Sport Management

The Sport Management (SM) program prepares students for careers in the global sports industry. Our curriculum explores the cultural and business impact of sports -- through hands-on, real-world case studies and consulting projects led by our world-renowned faculty.

Our students are actively engaged with our faculty, academic advisors, and alumni mentors. This leads to dynamic internships, as well as other outstanding professional development activities.

SM majors also participate in -- and often lead -- student-run campus groups, such as the Sport Business Association (SBA) and the Michigan Sport Business Conference (MSBC), ranked the #1 U.S. sports business conference by Forbes.

Upon graduation many of our students will begin careers at sport organizations and corporate businesses, while others will pursue post-graduate studies in business, law, accounting, and urban planning.

Our graduates work in the front offices of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS; with professional sports teams like the Detroit Red Wings, New York Mets, and Milwaukee Bucks; within agencies like IMG, Creative Artists Agency, and William Morris Endeavor; and with industry-leading organizations like ESPN, the NCAA, The New York Times, Under Armour, and many more.

  • Sport Management students at Big Ten Network
  • students at MSBC
Top 5 reasons
to Major in Sport Management
Excellent preparation for graduate work in law, business, and urban planning
Networking with outstanding alumni and business leaders
Innovative instruction from world-renowned faculty
Participate in the Sport Business Assocation and Michigan Sport Business Conference
Global internship opportunities
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Learn More About Sport Management:

Mission and Statement of Aspiration

"We exist to positively impact the global sport industry through the insights generated by our research and service, and by educating future leaders who are analytical, entrepreneurial, culturally intuitive, and socially responsible. We advance the science in our field and contribute to knowledge development around sport."

The Sport Management Department offers a unique educational experience focusing on the business, management, and social elements that define the industry and institution of sport. We are focused on understanding changes in the sport business and in preparing our students to use sport to change society. Our work is designed to underscore a commitment to diversity, engagement, innovation, excellence, integrity, and global integration.

For students, the Michigan Difference means:

Gaining skills and knowledge to prepare for careers in the global sport industry. Our curriculum studies the cultural and business impact of sport through hands-on, real-world case studies and consulting projects led by our world-renowned faculty. Our students learn through active engagement with our faculty, academic advisors and alumni mentors, dynamic internships, involvement in cross-campus student-run organizations, and other outstanding professional development activities.

Upon graduation, many of our students will begin careers at sport organizations and corporate business entities while others will continue their education with post-graduate studies in business, law, accounting, and urban planning.

We envision a future where we will continue to enhance our commitment to quality academic programs for our undergraduate and graduate students, achieve meaningful student learning outcomes and experiences, conduct industry and academically relevant and impactful research, and achieve excellence and distinction in service, creative activities, and engagement with the sport community.

The Sport Management Department seeks to distinguish ourselves and achieve our mission in the following ways:

  1. A strong commitment to diversity;
  2. Quality preparation of doctoral students;
  3. Differentiated and innovative undergraduate program;
  4. Attracting and retaining leading scholars in sport business;
  5. Financially self-sustaining;
  6. High level of engagement with sport industry;
  7. Acquiring the physical infrastructure to support our research, teaching and engagement efforts.

A more detailed description of our envisioned future is found on the full version of the SM Mission Statement

Program Overview

Our business-centered curriculum is complemented by course offerings in brand strategy, economics, finance, human resource management, law, marketing, non-profit organization management, organizational behavior, race relations and cultural images in sport, sport tourism, and urban development. Our courses are taught by faculty who are committed to teaching and who are on the forefront of research and consulting in their areas of expertise, preparing our students to excel in careers spanning the global sports industry, as well as the entertainment industry.

In addition to the academic and professional development services provided by our faculty and staff, our students benefit from the support of our dedicated sport management alumni, part of Michigan’s alumni body - the largest living alumni body of any university in the US - who offer support to our students through mentoring and networking, and internship and career opportunities.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sport Management take business prerequisite and liberal arts courses during their freshmen and sophomore years. In their sophomore years, student must apply for acceptance to our upper-level program. Admittance is selective and based on students’ performance in the prerequisite courses, as well as their demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in the sport industry.

During their junior and senior years, students take 24 credits of required sport management courses and 21 credits of elective courses, allowing them to focus in a specific area of interest.

All of our undergraduate students complement their academic coursework with additional academic or professional development activities, such as membership in pre-professional clubs, part-time work, undergraduate research opportunities, and internships.

