Sports and recreation are an enormous industry, not just in the U.S. but all over the world. From youth leagues to major professional sporting events, it takes a strong understanding of the business to be able to organize all of these moving parts.

About Salem’s Online Sports & Recreation Management MBA Degree

Salem University’s Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Sports & Recreation Management develops your overall strategic skill set for business, with specific knowledge aimed at careers in sports and recreation fields. Whether your aim is to become an agent or business manager for a professional athlete or work locally to develop recreational or competitive sports programs for kids, this degree program can provide you with the problem solving and critical thinking skills that can ready you for leadership positions in this industry. Earning your MBA degree can also ready you to pursue the next step of your education with a Doctor of Business Administration.

We’ve designed our master’s degree programs to be fully online, with a high-quality curriculum that aims to provide opportunities for professional growth and development; develop skills that allow you to conduct research and integrate theory and practice; and promote excellence in leadership, scholarship, work, and life. And we do all of this within a framework that fits into your current life and responsibilities with our unique, one-course-a-month schedule.

What Can I Do With An MBA in Sports & Recreation Management?

An MBA with an emphasis in sports and recreation management can help expand your career opportunities to include advanced and senior-level positions, like:

  • Youth League Director
  • Sports Agent or Business Manager
  • Advertising and Marketing Manager
  • Promotions Manager
  • Event Director
  • Parks and Facilities Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Sports Publicist
  • Professional Coach

What Will I Learn in Salem’s Master’s Degree in Sports & Recreation Management Program?

Our MBA in Sports & Recreation Management degree program starts with teaching you the key business fundamentals you will need, including accounting, leadership, organizational behavior, ethics, change management, and more. We do a deep-dive on the economics of the sports and recreation industry, including labor-management, market data, and public relations. We also teach you the unique financial components and challenges in this industry, how to budget and plan within it, and the important roles of promotion and marketing when it comes to evaluating and running a successful organization. Everything you learn with our program is brought together in a capstone course that lets you demonstrate your ability to combine what you’ve learned with a practical, ethical, and global perspective.

Your courses will cover topics like:

  • Applying managerial strategies to the specific needs of sports teams, sports leagues, recreational facilities, and other related organizations
  • Understanding rules and regulations for various sports federations and leagues, both national and international
  • Using research and data to develop effective promotions and marketing strategies for sports-related organizations
  • Utilizing sports and recreation supply-and-demand concepts like cost-benefit analysis, revenue generation, sports market structures, competition, partnerships, and alliances

What Sports & Recreation Management MBA Classes Will I Take?

The Master of Business Administration degree program with a specialization in Sports & Recreation Management requires the completion of 21 core semester credits that include:

  • ACC515 Accounting for Managers
  • BUS500 Applied Business Statistics
  • BUS699 Enterprise Strategic Planning and Change Management
  • ECO570 Managerial Economics
  • FIN560 Financial Management
  • MKT530 Marketing Management
  • BUS600 Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Ethics

You’ll also take 9 credits in the sports and recreation management specialization:

  • SMG601 Economics of Sports and Recreation
  • SMG602 Sports and Recreation Finance
  • SMG604 Sports and Recreation Planning, Promotion, and Evaluation

How Long Will it Take to Get My Sports & Recreation Management?

On average, a full-time student can earn their MBA degree with a specialization in Sports & Recreation Management in less than 12 months. However, we recognize every student is different, with different circumstances. It’d be best to contact one of our admissions advisors to discuss your specific questions and goals.

Why Should I Choose Salem University?

Since 1888, Salem University has built upon our tradition of accessible, affordable higher education by constantly innovating and looking to the future. We aim to develop lifelong learners who embrace problem-solving with a global perspective. We offer:

  • Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs of study with continuous enrollment via distance education or on-campus
  • A unique one-course-a-month format that allows students to focus on a single subject at time and build their knowledge in a way that feels natural
  • Online courses are structured to work within the constraints of full-time employment, allowing you to earn your degree with minimum disruption to your busy schedule
  • Supportive faculty and staff who serve as thought leaders and mentors
  • A beautiful 100-acre campus situated in the Smoky Mountains where programs of study are available for campus residents and commuter students


Admission to Salem is open to all qualified applicants regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability/disability. Anyone wishing to attend Salem can obtain the necessary application from the Office of Admissions or online here. The completed application should be submitted to the Office of Admissions at the earliest possible date. The University admits students on a rolling, monthly start basis. Acceptance is within the discretion of Salem University; some programs have additional admissions requirements.


This course is accredited by ACBSP.

Take The Next Step

If you’re interested in getting started on your Master of Business Administration — Sports & Recreation Management degree from Salem University, now is a great time to request more information or, better yet, chat with us live.