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This multi-billion dollar industry offers employment opportunities in professional, collegiate, and interscholastic sports, sports information, marketing, facility and arena management, operations, sponsorship, promotions, recreation administration, sales, ticket sales, coaching, and special events. The major is designed to provide students with a foundation of skills necessary to negotiate the various settings in which students may find themselves during their professional careers. Additionally, various opportunities are provided regarding supplemental hands-on experiences with industry professional and organizations. These hands-on experiences are great for obtaining placement for field experiences and internships (which are a major requirement). Upon graduation, some of our students decide to continue their education in graduate school in areas such as sport administration, law, or business administration.

Program Goals

  • To understand the socio-cultural dimensions of sport.
  • To develop and apply management and leadership skills.
  • To explore the ethical principles related to sport.
  • To apply marketing and communication skills within sport settings.
  • To know how to budget program resources and apply financial principles related to sport.
  • To understand legal aspects of sport and to develop risk management plans.
  • To understand the roles of governing bodies in sport.

Professional Opportunities
All sport management majors are required to complete a field experience and internship before graduating. The field experience requires a minimum of 90 hours on-site with a sport-related organization. The internship requires a minimum of 120 hours on site with a sport-related organization, and students conclude their internship with a capstone presentation of their experience. 

These experiences allow students to gauge their interests and develop valuable career skills that will aid in gaining a competitive advantage in the sport industry.

Sport Management

Some of the internship placements include:

  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dayton Dragons
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Fort Wayne Tin Caps
  • Michigan State University Strength and Conditioning Programs
  • Toledo Mud Hens
  • University of Michigan Sports Information Department
  • US Olympic Training Center
  • Chicago Sky
    Additional information on internships can be found by clicking here.

Benefits of the Program
The Sports Business Association is a student-run organization on campus which provides hands-on experiences and networking opportunities for students interested in careers in sport. The organization hosts various guest speakers throughout the year and travels to networking events in the area.

Related Programs
A complementary minor might include marketing, communications, sport and exercise psychology, or business administration. Due to the breadth of opportunities in the sport management field, students may decide to specialize in one particular area such as marketing/sales or sport broadcasting. These are areas that can be studied in depth by completing one of the aforementioned minors.

After College — What's Next?
Graduates with a sport management major have employment opportunities in:
Intercollegiate athletics – athletic director, compliance coordinator, facility manager, etc.
Professional sports – ticket sales, marketing, sponsorships, facilities, etc.
Recreational sports – sports program director, park manager, youth sports manager, etc.
Event management – volunteer coordinator, event manager, marketing, tickets
Non-profit organizations – sport/program management, marketing, community relations, etc.
Public and media relations –  for professional sports teams, intercollegiate athletics, or sport facilities
Advertising and sales promotion – for private organizations, non-profit organizations, professionals sports, etc.

Sport Management

Recent Employments
Some recent graduate employments include:
Arizona Coyotes, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Crew, Minnesota Timberwolves, Michigan State University, University of New Haven, Albion College, Otterbein College, US Marine Corps, Toledo Mud Hens and Walleye, Kentucky Speedway, Detroit Mercy, Unified Health Solutions, Genesis Health Care, Crescent News, Dugout Media, NCSA Recruiting, and The Y.

In Their Own Words
"Defiance College's sport management program is an excellent program. It's helped me grow academically as well as in my personal life. The faculty, students, and others who are in this field are an excellent group of people who I enjoyed getting to know. I made valuable connections as well as many lifelong friends along the way. I'd highly recommend DC's sport management program to anyone interested in getting a quality education and meeting some pretty awesome people."
--Ben Maynard, 2016 Graduate

"The sport management program here at DC was an integral part of my learning experience as a student in the classroom and in the real world. The faculty are certainly dedicated to providing a first-class education related to the business and intricacies of sport on an American and global platform. I am proud to say I have been privileged to learn from some experienced professors in their respective field of sport management."
--Wayne Kelly, 2016 Graduate 

"The professors are what make the sport management program most enjoyable to me. They are passionate about their jobs and help the students make connections in the sport field. Through the Sports Business Association, we have the opportunity to visit sports venues, go to major league games, and talk to personnel within the organizations."
--Waverly Weaks, 2016 Graduate

Alicia Kahlik"I am so fortunate to have earned my degree from Defiance College. In my major, DC presented me with the tools for success from the minute I stepped on campus. The connections I made through faculty, staff and other students helped me to excel in my career by presenting me with opportunities to attend conferences, workshops and networking events which led me to three internships before graduation. Post-graduation, these experiences and connections gave me the opportunity to work in the NHL and have now led me to pursue my master’s degree. The people at Defiance College strive every day to help students, both present and past, to succeed in every aspect of life."
--Alicia Kahlik, 2015 Graduate


Scott Hirko
Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Phone: 419-783-2336

Timothy Rickabaugh, Ph.D.
Professor of Exercise Science
Phone: 419-783-2584