Master of Sports Law and Business, MSLB

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The Master of Sports Law and Business (MSLB) program blends sports, law, and business from a nationally ranked law school with a world-class faculty. If you are looking for a career in the highest levels of sports, such as the NBA, NFL, NCAA, MLB or PGA, the MSLB program will prepare you for employment with any sports organization.. With a combined 150+ years of sports industry experience, the MSLB program has an impressive roster of faculty who are at the peak of their careers.

36

Total credit hours

15

unique classroom experiences

150

Plus years of sports industry
experience from esteemed faculty

The Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is centrally located in vibrant downtown Phoenix. This unique program blends sports, law, and business from a nationally ranked law school with world-class faculty, including MLB Commissioner Emeritus Allan “Bud” Selig. Phoenix is a destination for sports professionals, boasting opportunities for working, learning, and volunteering in every major industry in American sports.

Degrees

Master of Sports Law and Business: You do not need to become a lawyer or have a legal background to pursue the Master of Sports Law and Business degree. Graduates are equipped to understand the sports market and the regulatory forces at play in the U.S. and globally. This one-year, 36-credit hour degree is for people who want to master legal principles that impact sports organizations. Fall and spring starts and full or part-time options are available. Spring enrollments are reserved for a limited number of candidates who demonstrate exceptional work experience in sports, and who have exceptional circumstances that would require a spring start.


Concurrent Juris Doctor/Master of Sports Law and Business (JD/MSLB): The Sports Law and Business Program uses the expertise of world-class faculty and programming to provide specialized and targeted experiences for legal scholars with career aspirations in sports. It is the only law program in the U.S. that combines sports, law, and business into one comprehensive program. The opportunity to earn both a JD and a Master of Sports Law and Business in seven (7) semesters will be a major differentiator for aspiring sports industry professionals. This will give students the full range of JD curriculum, preparing them for the legal industry and making them eligible to sit for the Bar. It also allows students to take advantage of the full scope of business courses offered through the SLB program. With the sports industry trending more toward hiring executives who are skilled in both law and business, this is a perfect combination for those who aspire to work at the highest levels.


Online Master of Legal Studies: The sport industry is a multibillion-dollar enterprise in the United States and may soon exceed a trillion dollars globally. There will be new opportunities for graduates to tackle the industry’s growing legal, ethical, and business issues. The Sports Law and Business program blends top faculty with unmatched curriculum that only a top-ranked university in law, business, and athletics can offer.

Sample Coursework

This course focuses on examining job opportunities in the sports industry and the development of strategies for obtaining a position suitable to the talents and abilities of individual students. Students will refine their skills in terms of searching for a job. Students will also develop a career plan, beginning with an entry level position for those who have worked in the industry or a next level position for students currently working in the area. In this regard students will perform a market assessment to determine what entry or other appropriate level positions are available in their respective areas of interest. Students will develop a strategy for advancement in the profession. Relationship building and other related skills will be developed as well. Students in the class will be expected to obtain and work as an extern. Students who are already working in the industry or who are not able to obtain a suitable externship, will work on a special project designed to help them obtain a position within the sports industry. Students will report (regularly present) on regarding their work as externs or on their special projects. This will permit other students to get a better idea of other positions and career strategies by being exposed to the work of their fellow students. Faculty members will also meet individually with students to help them fashion career plans consistent with their talents and abilities.

Sports can involve a jog around campus or big business. Sports are interesting, important and a vivid context to learn about consumers, organizations, diverse stakeholders, media and entertainment, partnerships and sponsorship, highly competitive strategies in finance and marketing, managing community venues, big events, and other relevant business topics. In our sports business coursework, we will maintain a pragmatic, experiential, yet well-grounded focus, studying the role, nature and dynamics of sports business both in and around "sports industries" and in and around "conventional businesses." We will build and "test" knowledge and exercise skills related to sports business analysis, decision making , communication and both strategy development and execution. The course will be intellectually rigorous, yet fun.

