The 9 Best Online Associates in Sports Management

Best Online Associates in Sports Management - featured image

The sports management field is one of the most rewarding professional ventures for individuals who love sports, recreation, and other athletic projects. Many professionals in the industry work behind the scenes to facilitate the planning, preparation, and logistical aspects of sporting events, broadcasting, event or recreation facilities, and managing sports teams.

Sporting events in the U.S., specifically basketball, soccer, and football, generate a huge amount of income and require in-depth training to manage them successfully. If you’ve wanted to work in the sports industry and have an innate passion for sports, an online sports management program will help jumpstart your career in the industry.

An online Associate in Sports Management program helps graduates become successful in the sports and recreation field. Within two years of full-time learning, students will develop and enhance their entrepreneurial and leadership skills, planning and facilitating a diverse range of activities ranging from a summer tournament for kids to popular sporting events.

While the academic program provides a strong business foundation, aspiring professionals can showcase their skills in sports even without playing on the court.

Check this out: The Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Sports Management


Given that Sports Management programs that can be completed online are rare, we curated reputable online schools in the U.S. that offer an online Associate in Sports Management degree. The list below is in random order, highlighting each school’s unique program and reputation.

Each school includes a detailed overview of the online academic program, a list of courses, and transfer options, among other aspects, including:

  • Plan of study focusing on the application of management and business proficiencies for entry-level positions in the sports industry,
  • Personalized learning experience, with a low student-to-faculty ratio,
  • Inexpensive tuition fees and other expenses, as well as Financial Aid programs,
  • Enhances students’ skills used in business ventures in the sports industry, including marketing and promotions, written and non-written communication, finance, and critical thinking,
  • 100% online learning format
  • Transfer-friendly options and partnerships for enrolling in further studies, including the Bachelor’s in Sports Management degree

For details, please take a look at our Methodology page.


Best Online Schools for An Associate in Sports Management Degree

Monroe Community College

Monroe Community College

Prominent Program Features:

Monroe Community College’s Associate of Science in Sport Management program is one of the few programs in the country offering sports management-related studies. It is a SUNY Online Plus Program designed for students interested in the marketing and business aspects of sports.

A total of 62 credits is required for degree completion. This academic program is ideal for students interested in sports science, events and facilities management, athletic administration, recreation management, and sports marketing.

The 62-credit online program features a conceptual framework through business coursework and physical studies, integrating practical experience through field experience. The instructors that facilitate online classes are the same faculty that students learn from on campus. Distance learners will also have access to a tutor for assistance and one person as their single point of contact for any questions and inquiries.

Did You Know?

Monroe Community College, a Rochester-based community college, forms part of the State University of New York. It is one of the schools offering a variety of flexible options for completing a degree, including online, part-time, full-time, and on-campus learning. Given that the school has several time-shortened courses and online programs, Monroe Community College has more adult students enrolled compared to other Rochester-based colleges combined.

Thanks to its Economic Development & Innovative Workforce Services, the MCC Corporate College offers numerous training solutions, professional development, and senior executive leadership training for seasoned professionals.

Waldorf University

Waldorf University

Prominent Program Features:

The Associate of Arts in Sport Management program at Waldorf University offers holistic studies that help them become proficient in the sports industry. It is ideal for aspiring students who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree for further studies. The estimated completion time of the sports management associate degree is two years. However, the completion time depends on the students’ commitments and preferences.

Apart from the 48-credit general education core requirements, sports management students must complete 12 credits of major requirements. They must take the following courses:

  • Sports Legal Liability and Risk Management
  • Sport Administration
  • Sociology of Sport
  • Sport Facilities
  • Sport Public Relations and Promotions

Did You Know?

Waldorf University is a private liberal arts school located in Forest City, Iowa. The university has four pillars that describe its experience: Success, Community, Passion, and Tradition. All pillars are essential to Waldorf University’s past, present, and future aspirations. As a transfer-friendly institution, Waldorf has developed articulation agreements with several academic and private institutions.

Jackson College

Jackson College

Prominent Program Features:

Jackson College has an Associate in Arts – Sports Management program that equips students with the skills and knowledge for thriving in the global sports industry. The curriculum in sports management opens a variety of entry-level career opportunities and allows graduates to pursue further studies. Exploring the business and cultural impact of sports through internships, real-world studies, and practical experience is one of the main objectives of the associate program.

