|Full Sail University||Florida|
|Johnson & Wales University||Rhode Island|
|United States Sports Academy||Alabama|
Did you know that marketing is one of the nation’s highest paid careers? The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that marketing managers are also the highest paid professionals in the Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing field. Salaries average around $132,230 annually, with the top 10% earning $208,000 or more a year. Employment growth is high as well, with an expected 10% increase for the 2016-2026 decade. This is faster than average for all occupations.
While the marketing industry is growing, creating a high demand for experienced and marketing professionals, the field is still competitive. This means to compete, you will need talent, experience and a degree from an accredited school. Fortunately, a number of schools offer programs leading to a bachelor’s or master’s in sports marketing. And for those seeking flexibility, some of these programs are even offered online.
We’ve identified below several accredited schools that offer sports marketing programs with flexible delivery formats for today’s busy student. The schools are listed in alphabetical order beginning with Full Sail University.
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Established in 1979 as Full Sail Productions, Full Sail University offers arts, entertainment, media and technology programs to 15,000 students across 210 acres of campus space, including 110+ studios and labs. Around 93 program options lead to an associate's, bachelor’s, or master's degree. Among these programs is an Online BS in Sports Marketing & Media that takes 29 months to complete.
Per the school, the program is designed to “provide a fundamental understanding of how marketing and content creation are integrated into the everyday operations of sports businesses.” Students in the program will “study topics ranging from the study of business models and mobile technology to practical, real-time opportunities to create, distribute, and market content.”
Collaborative, project-based coursework culminates with a strategic proposal that will help students refine skills valuable for all forms of engagement – from revenue generation to event operations. Course highlights for the program include Business in the Entertainment and Media Industries, Marketing Plans and Campaign Development, Mobility Technology and Marketing, Popular Culture in Media, Social Media Methods, Sports Business Models, Sports Digital Production, Sports Events and Entertainment, and Sports Sales.
Students will also complete seven “Project and Portfolio” courses worth three credits each including Project and Portfolio I & II: Business and Marketing, Project and Portfolio III: Marketing, Project and Portfolio IV-VI: Sports Marketing and Media, and Project and Portfolio VII: Business and Marketing.
These unique Project and Portfolio courses combine “hands-on learning experiences with summative and formative portfolio assessments.” The courses are taken in addition to an internship, which can be pursued after the student has successfully completed 50% of the required credit hours for the BS program.
Full Sail University is Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and licensed by the Commission for Independent Education (CIE), Florida Department of Education. The ACCSC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island
Johnson & Wales University (JWU) was founded in 1914 as a business school. Today, the school serves more than 10,000 students, making it the largest of Rhode Island’s private universities. With campuses in Providence, Denver, Charlotte, and North Miami, JWU offers more than 100 programs through seven colleges. The College of Business and the College of Online Education offer a program for aspiring sports marketers that can be completed in four years or less.
The BS in Sports, Entertainment, Event - Management (SEEM) provides a career-focused curriculum that prepares students for careers in Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Professional Sports Management, Tournament Management, and more. Per the school, students will learn to “apply the major concepts, skills and values of the sports, entertainment and event management industry by integrating the concepts of marketing, finance, operations and ancillary services in the management of a range of events.” SEEM graduates will “demonstrate leadership skills” and have the ability to “adapt them to a diverse global market in the sports, entertainment and event management industry.”
Course highlights include Principles of Marketing, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, New Media Literacy in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management, Professional Sports Management, Spreadsheet Design for Business Solutions, International Exhibitions & Events, The Business of Sports, the Legal Environment of Business, and Ticketing Methods and Data Analysis in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management.
Other program highlights major coursework beginning in the first year, engagement with experienced instructors who help students connect theory with practice, and the opportunity to apply learned techniques in real-world scenarios and projects. Students will also have the option to participate in one or two term-long, off-site internships under the direction of an industry professional.
“The experience allows students to actively participate in the real-world setting of sales and marketing, sports management, venue management, event production, and golf course/private club operations.” Students may also participate in a study abroad program, select a minor or take additional courses outside of their discipline to enhance their learning experience.
Johnson & Wales University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
United States Sports Academy, Daphne, Alabama
Founded in 1972, the United States Sports Academy (USSA) awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in just about every area of sports. The school also offers continuing education and single courses for those looking to enhance their skill set. The school says that more than two-thirds of its alumni work in the sports industry. “They are managers, teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs, coaches, healthcare providers, and researchers—and they are all about sports, at the professional, Olympic, collegiate, interscholastic, and recreational levels.”
USSA offers two programs for aspiring sports marketers. Options include a Master of Sports Science (MSS) and a Bachelor of Sport Science (BSS). BSS students will take courses in a variety of areas such as Sports Marketing, Sports Law and Risk Management, Sports Facility Management, Leadership and Management, Personnel Management, Ethics, Public Relations, Fund Raising and Sport Agents. Sample course titles include Organization and Management in Sports, Public Relations in Sports, Sports Law and Risk Management, Sports Marketing, Sports Promotion and Event Planning, Statistical Measurements in Sports, Technology of Sports, and Trends in Computer Applications.
Students in the 120 credit hour online BSS program will also complete a senior project, a professional examination, and BSS Mentorship—the culminating experience of the degree program. “It enables the student to get in-depth training under the direct supervision of a leader in the student’s chosen field. The student will work 300 contact hours.”
The 33 credit hour online MSS allows students to pursue a combination of any of the master’s degree areas leading to a dual major, for a total of 42 to 45 credit hours depending upon the area of study. Sample marketing coursework for the program includes Computer Analysis in Sports, Membership and Marketing for Sport Clubs, Public Relations in Sports, Research Statistics in Sports, Sports Administration, Sports Entrepreneurship, Sports Finance, Sports Law and Risk Management, Sports Marketing, Sports Marketing Research, and The Business of Sports.
Graduate students will also complete three to six credit hours of Directed Individualized Study, nine credit hours of Mentorship, the nine credit hour Thesis, and the Master’s Portfolio.
The United States Sports Academy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC) to award baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The Academy is also a member of the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE), which promotes and facilitates coaching competence; oversees and evaluates the quality of coaching education programs; and accredits coaching education programs that meet its comprehensive standards.
“Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), United States Department of Labor, 13 Apr. 2018. Web. 07 Feb. 2019.
Fidelman, Mark. “5 Ways The Sports Marketing Industry Is About To Change Forever.” Forbes, Forbes Media LLC., 11 Mar. 2014. Web. 08 Feb. 2019.