Use Sports Management to Build a Successful Sports Enterprise

Located at the intersection of business and sports is the field of sports management. As any athlete knows, it takes more than players to build and maintain a professional sports organization. Those skilled in sports management use their expertise to manage finances, acquire personnel or promote their brand.

Claflin sports intern with Planet Fitness staff

Claflin sports intern (center) with Planet Fitness staff


Depending on the organization and its sport, the positions necessary for healthy functioning will change. However, there are a few broad categories of sports management including:

  • Facilities Management: This is the administration and operation of sports facilities. Managers in this field need to ensure that all necessary equipment is working and must complete their tasks within a budget.
  • Promotions/Marketing: Sports organizations are more successful when they successfully get spectators invested in their events. An education in sports management can help you identify opportunities to promote and market the brand to a wider audience.
  • Sports Administration: Like any organization, sports enterprises need skilled decision makers and administrators to carry out a strategic plan. The field of sports administration ensures that the organization has the personnel, resources and equipment to meet their goals.

Careers in Sports Management

  • Athletic Director: Athletic directors work for schools, universities or organizations to coordinate and build their sports programs. These administrators ensure that their sports programs are growing and participating in fruitful competitions.
  • Coach: Coaches are the backbone of any team, providing wisdom, leadership and strategic guidance to the players.
  • Facilities Director: These professionals ensure that all sports facilities are in working order. They work to ensure that athletic facilities are suitable for the athletes to play and train. In addition, they help grow their facilities to make them more marketable to spectators and recruits.

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How to Prepare for Success

Success in sports management requires skills in communications, math and statistics.

Clark Atlanta football coach

Clark Atlanta football coach

UNCF Schools to Consider

Six UNCF-member schools offer programs for students wishing to work in the field of sports management, including:


NASSProfessional Organizations

There are various organizations in sports management that offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:






Several scholarships are available through UNCF. There are some scholarships available specifically for majors such as sports management. For example, the ViacomCBS Scholarship awards a need-based scholarship to eligible students majoring in sports or entertainment. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.

(Please note: UNCF scholarships have opening and closing application times; a scholarship application may not be available when you visit.)

Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are other scholarships available to study sports management.

Reach out for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in sports management. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!