Distance learners develop a variety of proficiencies that are crucial in the sports management field, including entrepreneurship, marketing, communication, management, and leadership skills. Learn the fundamentals of sports management through the following online courses:

  • Introduction to Sports Management
  • Sports Facility and Event Management
  • Historical and Sociological Issues in Sport
  • Principles of Sport Marketing
  • Sports Matters

A unique aspect of the sport management program at Jackson College is that online students can focus on Esports. The curriculum allows them to take courses, such as Esport in Society and Introduction to Esport Management, as well as an internship program. It is a specialized area ideal for e-sport enthusiasts and gamers.

Did You Know?

Jackson College has articulation agreements the Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University, where graduates with the Sports Management associate program at Jackson can waive their 60 credits upon enrollment to the school’s Bachelor of Science in Sports Management programs.

Columbus State Community College

Columbus State Community College

Prominent Program Features:

Columbus State Community College features an online Sports Management Associate of Science program that prepares students for a rewarding profession in the growing and extensive field of sports management. The academic program will prepare students for professionals and roles in public relations, marketing, legal aspects, financial management, leadership, and project management within the sports industry.

The 65-credit online program includes the following courses:

  • Sport Law
  • Sport Management Foundation
  • Sport Finance
  • Sport Psychology
  • Athletic Injury Control & First Aid

Graduates with a sports management degree can pursue a Bachelor’s in Sports Management or a related field in any of CSCC’s transfer agreements, namely American College of Education, Tiffin University, Franklin University, Otterbein University, West Virginia University, Shawnee State University, and Ohio University.

Aspiring students can also pursue one of the certificate programs offered at CSCC, including the Exercise Specialist Certificate and the Youth Coaching Certificate. However, other associate programs worth checking include the following:

  • Exercise Science (AAS)
  • Exercise Science Major Athletic Performance Track (AAS)
  • Wellness & Health Promotion Major (AAS)
  • Coaching Administration (AAS)
  • Recreation Administration (AAS)

Did You Know?

Columbus State Community College has an extensive Sport & Exercise Studies department that was initiated in 1992 for recreational communities in Central Ohio. The school itself has received accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, including courses approved for veterans’ benefits.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University

Prominent Program Features:

Georgia State University’s online Associate of Science in Sport Management program provides students with a holistic learning and overview of the multi-dimensional aspects of managing a sports facility or organization. It is offered through GSU’s Perimeter College, providing students with several pathway degrees related to he

alth studies. The sport management program discusses the legal, social, and economic influences on the management side of sports organizations or facilities.

As part of a holistic curriculum, students explore the different future trends and current challenges to portray how globalization, sociological factors, consumer behavior, and regulations affect the sports industry and sport management.

Apart from the 42-credit hour general education courses, sport management students must complete 18 credit hours, including the following:

  • Introduction to Sport Management
  • Introduction to Information Systems
  • Sociology of Sport
  • History/Philosophy of Sport
  • Principles of Microeconomics

Did You Know?

Georgia State University ranks 2nd as the Most Innovative School according to the U.S. News & World Report. Thanks to Georgia State Online, distance learners have one-stop-shop access to a plethora of learning resources, including student support services, a tutorial and writing center, a comprehensive online blog, and information regarding new online academic programs.

GSU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Online Education has a team of award-winning faculty to guide students and staff to develop state-of-the-art and collaborative online courses.

Northcentral Technical College

North Central Technical College

Prominent Program Features:

Northcentral Technical College offers an online Sports and Recreation Management Associate program that combines foundational business background and integrates with the study of promotional management, wellness, sports, and recreation. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

The holistic academic program educates students in athlete safety and health laws and sports governance. Becoming proficient in industry-specific technological tools and processes for recreation and sports is one of the main learning outcomes for students. They also learn how to apply business systems and functions beneficial to the recreation and sports industry. The 63-credit program includes unique courses such as:

  • Recreation Programming
  • Risk Management in Recreation
  • Hospitality and Recreational Law
  • Inclusive Recreation
  • Outdoor Recreation

Although the program offers 100% online courses, students may have to participate in an internship program. Completing the Sports and Recreation Management degree at NTC allows graduates to transfer up to 60 credits to enroll in the Sports Administration program at Carroll University. To earn the degree at the university, students must have at least 68 additional credits completed at the partner college.

Did You Know?

Northcentral Technical College features the NTC Foundation that bridges the school and donors, making sure long-term resources are readily available to support NTC’s student community. It actively partners and seeks out philanthropic individuals, businesses, and opportunities who desire to invest in NTC through in-kind gifts, scholarships, and grants.

Northampton Community College

Northampton Community College

Prominent Program Features:

The Associate in Arts Sport Management program at Northampton Community College is one of the rare programs of its kind in the U.S. Graduates can earn their degrees in four semesters, given that they have completed 62 to 63 credits.

