Sports Marketing Concentration
Darin White's Sports Marketing Blog
Concentration Course Requirements:
Make Your Passion Your Career... Work In Sports!
The Sports Marketing concentration offers students a chance to develop their skills for a career in the $500 billion dollar global sports marketplace. The sports business is a dynamic and growing industry in the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and elsewhere. Whether working on new product initiatives at Under Armour, Trek, or Nike; negotiating sponsorship deals for a Fortune 500 company; implementing a marketing plan for the SEC Championship football game; working in the burgeoning fantasy sports industry; developing a merchandise mix strategy for Dicks Sporting Goods or Cabela’s; or implementing fan development programs for an NFL team, graduates find themselves at the center of a high-profile industry where passion for sports only takes you so far. With faculty considered leaders in their field and out-of-classroom experiential learning opportunities, students can combine their passion for sports with professional training unmatched by any other AACSB business school in the South.
"The importance of having a degree from an accredited business school is huge in this industry. Building a successful team on the field is intricately tied to success in the front office and boardroom and without my business degree from the Brock School of Business, there's no way I'd be able to handle the important day-to-day activities critical to my organization. It provides a strong foundation for any job on the business side of the sports world."
Samford University Alum
To be successful in the sports industry, experts universally agree that students must have more than just classroom training. Thus, at Samford University students are offered a variety of ways to gain experience and insight in the industry prior to graduation. The Brock School of Business holds several events throughout the year to educate students about the sports business industry.
The Brock School attracts leading industry executives to speak on campus, runs the annual Sports Business Symposium, and utilizes students to put on charity sports tournaments each year. The Brock School also requires all students to complete an internship in the sports industry. Birmingham has been rated as one of the top 5 cities in the nation for sports enthusiast and is home to dozens of sports teams and companies.
Internships & Client-Based Research Projects:
Every year, dozens of students gain valuable experience working for organizations like Nike, Manchester United’s corporate sponsor AON, Carolina Panthers, NASCAR’s Talladega Superspeedway, PGA, Indy Car, University of Georgia and Georgia Tech Athletic departments, NCAA’s Southeastern Conference, ESPN, BBVA Compass Bowl, World Soccer Shop, Racing USA, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Braves, Birmingham Barons, New Orleans Saints, Memphis Grizzlies, Bruno Event Team, Birmingham Barons, Hibbett Sports, XTERRA World Trailing Running Championships, and others. All sports marketing students also gain hands-on experience by spending a semester working for the Samford University Athletic Department.
Sports Marketing Study Abroad Opportunities:
Working in conjunction with some of the top AACSB accredited business schools in the world, the Brock School of Business offers sports marketing students an unmatched variety of academic and internship programs in multiple countries. Students enjoy the opportunity to travel with classmates and Brock School faculty to study sports business abroad. These trips offer cultural and intellectual excursions and take students behind the scenes of some of the most famous sporting organizations in the world to show them how successful sporting events on the field are intricately tied to success in the front office and boardroom. Students have the opportunity to participate in live Q&A session with industry titans and participate in an international networking event with young sports business managers and students from all over the world.
A key part of the program is the chance to visit renowned events and venues during active periods. Recent trips included access to the Wimbledon Championships, London Summer Olympic Games, Manchester United Football Club, and Harlequins Rugby Union. Learning is cemented through team challenges and behind-the-scenes insights. Many students have reported that it was a “life-defining experience” and one that has the potential to “influence their studies and professional careers for many years to come.”
How Does it Work?
Students in the Brock School of Business majoring in either accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management, or marketing can add the Sports Marketing Concentration to their program, which will prepare them to find employment in team marketing, sponsor relations, sponsor activation, sports sales, event marketing, sports retailing and league operations. Students must apply to gain admission into the program and are accepted annually through a rigorous application process in the junior year. The demanding Sports Marketing program prepares students to gain employment in the highly competitive sports industry. Successful sports marketers must understand business principles and have a strong sense of how value is created through marketing programs tied to athletes, teams, leagues, events, and organizations. The concentration presents a rigorous academic curriculum in such areas as sponsorship, international sports business, communications, social media, and marketing analytics while paying close attention to industry practices and trends. Many of the students will go on to gain admission into top MBA/Sports Business programs after graduating or gain employment in the $500 billion sports industry.
For more information about the Sports Marketing Concentration, please e-mail Dr. Darin White, Professor of Marketing and Sports Marketing Program Coordinator, at Darin.White@Samford.edu.