Professionals in the sports industry may see their career options narrow as they advance, but earning an online Master’s in Sports Management can open many doors for you in an industry that is known for its competitive and fast-paced nature. Individuals who have earned a Sports Management Masters’ online can work with gyms, athletic facilities, sports teams, or athletes and create a very lucrative career for themselves.
In today’s world, the business side of sports offers many opportunities for those who like the environment and enjoy being part of a cohesive team. Sports management is a multi-tier industry that has several avenues that can be pursued, starting from an entry-level position. No matter where you start, there is always another direction or opportunity for advancement that you can pursue.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Sports Management Master’s Programs
For students interested in an online sports management master’s degree, Great Business Schools editors sought out hybrid and online programs from legitimate, accredited institutions. Programs are ranked according to their tuition, student reviews, and salary expectations, using data from Niche and IPEDS.
1. North Carolina State University
One of the best online sports management masters programs, North Carolina State University’s Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management program prepares students for careers in the recreation and tourism industries, among others. This best online sports management masters degree is ideal for students with full-time jobs who want to earn their masters’ credentials to get a leg up on the competition.
A public university, NC State is located in Raleigh and has over 22,000 undergraduate students. Admission to the school can be highly competitive since only 47% of applicants receive an affirmative answer. NC State is the second-ranked public university in North Carolina.
Highlight: North Carolina’s program is among the best online masters in sports management and rank #6 in the nation for sports management.
Degree: Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management
2. Boston College
Boston College has a Sports Administration, MS that ranks among the best online sports management masters programs. The program addresses challenges in this rapidly growing sector. The best online sports management masters focus on new thinking and build leadership skills. At Boston College, instructors cultivate online learners as individuals before teaching them to lead teams and organizations. As one of the best online masters in sports management, the program instills a culture of trust and teaches students how to emulate that.
Boston College, a Catholic private university, is situated in Newton, MA. There are 4,793 graduate students in this midsize school. Among 62 graduate programs, Sports Management competes with top majors such as law and social work to attract the best students. Nearly a third of students are part-time, meaning that many students work or have family obligations in addition to studying.
Highlight: Of students polled, 100% felt that their professors were interesting and understandable, boding well for new students looking for engaging lectures.
Degree: Sports Administration, MS
3. Northeastern University
Students looking for the best online sports management masters programs should consider the Master of Sports Leadership at Northeastern University. This program prepares students for a variety of sports leadership roles such as coaching and administration. As one of the best online sports management masters, it prepares graduates to work in college or professional sports, at a fitness club or in sports marketing or management. This practice-oriented degree equips graduates with the credential to move up in the sports industry.
Besides having one of the best online masters in sports management, students rate the Fenway area where the school is located an A+. This could mean that students have a better opportunity to score internships prior to graduation. The school has excellent reviews from students as well.
Highlight: At least 57% of the student body has an international flair, promising diverse classrooms to students.
Degree: Master of Sports Leadership
4. Colorado State University
Colorado State University’s Sports Management, MSM is one of the best online sports management masters programs thanks to the strong leadership and emphasis on professional and intercollegiate athletics. This MSM is among the nation’s top best online sports management masters that targeted interdisciplinary students and hands-on experience.
Colorado State, located in Fort Collins has over 7,500 graduate students. Sports Management is one of 89 graduate programs at CSU. Colorado State’s mission and vision include access to research, service, teaching and engagement. A collaborative community awaits students seeking and education that includes critical inquiry and continuous discovery.
Highlight: Students completing the best online masters in sports management at CSU can select specialization to focus their learning.
Degree: Sports Management, MSM
5. University of Louisville
One of the country’s best online sports management masters programs, the Sports Administration, MS at University of Louisville prepares learners for roles in this evolving field. In the best online sports management masters, students receive instruction from expert faculty members, and Louisville is no exception. This program delivers that and creates effective sports administration candidates.
Besides offering one of the best online masters in sports management, the University of Louisville has 73 other graduate programs, 12 of which are offered through distance education programs. Nearly 5,800 graduate learners attend the school, where other popular majors include higher education administration and medicine. Approximately 31% of its grad students attend part-time.
Highlight: The University of Louis is a top 100 public school according to U.S. News.
Degree: Sports Administration, MS
6. Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University has a Sports Management, MS that’s considered among the best online sports management masters programs. This program is ideal for learners seeking positions with professional teams, collegiate athletic departments, the Olympic movement and state and county sports commissions. The best online sports management masters offer flexible learning options so students can complete their degree in two years or less.
Aside from boasting one of the best online masters in sports management, Georgia Southern has 15 other graduate programs, four of them are offered in the online format.
Highlight: About 58% of GSU’s graduate students attend part-time, proving that driven students can work through their degrees at the pace that best suits them.
