Sports Studies

Looking to score a career in sports? RWU’s interdisciplinary Sports Studies minor helps students across various majors become well-versed in the issues of the sports world and prepares them for careers in this exciting and diverse industry.

The global sports industry is nearly $620 billion in size and growing at a fast rate, according to the consulting firm Kearney, and encompasses a wide range from global sports enterprises such as the NBA and the NFL to solo entrepreneurs selling products, accessories, and services relevant to the world of sports. 

Sports Studies students take courses across multiple disciplines with the option to complete an internship in a sports-related field. Students must complete two required courses and nine additional credits, three of which can come from a sports-related internship. 

Degree Requirements


A Multidisciplinary Curriculum 

Our interdisciplinary Sports Studies minor is administered through the Gabelli School of Business. Students take sports-related courses through a variety of disciplines to help inform their future careers. Possible majors that pair with the Sports Studies minor include Marketing, Management, Public Relations, Journalism, Communication & Media Studies, Psychology, and Graphic Design Communication.  

Students who complete the program may pursue careers as franchise brand managers, sports journalists, public relations and marketing specialists, sponsorship agents who connect brands with sports teams, analysts who help identify important trends across all aspects of the businesses involved, and more.  

Students learn how to differentiate and explain the ways that various disciplines, including arts and sciences, business, law, and health, natural, social, and behavioral sciences, have helped advance our understanding of sports. They will be able to identify and employ strategies used to grow sports enterprises and develop knowledge about the inner workings of the sports industry and sports franchises.  

Get a Great Internship   

Students minoring in Sports Studies will be able to complete an internship in an exciting sports field. Past students interested in sports-related careers have interned for organizations such as the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, U.S. Sailing, the New England Revolution, the Providence Bruins, NFL, ESPN, and more.  

Required Courses  

A photo of Professor Alex Knights' Management class

Sports Management 

Are you interested in the ownership and management side of sports? Our Sports Management course examines how to apply the principles of management to the sports industry and sports organizations. Learn about recent trends in the sports industry, the ethical and moral dilemmas facing sports managers, and the rising role of sports in society. Students also explore career opportunities across the industry. 

Sports Marketing 

One of the biggest sports branding issues right now has centered around the cultural misappropriation of Indigenous peoples by sports teams and whether they have a moral obligation to change their team names or mascots. Our Sports Marketing course covers this hot-button topic, along with effective sports marketing principles, consumer allegiance to teams and merchandising, and the impact of sponsorship. As part of the course, students create their own sports franchise, complete with team name, logo, uniforms and other branding.

Learn from Faculty Experts  

Learn from expert faculty in disciplines such as Marketing, Management, Anthropology + Sociology, Communication & Media Studies, Economics, Public Relations, Psychology, and Web Development. 

A headshot of Professor Alexander Knights “Many students only know of major professional sports teams. What I try to do in my Sports Management course is get them to understand that sports organizations come in a wide variety. There are also amateur sports, collegiate athletics, and global organizations such as FIFA and the Olympics. I want students to see what management in the sports industry looks like and if they can see themselves in these environments.” 

Alexander Knights, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Management  

Headshot of Gerry MatosGeraldo Matos, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing 

In addition to the popular Sports Marketing course, Professor Matos teaches courses in Marketing and Advertising. Prior to joining academia, he worked in the private sector, including as Senior Vice President of Marketing for New Era Cap, best known as the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and the sideline cap for the National Football League.  

His research interests involve a wide range of brand-related issues, including self-brand connection, brand attachment, cool brands, and the politicization of brands.  

Matos is the faculty advisor for the RWU American Advertising Federation (AAF) chapter, and his students have successfully participated in the AAF sponsored National Student Advertising Competition, having placed in the top three every year in which they participated, including a first-ever first place finish for RWU in 2020.  

Alumni Spotlight 

Here are just a few alumni working in the sports industry. 

Gabby Dougherty '18 
Public Relations
Senior Account Executive at Elevate Communications 

Heidi Martin '21 
Sponsorship and Marketing Coordinator at the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Joshua Tillis '22
Political Science 
Trainee, Media Research and Analytics at MKTG Sports + Entertainment