Professional sports teams are flush with money. Salary caps are bloating, broadcasting rights fees are escalating and franchise values are growing at record paces. New technologies coupled “internet everywhere” is creating scores of new revenue streams for fans who can now consume games, analysis and statistics from practically anywhere. Young, business-minded sports fans now see sports as something more than entertainment to enjoy with friends.
There’s a place for supreme marketers, high-intellect accountants, experienced lawyers, skilled engineers, analytical front office staffers and super sales folks with sports organizations. Suppliers of media content, data, equipment, merchandise and more are also looking for talent across the sports business spectrum. As you likely know, winning a prime job in the sports industry is tough—experience makes a difference but often isn’t enough. A degree in sports management will help you stand out among the crowd. There’s just one problem. Not many people know precisely what’s to be learned in this sort of program. Let’s skip the generalities and focus on the details. Take a peek inside the sports management curriculum of Ohio University, one of the oldest and most respected of such programs in the country.
At Ohio University, sports management “students have an education grounded in business skills and acumen with applied instruction and work in sport settings.” Faculty in the Department of Sports Administration combine practical academic learning with hands-on training to graduate students that are ready to pursue a career in sports. The coursework focuses on planning, evaluating and leading organizations and departments that develop products and services for the sports industry. These classes lay the foundation for a long, successful career in sports.
To value the coursework you should first understand the broad strokes of what department leaders want you to learn. Faculty and staff want students to demonstrate:
1. a strong knowledge base in sport management core areas.
2. effective communication through written means.
3. effective communication through public presentation.
4. career management skills.
5. critical thinking skills appropriate for the sport industry.
6. effective information literacy related to the sport industry.
7. skills necessary to live in a diverse, global society.
8. effective team participation.
9. ethical reasoning skills.
A Bachelor of Science in Sports Science at Ohio University brings together classes from business administration, finance, management, information systems, marketing, business law, sociology and sports administration/sports management offering up a well-designed, cohesive educational experience. The curriculum couples useful business knowledge with a sports bent and real field experience. Here’s a taste of what you’ll study, minus the fluff.
Law and Society: Constitutional, administrative, criminal, tort, contractual, international, and environmental law, as well as business organizations.
Foundations of Financial Management: The basic principles of short-term and long-term corporate financial management.
Principles of Operations: How operations management provides a product or service with higher quality and at a lower cost than competition.
Human Resource Management: Areas of human resource planning, recruitment, selection, training and development, compensation and discipline.
Business Information Systems: An introduction to the field of management information systems, including computer technologies, information development as well as utilizing information systems to achieve a competitive advantage.
Law of Sports: Regulations of amateur athletics, public regulation of sports activities, legal relationships in professional sports, enforcement of professional sports contract, liability for injuries, and antitrust aspects.
Sport Marketing: Introduces sport marketing concepts with application to amateur and professional sport organizations.
Sports Governance and Ethics: Governance structures in sport (e.g., professional, collegiate, youth, and Olympic), policy issues as well as sportsmanship and ethical decision-making.
Financial Issues in Sport: Forms of ownership, taxation, financial analysis, feasibility studies, revenue generation, economic impact studies, and current issues in sports finance.
Sport Promotion and Sales Management: Review the elements of sport promotion and sales. Content includes rationale and benefits of promotion and sales, sponsorship proposals, licensing programs, solicitation of sponsors, along with an introduction to the ticket sales process.
Sport Facility and Event Management: Inspect the development, operations, and financing of sport facilities. Public and private arenas, stadiums, ballparks, and multi-use venues are all covered.
Sociology of Sport: A sociological examination of sport in the United States. Learn about the nature of sport, its social functions and its historical context of our society.