Executive MBA in Sports Management

MBA Degree
Start Date
29 September 2017
2 years


The Executive MBA in Sports Management was pioneered by Maastricht School of Management and SportBizz.

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The program is offer ed in partnership with Topsport Limburg and the Orange Sports Forum in The Netherlands.

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It is a demanding but exhilarating part-time program that will equip participants with the management and leadership skills to boost their careers in the fast-growing global sports and recreation industry.
Given the part-time format of the Executive MBA, this program is mainly targeting EU residents.
At the end of the 24-month program you will earn the prestigious title of MBA – an internationally accredited qualification awarded by Maastricht School of Management.

Social Media Maastricht School of Management

Hans van Breukelen, ambassador of the program stresses the need for good leadership in the growing sport industry: “Nelson Mandela once said `Sport has the power to change the world’. I strongly believe in this myself. But this starts with good leadership, because good leaders can make a difference. I am convinced that this Executive MBA in Sports Management will contribute to this.”

Ronald Waterreus

Ronald Waterreus, participant in the Executive MBA in Sports Management of MSM, acknowledges the need of well-trained managers in the sports industry: “In my opinion the Executive MBA in Sports Management adds value to the sports industry. It will provide you with the tools and competences you need to lead and manage a sport organization on the required level.”

Why should you choose the Executive MBA in Sports Management?
The Executive MBA in Sports Management is an innovative and dynamic program designed for top-class sports players and professionals with the ambition to grow into senior management and leadership positions in sports management. There are a number of very good reasons why our program, unique in the Netherlands, stands out:

Internationally accredited and recognized
All MSM’s MBA programs are internationally accredited, which means you can be assured that the program meets high global standards. MSM MBA programs are accredited by AMBA, IACBE, and ACSBP. Additionally the Executive MBA in Sports Management is accredited by NVAO (Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization) hence fully recognized by the Dutch Government.
Only a select few business schools enjoy these. For instance, only 2% of business schools have the coveted AMBA accreditation.

Highly ranked and awarded
MSM’s MBA is ranked #2 in the Netherlands according Eduniversal’s 2014 Best Masters ranking and draws on MSM’s 60-year experience in management and business education. It was one of the three nominees for the Nuffic Orange Carpet Award in 2014, in recognition for its contribution to the internationalization of higher education in the Netherlands. MSM was a finalist for the 2014 Association of MBA’s innovation award.

Flexible and modular design
The design of the part-time Executive MBA program enables you to balance the pressures of work with study. The program includes conveniently paced lectures and classes conducted through a number of spread-out modules, minimizing the time that you need to spend away from work. To accommodate your busy schedule the program can be completed in 2 – 4 years. In exceptional cases we offer you the flexibility to follow one or more modules at one of our partner’s location abroad if the timing of the specific course is appropriate.

A diverse and globally networked school
MSM is one of the most international business schools in the Netherlands with a large network of students, alumni and partners across the globe. Its various management programs and activities attract participants from many countries, professional backgrounds and areas of interest, offering you the opportunity to significantly expand your international network. As part of our teaching methodology group study emphasizes working efficiently and effectively in multicultural groups – an invaluable skill for all leaders and managers. Group study enables you to benefit from the experiences of others – group members are selected at random to maximize learning opportunities in an environment designed to foster collaboration with fellow participants from different cultures and work environments. The Executive MBA provides excellent opportunities to enhance intercultural communication skills.

Opportunities for an attachment abroad
During the program you will have the opportunity to study aboard as an attachment. The possibilities will be indicated at the start of the program.

Unique focus on the key elements of managing sports businesses
During the Specialization Phase of the program participants are thoroughly immersed in understanding the key elements of managing sports businesses. Five in-depth courses prepare participants in the following areas:

i.     Sports marketing and sponsorship
ii.    Event and sport facilities management
iii.   High performance management in sports
iv.   Legal issues, liabilities and ethics in sports
v.    Current issues in sports management.

An ideal location in the heart of Europe
The program will take place in the historical and beautiful city of Maastricht, a 2000-year old city where the Treaty of Maastricht that established the EU, was signed in 1992.  This Univer-City is the intellectual center of the southern Netherlands. Strategically located in the dynamically growing EURegion, Maastricht is within 2-3 hours travel from important European cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Paris, and Cologne. Part of the program will also be offered in Eindhoven, a dynamic high-tech hub and location of the Orange Sports Forum and in Sittard, a hub of top-level sporting facilities only a few minutes travel from Maastricht and the location of the Topsport Limburg’s training hub.

