Scoring scholarships for sports marketing can help avid athletic fans pursue this unique media-oriented business major more affordably.
Sports marketing degrees teach the strategies used by athletes, teams, and sports leagues to successfully run promotional campaigns. Forbes predicts that the sports industry in North America will reach $73.5 billion in 2019, so sports marketing graduates will find their skills in demand. Marketing management will spark faster-than-average job growth by 9 percent through 2024 for 18,200 new jobs across industries. Sports marketing majors can claim diverse titles like brand manager, sports agent, event coordinator, account director, marketing representative, and public relations manager.
Whether you’re pitching for a career with the MLB or racing toward a position with NASCAR, these 20 sports marketing scholarships are a slam dunk.
1. Anna C. Klune Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 3rd
The American Marketing Association-Connecticut (AMA-CT) Chapter partners with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to bestow the Anna G. Klune Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 to $1,500 per year. It’s intended for Connecticut residents who are pursuing an MBA at any accredited U.S. business school for marketing or similar majors, including sports marketing. Selection is based on students’ academic merit, leadership record, entrepreneurial spirit, financial need, and nominating letter.
Anna C. Klune Memorial Scholarship
324 Kings Landing
Windsor, CT 06085
2. Athnet Sports Recruiting Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
Athnet Sports Recruiting, an online database with 35,000+ NCAA and NAIA coaches, started a $1,000 scholarship to support graduating high school seniors or current undergrads who’ve played interscholastic varsity sports. Athletes could use funding to earn sports-related degrees, such as sports marketing, at any accredited U.S. higher education institution. To enter, write an original 400-500 word essay about the life lessons you’ve learned on the field or court.
Athnet Sports Recruiting Scholarship
1205 W. Clark Street
Urbana, IL 61801
3. Bill and Natalie McLaughlin Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
At Neumann University, the Bill and Natalie McLaughlin Scholarship awards at least $1,000 yearly to undergrads matriculated full-time in the Division of Business and Information Management who are interested in studying abroad in Ireland. Eligible recipients must study business or related majors like sports marketing, excel with a minimum 3.0 GPA, exhibit dedication to Catholic Franciscan values, and perform volunteer service. Preference is given to members of the Neumann Knights’ 21 athletic teams.
Bill and Natalie McLaughlin Scholarship
One Neumann Drive
Aston, PA 19014
4. Bob Lovell Marketing Scholar Program
Deadline: June 30th
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation honors the company’s former VP of Marketing who retired in 2003 by awarding one-time $1,000 scholarships through the Bob Lovell Marketing Scholar Program. Qualified entrants must be rising juniors, seniors, or graduate students at accredited U.S. universities who have completed 9+ credits of marketing-related courses, including sports marketing. Online applications are evaluated on scholastic merit, professional experience, passion, communication skills, and marketing insight.
Bob Lovell Marketing Scholar Program
P.O. Box 442
Atlanta, GA 30301
5. David J. Stern Sports Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 1st
Named for the NBA’s 4th Commissioner from 1984 to 2014, the David J. Stern Sports Scholarship is administered by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to distribute $10,000 per year for $30,000 total. Eligible African American students must be accepted at a four-year HBCU, enroll full-time with 12+ credits, select sports-related majors like sports marketing, sustain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and agree to intern at the NBA league office.
David J. Stern Sports Scholarship Fund
901 F Street NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20004
6. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: June 15th or November 15th
Biannually, the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Foundation presents several $1,000 scholarships for the undergrad and post-grad women who are pursuing media-related majors like marketing, public relations, or communications to enter the sports and entertainment industry. Interested ladies must be U.S. citizens or green card holders, finish at least their freshman year, attend a four-year college full-time with a 2.75 GPA or better, and have documented financial need.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Foundation Scholarships
4616 W. Sahara Avenue Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV 89102
7. George C. Matteson, Jr. Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Since 1989, the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has granted over $1.56 million through its marketing programs, including the George C. Matteson, Jr. Scholarship. This $1,000 named scholarship assists the legal dependents of full-time employees or owners of businesses devoted to the marketing of promotional products in diverse industries, including sports. Eligible incoming freshmen must enroll full-time at four-year accredited colleges, carry a minimum “B” average, and display interest in marketing.
