building a career in sports management

Some of the most sought-after sports jobs are in sports management. These kinds of roles are found in several different areas of the sports industry, and they continue to evolve.

The good news is this opens more sports jobs within several new niches in sports management. To stand out, you need to find your niche and become an expert in it.

Take a look at these newer sports management niches.

3 Sports Management Niches to Consider

1. The Numbers Cruncher

The term ‘big data’ is everywhere, and for a good reason — it helps businesses drive results in several aspects. Sports analytics is just one of the many high-paying career options born from the data boom.

According to the 2016 Jobs of the Future: Data Analysis Skills report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 59 percent of U.S. organizations expect to increase the number of positions requiring data analysis skills in the next five years.

These data analysis positions include several areas, such as accounting and finance (71 percent), human resources (54 percent), and business and administration (50 percent).

Data analysis is also important in sports marketing. Employers look for people who can measure website traffic, social media metrics, and other performance indicators to improve their marketing strategies. Marketers thrive when they develop their understanding of SEO, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and other data-related skills within marketing.

However, crunching numbers is just one side of the coin. You also need to know how to pull reports and present complex data in a simple way to different audiences, like executives, sales teams, and marketing associates.

Pursuing this niche opens a lot of doors into various business areas. When you understand data and analytics, you’re bound to climb your way up to sports jobs in management.

Related Jobs

2. The Blogger

Blogging can really drive your sports management career if you build a big audience. However, keep in mind that this doesn’t simply happen overnight.

Creating a successful sports blog requires consistent effort in creating content, marketing your articles, and building a social media following. Eventually, as your online community gets bigger, you establish credibility as an expert in your field.

This makes it easier to develop partnerships with big sports companies. One of the biggest success stories in recent years is Barstool Sports. Born out of a print publication, this sports and men’s lifestyle blog exploded since it hit the internet in 2007.

They now average millions of unique visitors each month. Recently, they partnered with major media companies, like Comedy Central and ESPN2.

When you dive into this niche and build your following and credibility, eventually, you’ll need to create a media kit. This is, essentially, a resume for your blog where you include your bio, traffic and engagement data, and collaboration options for potential partners.

For example, you can do sponsored posts and product reviews for big sports companies. This is a lucrative field for the entrepreneurial types, and it can lead to high-ranking sports management roles in the media world.

3. The Philanthropist

If you’re interested in making an impact on your community, consider pursuing the philanthropy niche in sports management. The rise in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs is creating more opportunities.

Aside from helping their communities, employers who invest in CSR are also seeing a positive impact from the consumer side. According to the 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, 63 percent of Americans are hopeful businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change moving forward in the absence of government regulation. Additionally, nearly eight out of 10 respondents want companies to address important social justice issues.

This is why so many employers are planning on investing more in CSR. It’s also inspiring a shift in mindset. The PricewaterhouseCoopers 19th Annual Global CEO Survey from January 2016 found that 64 percent of CEOs say that CSR is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone program.

If you want to pursue a meaningful career in sports management, consider a career in CSR. The best way to start is by volunteering and running fundraising campaigns. You can meet people working on important causes, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience.

What niche are you most interested in and why? Share in the comments!