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Course Descriptions

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School of Graduate & Professional Studies

M.S. in Sport Business Management

Degree Program

Program Description

This 36- credit Master of Science degree program provides individuals with the necessary knowledge and business skills to assume a leadership role in sports management. The course work provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of sport management intended to provide a thorough foundation in sport and business while allowing flexibility for students to explore a wide variety of opportunities within the field. The program includes an internship to assist students in preparing for middle and upper level positions within a variety of markets, including but not limited to: professional sport, intercollegiate athletics, and amateur and youth athletic organizations.

M.S. in Sport Business Management Curriculum


MSBM 5001 – Dynamics of the Sport Business World

Explores the modern sports era and establishes the foundation for the multibillion dollar industry of today. Discusses some of the compelling socioeconomic, industrial, and technological movements that have contributed to the success of sports entertainment. Examines the factors that gave sport legitimacy and financial stability. Discusses the humble beginnings of professional, collegiate and Olympic sports cherished today. Examines the industry's evolution through inventions and how these developments shaped the industry. Explores the mechanism of sponsorship and marketing through sport. Explores and analyzes the onset of free agency and the rise of the industry's revenue generating sources. Discusses the management theories that apply to the industry and the current business and social issues it faces. Emphasizes the managerial and business skills required to operate successfully as a business leader in this industry. Identifies the variety of business and career opportunities that exist in the field.

MSBM 5002 – Managing Sport Businesses Strategically

Focuses on the strategic requirements for building and maintaining successful sport organizations, the analysis of strategic problems and decisions facing sport managers and leaders... Identifies the organizational structures, business models and organization theories operating in the industry, including beneficial strategic alliances. Explores the nature of competition in the industry, the driving forces for change and innovation inside and outside the industry, and the effect of government involvement. Explores approaches to strategic planning. Identifies typical policies governing sport organizations and discusses common measurements of business success.

MSBM 5003 – Economic and Financial Aspects of Sport Management

Examines the economic and financial environment in which the sport industry operates, with emphasis on pricing, supply and demand factors, and taxes. Identifies key stakeholders and their various interests in the financial success of sport operations and organizations. Explores sources of funding and revenue production, including sponsorships, in the face of competition. Examines how to analyze, control and evaluate financial performance; apply sound financial management principles and practices; and prepare, analyze and use budgets and financial reports. Emphasizes the application of basic managerial decision-making to financial issues.

MSBM 5004 – Sport Marketing

This course is designed to provide the sport business manager with an overview of the major marketing issues facing the sport industry. Course content focuses on developing basic knowledge and understanding of sport marketing and sponsorship for professional and collegiate settings. Attention is given to the history of sport marketing, principles of marketing applied to the sport industry, sport consumer behavior, research tools, corporate sponsorship, and evaluation of sport marketing programs. The components of the course include developing products, utilizing sponsorships, special events, fund raising, public relations, promotions, and utilizing radio and television networking.

MSBM 5005 – Legal and Ethical Considerations in Sports

Provides an understanding of the laws and legal concepts governing the sports industry, and how they apply to the sports manager's role. Focuses on legal and ethical issues related to legislation, drug testing, employment law, negligence and liability, as well as intellectual and property rights. Addresses licenses and contracts related to players, teams, merchandising, services, sponsorships and facilities. Applies ethical theories to sports operations and decision-making, and uses case studies to reinforce the value of adhering to sound ethical principles in addressing business problems.

MSBM 5006 – Leading Sport Organizations

Examines leadership principles and techniques of efficient management within the culture of sports organizations. Distinguishes the leadership requirements in collegiate and professional sport organizations. Explores the psychology of sport and theories of organizational behavior and their implications for motivating, managing and evaluating the performance of employees, individually, and in teams. This course also identifies effective management styles and places emphasis on the importance of sound communication skills and goal setting.

MSBM 5007 –Facility and Event Management

An analysis of the management process involved in the designing and managing of a sport facility as well as the skills and processes associated with administering a sport event whether it be participant (e.g. road race, youth tennis tournament) or spectator centered (e.g. college football game, basketball game, professional golf tournament).

MSBM 5597 – Internship (not required for all depending on work experience)

The internship provides the student with the opportunity to link sport management theory to sport organization practice. Through internships, students move from the role of student, to the role of professional and thus, expand their career orientation. Significant benefits can accrue to the student who takes advantage of the opportunities which present themselves in various sport settings including the chance to gain valuable work experience under the supervision of a qualified, practicing professional; develop and expand his/her network of contacts and assume responsibility for project development and implementation. A written summary and oral report of the internship is required.


MSBM 5010 – Research Methods (Sports Analytics)

Focuses on the principles and essential techniques of research to enable the student to investigate resources and trends to benefit sports and fitness business operations. Explores data collection methods as well as the analysis, summation and presentation of data.

