Sports Law and Business

Sports Law and Business

A program like no other

The 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 H. “Bud” Selig. Phoenix is a destination for sports professionals, boasting opportunities for working, learning, and volunteering in every major industry in American sports.

Degrees

Juris Doctor, JD 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 Juris Doctor concentration in sports law and business creates more opportunity for students looking to work at the vibrant intersection of sports business and the law. The program offers JD students a readily-applicable curriculum and real-world experiences, teaching future lawyers how to solve industry problems through the lens of sports by considering all regulatory, revenue, reputational, and relationship factors involved in a given scenario.


Allan "Bud" Selig Master of Sports Law and Business You do not need to become a lawyer or have a legal background to pursue the Allan "Bud" Selig 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.


Master of Laws, LLM: This degree is for individuals who already have a law degree and aspire to increase their ability to predict and solve issues facing the sports industry at every level. Sports, estimated to be a $1.3 trillion industry worldwide, has the ability to effect social change in every neighborhood around the globe. The sports industry is experiencing a modern revolution with the advent of technology leading to new methods of publishing and consumption of live events, and practitioners with a special knowledge base in sports law, governance, policy, and business will work at the cutting edge of this highly publicized industry.


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!

Sample Coursework

Sports Career Strategies and Business Communication: 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.

Sports Business Strategies and Executive Decisions: Develops a sophisticated, yet practical understanding of the nature, contexts and dynamics of sports business.

Professional Sports Law: Studies law, revenue, branding, and problem solving in the professional sports context, focusing primarily on professional sports leagues governance and regulation, labor relations, representing and marketing players and coaches, and issues of equity and race.

Amateur Sports Law: studies law, policy and problem solving in the amateur sports context, focusing primarily on the interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics.

Negotiations and ADR in Sports: Provides a working r basic knowledge of contract law, with in-depth instruction with regard to negotiation and drafting in the sports context.

Sports Marketing: Studies the role, nature and dynamics of sports business and builds knowledge and skills related to marketing analysis, decision making and strategy development and execution.

Sports Analytics: Develops and applies analytical skills that are useful in nearly every career and focuses on applications in the sports context and uses approaches that are rapidly becoming important in the business of sports analytics.

NCAA Compliance: 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).

US Law and Legal Analysis in Sports: The U.S legal system and the types of legal reasoning used by legal professional. Provides the necessary instruction to use legal reasoning in both academic work and professional endeavors, including reading and evaluating legal cases, statutes and public policy.

Pro Team Sports: Legal Issues in Business Operations: Deals with various legal issues confronted by the Team Counsel of a professional sports team. Reviews the business, risk management, intellectual property and financial issues that raise in connection with the operation of a team.

Revenue Generation in Sports: Develops an appreciation for and an understanding of the multiple stakeholders and diverse interests in and around sports business, and of their constantly changing and interactive impact on sports practice and performance.

Risk Management Venues in Sports: American tort law, particularly the foundational elements of duty-breach-causation-harm, as well as causation and reasonableness, as a means of understanding the nature of risk and the tools available to address it in the many circumstances that arise during live sports and entertainment events.

Sports Venues, Legal and Financial Issues: Studies the structure and issues related to stadium financing in professional and collegiate sports. History of MLB Since WWII: Examines the issues of law and economics that developed in Major League Baseball in the context of the successive waves of change that overtook American society following World War II.

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

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

Selig Scholars & MSLB Graduate Assistantship Programs

Jeremy Gritten
Jeremy Gritten, JD, Sports Law & Business

Jeremy Gritten is one of the first Selig Scholars recipients, who talks about what the scholarship, the new Beus Center for Law and Society building, and the Sports Law & Business Program mean to him.

Learn More

Student Testimonials

Lucy Lara

Lucy Lara

Master of Sports Law and Business - Class of 2016


When Lucy Lara first started as a freshman at ASU, she only thought about soccer. As she progressed through undergraduate and law schools, she realized there was a new world of opportunity that knocked on her door outside of soccer. “No matter what you think you are capable of doing, you can do more than that. I couldn’t ask for anything in the world other than getting my education and getting a job in order to support my family. It literally changed my life."

Marcus Bishop

Marcus Bishop

Master of Sports Law and Business - Class of 2017


“I feel like my background led me down this path, but ASU Law solidified my future. After making the move out to Arizona from Alabama, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I had a job in admissions and I was telling students what extracurricular activities they could participate in and thought some of the activities were interesting so I started to look into them. From day one, the Sports Law and Business faculty challenged me to design my personal career plan and spend time crafting both my brand and the value I can offer an organization. The one-on-one mentoring, unique curriculum, exclusive guest speakers, and industry volunteer opportunities really laid the foundation for where I am right now. I truly feel that I have the tools necessary to reach my goals wherever I go in sports.”

Ryan Milne

Ryan Milne

Master of Sports Law and Business - Class of 2020


“I’m in heaven. I used to have a cubicle job before this that I dreaded. Now I enjoy going to work. I actually wake up excited,” said Ryan Milne, MSLB ’16 graduate, when asked about his first week on the job at NBA headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. “I’m a game reviewer. We watch NBA games and evaluate the calls the referees make and tell them how they're doing,” Milne explained. “Conversely, the report lets teams know how the game was officiated; which calls were correct and which calls they missed.”

Learn from experience

With a combined 150+ years of sports industry experience, the Sports Law & 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 Graduate Assistant for Sun Devil Athletics. These positions are filled on a first come, first serve basis.

The 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 Masters 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 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 a 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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