For more information on the contribution of the program to the sports industry and on the contributors to the program, click here

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The 70 ECTS* program can be completed over a two-year period through eight modular lecturer sessions and completion of a thesis.

Phase Course Educational hours** ECTS
Understanding Finance Finance 84 3
Accounting for Managers 84 3
Developing a Business Plan Entrepreneurship 84 3
Business Plan Project 84 3
Business Research Tools Research Methods 84 3
Market Research 84 3
Creating Value Marketing in a Global Context 84 3
Global Supply Chain Management 84 3
Strategic Orientation Economics for Managers 84 3
Global Corporate Strategy 84 3
Changing World Change Management 84 3
Leadership & Organization Behavior 84 3
Global Responsibility Managing Cultural Diversity 84 3
Global Responsibility and Ethics 84 3
Specialization Sport Marketing & Sponsorship 84 3
Event & Facilities Management 84 3
High Performance Management in Sports 84 3
Legal Issues, Liabilities and Ethics 84 3
Final examination Academic  Research Paper / Business Consultancy Project / Business Plan, including presentation 448 16
Total 1960 hours 70 ECTS

* The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a student-centered system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a program.

** 1 ECTS corresponds with 28 hours of study (includes both face-to-face and self-study)

Please click here for an overview of the tentative schedule, including the dates of the courses and the exam dates.

Course descriptions
This is a course designed to expose the participants to the various techniques available to assist management and to arrive at optimal financial decisions within a firm, including those of investment and working capital, financing and capital structure as well as dividend distribution.

Accounting for Managers
The aim of this course is to introduce accounting to students. Accounting comprises financial accounting and management accounting. Both forms of accounting rely on information extracted from the financial information system. As financial statements are the key source of information for both financial and management accountants, we will first deal with the methods that financial accounting uses to produce an annual report. Then, we will have a closer look at management accounting. Management accounting requires information extracted from the financial information system. A financial information system deals with the processing of the flow of data on business activities into financial statements. The nature of information in financial statements depends on the information needs of the users. Therefore attention is being paid to acquire skills needed to provide information to users.

Our key objective is to generate within participants minds, an understanding of what it takes to get a new venture established, and to grow the business so that the entrepreneur both retains operational control, and yet is able to pursue the highest growth path available to the business. It is an important objective that participants gain a feeling of confidence and pride in setting out alone down an uncertain road; a road full of future promise and challenge. A further important objective is to harness all of the participant‹s existing knowledge and experience, both academic and practical, towards the development of a realistic, ambitious and achievable business plan, which has a high chance of success in practice.

Business Plan Project
This course will teach you the hands-on skills of the entrepreneur. The course has a practical orientation where you will have the chance to develop a valid business plan. Working in small groups, you will receive expert coaching in idea creation, market research, competition analysis and financial project validation. At the end of the course, each group will present their business plan to jury. The emphasis is on developing practical business skills that can used for setting up your own business but also for developing new lines of business in an existing company.

Research Methods

In this course, a participant is trained in the key features and main stages of writing their final thesis. Students will learn how to develop their ideas, how to identify issues, and formulate problems statements, understand the importance of different research techniques, as well as develop their academic writing style. The course will support them with the main objectives of the Master Thesis, which are to select and articulate a business problem, develop a framework within which to analyze the problem and provide meaningful recommendations for management.

Market Research
This course focuses on the role quantitative techniques play as a tool for decision-making. It prepares the participants to be informed users of research results, interpreting them and drawing conclusions. Furthermore, the course emphasizes issues such as problem definition, research methods and the critical appraisal of quantitative information. The statistical methods to be used in project management, forecasting, marketing research, production and operations management, quality control, accounting, financing and managing other business processes are introduced and explored.

Marketing in a Global Context
International Marketing, once a topic of interest only to those few participants who sought careers in international business, is now a subject with which every business participant, regardless of career goals, should be familiar. The trend is for global markets to be sought after by businesses from all across the world. The basic aims and objectives of this course are to enable participants to apply international marketing techniques to both small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large international corporations. The emphasis in this course is also on exporting, given its position as the major international activity of small and medium-sized enterprises and its extensive use by virtually all global companies.