George C. Matteson, Jr. Scholarship
3125 Skyway Circle N.
Irving, TX 75038
8. Hispanic Communicators DFW Scholarships
Deadline: March 11th
Valued at $2,000, the Hispanic Communicators Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Scholarships are granted annually to Latino/a college students who are majoring in journalism, marketing, public relations, or communications, whether in the sports arena or beyond. North Texas residents from Palo Pinto to Hunt County must register full-time at accredited U.S. colleges, sustain a minimum 2.5 GPA overall, provide three marketing work samples, and submit a 250-word essay about issues facing the Hispanic community.
Hispanic Communicators DFW Scholarships
P.O. Box 224731
Dallas, TX 75222
9. Jim McKay Graduate Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 13th
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) launched the Jim McKay Graduate Scholarship Program in 2008 to award $10,000 in the sports journalist’s legacy. College seniors who are entering master’s programs to further their achievement in sports communication, public relations, marketing, or media could qualify. Other eligibility criteria includes competing on NCAA athletic teams, presenting a minimum 3.5 GPA, displaying McKay’s high level of integrity and honesty, and being endorsed by a coach.
Jim McKay Graduate Scholarship Program
700 W. Washington Street
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46206
10. John McLendon Memorial Minority Scholarship
Deadline: April 29th
Partnered with the Fiesta Bowl, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) offers the $10,000 John McLendon Memorial Minority Scholarship to senior-level college undergrads who intend to earn master’s degrees in athletic administration or sports management and marketing. Qualified nominees must hold full-time status, carry a 3.0 GPA or greater, classify as ethnic minorities under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and demonstrate involvement in collegiate athletics.
John McLendon Memorial Minority Scholarship
24651 Detroit Road
Westlake, OH 44145
11. Kathryn Dooley Memorial Scholarship
ClearEdge Marketing, a Chicago-based, WBENC-certified outsourced marketing firm, started the Kathryn Dooley Memorial Scholarship to remember a beloved colleague who lost her battle with leukemia in 2010. For the $1,000, graduating seniors at Kathy’s Bedford High School in Massachusetts must share her passion for sports, marketing, and communications. Accepted applicants will be admitted at four-year U.S. universities, show mastery of the art of writing, and have ambition for collegiate success.
Kathryn Dooley Memorial Scholarship
415 N. LaSalle Street Suite 202
Chicago, IL 60654
12. Mike Buoncristiano Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Marketing EDGE funds nine potential scholarships for sports marketing ranging from $1,000 to $7,000 apiece, including the Mike Buoncristiano Memorial Scholarship named after the Direct Marketing Club of New York’s past President. Each Spring, college students who have participated in an EDGE program and declared marketing-related majors with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply. Also consider the Don Kuhn Memorial Scholarship and Lester Wunderman Scholarship Fund.
Mike Buoncristiano Memorial Scholarship
1333 Broadway, Suite 301
New York, NY 10018
13. OVAC Scholastic Sports Marketing Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) endows the Scholastic Sports Marketing Scholarship to gift $500 to support graduating student-athletes who’ve participated in at least one varsity sport. Qualified applicants must attend a member school in Ohio or West Virginia, obtain a minimum 3.2 GPA, score at least 20 on the ACT or 950 on the SAT, been accepted at accredited two- or four-year business schools, and shown great character in sports leadership.
OVAC Scholastic Sports Marketing Scholarship
64962 Breezy Point Lane
Bellaire, OH 43906
14. Padgett Communications Scholarship Contest
Deadline: April 1st
Padgett Communications, a Tampa-based audience response systems provider founded in 1995, hosts an annual contest for a $1,000 college scholarship. Interested entrants must attend U.S. undergraduate schools with a major in business, marketing, communications, management, or related fields like sports marketing and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Online submissions must feature an original, 1,000-1,500 word essay sharing students’ ideas for improving B2C communication in today’s digital world.
