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Discover Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management

Bachelor’s in sports management programs help students develop an interdisciplinary skillset. Classes run the gamut from finance to legal ethics, encouraging students to apply these principles to sporting events, teams, and facilities. In each course, students explore common challenges for sports management professionals, such as brand-building and handling municipal recreation. With these skills, graduates go on to manage facilities and start their own agencies.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places sports in the same category as entertainment and the arts. As with other entertainment-related careers, sports management professionals’ salaries range depending on their experience. In the sports industry, managers, agents, and coaches who work with professional athletes can earn millions of dollars each year. However, according to the BLS, coaches and scouts make an average annual salary of $32,270, while umpires, referees, and other sports officials earn $26,800. This guide provides information regarding typical bachelor’s in sports management curricula, scholarships, and program and school accreditation. It also delves into online bachelor’s programs in sports management, and their benefits.

How Much Can You Make in a Sports Management Career?

Students must remember that a bachelor’s in sports management does not guarantee a particular career or salary. Graduates with sports management degrees may pursue a variety of careers that involve marketing, communications, and management. Many graduates go on to work in offices for professional sports teams, while others prefer to work at sports agencies, managing players and assisting with public relations duties. The BLS projects that every occupation listed below will see job growth within the next decade.


  • Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials
    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $26,800

    Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 8%

    Job Description
    These officials regulate games and other sporting competitions. They ensure players follow game rules, and make calls as necessary. They use their judgment to issue rule violations based on the industry’s rulebook. Officials sometimes check sporting equipment to verify its safety and reliability. They also settle player disputes and address concerns coaches have.


  • Coaches and Scouts
    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $32,270

    Coaches and Scouts

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 13%

    Job Description
    Coaches work at all different levels of the sports industry. They coach at schools and with independent leagues and professional organizations. Coaches analyze players to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Coaches help players improve and develop game strategies to utilize their best assets. They also schedule practice sessions and workouts to prepare players for the game.


  • Athletic Trainers
    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $46,630

    Athletic Trainers

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 23%

    Job Description
    Athletic trainers rehabilitate athletes and prevent injuries. They can work independently or for an organization. Trainers work with coaches and other team officials to monitor and train athletes during workouts and practice sessions. They help athletes with strength training and conditioning. When accidents happen, trainers perform emergency care and apply first aid.


  • Fitness Trainers and Instructors
    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $39,210

    Fitness Trainers and Instructors

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 10%

    Job Description
    Fitness trainers assist athletes during their routine workouts. They have a deep understanding of the human anatomy, and know which exercises athletes would best condition athletes’ bodies to help them reach their goals. Trainers develop fitness plans to target areas that need improvement. They also provide general health and nutritional advice.


  • Financial Analysts
    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $84,300

    Financial Analysts

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 11%

    Job Description
    Financial analysts aid businesses in financial decisions and investments. In the sports world, they help organizations with major financial decisions, including mergers and player trades. They help teams negotiate player contracts and allocate resources to build a roster and hire staff. On the other side, analysts work with athletes to help them build investment portfolios and manage their assets.


Sources: BLS 2018

When pursuing a sports management bachelor’s degree online, students may wonder about their career prospects after graduation. Sports management affords graduates the opportunity to work directly with athletes, or manage their careers behind the scenes. Job growth and salary data varies for these positions based on education, skill level, and job demand. In the sports industry, umpires and referees compete for jobs in collegiate and professional sports. Per the BLS, Arkansas tops the list as the highest-paying state for sports officials.


  • Alabama
    Median Annual Salary: $19,640

    Number Currently Employed: 100

    Projected Job Growth: +4 percent


  • Alaska
    Median Annual Salary: $38,880

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Arizona
    Median Annual Salary: $39,360

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Arkansas
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • California
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 2,000

    Projected Job Growth: +5 percent


  • Colorado
    Median Annual Salary: $32,330

    Number Currently Employed: 1,440

    Projected Job Growth: +16.1 percent


  • District of Columbia (DC)
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Connecticut
    Median Annual Salary: $29,340

    Number Currently Employed: 340

    Projected Job Growth: +7.6 percent


  • Delaware
    Median Annual Salary: $27,680

    Number Currently Employed: 220

    Projected Job Growth: +9.3 percent


  • Florida
    Median Annual Salary: $36,270

    Number Currently Employed: 740

    Projected Job Growth: +17.1 percent


  • Georgia
    Median Annual Salary: $25,340

    Number Currently Employed: 160

    Projected Job Growth: +13.3 percent


  • Hawaii
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Idaho
    Median Annual Salary: $20,230