This course delves into various areas of law that touch upon sports, such as, race and gender equity issues, health and safety, intellectual property, league and team operations, in addition to agent representation of professional athletes and business issues arising in the world or professional sports. There will be a blend of sports related legal and business issues. This course will also include various guest speakers to further enrich the students’ experiences and provide context for a career in professional sports.

This course examines legal and policy issues related to amateur sports in the United States, focusing primarily on interscholastic, youth and intercollegiate athletics. By the end of this course, students will understand and be able to discuss and analyze issues relating to:

  1. The regulation of amateur athletics by private organizations, state, local and federal governments, and the judicial branch;
  2. The relationship between student athlete and academic institution;
  3. NCAA governance of intercollegiate athletics;
  4. Intellectual property rights of athletes and coaches;
  5. E. Gender and racial equity in sports; and Issues related to the Olympic Games

Negotiation is a critical leadership skill yet largely counter-cultural to many of us. Understanding our individual strengths and developing an intentional negotiation strategy will enable each of us to achieve more sustainable agreements in our work and life. This course examines all aspects of the negotiation process from preparation to writing up agreements. We will explore how neuroscience is teaching us to understand human reactions to risk of loss situations and navigate them more successfully. Students will learn negotiation principles, skills, and ethics by participating in a series of simulation exercises and through reading assignments.

Sports Marketing is a course that explores the principles of marketing within the context of the sports industry. The course reviews and critically analyzes marketing principles including solutions, access, value and education in addition to fan behaviors/psychology.

The purpose of this course is to develop and learn to apply analytical skills that are useful in nearly every career. Although the course focuses on applications in the sports context and uses approaches that are rapidly becoming important in the business of sports analytics, this is not a survey course about issues in sports. Instead, this class is about storytelling and logic. An understanding and interest in both sports and numbers will make this class good. General curiosity will make it great.

This course studies law, revenue, branding/institutional reputation and problem solving in the area of infractions and compliance (enforcement of the NCAA and other athletic association rules, penalizing institutions, personnel, and student-athletes). Each student will be involved in arguing an appeal before the Infractions Appeals Committee and will also write and present a paper dealing with a problem in the infractions and compliance area.

This course will introduce students to the U.S. legal system and to the types of legal reasoning used by legal professionals. Students will be provided the necessary instruction to use legal reasoning in both their academic work and professional endeavors, including reading and evaluating legal cases, statutes and public policy. Students will complete written legal analysis exercises, will draft case briefs and will participate meaningfully in class by critically analyzing current legal issues.

Legal Issues is a course that covers various legal issues facing a professional sports team. The course begins with an overview of league rules, followed by front office administration ranging from employment matters to facilities. The course then examines operational matters including intellectual property, risk management, sponsorships, and ticketing. The course is taught by an industry professional with 20+ years working in the in-house legal department for professional sports teams.

This course studies revenue generation, strategic planning, and related issues arising in professional and collegiate athletics. The requirements of the course are designed to challenge the students, by requiring that they develop a comprehensive strategic plan for revenue generation that can be applied and implemented by Sun Devil Athletics or other sports related organizations can implement.

This class will apply the deceptively simple principles of tort and contract law to the disasters that sometimes occur at live sports and entertainment events. Our cases offer amazing stories with which to delight and horrify your friends. Through group discussion, we will draw legal conclusions from misbehavior involving balls and bats, fireworks and guns, drugs and alcohol, and so much more. We will make good use of the concept of schadenfreude to lighten the mood, we will apply foundational risk management questions such as “What could go wrong?” to better understand reasonable foreseeability at games and shows, and we may even gain insight into the human condition that could make you a better lawyer. In the immortal words of Professor Charles Kingsfield from The Paper Chase, “You teach yourselves the law. I train your minds.”

Studies the structure and issues related to stadium financing in professional and collegiate sports.

This course examines how MLB served as a catalyst for change in American law and society post WWII, and the legal and business developments that have shaped modern professional baseball. We will address such diverse topics as the integration of African-American players into MLB and diversity in MLB, labor relations (collective bargaining, free agency, labor stoppages and drug testing), league operations, franchise relocation, expansion, globalization of the game, the business and marketing of the game in the digital age and the resulting legal implications, and the state of the game in the 21st Century. JD students will have extra required reading and writing assignments.

