Develop Your Skills in a $500 Billion Dollar Global Industry

The Sports Marketing concentration offers students a chance to develop their skills for a career in the $500 billion dollar global sports marketplace.

Focused Sports Industry Student Projects 

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 Dick's 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.

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Giovanni Hernandez
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. My degree from the Brock School of Business, prepared me to handle critical activities for my organization and provides a strong foundation for any job on the business side of the sports world. Giovanni Hernandez, Samford University Alum Manager, International Baseball Operations, MLB

What Will I Learn?

Learn Skills for a Career in the Global Sports Industry

This program equips students with the skills necessary for career opportunities in the global sports marketplace. Students majoring in accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management, or marketing can add this concentration to their program, which prepares them for opportunities in team marketing, sponsor relations/activation, ticket sales, event marketing, sports retailing, and league operations.

Rigorous Sports Curriculum 

The concentration presents a rigorous curriculum in areas such as sponsorship, international sports marketing, advertising, social media and analytics while paying close attention to industry trends. Students will be prepared for admission into top MBA/Sports Business programs in AACSB business schools or gain employment in the sports industry.

View Curriculum

What Makes Us Different?

Experience and Training in the Sports Industry 

To be successful in the sports industry, experts universally agree that students must have more than just classroom training. Therefore 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.

Learn From Sports Industry Executives 

Brock School of Business attracts leading industry executives to speak on campus, publishes the popular “Business Side of Sports” blog, and produces the annual College Football Ultimate Fan Engagement Index and the annual College Athletics Financial Outlook Report.”

Internships 

Brock School of Business also requires all students to complete an internship in the sports industry. Birmingham has been rated as one of the top five cities in the nation for the sports enthusiast and is home to dozens of sports teams and companies.

Internships & Client-Based Research Projects

Students gain valuable experience working for organizations such as Nike, NBA, adidas, Manchester United’s corporate sponsor AON, NASCAR’s Talladega Superspeedway, PGA, Indy Car, Stewart-Haas Racing, SEC, Birmingham Bowl, Alabama Sports Foundation, World Soccer Shop, Racing USA, Atlanta Braves, Birmingham Barons, Bruno Event Team, Birmingham Barons, Hibbett Sports, World Games Association, Birmingham Hammers, Alabama State Soccer Association and others. All sports marketing students also gain hands-on experience by spending a semester working for the Samford University Athletics Department.

Study Abroad Opportunities

International Travel 

Working in conjunction with some of the top AACSB accredited business schools in the world,  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 of Business 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.

Attend Global Sporting Events 

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.”

From the Program Coordinator

Darin White
The Sports Marketing program at Samford University offers students a chance to develop their skills for a career in the $500 billion dollar global sports marketplace. Dr. Darin White, Chair, Entrepreneurship, Management and Marketing,  Executive Director Samford University Center for Sports Analytics 
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Sports Marketing Advisory Board

The Sports Marketing Advisory Board is a key asset to the Brock School of Business’ sports marketing program. In addition to providing regular feedback about the curriculum, members of the board serve as mentors, connections to industry-related internships or jobs and help build relationships with organizations in the industry for class projects such as those recently completed by students for the NBA and Nike. Additionally, individuals on the board provide funds for students to travel for class projects and support the program by advancing its reputation in the industry. Altogether, the Sports Marketing Advisory Board offers opportunities for students to gain a unique, educational experience in the business side of sports.

George Dennis

President, ZOOM Motorsports LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

Bernard Frei

President and Managing Director, 365 Inc./ Sports Endeavors Inc.
Birmingham, Alabama

Hernandez Gio

Manager, International Baseball, Major League Baseball
New York, New York

Joe Hutchinson

Senior Vice President of Licensing, The Collegiate Licensing Company
Atlanta, Georgia

Ben May

Senior Director of Sports Management, SEC Network/ESPN
Birmingham, Alabama

Richard McKay

President & Chief Executive Office, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta, Georgia

Scott Myers

Executive Director, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Birmingham, Alabama

Robbie Robertson

President, Colonnade Group
Birmingham, Alabama

Tracy Teague

Vice President and Global Category Creative Director Nike Basketball, Nike, Inc.
Beaverton, Oregon

Vince Thompson

Chief Executive Officer and President, MELT
Atlanta, Georgia

Alan Verlander

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment, JaxSports: Gater Bowl Sports/City of Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida

Mike Verlander

Vice President of Business Development, Stewart Haas Racing
Kannapolis, North Carolina

Jeremy Walls

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Miami Dolphins
Miami, Florida

Lisa Warren

Chief Executive Officer, Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center
Birmingham, Alabama

Mark Whitworth

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, Asbury University
Wilmore, Kentucky

Robyn Felton

Chief Operating Officer, Colonnade Group
Birmingham, Alabama

Brad Williams

Founder, Huddle Inc.
Alpharetta, Georgia

Gary Heise

Founder, Premier Sports Management
Overland Park, Kansas

Jim Host

Founder, Host Communications
Lexington, Kentucky

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