Add a Business in Sports Concentration to your Marian University business degree

Business in Sports Specialization

If you love sports but lack the athletic prowess of super-stars like Peyton Manning and Serena Williams, consider using your interest in athletics to build a great career.

The U.S. sports industry is booming. Analysts like PricewaterhouseCoopers estimate the business of sports in North America alone will reach nearly $76 billion by 2020.

Well-prepared professionals to direct team operations, manage facilities and venues, sell corporate sponsorships, coordinate ticket sales, and deliver exceptional fan experiences are just a few examples of careers in youth, amateur, college, and professional sports

Why choose a business in sports specialization at Marian?

College graduates who can plan, manage, budget, market, and lead sports organizations are increasingly in demand. With a major in accounting, business analytics, finance, management, or marketing AND a business in sports specialization you can (1) more narrowly define your career interests/goals and (2) be even more marketable upon graduation.

  • Because Marian also offers programs in exercise science, health and physical education, physiology of exercise, and sport performance, you’ll find athletics are an integral component of the teaching and learning environment on our campus.
  • With a business in sports specialization, you’ll have the option of completing an additional internship in the sports field to gain a first-hand perspective about operations.
  • Thanks to our Indianapolis location, you’ll have access to internships with sports franchises like the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis Indians, Indiana Fever, Indy Eleven, and the Indy Fuel. You might work at locations like NCAA headquarters, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lucas Oil Stadium, or Victory Field. And you might help plan and manage major sports events like Big Ten and Final Four events, swimming and diving championships, or golf tournaments.
  • The result? You will graduate with an incredible amount of real-world experience before graduation. According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, the average employment offer rate for interns in 2016 was 72.7 percent, the highest since the pre-recession market in 2007. This means internships are even more valuable for employment than ever before.

What will you study?

Your coursework will include explorations of sport in relation to the corporate world as well as sports marketing and operations. You’ll learn the fundamentals of leadership and motivation in sports, how to plan and manage sponsorships, developing successful athletic events, and sports law. You’ll study sport in relation to social factors like race and gender.

To complete our 12-credit business in sports specialization, you’ll complete courses such as:

  • MKT 345: Event Planning and Management
  • MKT 348: Sport Marketing and Sponsorships
  • MGT 358: Employment Law
  • PSY 340: Sport Psychology

You’ll have opportunities to examine case studies and complete research projects related to the business of sports, including the various professional roles in sport, from the perspectives of players, officials, coaches and athletic directors, facility managers, sporting goods manufacturers, and others.

What are your career paths?

With the knowledge and skills you’ll gain from completing our business in sports specialization, you will be well-prepared to work in a range of settings, such as:

  • College or university athletic departments
  • Professional and amateur sports organizations
  • Athletic facilities and venues
  • Sports marketing and PR firms
  • Media and broadcasting operations
  • Sporting goods manufacturing, including retail and e-commerce operations

Specific functional roles might include:

  • Sponsorship and ticket sales director
  • Facility manager
  • Fan experience, loyalty, safety, security, or customer service director
  • Data management, including sports analytics, statistics, and information
  • Agent, business manager, talent scout, or coach

This 2016 post by finds the top nine sports jobs for non-athletes include:

  1. Account manager
  2. Agent
  3. Ticketing and sales representative
  4. PR assistant
  5. Event planner and coordinator
  6. General manager
  7. Marketing manager
  8. Fitness director
  9. Professor*

*Requires a Ph.D. or doctoral degree at most colleges and universities

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in entertainment and sports occupations is projected to grow by 10 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing popularity of sports will drive this growth.

BLS projections for examples of related jobs include:

Occupation  Growth through 2026  Median salary (2016) 
Pro athlete agent or business manager  7 percent $86,560 
Sales manager  7 percent  $117,960 
Public relations specialist  9 percent  $58,020 
Marketing/advertising/promotions manager  10 percent  $127,560 
Administrative services manager  10 percent  $90,050 
Event planner  11 percent  $47,350 
Talent scout or coach  13 percent  $31,460 


Want to Know More?

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

For Program Specifics

Thomas Gjerde
Assistant Dean
(317) 955-6455

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