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Why a Master’s in Sports Management Is a Great Investment

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For someone who loves sports and is fortunate to have a job in the field, there are opportunities for them to make themselves more marketable. One of the best ways to do this, no matter what job a sports enthusiast currently has, is to get a master’s degree in sports management. Not everyone considers earning this advanced degree, but it is one of the best ways to show current and future employers not only a passion for sports, but also an interest in learning all they can to be better in their chosen career.

Why Invest?

For a coach who wants to move on to be an athletic director in either a high school or college, this degree can help pave the way. This degree is also helpful for the high school coach ready to move on to college. For those who work in sports marketing or sports information, this degree can make them more marketable. A master’s in sports management can also help someone who works in a community recreation department, but wants to move into management. Concordia University, St. Paul’s online sports management program is listed in the top ten online programs from Sports Management Degree Guide, which reports that, “In general, the starting salary for individuals with a degree in sports management is between $35,000 and $42,000. The salary range for sports management careers varies significantly depending on a variety of factors, including location, education, and experience.” This degree offers diverse opportunities for employment in the sports industry. Value College gives five options for careers with a master’s in sports management: statistician, sports psychologist, sports agent, public relations manager, and event coordinator.

What Will You Learn? 

Sports management degrees focus on the business aspect of sports. In addition to learning the rules of the sport(s) in your concentration, psychological principles, the culture of sports, and foundations of business as it relates to sports programs and corporations. According to Manager Skills, “It is not uncommon for sports managers to be asked to hire coaches or draft new players, in addition to other members of a team’s athletic staff. Sports managers are also responsible for managing the finances of the individual or organization that they work for.” Sports managers could be responsible for event planning, funding and marketing a sports team, and/or managing the administrators of large teams. 


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that for most head coaches of major college sports, which for most universities is basketball or football, the average starting salary is $45,350 at the university, college, or private school level. Remember that there are thousands of colleges and universities across the nation, and this is the average salary. The larger the organization, and the better the team performs, the salary for a head coach can easily be in the millions. Obviously, the head football coach at Notre Dame will earn more money than the head coach at Morningside College. It is also possible that “major” sports will vary by university depending on the popularity of different sports in different places. For example, Duke Basketball is very well-known in the NCAA, but their football program does not carry the same notariety. 

The average salary for an athletic director, according to PayScale, is $60,018. Once again, the difference depends on the size of the university and the number of sports the athletic director has to oversee. The larger the university, and the more years of experience, the closer the athletic director will make to $80,000. Another job available at most universities that benefit having a sports management degree is an event ticket manager who earn around $50,000 a year. These people are in charge of supervising the sale of tickets for most if not all events held at the various athletic venues at the university. Statisticians who collect and analyze data for sports programs could make $72,000 annually, according to Value College. Value College also reports that event coordinators make $48,290 annually, sports agents make $62,940, sports psychologists could make up to $100,000, while public relations managers could top $111,000.

Those with a master’s in sports management who are not part of a university system usually make closer to $50,000. These include people who are in charge of recreation departments for communities. Those with this job arrange and schedule athletic events such as youth summer baseball and often adult activities such as basketball and volleyball. These supervisors are also generally responsible for hiring the officials for these programs. As PayScale reiterates, years of experience in top-performing organizations is crucial to securing a higher salary. 

A sports management degree can make someone who enjoys working with sports more marketable and more knowledgeable. Understanding more about how to manage and organize sports and the business of sports is an investment worth making. Consider Concordia St Paul’s online Master of Arts in Sport Management to begin taking advantage of these various opportunities.

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