7 Sports Management Summer Programs for High School Students

7 Sports Management Summer Programs for High School Students

Explore Engaging Summer Sports Business Management Programs

Introduction – Summer Sports Management Programs

Summer sports business programs for high school studentsWhen someone thinks of a summer sports program or camp, the following images may come to mind: a basketball going through a hoop, a volleyball being spiked, a tennis ball going over the net. These are legitimate pictures of summer sports camps. However, there has been an increase in a new type of summer experience focusing on the management and business side of sports. Sports management summer programs provide high school students with a chance to explore athletics from a different angle. Instead of scoring a basket, students learn about important aspects of sports management, such as marketing, sales, event promotion, law, contracts, and more.

The sports management industry has taken on a life its own with the continued enthusiasm of fans, stakeholders, and communities. While athletes are undoubtedly essential for amateur and professional sports, other career areas play an integral role in the success, participation, and enjoyment of sports. The sports industry now includes a large variety of career possibilities such as event managers, agents, product representatives, brand managers, training center directors, apparel designers, marketers, advertisers, broadcasters, and writers. A number of colleges offer undergraduate and/or advanced degrees in sports management, such as the University of Georgia.

Pre-College summer sports management programs for high school studentsSports management summer programs enable students to learn about topics such as management styles, branding techniques, marketing strategies, legal precedents, and more. The programs give high school students the chance to examine business principles, concepts, and ideas within the context of sports. These summer experiences can help high school students become more familiar with the types of career options that exist within the sports industry.

Pre-College Summer Sports Managment Opportunities

Many colleges offer summer sports camps in areas such as basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and baseball. In addition to athletic camps, more colleges are now offering pre-college programs that focus on sports management and business. The pre-college programs have been designed to help high school students learn about potential career options, explore topics of interest, and preview learning in a college environment. There are also opportunities for students to supplement their summer academic experience by staying on a campus and previewing college life.

Summer pre-college athletic business programs for high school studentsPre-college programs give students a chance to interact with professors, work collaboratively with academically motivated peers, become more familiar with post-secondary academics, and learn about navigating a university’s campus. For some students, spending time on a college campus during the summer can be useful in preparing for the transition that occurs when high school concludes.

Sports management programs provide students with the opportunity to gain insight into the integration of business and athletics. There are also pre-college summer programs for high school students that focus on business without a focus on sports. More information about business and entrepreneurship programs held during the summer can be found on the business page of the directory.

Learning about Sports Management

Summer programs represent only one way that high school students can learn about the field of sports business and management. It can be a good idea for high school students to consider other options for gaining more familiarity with the opportunities in this area. 

Sports management summer programs for high school studentsOne beneficial way of learning more about sports business and management involves shadowing. It may take some effort to line up a shadowing experience, but many current professionals are open to sharing their expertise with students. For example, a student may be able to shadow the manager/director of a reputable sports training facility in the local area. Another example would involve a student shadowing a marketing executive who works with local sports teams. Generally, a shadowing experience involves spending at least a half-day or a full-day with a professional. It is recommended that students check with someone at their high school (school counselor, teacher, administrator…) to determine if there are shadowing opportunities already established or if the school has recommendations and procedures about participating in a shadowing experience. High school students can often find information about shadowing by inquiring in the school’s counseling office.  

Another possible opportunity to learn about sports management can involve volunteering in the community. Some reputable community organizations run athletic leagues and are often in need of students to help with a variety of responsibilities. Volunteering with a sports-related community organization can be a beneficial way for high school students to learn about athletics from different angles (e.g., promoting the sport, assisting with logistics, managing events). This type of experience can be useful to high school students as they consider whether sports management would be a good educational option to pursue.

Sports Management Summer Programs in this Article

High school summer sports business programsThe remainder of this article includes information about specific summer sports programs designed for high school students. The sports business opportunities in this article are not intended to constitute an exhaustive or comprehensive list of programs. Instead, the programs included below provide examples of the types of opportunities that have been developed to help high school students become more familiar with the business side of sports.

As a note, it is important for high school students to read about and research each program carefully. The areas of emphasized can vary by program. As a result, it can be valuable for a student to determine whether a particular program aligns with individual goals and interests.

7 Sports Management Summer Programs for High School Students

University of Massachusetts, Amherst Summer Sports Management and Leadership Academy

U Mass, Amherst is well-known for the opportunities in the areas of sports management. The campus features the McCormack Center for Sport and Research Education, and a graduate degree offered in the area of sports management. During the summer, the university offers a summer program for high school students, which provides an introduction to the field of sports business and management.

