Published on January 21, 2021 by Morgan Black  
Ashlee Fincher '20, current M.B.A. student
Ashlee Fincher '20, current M.B.A. student
As the popularity of the business of sports grows each day, the need to fill jobs in the industry is also peaking. To fill this need, and to provide a new option for students to diversify their professional portfolio, Samford University’s Brock School of Business has added a sports business concentration to its Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program. The new concentration will be available to students beginning in the spring 2021 semester.
In addition to the sports marketing concentration offered by Brock School of Business at the undergraduate level, this new graduate program is well-equipped to truly change the game for Samford students as they prepare for successful careers in the sports business industry.
“We are so excited to now have a concentration in our M.B.A. program that will prepare Samford students effectively to pursue careers in the business side of the sports industry,” said Assistant Professor of Sports Business Nathan Kirkpatrick. “This new concentration is rare in AACSB accredited schools and colleges of business and will give the city of Birmingham and the southeast region an avenue where one can pursue an M.B.A. and specialize in the business side of sports, all while studying at a Christian university.” 
Through the required core course, Career and Professional Preparation in Sports Business, students will be exposed to leading industry professionals that are experts in their field and active in the sports industry. Students will engage in interview training, networking events, personal social media branding and sporting event volunteerism all in an effort to expand their skills and prepare them for an accelerated career trajectory. This course will be complemented by three electives chosen from courses such as:
  • Strategic Revenue Generation in Sports Business which covers key sales and revenue elements;
  • Fan Experience and Analytic-Based Engagement, an overview of business and analytic-based actions related to fan engagement and experience enhancement;
  • The Business of College Sports, an overview of the business side of intercollegiate athletics;
  • Sports Business Thesis, intended to demonstrate a student's ability to carry out original research and may be designed to answer practical or ethical issues of interest to scholars and professionals in the sport business field;
  • and Topics in Sports Business.
“This new program will prepare M.B.A. students well for a career in the growing, dynamic sports industry that requires strong business, analytic, and professional understanding and preparation. We are so grateful to the many men and women who have helped put this together, and thankful to the Lord for His provision in opening this door for current and future Samford M.B.A. students,” Kirkpatrick said.
Other M.B.A. concentrations are available in data analytics and finance. Either or both of these concentrations can be added to the new sports business concentration to offer a truly unique, and customized graduate business education.
“I’m beyond proud of our faculty for putting this new curriculum together for our M.B.A. students,” said Interim Dean Chad Carson. “By participating in this specialized concentration, our students will have an advantage when it comes to seeking jobs in the quickly growing world of sports business.”
Currently, Brock School of Business is offering a waiver on the GMAT exam due to the effects of COVID-19. This waiver will apply to M.B.A. applicants interested in beginning in the summer and fall 2021 terms. The deadlines to apply are May 1 and August 1, respectively.  
To learn more or apply, see
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.