This course will examine legal and business issues associated with personal and business branding in the context of professional and collegiate sports. By the end of this course, students will understand and be able to discuss and analyze issues relating to:

  1. What constitutes a “brand” and how a “brand” is developed;
  2. The recent surge in personal branding by athletes, entertainers and other celebrity personalities;
  3. Athletes and other celebrities who have transformed their fame into personal branding platforms that support large business enterprises;
  4. The basic principles of trademark law and how those principles apply to business and personal brands;
  5. Regulation and control of brands in professional and collegiate sports, and the Olympics;
  6. Licensing and corporate sponsorship; and Ambush marketing.

This course studies the legal and business issues of sports sponsorships. Students will learn how to valuate sponsorship agreements, create sponsorship pitches and fulfillment reports. They will learn about the many issues surround sponsorships including exclusivity, trademark and intellectual property, governing body regulations, the role of analytics, dealing with foreign nations and more. Students will examine many different types of sponsorship agreements including naming rights, professional team partnerships, college partnerships, individual endorsements, Olympic sponsorships and mega event sponsorships, among others.

The objectives of this course are to teach you the business, legal and operational issues of major sporting events. We will examine bid preparation, marketing, sales, ticketing, Operational, security, volunteer, sponsorship, legal and other issues related to these events.

Employment & volunteer opportunities

The Phoenix metropolitan area is home to eight professional sports clubs – the Arizona Cardinals (NFL), the Arizona Coyotes (NHL), the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), the Phoenix Suns (NBA), the Phoenix Murcury (WNBA), Phoenix Rising FC (USL), Arizona Hotshots (AAF), Arizona Rattlers (IFL), as well as the two NASCAR races each year at ISM Raceway. The Valley plays host to PGA events, MLB spring training and fall leagues, college football bowl games, and is in regular rotation for sport's biggest mega events: the Final Four, College Football Playoff Championship, WWE Raw and Royal Rumble, UFC, the NFL Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl.

Previous internship opportunities have included:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Steve LeVine Entertainment
  • Phoenix Rising FC
  • Final Four
  • Sun Devil Athletics
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Synergy
  • Special Olympics of Arizona
  • Super Bowl
  • Las Vegas 51’s
  • MLB
  • Cactus League
  • PGA of America
  • Navigate Research
  • Fiesta Bowl
  • Positive Coaching Alliance
  • Make-A-Wish Arizona
  • San Diego Padres
  • Arizona Interscholastic Association
  • Jackson Lewis PC
  • Rosenhaus Sports
  • Monumental Sports & Entertainment
  • JOLYN clothing
  • Owens Harkey
  • New York Yankees
  • Trackman

Previous volunteer opportunities have included:

  • Waste Management Phoenix Open
  • Final Four
  • NASCAR
  • Fiesta Bowl
  • Super Bowl
  • Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission

Selig Scholars & MSLB Graduate Assistantship Programs

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University would like to invite JD (Juris Doctor) and Master of Sports Law & Business students to apply for the following opportunities: The Allan “Bud” Selig Scholars Program and the MSLB Graduate Assistantship Program with Sun Devil Athletics.

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Veterans Sports Law and Business

ASU Law’s Sports Law and Business program enlisted the support of Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Athletics to provide a distance learning graduate program for active duty and former military service members who aspire to be leaders in the sports industry. The Veterans Sports Law and Business distance-learning program, is a 30-credit, online Master of Legal Studies degree designed to leverage the person's military background and prepare them for careers in the sports industry. Potential job opportunities include business and facilities operations, event planning and security, logistics, data and analytics, ticketing and sales, and much more.

Learn More

Student Testimonials

Annie Warren

Annie Warren

Master of Sports Law and Business - Class of 2018


"The program is incredible because it has professors who don't just preach what they got their degree in, they teach what they actually worked in. That real-life experience is so valuable when you are absorbing that knowledge as a student."