During the two-week program, students learn about a variety of areas within sports management. Participants have a chance to interact with instructors, share ideas during discussions, hear from professionals, and take part in high-interest activities. Through the program, students learn about important topics within the context of sports business, such as using data, promoting events, sports contracts, managing facilities, and more.

One of the highlights of the program includes students working cooperatively with peers to examine, discuss, analyze, and make decisions based on realistic scenarios in the sports business industry. These experiential exercises can be helpful to students as they gain insight into career options in the sports management field.

The program is a part of the broader pre-college opportunities that are offered by the university. Students can stay on the campus during the program and gain experience on a college campus. Additionally, there are extracurricular activities designed to supplement the experience at the university. There is also a commuting option, which is less expensive, and still provides students with rich learning experiences.

There is an application for the program that prospective students complete. There may be some scholarships available.

Participants: High school students who will be going into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.

Learn more: U Mass Summer Sports Management Program

Wake Forest University Sports Marketing Summer Pre-College Program

The unique summer institute offered at Wake Forest enables high school students to learn about sports management and gain particular insight into the area of marketing in the context of athletics. The program provides students with a chance to learn about what happens behind the scenes at sporting events. Participants also have a chance to develop an understanding of career options and possibilities within the sports industry.

Sports management and marketing summer program for high school studentsThrough the one-week program, students have the opportunity to learn about sports business and marketing through a variety of experiences. Participants have the opportunity to interact with experienced instructors, hear from numerous professionals in the field, and visit relevant sports venues.  

The program includes a wide range of topics, which helps students build important foundational knowledge about sports marketing and management. During the program, students learn about and discuss topics, such as promoting athletes, implementing effective management techniques for athletic events, working with corporate sponsors, addressing sports law-related issues, communicating with stakeholders, and utilizing strategies for marketing. Students engage in high-interest activities that enable them to uncover practical ideas that are used by sports marketers, athletic administrators, and others in the broader sports industry.

Participants in the sports marketing program can reside on the campus or commute to the university each day. Both options allow students to gain experience learning the university’s campus. As a note, the sports marketing program is a part of the larger summer immersion opportunities offered by the university. There is an application for the program, and students can apply for a need-based scholarship.

Participants: High school students who will be entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, as well as those students who just completed high school.

Learn more: Wake Forest Sports Marketing Program


University of Maryland Summer Sports and Entertainment Business Program

The Smith School of Business sponsors an interesting and unique summer program for high school students with an interest in the business, management, and the sports world. Participants engage in a range of activities designed to help them learn more about the ways in which sports, entertainment, and business come together as well as potential career pathways that integrate these areas. 

During the two-week program, students have the chance to hear from speakers in a wide range of professions connected to sports, entertainment, and business. Participants also learn from experienced instructors, discuss pertinent topics, and take field trips to relevant sites to meet with and see professionals in action. As the program progresses, students gain a better understanding of the business side of sports and develop experience interacting with peers and professionals.

Summer sports marketing and business program for high school studentsThroughout the program, students explore important issues and meaningful ideas in the sports management field. Students learn about and engage in discussions involving topics such as sports law, sales, marketing, and event management. Additionally, the program emphasizes the importance of utilizing effective leadership skills as a professional in the sports business industry.

The summer program provides a residential option for students, which allows them to stay on the university’s campus. Residing on the campus can give high school students a chance to get a feel for what it is like to live in a college setting. There are also social and extracurricular activities that students can take part in during the evenings.

There is an application process for the program. Students can be considered for a limited number of scholarships, based on financial need, during the priority period.

Participants: High school students who will be going into their sophomore, junior, or senior year.

Learn more: UM Sports Business Summer Program

Syracuse University Summer Sports Management Program

Syracuse has a summer college for high school students who are interested in studying a topic of interest and gaining experience on a college campus. One of the programs offered focuses on sports management. This program enables students to become more familiar with the inner workings of the sports industry and gain insight into potential career pathways that connect sports and business.

Summer sports management program for high school studentsDuring the two-week program, participants build a solid foundation in sports management by examining a series of relevant and current topics in the field. Students learn from an experienced instructor, engage in interesting discussions, and hear about first-hand experiences from current professionals. 

Through the summer program, students learn about significant aspects of sports management such as sports law, college and professional athletics, event promotion, sales and marketing, and business strategies. Students also take field trips to visit venues that host sporting events, where they observe or meet with sports management professionals.

The summer college provides a residential and commuter option for participants. Residential students stay in a university dormitory, have meals in a campus dining hall, and get an idea of what life is like in a college setting. The commuter option is less expensive. Students who commute still participate in beneficial learning experiences in a university environment.