Global Supply Chain Management
The main objective of course, is to introduce that integrated approach of flow of goods, information and services from suppliers to customers. Issues discussed are supplier relationships, inventory management, logistics and transportation, distribution and customer service. The term integrated process is emphasized in this module as opposed to silo approach. As such, every issue in each area is being discussed and analyzed in the context of integrated flows of goods and services from suppliers to customers and the continuous flows of information (typically) from the customers to the suppliers. Emphasis is further placed on how to structure, organize and manage global supply chains and networks efficiently and effectively, particularly in the competitive context of today.

Economics for Managers
The course aims at enabling participants to understand the economic environment, both on the micro and on the macro level, with a view on incorporating this knowledge into strategic managerial decision-making. Building on basic economic principles such as opportunity costs and rational decision-making principles, the course will apply managerial economics concepts to real world problems such as demand analysis, pricing and output decisions, and strategic analyses of various competitive settings. The impact of the macroeconomic environment on managerial decision- making is explored by studying business cycle dynamics, inflationary and deflationary processes, financial market influences and long-term growth prospects.

Global Corporate Strategy
Strategic management seeks to answer the basic and simple question: why are some firms able to enjoy the benefits of developing and maintaining competitive advantages in the marketplace while others are not? In the course we address this question. To do so, we examine the five interrelated and principal activities that are part of the overall strategic management process: Strategic thinking, strategy analysis, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation and control. Attention is also given to the many forces driving change in modern business. Of primary importance among these are the accelerating change of globalization and technology, and the emergence of knowledge as the primary source of value creation. This course provides the framework necessary for developing and implementing of a strategy in corporations.

Change Management
Effective leaders understand how to manage change, an essential skill when working in a rapidly changing business environment. In this course, you will identify the external and internal forces that cause change, such as leading a new initiative or project or working to change the culture of the organization. You will learn about the how to create a state of emergency, how to unfreeze and form an organisational culture and how to be an agent of change. You will gain the skills to understand how others react to change and how to effectively lead others through the change.

Leadership & Organizational Behavior
This course is about the dynamics related to the human dimension of an organization. Increasingly, organizations have to deal with challenges, which require leadership, both from remarkable individuals and from the average employee. More specifically, those challenges relate to the increasing dynamics within markets, societies and technologies; dynamics that are confusing and threatening, and thus call for vision and direction. However, this ‘new’ reality also offers opportunities to those who can manage to deal with change in a constructive way.

Specialization phase
During the specialization phase of the program participants are thoroughly immersed in understanding the key elements of managing sports business.  The following four in-depth courses are taken:

Sports marketing and sponsorship
This specialization course applies the principles of marketing to the sports sector, including the management of sponsor relationships.  Among others, the subject covers: marketing through sponsorships, fundraising, brand management, licensing, sport media and communications, marketing communications and management, distribution product decisions, pricing, promotion.

Event and sport facilities management
The organization of sports events requires specialized knowledge of event and facilities management. Sports arenas are unique environments and this course prepares students for becoming effective managers of these environments. Not only does the design, maintenance, and full utilization of athletic facilities require specialized competences of the sports manager, also the planning, implementation, and evaluation of sport events is an important part of the course.

High performance management in sports
The development of high performing athletes and teams is obviously of great importance to sport organizations. The course discusses among others the identification  and development of talent, the development of women‹s sports, the design and implementation of effective high performance programs in sport, and the key challenges in managing elite athletes, sports people and teams. The course will draw on real-world cases introduced by prominent guest speakers from the world of top sports.

Legal issues, liabilities and ethics in sports
This course introduces the legal issues that are important within the contexts of sports enterprises and prepares participants for dealing with the legal ramifications of the sporting world. In addition the course introduces ethical issues important in the sports business. Students will be introduced to philosophical theory that has relevance for the moral and ethical development of sports people, as well as guided in the development of a consistent value system that is based on justice and responsibility.

Current issues in sports management
This course discusses a variety of current issues ranging from bidding for major sports events, the ever-increasing importance of corporate social responsibility in sports, and the importance of public policy decisions for the sports sector.

After the specialization phase the following courses are given.

Managing Cultural Diversity
Teams or groups at work are recognized as powerful human arrangement and when operated effectively can produce great synergy and creativity over and above that which is achievable by individuals when operating in isolation. This module provides the knowledge required and the processes necessary to assure effectiveness in team dynamics.

Global Responsibility & Ethics
Ethics deals with values, norms and standards that we – both individually and collectively – apply to our behavior and our activities. In a global society the debate about these values, norms and standards is necessary in order to (prosperously) co-exist and contribute to a life worth living. An open dialogue is also – if not predominantly – required for economic arena, where different stakeholders might have different views on the responsibilities of corporations, investors, governments and the civil society. The main objective of the course is to familiarize students with an ethical orientation toward the worlds of business and investment. Using theories, concrete examples, videos, cases and the like, students learn to analyze ethical, corporate responsibility and responsible investment issues. Students are expected to actively participate in discussions and other work forms.

Thesis/Project Phase
Students will round off their Executive MBA degree with either an academic research paper, a business plan or a business consulting project.



Applicants must send proof of residency in the EU or valid EU visa for the time of the studies. (MSM is unable to provide a student visa or any tourist visa support for the EMBA program. If such support is needed, then the full-time MBA program is the appropriate program).

Admission requirements
A sound academic background is the main prerequisite for admission to the MSM Executive MBA in Sports Management. Applicants must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree or its academic equivalent from a recognized university.

Four online leveling courses (Accounting, Finance, Statistics and Economics) are required to be satisfactorily completed after admission to the program, but prior to the start of the program. Alternatively, if you have completed the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) with a score of 600 or higher (or a GRE with an equivalent score), the leveling courses are waived.

At least five or more years of relevant working experience, obtained after your bachelor’s degree.

Candidates must have a thorough command of written and spoken English.
Applicants whose native or predominant language is not English, or whose previous education has been in a language other than English, must provide evidence of English proficiency by achieving the following minimum scores:

TOEFL scores: (Test of English as Foreign Language)

–      88  for the internet based test
–     230 computer based test
–     570 paper based test
–     570 institutional TOEFL (paper based at a certified test administration site)

IELTS score (International English Language Testing System):

–     6.5 minimum, with no section below 5.5 on the Academic test

TOEIC score (Test of English for International Communication):

  • 720, provided applicant has passed both “Speaking & Writing” and “Listening & Reading”

Pearson PTE Academic test of English – minimum score 59

Cambridge CPE English Proficiency test – C

Cambridge CAE English Advanced test – B

Applicants from countries where the official language is English, or who have studied in countries where English is the official language, are exempted from this requirement.

Candidates are admitted on a competitive basis.

To apply please fill in online application form.

In order to complete the application process we also need the following documents:

  • Copies of bachelor’s/master’s degree
  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Personal resumé/CV
  • Motivational letter (click here for instructions)
  • An interview (at the discretion of MSM).

All letters and documents must be submitted, or accompanied by certified translations, in English, the official working language at MSM.

As soon as we have received your online application we will provide you with the details on how to submit the required documents and the non-refundable application fee of € 75.

Applications are processed immediately on receipt. However, the deadline for applications is 1 July (for non-EU residents) and 1 August (for EU residents) for the October intake, and 1 November (for non-EU residents) and 3 January (for EU residents) for the January intake. Each application will be processed on an individual basis. The Graduate Admissions Board will make a decision based on the candidate’s prior academic performance, work experience and overall achievements and goals. We will inform you of the Admissions Board‹s decision as soon as possible.

MSM reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission if candidates fail to satisfy all requirements or if it is determined that admission was obtained through the use of falsified, altered or embellished information.



October intake
Early Bird deadline 1 September
Application deadline 22 September
January intake
Early bird deadline 1 December
Application deadline 3 January


Full Tuition Fee (regular fee) €  30,500
Application Fee (non refundable) €         75
Study Materials €       300

For available scholarships, please check the next section Scholarships or check this overview with scholarships and other program related cost.

Click here for more information about the deferment policy, the refund policy, and financial suspension.



Dean‹s Development Fund Based on country
Academic Excellence Scholarship 50 %
Women in Leadership 50 %
Alumni Lifelong Learning 50 %
Public Services / NGO Scholarship 50 %
Bosphorus Scholarship 50 %
European Star Scholarship 25 %
Entrepreneurship / Family Business Scholarship 25 %
Alumni Referral Scholarship 10 %
Corporate Discounts 25 – 50 %

For more detailed information about the MSM scholarships for the Executive MBA above and the conditions for these scholarships, and other program related costs, please click here.

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