    Number Currently Employed: 90

    Projected Job Growth: +8.5 percent


  • Illinois
    Median Annual Salary: $35,450

    Number Currently Employed: 1,180

    Projected Job Growth: +4.7 percent


  • Indiana
    Median Annual Salary: $29,610

    Number Currently Employed: 260

    Projected Job Growth: +6.5 percent


  • Iowa
    Median Annual Salary: $30,470

    Number Currently Employed: 310

    Projected Job Growth: +6.5 percent


  • Kansas
    Median Annual Salary: $33,330

    Number Currently Employed: 770

    Projected Job Growth: +5.3 percent


  • Kentucky
    Median Annual Salary: $42,400

    Number Currently Employed: 190

    Projected Job Growth: +10.1 percent


  • Lousiana
    Median Annual Salary: $28,370

    Number Currently Employed: 250

    Projected Job Growth: +9.3 percent


  • Maine
    Median Annual Salary: $26,200

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Maryland
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 160

    Projected Job Growth: +3.7 percent


  • Massachusuetts
    Median Annual Salary: $39,290

    Number Currently Employed: 440

    Projected Job Growth: +8.6 percent


  • Michigan
    Median Annual Salary: $25,710

    Number Currently Employed: 510

    Projected Job Growth: +3.9 percent


  • Minnesota
    Median Annual Salary: $34,930

    Number Currently Employed: 330

    Projected Job Growth: +5.7 percent


  • Mississippi
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Missouri
    Median Annual Salary: $29,880

    Number Currently Employed: 1,010

    Projected Job Growth: +10.8 percent


  • Montana
    Median Annual Salary: $21,430

    Number Currently Employed: 120

    Projected Job Growth: +6.1 percent


  • Nebraska
    Median Annual Salary: $23,360

    Number Currently Employed: 30

    Projected Job Growth: +12.5 percent


  • Nevada
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • New Hampsire
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • New Jersey
    Median Annual Salary: $37,630

    Number Currently Employed: 340

    Projected Job Growth: +6.1 percent


  • New Mexico
    Median Annual Salary: $24,190

    Number Currently Employed: 40

    Projected Job Growth: +7.1 percent


  • New York
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • North Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $35,790

    Number Currently Employed: 680

    Projected Job Growth: +10.8 percent


  • North Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $29,930

    Number Currently Employed: 120

    Projected Job Growth: +14.6 percent


  • Ohio
    Median Annual Salary: $25,480

    Number Currently Employed: 380

    Projected Job Growth: +4.8 percent


  • Oklahoma
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 100

    Projected Job Growth: +2 percent


  • Oregon
    Median Annual Salary: $28,800

    Number Currently Employed: 220

    Projected Job Growth: +10.2 percent


  • Pennsylvania
    Median Annual Salary: $25,770

    Number Currently Employed: 340

    Projected Job Growth: +6.2 percent


  • Rhode Island
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • South Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 70

    Projected Job Growth: +12.3 percent


  • South Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $28,020

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Tennessee
    Median Annual Salary: $36,940

    Number Currently Employed: 640

    Projected Job Growth: +8.5 percent


  • Texas
    Median Annual Salary: $33,860

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Utah
    Median Annual Salary: $20,350

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Vermont
    Median Annual Salary: $34,180

    Number Currently Employed: 70

    Projected Job Growth: +2.7 percent


  • Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $35,010

    Number Currently Employed: 720

    Projected Job Growth: +13 percent


  • Washington
    Median Annual Salary: $41,580

    Number Currently Employed: 510

    Projected Job Growth: +16 percent


  • West Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 200

    Projected Job Growth: +1 percent


  • Wisconsin
    Median Annual Salary: $32,040

    Number Currently Employed: 640

    Projected Job Growth: +6.6 percent


  • Wyoming
    Median Annual Salary: $29,250

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Sports Management Degree?

The bachelor’s in sports management curriculum features courses in marketing, brand management, and ethics. Students learn industry basics, such as pitching clients and negotiating sales. As learners progress through the program, they understand how to conduct themselves in different situations with members of the press and other business entities. The sample curriculum lists common courses in an online sports management degrees. Students usually take a mixture of core and elective courses.

Introduction to Sports Management

This course lays the program foundation. Students learn basic management principles, as they relate to the sports industry. Learners examine the media, marketing tactics, and financial management.

Sport Marketing

Students explore marketing techniques that impact the world of sports. The class encourages students to develop an effective marketing strategy and record their plans.