There is an application for the program. Students can apply to receive a partial scholarship based on financial need or merit.

Participants: High school students who will be at least fifteen years old by the beginning of the program.

Learn more: Syracuse Summer Sports Management Program

University of Miami Sports Administration and Business Summer Program

The University of Miami has an opportunity for high school students, known as Summer Scholars. Through the Summer Scholars experience, high school students have a chance to take courses, gain experience in a college setting, and learn about a field of interest. One of the tracks within Summer Scholars is the sports administration and business program. This program enables students to take two courses at the university designed to enhance their knowledge of management and administration in athletics.

Summer sports leadership programs for high school studentsThe three-week program is designed to provide participants with a solid foundation in sports management. The summer experience includes learning about ideas, principles, and strategies that can be implemented within the sports business industry. One of the courses in the sports business program focuses on leadership and ethics as they apply to today’s world of sports business. This course also gives students an understanding of business concepts and ideas that are integrated into the sports management field. In the course, participants can learn about sports management and business through engaging discussions, hearing from current professionals, visiting athletic venues, working collaboratively with peers, and developing leadership skills through experiential learning activities.

The other course within the program examines professions and career pathways in sports business management and administration. There are a variety of topics explored that give students a feel for what it is like to be a professional in the sports business industry. The topics typically include promoting athletes, managing sporting events, practicing communication skills, and utilizing marketing strategies. Through the course, participants have a chance to meet, converse with, and learn from business professionals that specialize in sports. The University of Miami also sponsors well-known Division I sports, which provides meaningful resources to tap into during the summer program.

The summer program takes place on the campus of the University of Miami. Residential students stay on the campus and live in a university-run dormitory during the program. There is also a commuter option, which is less expensive and still enables participants to take part in all of the academic opportunities in the two courses.

There is an application process for interested students. There are also some scholarship opportunities, and students can apply to be considered.

Participants: High school students who will be entering the tenth or eleventh grade.

Learn more: UM Sports Business Administration Summer Program

Boston College Summer Sports Management Program

Boston College offers a summer institute in sports management. This program is designed to help high school students become more familiar with opportunities that integrate business practices with the excitement of athletics. Boston College has an advanced degree in Sports Management and many resources to help introduce high school students to this field.

High school students at a summer pre-college sports business programDuring the three-week summer program, participants meet peers from different locations, gain experience on a college campus, and develop a better understanding of the way that business and sports can come together. Students learn about a wide range of topics, including managing athletic events, employing marketing strategies to promote events, working with athletes, utilizing data to drive decision-making, and different roles involved with athletic administration. Additionally, one of the features of the program consists of comparing the business aspects of athletics in a college setting and a professional sports environment.

Participants in the sports management summer program can reside on the campus or commute to the campus. Both options enable students to experience learning in a college setting and spending time examining a topic of interest in a post-secondary environment.

Participants: Students who are going into the sophomore, junior, or senior year in high school.

Learn more: Boston College Sports Business Summer Program


Georgetown University Summer Sports Industry Management Program

Georgetown provides high school students with the chance to explore professional opportunities and examine significant topics in the sports industry. The program provides students with a variety of experiences, including visiting sports venues in the Washington D.C. area, interacting with an experienced instructor, and gaining valuable information from business professionals who are currently working in the sports industry.

Through the week-long summer program, students meet peers with a similar academic interest, take part in valuable discussions, and learn about topics of interest. The summer program allows students who are interested in the areas of both sports and business management to become more familiar with potential career options while also developing knowledge about relevant ideas, concepts, and principles. 

During the program, students examine topics, such as managing sports venues, marketing events and athletes, administering athletic activities, working with journalists and broadcasters, following legal guidelines and precedents, and adhering to ethical standards. The experiences both on and off-campus provide high school students with the opportunity to learn about the work being done in the sports industry and the career pathways in sports management.

The summer program has a residential and commuter option for students. There is an application for the program.

Participants: High school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

Learn more: Summer Sports Management Program


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Mike Uretsky

Mike has worked in the field of education as a teacher, school counselor, program coordinator, and consultant. As an educator, he has helped high school students find summer programs, pre-college programs, and colleges that align with their interests and goals. He has an interest in assisting students with the transition from high school to college. Mike is the manager of Student Education Programs, an online directory, that is designed to connect high school students with valuable summer pre-college opportunities.

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Donna Andrews

Donna has worked in the field of education in a variety of positions. She has been a high school teacher, college academic skills coordinator, and university professor. She has helped students achieve success in summer STEM programs and sports programs. She has also coordinator and taught in pre-college programs for high school students.

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