Degree: Sports Management, MS
7. St. Thomas University
St. Thomas University has a Sports Administration, MS that many students complete in one year, making it one of the best online sports management masters programs for time and affordability. As one of the country’s best online sports management masters, the program helps students achieve their goals of pursuing a career in sports management. Blending traditional management with business courses, this degree graduates professionals ready to enter careers as sports leaders.
St. Thomas has one of the best online masters in sports management and 24 other graduate degrees. St. Thomas is a private graduate school in sunny Florida and has just over 1,535 students. Other popular majors include law, education and business.
Highlight: St. Thomas has a racially and culturally diverse student body, ensuring for an eclectic college experience, even for online students.
Degree: Sports Administration, MS
8. University of Central Arkansas
The University of Central Arkansas has a Sports Management, MA considered one of the best online sports management masters programs by graduates and professionals in the industry. The Department of Exercise and Sport Science oversees this program, ensuring that it remains one of the best online sports management masters degrees available. The online track enhances students’ knowledge of the industry while offering them the convenience of study from home or elsewhere. Graduates with the MA credential in sports management slip into leadership positions in a variety of sports organizations.
Central Arkansas can be found in Little Rock, AR. This midsize graduate school has nearly 1,800 students. Besides sports management, there are 35 other programs to choose from, nine of which students may take in the digital format. Other popular majors include education, business and guidance services. Over half the graduate students attend part-time while juggling family and job responsibilities.
Highlight: Students can put one of the best online masters in sports management to work in paid and unpaid internships offered year-round.
Degree: Sports Management, MA
9. Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University has a Sport and Entertainment Management, MS that is widely considered of the best online sports management masters programs. Students master skills and achieve an understanding of both sports and entertainment management. This unique dual focus makes this degree doubly valuable and, for some, the best online sports management masters available. Courses include law, ethics, finance, event management and marketing.
Southern Connecticut State has nearly 2,000 graduate students and 39 degrees. Students choose business, social work, special education and sports management as top degrees at the school. The majority, 62%, of grad students attend part-time
Highlights: Southern Connecticut allows students to choose a concentration in entertainment or sports management, a flexibility that makes it one of the best online masters in sports management.
Degree: Sport and Entertainment Management, M.S.
10. Belhaven University
Belhaven University has a Sports Administration, MBA that provides extreme flexibility, making it a contender for the best online sports management masters programs. Students who want the MBA designation and a career in sports administration, learn from experienced faculty members who focus classes on topics related to sports programs. Many Belhaven students believe the school has the best online sports management masters because it allows them to add a concentration in fields they already know.
Located in Jackson, MS, Belhaven is a highly diverse university, and many students classify their experience as competitive and intense. Surveyed students overwhelmingly (86%) felt that professors were interesting and clear in their presentation of material. Students also come to Belhaven when they decide its the best online masters in sports management for their career path.
Highlight: All students polled agreed that their professors were invested in the success of their students.
Degree: Sports Administration, MBA
11. Wilmington University
Wilmington University’s Management, MS offers students a choice of 10 concentrations, including sports management. What ranks it among the best online sports management masters programs is extreme flexibility. Students take classes online, in-person or a combination of the two. So, you learn the way that fits your schedule best. Affiliation with the Olympics is unique to this program, making it the best online sports management masters for students interested in working within the TEAM USA Experience. MSM students complete U.S. Olympic Committee projects.
A private school, Wilmington U has a large graduate student body of 5,744. It offers nearly 40 programs, 30 of them available remotely. The MSM program competes with Computer and Information Systems Security, Organizational Leadership and Business as one of the popular majors for students, three-quarters of whom attend part-time.
Highlight: Besides offering the best online masters in sports management, Wilmington has professors that care about students’ success and conduct interesting classes, according to a recent survey.
Degree: Management, MS
12. Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University’s Sports Management, MS prepares students for careers with sports franchises and related fields such as journalism, public relations, economics and professional sports. One of the best online sports management masters programs, it combines business, health management and other disciplines. Many students looking for the best online sports management masters choose Jacksonville due to the quality and convenience of the online format. Students can hold jobs, raise families and student when they want, how they want. Most students complete the program in one year.
Besides having the best online masters in sports management, Jacksonville’s private graduate school offers 41 other majors to 1,293 graduate students. Only six are available online, but that includes sports management. Other popular courses include nursing and business majors.
Highlight: The flexible online format appeals to students who may need to attend part-time, which applies to 68% of Jacksonville’s grad students.
Degree: Sports Management, MS
13. Lasell College
Lasell College has a Sports Management, MS that is one of the best online sports management masters programs and offers students a choice of four concentrations. Sports leadership majors study the operational and financial side of organized sports, and sports tourism and hospitality focuses on international sports management and special events. The parks and recreation concentration appeals to students interested in working for local agencies, chambers of commerce or hospitality concerns. Students who choose athletic administration for their best online sports management masters concentration learn sports themes and gain training for future careers in the industry.