Sport Business

This class emphasizes the industry’s business side. Students analyze sales, financing, sponsorships, and human resources, and identify and categorize sports products based on industry and level.

Brand Management

By the end of this course, learners can help sports organizations build their brand through advertising, social media, and traditional marketing. They also study market shares and learn to build a loyal consumer base.

Sport Facility Management

The course prepares students to manage sports facilities, such as stadiums or arenas. Students analyze common issues and concerns regarding facility management.

How to Choose the Best Online Sports Management Program

The following questions address common concerns for sports management majors regarding programs, requirements, and potential outcomes. When choosing a program, students must consider factors including school reputation and faculty quality. These factors affect students’ overall school experience. While reviewing these issues, prospective students should brainstorm other questions regarding particular programs and course offerings.

How do I select a concentration?

Some bachelor’s degree in sports management programs allow students to select a concentration, while others only offer a general major. Ultimately, the student must decide which sports-related career they want to pursue based on coursework, research, and interests. Usually, concentrations lean toward facilities management or finance. Internships may help students gain real-world experience and explore career options.

What is the difference between an online bachelor’s degree in sports management and a traditional program?

Schools deliver online classes either completely online or as hybrid courses. Hybrid courses require occasional in-class meetings, as opposed to the regularly scheduled in-class meetings required by on-campus courses. Some schools charge per-credit tuition for online courses, but a flat tuition or course range rate for on-campus courses.

Where can I intern while pursuing my bachelor’s in sports management?

As a sports management major, you should intern at organizations that make sports the central focus, such as exercise facilities, sports camps, and league offices. On the technical side, marketing agencies that represent sports teams and brands will help you learn the business aspects of the industry. Students should also look into their school’s athletics department to find internship and job opportunities.

Why do I need an online sports management degree to work as a coach?

A bachelor’s in sports management can benefit coaches and scouts by teaching them business logistics. As a coach or scout, you understand the game and how to identify good players, but you may not understand the business of building a team. Sports management courses cover the business practices coaches and scouts need to know to successfully find and keep players that benefit an organization.

What are the signs of a good faculty?

Sports management majors should seek out faculty members with years of industry experience. They should have credentials as former coaches, trainers, agents, and scouts. Schools employ adjunct professors that currently work in the industry and teach part-time. Research your school’s program to find any adjunct professors and register for their classes. They provide the most current information regarding the business, and help students with job and internship placements.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Sports Management Programs

Financial aid largely affects students’ ability to enroll in a bachelor’s in sports management program. Students who need additional aid may look to the government for aid in the form of grants and loans. Grants are need-based aid, and do not have to be repaid. Students must repay loans, but usually only after they graduate or leave school. Scholarships represent another form of aid that does not have to be repaid. Typically, they are merit-based awards.

Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship

This scholarship is a joint effort by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and the Committee on Minority Opportunity and Interests. Thirteen female and ethnic minority college students receive $10,000 toward their education. Applicants must plan to enroll in a sports administration program. Student-athletes may receive the scholarship if their school nominates them. Eligible applicants must maintain a 3.2 GPA and attend a NCAA member institution.

Jim McKay Graduate Scholarship

The NCAA created this scholarship to honor Jim McKay, a legendary sports journalist. Each year, two students (a male and a female) receive $10,000 in financial aid. The faculty athletics representative or chief academic officer nominates students for the scholarship. Qualified candidates must maintain a 3.5 GPA, attend an NCAA member institution as a graduating senior or graduate student, and show interest in sports communications.

Rob Labinski SMA Foundation Sports Scholarship

Founded in 1974, the Stadium Managers Association offers guidance and support to the nation’s facility managers. They launched the SMA Foundation to help fund students pursuing a sports management education. This scholarship honors Rob Labinski and his contributions to the sports architecture industry. It is open to student members of the SMA, who also receive job and internship opportunities through the organization.

David J. Stern Scholarship

The NBA joined forces with the Thurgood Marshall fund to present this award to a sophomore student with a 3.0 or higher GPA. The candidate must be considering a career in sports. The winner receives the chance to intern at the NBA headquarters, under the tutelage of commissioner David J. Stern. Applicants should submit a resume with internship and community service experience, plus their most recent FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) report, transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and an essay.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Advancement of Women in Sports and Entertainment Scholarship

The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation awards scholarships to eight women who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate-level program. Applicants should be enrolled in a media or sport media-related program, and plan to pursue a career in sports or entertainment. To qualify, applicants must enroll full-time at an accredited four-year institution. They must also demonstrate financial need as citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. Applicants should also maintain a 2.75 GPA.

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