The integrated business courses help distance learners to enhance crucial industry skills, including business communication, facility and event management, sports marketing, and sales and revenue generation. The academic program blends practical learning experience and theory, encompassing all components of intercollegiate and professional athletics.

While coursework completion is 100% online, students participate in a 225-hour sports management practicum program. Some of the courses taken by students include the following:

  • Sport Marketing
  • Introduction to Sports Management
  • Management Fundamentals
  • Facility Management & Event Planning
  • Sports Sales & Revenue Production

Transfer options include Bloomsburg University, York College, East Stroudsburg University, Temple University, DeSales University, Kutztown University, Pennsylvania State University, and West Chester University.

Did You Know?

Northampton Community College is the largest, most diverse college in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The school is also recognized as a Top 10 Tech Savvy Community College by the Center for Digital Education for four consecutive years. NCC is also one of the largest employers in the Lehigh Valley and is considered Pennsylvania’s only community college to offer on-campus accommodation.

Shorter University

Shorter University

Prominent Program Features:

Shorter University has an online Associate of Science in Sport Management program offered through the Ledbetter College of Business. It is one of the few programs in sports management that receives accreditation from the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation.

Students must have at least 60 semester hours to complete their associate program. They will complete an 18-credit hour Sport Management concentration through the following set of courses:

  • Sport Coaching
  • Sport Psychology
  • Olympic Games
  • Contemporary Issues in Sport
  • Intro to Sport Management
  • Business Computer Application

Apart from the traditional learning experience, the university facilitates the College of Business Lecture Series once per semester, where a prominent industry professional speaks to the student community. The Career Development Panel is another platform to learn from industry professionals regarding insider tips on networking, resume building, and communication skills.

Did You Know?

Shorter University is a Christ-centered university that started as a school for young ladies. It was formerly housed in Victorian structures headquartered on Shelton Hill in downtown Rome. Today, Shorter University is a consistent school among many prestigious school-ranking publications, including The Princeton Review and the U.S. News & World Report.

The school features a variety of online and traditional degree programs in more than 30 areas of study.

University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands

Prominent Program Features:

The online Associate of Applied Science in Sport and Exercise Science program at the University of the Cumberlands will help students learn more about sports science, exercise, and health. Through the associate program, they gain a comprehensive understanding of kinesiology, physiology, and anatomy.

As a holistic program, students also explore topics that develop an awareness of movement development and human growth, exercise physiology aspects, and how issues in sports history influence every individual’s sport and health performance. 

The 100% online program requires the completion of the following courses:

  • Fitness and Sport Management
  • Functional Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Coaching and Leadership I and II
  • Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
  • Introduction to Health, Exercise, and Sport Science

Completing the associate program opens several career opportunities for graduates, including coaching a sports team, launching a sports recreation facility or training center, or fitness center instructor. The university offers continuing education options, such as pursuing a bachelor’s degree in coaching or fitness and sport management.

Did You Know?

The University of the Cumberlands receives regional accreditation from the SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. It is a private, faith-based university that was founded by a group of Baptist Ministers as a small college in Kentucky.

The institution’s primary purpose was to prepare young adults to become servant leaders. Today, the university is a well-respected academic institution that has been advocating academic excellence for more than 130 years.

Best Online Associates in Sports Management - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

What can students and graduates expect from an online Associate in Sports Management program?

Most online Associate in Sports Management degrees can be completed in 24 months. Although aspiring students must have a passion for sports, anyone can enroll in the academic program. However, one should have an innate passion for venturing into the sports industry. The curriculum features classes in English, humanities, marketing, and finance with business-related courses.

Since this specialization primarily focuses on business, it is highly recommended that students have mathematical abilities. However, since sports management is a diverse field, students can freely choose their major electives that align with their interests and strengths.

Most associate degrees in sports management require 60 credits of coursework, consisting of general education, business, and sports-specific courses. Thanks to specialized courses, aspiring sports management professionals can delve into other areas that are essential for the industry, including coaching or sports marketing.

Apart from traditional coursework, an online Sports Management degree program entails an internship that fulfills the practical nature of the industry and allows students to gain real-world experience, build their network, and become proficient in the field.

Given that sports management is a multi-disciplinary study, distance learners can take a combination of management, finance, and business courses along with more specific sports management topics. Some of the most common courses offered in an online sports management associate program include the following:

Sports Law

Sports Law highlights the legal aspects surrounding professional and intercollegiate sports. It is beneficial to students who are planning to pursue a law degree. Topics include intellectual property law, collective bargaining, labor relations, and contract law.

Sports Psychology

Completing a Sports Psychology course helps students analyze the behavior and culture revolving around the sports industry. They become proficient in applying management and leadership theories to real-world problems.

