Sports Marketing

Interested in a marketing career in sports working for a team, league, event, or sports marketing agency? Learn about opportunities in sports marketing with classes and real-world projects to prep for internships and entry-level career opportunities.

Wide overview shot of Beaver Stadium packed with fans before the start of a night game with fireworks and fanfare on the field

Sports Marketing Opportunities in the Marketing Major

Gain a flexible foundation to hit the ground running and pursue your passions

Interested in a marketing career in sports working for a team, league, event, or sports marketing agency? Marketing students at the Penn State Smeal College of Business will enhance their portfolios for career opportunities in sports marketing and business, sponsorship, media, and sales as a part of either the Business Development and Sales or Strategic Insights and Analytics specialty tracks in the marketing major. The sports industry is competitive, and it is necessary for students to network and build relationships while pursuing an undergraduate education.  Those experienced in sports marketing confirmed that classes about sports marketing better prepare graduates seeking entry-level jobs in the industry.


Employment of advertising, promotion, and marketing managers is expected to grow significantly by 2026

Smeal marketing majors entering the workforce after school secure competitive starting salaries which are dependent on industry, location, and company. Many alums become managers and executives later in their careers.  

More on career options and salary statistics of marketing careers and Smeal marketing graduates


Smeal Marketing Alumni in Sports Marketing

Some of our Marketing Alumni that built careers in Sports Marketing are, but are not limited to:

  • Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League, formerly Senior VP of Marketing for the NFL and Chief Marketing Officer of the Olympics
  • Executive Vice President and co-founder, Sales and Marketing, Elevate Sports Ventures
  • Vice President, Linear and Programming Revenue, Fox Sports
  • Senior Marketing Director (College Football, College Gameday, & College Football Playoff), ESPN
  • Senior Director, Global Marketing Partnerships at National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • Senior Account Executive, Los Angeles Rams
  • Inside Sales Associate, New York Yankees
  • Global Product Line Manager, Basketball Footwear at Under Armour
  • Director, New Business Development at New York Mets
  • Director for Business Development, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Director of Event Presentation and Fan Experience, University of Virginia Athletics
  • Director of Client Relations, New York Jets
  • Coordinator, Marketing Engagement, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Associate, Sports Marketing and Sponsorships, KPMG
  • Marketing manager and senior management roles in the aforementioned roles


Core Courses in Sports Marketing

MKTG 443 (3): Sports Marketing This course will focus on how companies develop, execute and measure marketing strategies and tactics to use sports teams, facilities, leagues and other organizations to market their products and services domestically and internationally to consumers and business partners. The course will examine the marketing strategies employed by sports teams and leagues. Since sports involves consumers, businesses, and other organizations, this course will cover B2C as well as B2B marketing. A guest speaker series will provide additional professional perspectives on a variety of unique aspects of marketing particular to sports. Reading Sports Business Journal, the most highly regarded source of news by sports industry employees, will further expand this knowledge base as will current news events related to the industry.

MKTG 449 (3): Sports Business Market Strategy This course introduces students to the unique business challenges faced by the sports industry, especially those pertaining to marketing. Emphasis is placed on understanding the unique nature and development of the sports product, the sports consumer to whom the product is targeted, the development and transformation of sports brands over time as well as the economic impact of sports globally. Additional facets of the sports industry such as technology, ethics, and future fan development will also be explored.

Full Marketing Course List and Descriptions offered at the Smeal College of Business


Minor in Sports Studies

The Sport Studies minor at Penn State explores how the commercialization of sports affects the way it is marketed and the extent to which economic incentives shape sport and how other businesses use sport. The minor also employs sport to explore the relationships between multiple knowledge domains - from the Arts, Humanities, Business, Law, and the Sciences (including the Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences) - that provide a broad overview of the world we inhabit.  Marketing majors can add the Minor in Sports Studies as a complement to their sports marketing classes.

Information about the Sports Studies minor and certificate at Penn State University.


Opportunities Outside the Classroom

Penn State American Marketing Association (PSAMA)

Picture of Penn State chapter of the American Marketing Association club at the national conference.

PSAMA earned the AMA International Chapter of the Year award in 2020-21

About PSAMA, including a Sports Marketing division

Marketing majors concentrating their studies in Sports Marketing have opportunities to further their experience by participating in PSAMA. Penn State Sports Marketing Association includes a Sports Marketing Division that aims to provide members with hands-on experience in the sports industry that will set them apart when looking for internships/jobs.


Penn State Sports Business Conference

Penn State Sports Business Conference logo with old main outline drawing as icon and with the words "presented by Pepsi" as the title sponsor

The Penn State Sports Business Conference was created in 2017. Founded by exceptional undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds, we come together for a common goal. We pride ourselves in Inspiring others, Motivating each other, and Educating all that are interested. WE ARE committed to changing the game for the Penn State Community. PSSBC gives endless opportunities in a professional setting that encourages students to pursue a career in the sports industry while utilizing our largest alumni network to create those relationships.


Penn State Sports Business Club 

Photo of full classroom of students at a Penn State sports business club meeting in the business building

The Penn State Sports Business Club fosters the growth of students' knowledge in the sports industry through professional lectures, workshops, and other networking opportunities that aim to provide members with internships and careers in the sports industry and related fields

Minorities in Sports Next: Penn State Chapter

The mission of Minorities in Sports Next: Penn State Chapter is to increase diversity within the sports industry while creating and maintaining a positive and supportive community for students of color who aspire to work within the industry.

Advisor: Jamie Campbell, Assistant Dean


Learn more about the Business Development and Sales specialty track or the Strategic Insights & Analytics specialty track in the marketing major at Smeal.