Online Sports Marketing Master’s Degree: How to Get One and What You’ll Learn in It

With the 2020 Olympics approaching, brands have new opportunities to engage fans and expand their audience. While it can be a lucrative venture to sell sports-related products online, it’s essential to learn how to do so effectively.

The Opportunity To Engage

The 2012 London Olympics was arguably the biggest and most anticipated event the world had ever seen. Millions of dollars were poured into marketing campaigns, sponsorships, and social media to make sure everyone was on the right foot – literally and figuratively. These efforts proved fruitful, and not only did the Olympics prove lucrative for many corporate sponsors, they also served as a springboard for many aspiring entrepreneurs.

As the world waited anxiously for the Opening Ceremony on July 27, 2012, corporate sponsors and marketers flocked to the UK to take a peek at the “Olympic moment.” The opportunity to engage with such a large audience, both digitally and in person, was too tempting to resist for all the major sponsors. So, too, was the chance to partner with the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), a public–private partnership charged with delivering the games.

Since the inception of the Olympic Games, the opportunity to engage with fans and stakeholders through sport has continued to expand. With the advent of social media and eSports, content creators and marketers can now target their efforts towards particular groups of people and reach more people than ever before. For example, YouTube creators can aim to appeal to both users and tournament organizers by creating a tournament that spans both realms: a game that both casual and professional audiences can enjoy.

The Role Of Data In The Online Sports World

Today, marketers must harness the power of data and digital analytics to understand, engage, and convert audiences within this new paradigm. To put it simply, analytics help provide visibility into the behaviours, motivations, and reactions of customers (or potential customers) so that businesses can optimise their strategies and tactics and make better and more informed decisions.

Whether you’re looking to improve your understanding of specific customer segments or want to target a broader audience, having the ability to measure and analyse the effects of your marketing activities is critical. With Google Analytics, you can track numerous metrics such as the number of visitors to your site, the time spent on each page, how long people are staying on your site before heading to the checkout, and more.

And then there’s the matter of audience segmentation. Did a particular campaign drive people to your site? What about a specific page or feature on your site? Did that campaign lead to a specific type of customer or business relationship?

The Master’s In Online Sports Marketing

To keep up with the latest trends and techniques, people must continually learn. Likewise, businesses must update their knowledge base and stay abreast of the ever-changing world of digital marketing. As a result, many businesses now offer specialised degrees in Digital Marketing, helping to satiate the demand for skilled individuals.

One of the most reputable institutions offering this degree is the Open University. The Open University offers a wide range of degree courses, many of which can be applied directly to your future career. You’ll study the theory and practice of marketing with a view to providing clients with the best practical advice and strategic thinking.

What Will You Study?

There are five distinct areas of study that you’ll cover in your Masters in Online Sports Marketing:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Online Marketing
  • Sports Marketing
  • Social Media
  • e-Commerce
  • Analytics
  • Strategy
  • Operations
  • Research
  • Management

Each area of study will focus on providing you with a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of marketing in the digital age. You’ll begin by studying fundamental marketing concepts such as buyer personas, strategy, and operation. From there, you’ll move on to advanced topics like digital marketing analytics, e-commerce, and social media marketing.

How Is This Degree Different From The One You Get From A Regular University?

You’ll have access to a team of experts who can assist you in defining your objectives and setting up a course of action tailored to your specific needs and goals. Furthermore, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of specialisations, allowing you to focus on your chosen field of study while gaining valuable experience in a number of different industries.

If you’re curious, you can read a full description of the specialization that interests you below:

Sports Marketing

Sports marketing is a rapidly growing field, as marketers look to capitalize on the billions of consumer dollars spent on sports and the expanding role of the sports media industry. With the advent of social media and digital technology, people have unprecedented access to information about sports and the opportunities that exist to engage with fans.

You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of sports marketing, including marketing strategies, media plans, and tactical operations – including social media and brand management. Specific areas of focus will include athlete endorsement deals, sponsorship sales, and brand marketing, among others. The degree also provides you with the tools to become a full-fledged professional in this field, whether you decide to specialize in sports marketing or use this knowledge to enter a different field.

Online Marketing

With the explosion of digital marketing, content creators and marketers must continually update their knowledge base and stay abreast of the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

You’ll study online marketing – including search engine marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing – and develop the skills necessary to plan, implement, and analyze successful online marketing campaigns. You’ll begin by studying the fundamentals of marketing, including marketing analytics and measurement. From there, you’ll move on to advanced topics like content creation and distribution, social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, and mobile marketing. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to sit down with a group of experts and develop a game plan designed to reach your audience. This degree can put you in good stead to become a digital marketing manager or specialist. You’ll be able to tackle any task that comes your way and emerge an expert in your field.

Social Media

Over the past decade, social media has evolved from a place devoted to keeping friends updated about their activities to an important part of a business’ marketing strategy. As the world shifted from analogue to digital platforms, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram emerged as important marketing tools – helping to shift focus from ‘word of mouth’ marketing to ‘word of mouse.’

According to HubSpot Blogs, ‘word of mouth’ marketing reached its peak activity in 2012, with people sharing information and experiences about products and services via social media channels. Since then, the role of social media in marketing has continued to grow, evolving as platforms and advertising techniques changed and new challenges arose. In 2022, marketing on social media will still be important, but in a much more nuanced way.

You’ll study the theory and practice of social media marketing, including gaining experience in creating and distributing content for social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You’ll learn about key metrics, analytics, and measurement, as well as gain an in-depth knowledge of different social media platforms. The degree provides you with the tools to become a full-fledged professional in this field, whether you decide to specialize in social media marketing or use this knowledge to enter a different field.


e-Commerce or electronic commerce, as it’s commonly known, is the buying and selling of products or services over electronic networks. This type of marketing is quickly becoming a significant force in today’s world, with businesses reaping the benefits of online shopping and purchasing. A major advantage of e-Commerce is the ability to reach many more people than traditional marketing methods. The volume of people using electronic modes of payments has increased significantly in recent years, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

You’ll study e-commerce theory and practice, including marketing channels, e-commerce platforms, web shopping, and mobile shopping. You’ll begin by studying the fundamentals of marketing and sales, including market research, competitive analysis, pricing, and strategy. From there, you’ll move on to more advanced topics like web analytics, mobile analytics, and e-commerce marketing.

This degree enables you to become a full-fledged professional in the field, whether you decide to specialize in e-commerce marketing or use this knowledge to enter a different field.