Sports Marketing and Analytics
The Sports Marketing and Analytics program provides students with the skills and business background to pursue careers within or related to college and professional sports organizations. This program has been developed to provide a premier business school education with a focus on professional sports to help you make the jump from college to the pros.
The Sports Marketing and Analytics program offers a comprehensive curriculum focusing on sports and entertainment marketing, professional selling, digital analytics, sports marketing research and facility operations management. Professors teaching in the program have extensive experience with the sports industry through interaction with current executives, conducting research, and/or prior work history. These industry connections benefit students as they learn about current market trends, meet guest speakers that help in connecting the course content with real-world applications, and search for an internship in a professional sports setting.
As the sports industry grows, the demand for job candidates interested in professional sports careers that also have business acumen is surging. Professional teams may receive hundreds of applications for an open position, yet few applicants will have a degree from a top business school and even fewer with a specialized degree in Sports Marketing and Analytics. Earning a respected degree from Mercer University – a nationally recognized and accredited institution – will give you the edge that you need to stand out in the job market.
As a Sports Marketing and Analytics major, you will take specialized business courses to prepare for interviews with professional teams and other sports industry organizations in the areas of ticket sales, sponsorship sales and activation, facility operations, event management, and community relations.
Students will have access to network with members of the Sports Marketing and Analytics Advisory Board, which is comprised of key personnel of prominent teams and organizations. Board members are committed to interview students for internships and entry-level positions during the annual Sports Business Combine and help develop students through class projects, classroom visits, and hosting the Sports Business Club at their location. Sports Marketing and Analytics Advisory Board members include:
- Todd Achilles – Vice President, CSE
- Kevin Adkins – Owner/President, Georgia Doom
- Joseph Barbarito – Premium and Inside Sales Manager, Frisco Roughriders
- Heather Blackwood – Client Services, Atlanta Motor Speedway
- Jason Capel – Vice President, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment
- Amanda Dinkel – Community Relations Manager, Atlanta Falcons
- Rebecca Duensing – Event Marketing Manager, Professional Bull Riders, Inc.
- Michael Farris – Director of Strategic Consulting and Research, The Aspire Group
- Allison Fillmore – Senior Director of Sales, TOUR Championship - PGA Tour
- Rolanda Gaines – Director of Marketing and Communications, FOX Sports South/Southeast/Tennessee/Carolinas
- Eddie Gonzalez – Chief Business Officer and Tournament Director, BB&T Atlanta Open
- Ryan Gottlieb – Director of Sales and Service, The Aspire Group-Georgia Tech
- Jonathan Griffith – President, Studer Entertainment and Retail
- Shea Jury – Marketing Coordinator, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment
- Noah Maier – Community Engagement Lead, Jump Associates
- Jake Mullins – Vice President of Business Development, Atlanta Motor Speedway
- Barbara Osborne – General Manager, Florence Red Wolves
- Warren Parr – Director of Ticket Sales, Atlanta Falcons
- Eric Platte – Senior Director of Ticket Sales, Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club
- Chuck Saulino – Vice President of Corporate Sales, PrimeSport
- DA Smith – Owner/Director of Sales and Marketing, Georgia Doom
- Daniel Tate – Associate Athletic Director for External Operations, Mercer University
- Richard Thornton – Senior Manager of Ticket Sales, Atlanta Braves
- CJ Wiatr – Regional Vice President of Fan Relationship Management, The Aspire Group
The purpose of the Sports Marketing and Analytics Club is to prepare students for a successful, professional career in sports and entertainment by learning how to take responsibility, be ethical, work hard, and serve others. Members of the club can expect to attend monthly meetings with guest speakers and one professional sporting event each semester. Guest speakers include board members who share the values of the club and enjoy discussing the latest industry trends with students.
I don't understand this major. I did research and couldn't find any programs that had this title. I only really saw sports marketing as a minor in my search. Most programs went by sports business or sports management. Why is your title different?
The purpose of the name “Sports Marketing and Analytics” is twofold.
First, it better reflects the job offerings available for graduates. Visit the front office pages of any professional sports team and notice how the largest departments are in sales/marketing. Take the Atlanta Hawks staff as an example. Outside of executives, a quick count of the Hawks front office shows that 69% of jobs (n=118) are in these areas (Corp Partnerships, Revenue Integration, Ticket Sales, Marketing, Analytics). For a look at other organizations, you may also visit teamworkonline.com, which shows available positions by category. The growth area is in analytics. Our advisory board members as well as speakers at conferences for the American Marketing Association and Sports Marketing Association have suggested that data analysts are becoming more valuable and the supply is limited. So much so, we have several members of our advisory board who are recruiting Mercer students as analysts for their sports properties.
Second, students are increasingly attracted to majors that have clear career paths. Prospective students and their parents repeatedly ask what kind of jobs Mercer students are being prepared to pursue. A focused major helps to students select a career path. As for employers, multiple executives on our advisory board have interacted with Sport Management programs at other universities and feel like their programs could do a much better job. Specifically, they cite students need for (a) a focused understanding of what will be required of them at their entry-level positions and (b) more focus on application rather than theory. These executives have committed to our advisory board because they believe that students need a sports marketing and analytics curriculum that meets their needs for entry-level employees in the sports industry.
Why should I major in Sports Marketing and Analytics? It doesn't seem general enough to me for the wide range of jobs students might normally be able to do with a degree in sports.
The unique part of sports business is that being general does not necessarily help. Again, success in the sports industry requires a unique skillset. Those that may be interested in “sports business” careers outside of marketing and analytics still gain as much or more expertise from the Mercer Sports Marketing and Analytics curriculum. For example, students who want to be general managers, sports agents, or event managers will still require knowledge of these subjects. While the application of the material may change from student-to-student and job-to-job, sports marketing and analytics training gives students the best chance to succeed. Supplementing the core courses with appropriate electives in other programs (management, mathematics, marketing, law) is highly encouraged.
Do Mercer’s Sports Marketing and Analytics majors learn management, law, or economics? Most sport management programs at other schools offer these courses.
Sports economics, sports law, and event management are offered as electives. It is more appropriate for each of these to be an elective because there are fewer jobs in these areas. Although the information is interesting and can be helpful for those interested in pursuing a career in academics, Mercer's Sports Marketing and Analytics program is committed to offering courses that will be applicable for students in the job market. Sports management, although not reflected in the titles of the courses, is definitely included throughout the curriculum as it relates to each subject. Furthermore, Principles of Management and Strategic Management are courses that all majors are required to take in the Stetson School of Business and Economics.
As to other programs, were the programs you researched in business schools? Once again, the top sports programs in business schools do not primarily focus on finance, economics, law, or management. The best ones (in terms of placement and prestige) focus course offerings on where students are being hired – marketing and analytics.