Ethics in the Sports Industry

A course in Ethics in the Sports Industry or Sports Ethics develops and enhances students’ abilities to make moral and ethical decisions in several sports and recreation settings. The course features several intellectual tools to help distance learners navigate and resolve challenging ethical scenarios.

Gaining the crucial skills to become role models and effective managers within the sports industry is one of the primary outcomes of completing this course.

Personal Management

The Personal Management course allows students to communicate effectively while maintaining and cultivating business relationships. They also discover the different techniques on how to lead effectively and positively impact any sports organization.

Sports Promotion/Sports Marketing

A study in Sports Promotion/Sports Marketing offers students a comprehensive introduction to sports marketing. Exploring different consumer demographics, target marketing, segmentation, and marketing strategies essential to the sports industry are some of the crucial aspects that will be discussed in this course.

What is the career outlook in the Sports Management field?

Graduates with an online Sports Management degree at the associate level can pursue a variety of in-demand professions, working in sports or recreation facilities.

The career outlook for occupations in the entertainment and sports industry is projected to grow by 10% from 2022 to 2032, indicating a faster-than-average growth compared to other occupations in the country. Approximately 106,800 job vacancies are expected within the decade.

Although individual experience and preference vary and the sports industry can be competitive, Sports Management prepares students for professions that offer lucrative wages. Coaches and scouts, for example, have a 9% career outlook in the same timeframe, while Agents and Managers for Athletes can earn higher salaries with $123,720 per year on average.

Sports and recreation management programs develop and enhance skills and knowledge that can easily be applied to other areas of study, including in business-related industries.

What are some factors I should consider when choosing an online Associate in Sports Management program?

Program Format

Students planning to pursue the online sports management associate degree should identify whether asynchronous or synchronous learning is the ideal program format for them. Asynchronous classes don’t require live, scheduled online discussions, while synchronous require such a format.

Prospective students must also decide whether they’re pursuing part-time or full-time learning as well as accelerated or fast-tracked programs.


As every school and associate degree is unique, an online Sports Management program’s average tuition varies. To save on tuition, students should consider applying as in-state students or finding a school that offers flat-rate tuition for their sports management program.


Aspiring students should enroll in a regionally accredited school offering online Sports Management degrees. Otherwise, many employers or companies will not consider their sports management associate degree valid, or they cannot qualify to receive federal financial aid.

For sports management-specific accreditation, students may consider enrolling in a program accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.


Although coursework completion is 100% online, students may consider choosing an associate in sports management degree in a nearby school. Many programs culminate with an internship program in their plan of study, which is easier to find locally.

Additionally, since sports management is a people-centric industry, chances are the school that you’re planning to enroll in has several connections with local employers or businesses.

Student Support Services

Student support services significantly help distance learners in completing their academic programs. Aspiring students must verify first with their preferred school if tutoring and writing, online library, internship placements, career development, academic advising, and mentorship programs are available. The easiest way to check these details is to verify them on the school’s official website.

What professions can graduates pursue with an online Associate in Sports Management program?

Sports Agent

Sports Agents collaborate and negotiate with sports endorsers and teams for athletes’ contracts. Since they represent athletes, sports agents are knowledgeable about the athlete’s performance, helping them maximize their salaries by recruiting endorsements and contracts.

Although no rigorous training and extensive credentials are mandatory, pursuing an online associate in sports management degree can jumpstart a career as a sports agent.

Sports Manager

Sports Managers are responsible for the decision-making aspects of sports teams. These sports enthusiasts also negotiate player contracts, manage financial resources, and hire players and coaches.

Public Relations Manager

Public Relations Managers work as the liaison between the media and the team, controlling the flow of information between the public and the organization. They spark the public’s interest by promoting and increasing the team’s or athlete’s reputation and presence. These professionals often work extended hours during the season and transfer windows of athletes, working hard to develop smooth relationships with the local media team and within the sports industry.

Other responsibilities include setting up and issuing press conferences and press releases, managing ad or printing materials, and working with other professionals.

Sports Marketing Professional/Sports Marketing Manager

Sports Marketing Managers can wear many hats in the sports management industry. These professionals can promote a retail product, an individual athlete, a particular sporting event, or an individual team.

Incorporating the popularity of sports with effective marketing strategies is one of the main roles of a sports manager. They recruit corporate sponsorships, team merchandising, player endorsements, and sell advertising space.

Athletic Director

Athletic Directors are professionals who are responsible for managing the overall athletic program. They oversee sports facilities, personnel, and financial resources. These professionals often find work at colleges and high schools. In some cases, athletic directors pursue coaching roles.

Take a look: The Best Master’s in Sports Management Degrees

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor