People who want to turn their passion for sports into careers often investigate the type of coursework that is required to complete a sports management degree. The sports industry has grown rapidly in recent years, and business professionals with expertise in all business areas, like marketing, accounting and human resources, are needed to support behind the scenes operations. While the curricula of most sports degree programs include foundational business courses, most of the classes that sports students take directly support development of skills needed for specific sports business management jobs. Here are some examples of course topics that sports business management students can expect to take during their time at school.
Sports media courses expose students to various ways that the sports industry promotes sporting events. It used to be that sports journalists and other industry communication figures were limited to television, radio and news print. Modern professionals who work in sports media now incorporate elements of internet communication like blogs and podcasts into their tool kit of skills. Sports media course topics introduce students to sports reporting techniques, production methods for sports programming on television and radio, and multimedia internet sports news production. Students who excel in these types of courses usually seek internships and employment with sports networks like ESPN or FOX Sports.
Sports Events and Facility Management
Most sports events are conducted so seamlessly that one may forget the enormous amount of planning, coordinating and management that is needed to produce them. For example, sports events managers must develop the organizational skills that allow them to manage a number of activities that happen simultaneously. They also must hone their verbal communication skills and budgeting prowess to exceed client expectations without experiencing cost over runs. During the sports events management course, students learn the project management, communication, technical and leadership skills to coordinate sports events in a variety of venues.
One of the largest specialty areas of sports business management is sports marketing. Course topics that focus on this popular niche career field cover advertisement of sports brands, the elements of sports licensing and sports product merchandising. Course topics such as this one help students to develop the skills that are needed to generate advertising and sponsorship agreements. During sports marketing courses, students also learn how to organize, plan and implement special promotions of events or products that often include appearances by celebrity athletes or coaches. Some sports marketing courses also teach students the elements of sponsorship contracts and how to negotiate them successfully.
Sports Accounting and Finance
Besides having a firm grasp of the fundamentals of accounting and finance, students who want to work as accounting professionals in the sports industry must be knowledgeable about the fiscal issues that are common to the industry. For example, sports teams employ other business professionals to generate creative, new revenue streams, and accounting professionals must keep track of resulting transactions. Sports accounting and finance courses present students with the business models of the major sports organizations to establish the proper context for the application of finance and accounting principles.
While there are a number of sports business management degree programs from which to choose, prospective students should do their research on the programs’ reputations prior to enrollment. Students should look for sports management programs that include coursework like the topics that are described above, as well as experientially based field work assignments with sports organizations.