MSBM 5011• Sport Business and Technology in the Global Market (a hybrid--online course): This course will focus on developing a working knowledge of the expanding role of technology in the increasingly global business of sport. Students will acquire understanding of ecommerce, networks, communications and new media technology products, services, and infrastructure, and their growing relevance in the development of the business of sport. Emphasis will be placed on the development of technology to enhance and support sport business strategy for local, national and international markets

MSBM 5012• Sport Psychology: This introductory course will trace the development of Sports Psychology, from the days when utilizing a psychologist was taboo in the macho world of sports, to today, when virtually every Major League sports franchise and most World Class and Olympic-level amateur athletes utilize Sports Psychologists. It will examine the various functions that Sports Psychologists fulfill and will also explore the various settings/contexts in which Sports Psychologists work. Career opportunities available as well as necessary training required for becoming a Sports Psychologist will also be discussed. Some of the functions performed by Sports Psychologists that will be examined are: Testing and Evaluation; Performance Enhancement; Counseling/Psychotherapy; and Research.

MSBM 5014• The Business of Baseball: This course will further develop the understanding of sports' economics, finance, marketing, and operations, through an in-depth study of the business of professional baseball. Through the application of concepts introduced in core courses and expanded in this course, students will gain a practical understanding of how these concepts relate to the day-to-day business decisions of running a baseball organization. It is being taught by Vince Gennaro, a former president of Fountain beverage division of Pepsico, and sport team owner recently completed his book Diamond Dollars --The Economics of Winning in Baseball. Vince consults with MLB and several MLB teams.

MSBM 5015 – Entrepreneurship in Sports:
Explores the entrepreneurial process and introduction to problems and issues involved in creating a new business or in taking an existing company to the next level. Considers not only stand alone start-ups, but also new business ventures within a large corporation. Identifies promising ideas, and assists in developing a business plan and securing financing. It further develops an overall outlook with an understanding of the knowledge and skills required for effective entrepreneurial leadership in today's highly competitive and global e-commerce marketplace. Employs the team-based case study method, and invites successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who foster innovations as guest speakers to address key topics.

MSBM 5017• Sport Communications: This course will feature a comprehensive look at sport communications from many perspectives in a fun and interactive environment. There will be lectures, group discussions, challenging exercises and insightful speakers who work at the top level of the sports world. Ultimately, this course will provide students with an awareness of the profession, its role in the industry and an examination of the skills it takes to succeed.

MSBM 5020 Sports Media Content (a hybrid--online course): This course is designed to provide the sport business manager with an overview of the importance of sports content in the sport industry. Course content focuses on developing basic knowledge and understanding of sports content. The distribution models from broadcast to mobile phones and the different revenue business plans out there to support licensing the content. Attention is given to the history of sports content distribution. The components of the course include developing content, utilizing sponsorships, barter deals, and rights management.

MSBM 5021--Sport Journalism: Taught by 25 year AP Sports Veteran, Barry Wilner who uses various hands-on assignments so students can apply the writing, reporting, editing, research and interviewing skills they are taught. Guest speakers also will address their areas of journalistic expertise, such as deadline writing; columns and analyses; feature writing; investigative reporting; public relations; statistics; administration; photography; blogging; and broadcasting (radio, television and the Internet). Each student will have an opportunity to write sports news, features, columns and blogs; review and edit printed stories from newspapers, magazines and websites; conduct interviews; and prepare a mini-sports section as a final exam.

MSBM 5024 Fundraising and Non-Profit Aspects of Sport: Sports is a booming for profit business that crosses over to the non profit environment as well. This course will examine the non-profit side of the sports industry, from player foundations to fund raising events. Students will learn how to create a fund raiser event, manage the staff and hold the event. Students will ascertain the appropriate tools, learn about fundraising ethics, public relations, grants, taxes & accounting and measuring the results of the fundraiser.

MSBM 5025 Contemporary Leadership Issues in Sports: This course will serve to deepen the students understanding of current issues facing leaders in sports organizations. The content of the course will build on many elements of the core curriculum and place them in the context of today's challenges. The focus will be on where the sports business (and market) is today, and where it is headed. The course will meet approximately 8 times over the semester and will include an individual project. The format of the class meetings will be a combination of lecture, discussion and include guest speakers or panels to enrich the discussion.

MSBM 5026 Role of an Agent in Sports: This course will examine the varied aspects of agents and their roles in the sports industry, from contract negotiations to player relationships with the agent, team management and fans. The agent plays an integral role for players and coaches to facilitate the contractual process and often acts as legal counsel. The agent is often, but not always an attorney. This course is to examine the daily life of a professional sports agent. Over the course of four weeks, students will be able to become familiar with various subjects in contract negotiation, player unions, marketing and post-career planning. Students will learn about the major sports agencies and have the ability to interact with professional agents from all areas.

MSBM 5029 International Sports Management: Examines some of the particular issues that surround sports leagues and events that are specific to the international sports industry. Identify prominent foreign sports leagues and the concepts applied in managing these leagues discuss some of the principles that are applicable to the United States professional leagues. Discuss major international sporting events, and discuss some of the particular issues that are faced and analyze the strategies employed previously. Differences in media, fan tastes and marketing initiatives will be a focus. Explore the impact of the international economy on sports throughout the world.

MSBM 5099 Strategic Negotiations: This course will expose students to certain foundations and principles that can be universally applied for more effective and successful negotiations. It will focus on, and link, the science and art of negotiation while providing you the opportunity to identify your strengths and relative weaknesses as a negotiator.