The Sports MBA program is an intensive, accelerated MBA degree focused on the dynamic business of international sports.
America's Finest City
12 Months of MBA Classes
International Trip to Dominican Republic
Students study statistical analysis, organizational behavior and leadership, financial management, and business strategy, along with sports economics and marketing, in classes taught by seasoned, professional educators. Coursework is heavily international in scope. The program includes an overseas excursion to study sports business in the Dominican Republic and frequent guest lecturers with global experience.
The Sports MBA program offers students 12 months of accelerated class time, focusing on critical business skills, with an additional six months of supervised consultancies worldwide. Classes are offered in a cohort format to foster strong relationships among classmates, upon which graduates can draw throughout their careers. Total cost of the Sports MBA program is approximately $49,000 USD.
What do our Alumni Say?
"The SDSU SMBA program was critical to my transition from investment banking into
the sports industry."
Erika Singal (SMBA, ‘10)
Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships, Los Angeles Lakers
"The SMBA program provided me with mentors in the industry, hands-on experience in
sports, and the business acumen to feel comfortable entering the business side of
Sarah Limberg (SMBA, ‘17)
Sr. Marketing Manager at Fanatics, Inc.
"As somebody who was already working in sports, the SMBA program took my knowledge
and skills to a new heightened level."
Roberto Castro (SMBA, ‘11)
Director, Team Member Experience, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park
Sports MBA News
Business Administration Curriculum
Dr. Amy Randel challenges the Sports MBA cohort to think critically about all aspects of interpersonal communication and organization within the workplace, and how varying approaches can affect work performance and cohesion. Students directly apply these skills to the sports industry through the course’s final project in which students provide analysis and offer feedback to a sports organization.
In Dr. David DeBoskey’s course, students learn the Accounting language with the expectation that when they finish the course, they’re capable of making sound financial decisions in management roles. The CFO of the San Diego Padres serves as an annual guest speaker for the class and class projects include financial statement analysis of sports industry sectors of the students’ choosing.
Financial Management I is the first of two courses that expose students to the fundamental principles of corporate finance, taught by Professor Frank Ryan. This course discusses how managers use financial statements, engage in financial planning, value cash flows, understand risk, make long-term investment decisions, and how to make both long- and short-term financing decisions. Once the groundwork has been laid, students apply these principles to analyze sports business topics such as franchise valuation, stadium financing, personal seat licenses, athlete salaries, and more.
Sports Marketing is taught by visiting professor, Dr. Vassilis Dalakas (@DrSportBusiness), who provides an in-depth introduction to the principles of marketing, and how they apply within the sports business realm. To teach sports marketing effectively, Dr. Dalakas focuses heavily on corporate partnerships and sponsorship in the world of sports, and specializes in fan behavior and the fan experience using real-world examples throughout, including an annual corporate partnerships consulting project with a sports organization.
Taught by Dr. Joe Belch, Senior Associate Dean and co-author of the leading textbook in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), this course focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of marketing strategy for sports organizations and companies. Students create a comprehensive Integrated Marketing Communications plan for a sports organization as a culminating project in the course each year.
Taught by Dr. Kaveh Abhari, this course, which serves as an introduction to the field of business intelligence (BI) and data analytics, is focused on teaching students how to use BI tools to understand, analyze and solve complex business problems. The course covers topics such as descriptive, predictive and web analytics teaching students to use tools such as Tableau, Power BI, RapidMiner, Google Analytics, and AWS QuickSight. Students use real life data sets from sports business and develop business reports showcasing their insights.
Dr. John Francis leads this course, which studies the theories and trends that shape the evolving relationships between sports organizations and their fans. With examples drawn from all segments of sports business, this course is intended to give students a foundation of basic business principles that can be applied to the sports industry.
- PGA TOUR Executive Women's Day at the Farmers Insurance Open
- Farmers Insurance Open
- US Women's National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
- US Men’s National Team vs. Canada – International Friendly
- NCAA Sweet 16 Western Regional in Anaheim
- Mountain West Conference Tournament
- Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Power Play Event
- IRONMAN SuperSEAL Olympic Triathlon
- FootGolf San Diego Tournaments
- USA Rugby Tournaments
- MLB Spring Training – San Diego Padres
- Rock 'n' Roll Marathon – Carlsbad 5000, San Diego 5K Run
- Special Olympics South Bay Area Games
- AVP Beach Volleyball – Huntington Beach Open
- Red Bull Wings for Life World Run
- Mexico vs. Chile International Friendly
- Sports Business Journal Intersport Brand Engagement Summit
- Fox Sports San Diego – MLB All-Star FanFest Activation
- Under Armour – MLB All-Star FanFest Activation
- Stand Up to Cancer – MLB All-Star Game Activation
- Dew Tour – Long Beach
- Self Shape Surf Festival
Our students learn to apply the business principles they learn in the classroom and hone their presentation skills with real clients in the sports industry through consulting projects including developing marketing plans, organizational analysis reports, and pitching new ideas for corporate sponsorship. Previous clients have included:
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Oakland A’s
- US Olympic Training Center
- SDSU Athletics
- Victus Advisors
- Navigate Research
- TGR Live
- Challenged Athletes Foundation
- Anaheim Ducks
Dominican Republic Trip
Every year since 2009, Sports MBA students have spent approximately ten days as a group on site in the Dominican Republic. This trip is one of the most memorable experiences of the year for Sports MBA students. The excursion is tied to an academic course in Management and is led by program director, Scott Minto (SMBA ’06). The concept of the trip is to develop students’ global competencies through a complete cultural and language immersion in a developing country. The class prepares extensively for the trip, reading books about Dominican baseball and culture and studying Spanish.
After completing the 12-month classroom portion of the Sports MBA curriculum, students are prepared to work with a sports organization on a full-time basis. The MBA candidates have a faculty mentor oversee their work during their final semester, with the goal of providing their host organization with a comprehensive consulting report on a specific sports business field at the end of the term. The course work is completed remotely and classes do not meet during this term, so students are encouraged to pursue full-time job opportunities and many choose to pursue an opportunity outside of San Diego.
- BA 780 Field Studies in Business: 6 Month Internship
- BA 795 Integrative Business Analysis: Final MBA Thesis Report
Take the Next Step
Sports MBA Program Faculty Directory
Management Information Systems Department,Sports MBA Program
Thomas & Evelyn Page Dean (Interim), Online Degree Completion Director
Dean's Office,Marketing Department,Online Degree Completion (BSBA),Sports MBA Program
Marketing Department,Sports MBA Program
Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy,Sports MBA Program
Management Information Systems Department,Sports MBA Program