Massive global sporting events such as the Super Bowl or the World Cup remind us just how much of a business opportunity the field of sports is. But beyond the big events and the leagues, it’s clear that the field of sports can be a great opportunity for MBA graduates. Firms working in sports marketing and sponsorships, for example, are constantly looking for fresh MBA talent. Not to mention the opportunities in sports media, as well as the huge field of sports-related apparel. These fields are only growing as globalization takes hold.
Business schools certainly see this potential, as several top schools are helping to prepare students for these opportunities with sports-specific MBA programs.
MBAs in Sports Management typically cover a range of material, include core business topics like general management, finance, and supply chain. These sports-related programs may also delve into topics related to the field, such as marketing for the sports industry and league management. The premier MBA programs may also help pave the way into the industry by offering sports-related internships and consulting projects, as part of the curriculum.
So, here are the 10 best MBAs for the sports business:
There are 72 current or former American football players studying online for an MBA through the Kelley School of Business’s partnership with the National Football League Players Association. Launched in 2014, the partnership includes NFL stars such as Demario Davis, the New Orleans Saints line-backer. On this sports MBA, those who achieve stated grades can have their tuition fees reimbursed.View School Profile
Harvard Business School runs a semester-long Crossover Into Business MBA course for professional athletes. It follows a 2017 pilot, which paired 10 National Basketball Association players and recent retires who wanted to boost their business skills, with MBA student mentors at Harvard, one of the world’s most revered, Ivy League institutions.View School Profile
The University of Oregon is home to the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, which is a thought leader in the sports marketing space, produces a range of scholarship, and puts on conferences. It also coordinates the school’s MBA concentration in Sports Business, which combines classroom teaching and real-world experience in the sports industry.View School Profile
At SDSU, MBA students study in San Diego, putting them in the middle of a sports and entertainment hub. The school’s 18-month long Sports MBA program focuses on many issues important in the field, with classes such as “Sports Marketing,” “Data Analytics for Sports,” and “Sports Economics,” among others. As part of the program, MBA students have the opportunity to work with a sports organization after the first 12 months of classroom learning.View School Profile
Miami Business School ran an MBA for athletes and artists which has now closed. But from August 2019, the school will open up a part of its MBA for athletes and artists. They are selected on merit and letters of recommendation. They will receive a merit-based scholarship, too and have elective options geared towards their career goals, plus mentorship and internship opportunities, and international business travel experience.View School Profile
In the UK, the University of Salford’s business school launched a “CEO of a Sports Organization MBA” last year with training provider VSI Executive Education. It has drawn top sportspeople including ex-England rugby union player Maggie Alphonsi, who take the same modules as those on Salford’s general MBA, but the content is geared towards sports. The two-year blended learning program is for those who want to be sports industry chief executives.View School Profile
The University of Liverpool Management School is the only school that runs an MBA focused specifically on football (or soccer) industries. Students on the Football Industries MBA course learn all the skills necessary to run a successful football club, with the content covering everything from laws of the game to gaining lucrative sponsorships.View School Profile
Studying in Tampa means that Sports MBA students are learning in an epicenter of professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), and the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). The school’s MBA concentration in Sport Business prepares students to land jobs in the sports industry; relevant classes include “Sport and Entertainment Marketing Strategy,” “Sport Business Analytics,” and “Sport and Entertainment Law,” among others.View School Profile
The Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University relaunched its MBA Sports Management program in 2017. It’s geared towards students with a passion for the expansive world of athletics. The focus on leadership and management helps students prepare for careers within sports organizations and athletic programs at every level, from marketing to event and facility management.View School Profile
The Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts Amherst runs a dual MBA/MS in Sports Management course. The combination of business, leadership, and sports-specific education is designed to set students up for long, successful careers within the diverse and growing sports business industry.View School Profile