Jordan Green

Jordan Green

Master of Sports Law and Business - Class of 2018


“I chose ASU Law because of its well known law program and how unique the MSLB program is. Being able to live in a city with so many connections to sport provides so much opportunity to network and experience the world of sports business.”

Margaret Stahm

Margaret Stahm

Master of Sports Law and Business - Class of 2019


“This program has allowed me to meet and network with more notable names in the sports industry than I ever could have imagined. The connections that I made with the rest of my classmates has been another one of the most valuable things that I was able to gain from this program.”

Gallery

Our alumni are making impacts across the nation

Expertise

With a combined 150+ years of sports industry experience, the Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business program has an impressive roster of faculty and faculty associates who are at the peak of their careers. The faculty list includes sports luminaries such as Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and ASU’s Athletic Director Ray Anderson as well as lawyers, team and university administrators, and branding experts.


Advisory Board

  • Dale Adams
  • Ray Anderson
  • Lon Babby
  • Jeff Benz
  • Kevin Blue
  • Dan Burns
  • Peter Carlisle
  • Gregg Clifton
  • Ahron Cohen
  • Woodie Dixon
  • Richard Ensor
  • Troy Ewanchyna
  • Mike Gallagher
  • Dave Gardi
  • Jeff Gewirtz
  • Melissa Goldenberg
  • Robin Harris
  • Rocky Harris
  • Bill Hubbard
  • Jeff Ianello
  • Zaileen Janmohamed
  • Caleb Jay
  • Scott Kaufman-Ross
  • Nina King
  • John Langbein
  • Travis Leach
  • Nona Lee
  • Burke Magnus
  • Warde Manuel
  • John Martin
  • Wade Martin
  • Bernadette McGlade
  • Lou Melendez
  • Vicky Neumeyer
  • Bob Newman
  • Dave Palanzo
  • Jeff Price
  • Tom Sadler
  • Bud Selig
  • Debbie Spander
  • Bryan Sperber
  • Naima Stevenson
  • Bill Strickland
  • Ben Tario
  • Travis Tygart
  • George VanderZwaag

FAQs

Yes, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in order to apply to this program. You must be scheduled to have your bachelor’s degree conferred before the start of the fall semester in which you plan to enroll in.

Our application asks for 2 letters of recommendation, a resume, personal statement, and writing sample. A transcript is also required in the application process. The application for the Sports Law and Business program can be found here.

Our program proudly partners with Sun Devil Athletics to give a select few students in our program the opportunity to become a graduate assistant for Sun Devil Athletics. These positions are filled on a first come, first serve basis.

The Allan "Bud" Selig Sports Law and Business program is a ground program.

Our courses are offered in the late afternoon and early evenings.

If you cannot attend the majority of the ground courses, then you might be better suited for the online Master of Legal Studies with an emphasis in Sports Law and Business program, which is 30 credit units.

Yes, there is an option to take the Allan "Bud" Selig Sports Law and Business program over 2 years. A number of our current and former students have adjusted their work and course load to complete the program over 2 years.

Yes, there is a required internship course for our students. Students can take 3-6 credit units for their internship.

Although an internship is a requirement, our program does not place students in internships. It is the responsibility of the students to secure the required internship. Our program is geared toward giving students the knowledge and expertise to go forth and apply for internships in their own interest.

The cost of this program can be seen on the tuition and fees page. For more information about program and tuition fees, please reach out to Eric Border at eric.border@asu.edu

Yes, you have to be accepted into the JD program before beginning the concurrent degree. You cannot apply for the concurrent degree if you are not a JD student.

Although each prospective student is different, we value some sports work industry experience prior to applying to the program. This sports experience can include volunteering, internships, part-time/seasonal positions and even full-time positions in areas that are readily transferable to the sports industry.

The weighing factors in the Sports Law and Business application include but are not limited to undergraduate major, university or college, work and sports experience, student athlete experience, personal statements, and writing samples.

If you have any additional questions, you can reach out to mslbasu@asu.edu. You can also follow our program on Twitter and Instagram (@asusportslawbiz) to see our students and alumni in action.

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