With a sports management degree, you have an opportunity to establish a career in athletics even if you can’t throw a fastball or dunk a basketball. Sports is big business in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. The field is diverse as there are various games to choose from, not all of which are equally popular or lucrative for players and their support teams. Essentially, your degree in sports management provides the business background that will help you guide the decisions of athletes or athletic teams to maximize benefits and career longevity.
As a sports management graduate, you have an opportunity to establish a career in athletics even if you can’t throw a fastball or dunk a basketball.
Specializations in Sports Management
Two possible pathways to a degree in sports management are sports coaching and player representation. The curriculum for a sports management degree that focuses on a career as a sports coach will include more science-based courses with a particular emphasis on kinesiology, fitness and sports nutrition. Note that actual participation in a sport as a player may be a qualifying factor for some coach positions. On the other hand, a degree that is focused on developing sports agents or sports representatives would include a lot of business courses tailored to focus on case studies relevant to various fields in the sports world. The curriculum will be strong on contract law, negotiation strategies and public relations.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that jobs in the sports management sector will average a 15 percent growth rate over the next decade. Some sub-specializations will always be in high demand, including sports marketing, media relations and facility management.
Job Opportunities for Sports Management Graduates
Sports marketers are tasked with sales functions. Industry experts point out that generating ticket sales is a primary function that contributes to the success of sports franchises and their hometown arena. Getting paying customers to attend the games is a measure of success and an indicator of the franchise’s viability. The quality of players and winning performances draw fans to the games, but sports marketers should have a plan to drum up sales of tickets and related merchandise or services.
Sports managers could manage an individual,a team or the arena itself. The job of sports managers includes overseeing publicity, public image development, positive media relations and crisis management as needed.
Mainstream occupations can be customized to cater to sports personalities and teams. Bookkeeping, financial management, investing and auditing are possible options for sports management graduates.
How to Land a Job
Take advantage of internship options with sports organizations while you are still in the process of completing your degree. You will gain hands-on experience, which may lead to a job.
Sports management is a competitive field that requires outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, courage under pressure and creativity. A sports management degree will develop these qualities and will get your foot in the door. Experience as an intern or volunteer will help build your resume, improving your chances of being hired in this industry and working toward building a long and lucrative career.