Home to the best online masters in sports management, Lasell is a private university with fewer than 400 students. It offers 11 graduate programs online or via distance education. Students also major in communications, business analytics and special education training.
Highlight: Ideal for part-time students, 90% of Lasell’s learners complete studies at their own pace.
Degree: Sports Management, MS
14. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University’s Sports Management, MS, established nearly three decades ago, is one of the nation’s best online sports management masters programs. Courses include management, media studies and finance. Students get hands-on training and can use 12 credits of electives to concentrate their studies in a particular area of interest. As a contender for the best online sports management masters program, the sports management MS prepares graduates for competitive jobs in the sports industry.
SNHU graduate students give the university consistently high ratings for professor engagement and teaching style, and all students polled felt their professors in the best online masters in sports management and other majors cared about their success.
Highlight: 100% of SNHU grad students felt confident about their job prospects after graduation.
Degree: Sports Management, MS
15. Lynn University
Lynn University has a Sports Management, MBA that is among the best online sports management masters programs. Students learn how to create business plans to sell and buy sports franchises, and about the legal and ethical issues surrounding college and pro sports. As one of the best online sports management masters programs, Lynn’s program also teaches elearners about marketing, selling and media relations.
Students who feel this is the best online masters in sports management for them join 900 graduate students across 12 graduate programs. The small size of the university provides an intimate educational experience for online and in-person classes. About half of Lynn’s grad students attend part-time.
Highlight: Students surveyed indicated that their professors seemed to genuinely care about their success and presented clear and interesting lectures.
Degree: Sports Management, MBA
Why Should I Get My Sports Management Master’s Online?
With an online degree program, you are able to apply for an entry-level position and begin to work your way up the ladder as you continue to earn your Sports Management master’s degree. Sports management positions can offer multiple opportunities for advancement, allowing the person to further their career and grow as a professional.
Online Masters in Sports Management degrees offer students an opportunity to work at their own pace. Flexible schedules mean that a student can go to work to make a living and study in their spare time. Since they are not confined to a traditional classroom, the student can study from anywhere and do so when it is most convenient for them. Working online also allows them an opportunity to go back and review course documents and lesson plans easily without having to carry hard copies with them.
Is a Master’s in Sports Management Worth It?
If you have to ask, “Is a Masters in Sports Management worth it?”, you are probably considering the wrong degree program. Sports Management isn’t for everyone. Those who are interested in this type of degree are highly competitive. They think like an athlete and can easily strategize and plan while they are on the move. They are able to solve problems quickly and are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach their goals. They are always looking to better themselves in search of the win.
For individuals with a highly competitive nature, earning an online Masters degree in Sports Management may be just what they need to open doors and create new and lucrative employment opportunities. If a student is lucky enough to get hired at an entry-level position, they can return to school and earn a sports management degree that will provide them with all of the skills they need to be successful. The more experience they gain, the better their opportunities for advancement. Learning as they go will also help them to identify other areas in which they may want to direct their career.
Is a Masters degree in Sports Management worth it? It is if you are highly driven and are interested in constantly improving yourself and reaching the goals you have in your career plan. Individuals who are always looking for new ways to build on their existing achievements are those who will excel in a sports management position. They are not afraid to move forward and are always looking to the future. With the right Sports Management degree, they can and will make things happen when it comes to building a brighter future.
What Is Sports Marketing Management?
Sports marketing management jobs are available for individuals who are interested in helping sports teams and athletes market their brand. Part of this has to do with finding sponsors or companies that will endorse the team or athlete. Not only does this benefit the company offering the sponsorship, it also gives credibility to the sports organization or athlete. Earning sponsorships can be a very lucrative business. With the right sports management degree, you will be able to formulate proposals, negotiate deals, and create long-lasting relationships that will become stronger with time.
Sports marketing management jobs can also entail creating a positive brand that can be used to strengthen a team or athlete’s image with the fans. Athletes are commodities, just like a product that is purchased in a store. The athlete or team has a reputation for being driven, authentic, and skilled at what they do. They become role models. It is essential for them to have a powerful marketing strategy in place so they can continually reach out to their fans for support.
As a sports marketing manager, it would be your job to promote your team or an athlete you represent to the public. This includes raising awareness and showing them in the best light possible. It’s essential that you think like an athlete and be as competitive as possible in this constantly changing environment. Sports marketing can be one of the most enjoyable and exciting career opportunities available. Whether you are working at a gym or as an agent for an athlete, you can choose from many different types of jobs that will allow you to showcase your skills.