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 organize all these moving parts.

About Salem’s Online Sports & Recreation Management MBA Degree

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

  • 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 and 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 into 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, and the important roles of promotion and marketing when evaluating and running a successful organization. Everything you learn with our program is brought together in a capstone course that demonstrates 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 and 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 an MBA specializing in Sports and Recreation Management in less than 12 months. However, we recognize every student is different, with different circumstances. Contact one of our admissions advisors to discuss your specific questions and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Master’s degree in Sports and Recreation Management?

A Master’s degree in Sports and Recreation Management is a graduate-level program that focuses on the business and management aspects of the sports and recreation industry.

What career opportunities are available with a Master’s in Sports and Recreation Management?

Graduates can pursue roles such as sports manager, event coordinator, facility manager, athletic director, sports marketing specialist, and recreation program director.

Can I specialize in a specific area within a Master’s program in Sports and Recreation Management?

Some programs offer specializations such as sports marketing, event management, facility management, or sports analytics to align with your interests.

Is work experience required before enrolling in a Master’s program in Sports and Recreation Management?

While some programs prefer applicants with relevant work experience, others may accept individuals with a strong academic background and a passion for sports management.

What subjects are covered in the curriculum of a Master’s program in Sports and Recreation Management?

The curriculum often includes courses in sports marketing, sports law, event planning, facility management, finance, and leadership.

Are there practical components like internships or projects in the program?

Many programs incorporate practical components such as internships, event management projects, and field experiences to provide real-world sports management experience.

Can I work while pursuing a Master’s degree in Sports and Recreation Management?

Yes, many programs offer flexible scheduling options, including part-time or online formats, to accommodate working professionals.

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 a 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 Requirements

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 apply online. 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.

Take the Next Step

If you’re interested in getting started on your degree from Salem University, request more information or start a live chat with us today!


This course is accredited by ACBSP.