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What Can I Do With a Ph.D. in Sports Management?

A fPh.D. in Sports Management is a surefire strategy to distinguish oneself in a highly competitive field. This is especially significant for those seeking to work with top-tier athletes and sports organizations. Earning a doctoral degree in the field of sports may not be as common as in the fields of science, education and the arts, which is a further reason why a doctorate in this field provides a way to stand out and enhance one’s reputation. An advanced degree demonstrates expertise in the psychology and business management of athletes and sports-related entities.

What it Takes to Earn a Ph.D. in Sports Management

To qualify for admission to a doctorate program in sports management, one has to have completed a bachelor’s degree in any field. These programs do not require sports participation at any level although athletes and sports enthusiasts are known to excel in these courses. However, academic counselors recommend some level of exposure to the field of sports and business management at the undergraduate level, which may be accomplished through an internship program, volunteer activities or a paid position as an employee. Earning a master’s degree in business, sports management or a sports-focused graduate program will pave the way for admission to a doctorate program in sports management.

Career Opportunities

  • Teaching is one of the top career paths for those who have earned a Sports Management Ph.D. would be positioned in the academe. Teaching positions abound for various sports programs at the college level and non-degree certificate programs offered by community colleges and private organizations.
  • Research is a major aspect that drives the multi-billion sports industry. One of the most researched topics in sports-related studies focuses on sports psychology to understand the factors that may enhance sports performance and the drive to be a winner. Other studies may deal with health and medical matters that would be conducted as a cooperative project with medical researchers. With a doctorate in the field of sports, one would rightfully be considered an authority on the subject matter or an adviser with unique expertise in the field.
  • Social media and the traditional print and broadcast channels play a big role in the popularity of sports players, franchises and other organizations. As an expert, one can build a career as a media personality with the opportunity to influence public opinion, contribute to image building and serve as a liaison between sports personalities, the press and the public.
  • Being a career coach, manager of an A-list player or a top executive of an award-winning team are some of the most sought-after positions in the field. It requires the highest level of negotiation skills and an in-depth understanding of business and the sports industry, which are some of the key proficiencies developed when completing a doctorate in this field.

Related Resource: Top 10 PhD Programs in Sports Management

The sports industry is a behemoth that continues to grow every year. Forbes expects the value of the industry to reach $73.5 billion in North America alone by the end of this year. Deals about media rights will account for the largest segment of the industry. There is no one else who would be better prepared to drive and manage these deals other than someone with a Ph.D. in Sports Management regardless of whether they are negotiating from the position of a sports manager, a media executive or as a financial and business adviser. Having advanced credentials in sports management will ensure that one will play a key role as the sports industry evolves.