Padgett Communications Scholarship Contest
5401 W. Kennedy Blvd. Suite 250
Tampa, FL 33609
15. Robert F. Collins Sport Media Scholarship
Deadline: February 16th
The College of Education & Human Development at Bowling Green State University honors the award-winning columnist for The Rocky Mountain News by awarding the $500 Robert F. Collins Sport Media Scholarship yearly. Eligible sophomores or juniors must be enrolled full-time in the COSMA-accredited Sport Management program with a clear passion for media careers, including marketing and advertising. Priority is given to active Maxwell Media Watch contributors.
Robert F. Collins Sport Media Scholarship
117 Gertrude Eppler Complex
Bowling Green, OH 43403
16. Scarlett Family Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per year, the Scarlett Family Foundation Scholarships were created in 2006 to financially bolster Middle Tennessee residents who are in active pursuit of business degrees, including marketing and sports marketing majors. Students must have a permanent address in the 40 qualifying counties from Franklin to Robertson and Maury. Other criteria requires holding a high school diploma or GED, studying at a four-year, nonprofit college full-time, and carrying a 2.5 GPA or better.
Scarlett Family Foundation Scholarships
4117 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 103255
Nashville, TN 37215
17. Sports Marketing Association Research Grants
Deadline: June 15th
Since 2013, the Sports Marketing Association has allocated $3,000 yearly for three grants designed to support master’s or Ph.D. students who are expanding knowledge on sports marketing via collaborative research. Being an active SMA member and affiliated with an accredited U.S. institution is required. For consideration, please submit a maximum 3,000-word research proposal with a cover letter, IRB approval, list of faculty references, and estimated budget.
Sports Marketing Association Research Grants
1972 Clark Avenue
Alliance, OH, 44601
18. Stadium Managers Association Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
The Stadium Managers Association Scholarship grants $3,000 annually to U.S. college students who’ve declared majors that affect the stadium management industry, such as sports marketing, sports management, facility management, or event planning. Appropriate applicants will hold 60+ non-remedial college credits, study full-time at accredited institutions, provide a resume of stadium-related work experience, participate in noteworthy volunteer service, and attach three reference letters.
Stadium Managers Association Scholarship
6919 Vista Drive
West Des Moines, IA 50266
19. Thunderbird Community Sports Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Washington State’s Kent Community Foundation (KCF) partners with the Thunderbird Community Sports Foundation to pledge a $1,500 scholarship to freshmen starting sports-related studies at the associate or bachelor’s level. Acceptable majors include sports management, sports marketing, parks administration, athletic training, coaching, and physical education. Qualified recipients must live in the South Puget Sound area, having good standing with a minimum 2.0 GPA, and demonstrate financial need.
Thunderbird Community Sports Scholarship
P.O. Box 5493
Kent, WA, 98064
20. Willie Brown Endowed Scholarship Fund
Deadline: July 15th
At Illinois State University, the Willie Brown Endowed Scholarship Fund provides a one-time $2,000 award to African Americans or non-traditional students with majors in the AACSB-accredited College of Business, such as marketing and sports management. Suitable applicants must attain sophomore or higher status, reach a minimum 2.75 GPA overall, participate in civic engagement beyond B.S. requirements, and submit a 500-word essay about their professional goals in business endeavors.
Willie Brown Endowed Scholarship Fund
Campus Box 5500
Normal, Il 61790
Creating a game plan to afford at least four years in higher education is essential. Sports marketing degrees come with an average annual tuition price of $9,410 at public in-state and $32,410 at private colleges. Although sports marketing managers claim a high mean salary of $140,660 according to the BLS, upfront costs can sideline your training. Therefore, marketing yourself for money-saving scholarships, fellowships, and grants is key to reach the goal line as an athletic brand ambassador. Overcome any tuition hurdles by including these 20 scholarships for sports marketing in your financial aid search.