A degree from the Michigan Sport Management Program is much more than a piece of a paper. It’s an invitation to join us and continue our mission of leading the sport industry. We are committed to being the leaders and best. That ethos permeates all that we do and is represented by our world-renowned faculty, our amazing and experienced staff, our dedicated alumni, and our exceptional students.
 

Sample 4-Year Curriculum

SM Sample Curriculum 2014-15
SM Sample Curriculum 2013-14
SM Sample Curriculum 2012-13
SM Sample Curriculum 2011-12
SM Sample Curriculum 2010-11

Alumni Spotlight

Jessica Berman (SM 1999)

Associate Counsel, National Hockey League


I transferred to the University of Michigan in the middle of my sophomore year because I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sports. I wanted to attend a school with Division I teams, where the students and the community cared about the school's teams. I certainly found that at Michigan.

The Sport Management program prepared me for my career by providing me with exposure to a variety of areas related to sports -- media, ethics, public relations, law and even anatomy/physiology. Through my coursework at U-M and my internships (some of which Kinesiology helped me to obtain), I was able to decide that I wanted to go to law school. In my job today, I rely upon the education I received at U-M every day.

My advice to students is to take advantage of all the resources available to you in Kinesiology. If you want a career in sports, you have an outstanding foundation from which to build upon. Take the time to talk to professors, staff, alumni, and other students -- networking is one of the key ways to break into the sports industry. Also, don't underestimate the value of an internship. In my experience, if you do a good job as an intern, you will have a mentor who can help guide you through your career. Nothing is more valuable than that.


Rob Haddad (​SM 1998)

Coordinating Producer -- Field Production, MLB Productions
 

When I was applying to colleges, I looked at schools that had a Sports Management and Communications (SMC) major. One of the greatest benefits of the U-M Kinesiology program was that the faculty and staff were so community oriented. They were focused on character development as much as academic development. For me, Kinesiology was like the "Cheers" of schools, where you walk into the building and everybody knows your name. The faculty and staff took a tremendous amount of interest in us as students and it allowed us to learn in a comfortable environment and created an outlet for us that the rest of the university didn't always provide.

The program in Kinesiology provides a wonderful opportunity for motivated students looking to develop strong leadership skills while balancing a love for sports with a comprehensive overview of core academics. I think it's very important to realize that the quality of education one receives at the university is predicated on a number of factors. But if the student can be surrounded by a dedicated and caring staff the factors and obstacles that often times befuddle us as students become less obtrusive when we're members of the Kinesiology community.

Being enrolled in Kinesiology also allowed me to interact with many varsity athletes. Understanding the various personalities of dedicated athletes comes only with interaction and there was constant interaction within the SMC (now SM)program. That was extremely valuable experience for me as I work closely with athletes in my career.


Daniel Schachne​ (SM 2010)

MBA candidate, Harvard Business School

Formerly Senior Account Executive, Business Development, National Basketball Association

Simply put, the University of Michigan is the best school with the best sports. I entered the University of Michigan in LSA with the goal of being a sports journalist. I quickly learned that that was not the path for me and transferred to the School of Kinesiology during my sophomore year. As soon as I learned more about Kinesiology and the Sport Management program, I knew it was my perfect fit. Being able to combine sports, education and work sounded just too good to be true.

From day one, the School of Kinesiology was welcoming and provided me with a great experience. Kinesiology is truly a family - faculty and staff were always there to assist me with anything that I needed and everyone was kind and caring. In addition, Kinesiology provides students with multiple ways to expand upon the in-class education, including clubs, research, seminars/conferences and internships. I have stayed involved with the school since graduation and plan to continue to do so.

The best advice that I can give to students is to not limit yourself. College provides endless opportunities to expand your horizons, both inside and outside of the classroom, and doing so will only help in your future. In addition, once you have figured out on what you want to focus your studies/career, it is important to get as much experience as you can. Join related student clubs, volunteer with local organizations and get as much internship experience as possible. I can honestly say that my internship experiences provided me with some of my most valuable lessons about the sports industry.

Lastly, take advantage of the natural network available in the School of Kinesiology. Never hesitate to reach out to alumni to learn more about them and their experiences. I treasure talking to and helping current students and there are thousands of Kinesiology alumni that would say the same. We are here to help!

Courses

Sample SM Course Offerings

  • Historical and Sociological Bases of Human Movement
  • Economics of Sport
  • Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise
  • Race Relations, Cultural Images, and Sport
  • Brand Strategy and Advertising Campaigns

Browse only SM courses in the Course Catalog

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