Love sports but aren’t skilled enough for a career as a player? You may wish to remain in the game you love by getting into a career in sports management. But what exactly does this entail?
As a professional in sports management, you’ll learn about the business aspects, finance, marketing, and legal issues in the sports world. You may have the opportunity to work in nearly any sport from the amateur ranks through scholastic levels and the top professional leagues. A career in sports management can be very long and rewarding as the business brings in billions of dollars annually.
Before delving into the numerous career options for those with a sports management degree, one must consider several things. Think about what you want out of a potential employer in terms of management. Consider the size of the company, how well it treats its employees, the potential for career growth, the success rate in the industry, and pay rate. Be aware that many jobs in this industry are based on commission.
Although the industry is quite competitive, the misconception is that in sports management there are only positions involving direct contact with athletes or tickets sales. However, this is not the case, and the following list of sports management careers touches numerous possibilities.
What can you do with a degree in sports management? In alphabetical order, here are several positions for sports management majors:
- Graphic Designer & Animator - Championship Management Sales Executive
Sports Media - Southeast Region
- Merchandise/Retail Management Intern
Sports Internship - International
- Graphic Design/Video Board Management Intern
Sports Internship - Northeast Region
- Assistant Director of Equipment & Event Management
Administration/Management - West Region
A-Z: A List of Sports Management Jobs
Accounts Manager/Corporate Partnerships
Average salary: $68,509 per year
Larger universities and professional sports teams will partner with larger, nationwide and international corporations to generate streams of revenue through sponsorships, advertising, ticket purchases, suite rentals, corporate events, and more. With a sports management degree, you could be uniquely positioned to speak to both worlds.
Average salary: $100,000 per year
An Athletic Administrator oversees some of the most critical parts of a sports club, organization, or team. The position may involve hiring new staff, coaches, and player personnel. You may also oversee sponsorship deals, ordering new uniforms and equipment, and even acquiring practice, game, and event venues.
Average salary: $113,122 per year
If you are interested in working in the amateur ranks of a scholastic environment, this job may be a good fit. An Athletic Director oversees the athletic department to make sure it’s running without a hitch. Some of the duties include budgeting, travel arrangements, and other daily operations, particularly at the high school level. At the collegiate level, however, more of the Athletic Director’s time is geared towards specific, supervisory tasks. If you can work at your alma mater, helping the team succeed is an even more rewarding part of the job.
Average salary: $121,629 per year
Development of the sports business is the same as in any other business, involving sales and earning money to keep it thriving. In a Business Development job at the professional level, you might oversee creating methods to increase or stabilize a fan base, or perform market research. At an amateur level, however, the job may involve building relationships with those who could help support the league.
Average salary: $120,469 per year
For those interested in mathematics as well as sports, being on the staff managing finances may be the right fit. Working in Financial Management involves keeping tracking, reporting, and evaluating the financial activities of the team. Some duties may include adjusting budgets for ticket prices, salaries, and merchandise sales. Perhaps you could oversee revenue and expenses, financial forecasts, or annual budgets, all of which affect the team and organization.
Average salary: $50,910 per year
A Sports Management degree is beneficial in helping one learn skills needed to plan sporting events, whether at the youth level or the collegiate level.
Average salary: $82,168 per year
Although a law degree will also be needed, working in legal services enables you to represent athletes or organizations.
Parks and Recreation
Average salary: Director: $60,268 per year
Average salary: Supervisor: $42,934 per year
Average salary: Coordinator: $37,025 per year
Needed throughout the country, parks and recreation departments hire those to teach others the value of sports. If you wish to deal with amateurs who love recreational sports, this opportunity may be a perfect fit.
Average salary: $51,107 per year
Those interested in recruiting to develop a competitive team may be interested in a job in personnel management. Requiring a vast knowledge of a specific sport, the Personnel Director must have strong negotiation skills for recruiting the best talent. Also, a Personnel Manager may oversee hiring, coaching, support, and training staff.
Professor of Sports Management
Average salary: $67,468 per year
Perhaps you are interested in passing along your knowledge to others. If that is the case, after earning a Sports Management degree, you can go back to the classroom and teach others about Sports Management. An advanced degree is more than likely needed to be a professor, but it’s a viable option for a stable and long Sports Management career.
Average salary: $64,360 per year
To keep customers and the community interested in the team, many public relations techniques are used. Those involved in Public Relations need various skills such as creating website content, public speaking at events, writing press releases, and using social media and digital content as a means of promoting the team.
Average salary: $46,574 per year
Perhaps you want to run a golf club or ski resort. If that’s the case, your degree in Sports Management may get you in the door. This is one avenue that most people don’t consider when working to get their Sports Management degree.
Sports & Health Club Staff
Average salary: Personal Trainer: $34,356 per year
Average salary: Club General Manager: $43,402 per year
Average salary: General Manager, Fitness Club: $40,575 per year
Average salary: Fitness Manager: $39,509 per year
If you’re someone who’s a fitness and/or outdoor enthusiast, you could use a Sports Management degree to get a job with your local sports or health club (i.e., your local gym).
Average salary: $59,611 per year
For those wanting direct contact with athletes at the professional level, you may want to be a Sports Agent. In this position, you determine terms of salaries, performance bonuses, and athlete endorsements. You may also deal with the client’s finances, promotions, public relations appearances, and investments.
Sports Camp Director
Average salary: $39,085 per year
For those that wish to help youth learn the benefits of sports, the Sports Camp Director position could be for you. Sports teaches valuable lessons like teamwork and commitment, as well as helping participants improve their skills and love of their chosen game. Also, you can help run the operations of sports camps over geographic regions.
Sports Content Producer
Average salary: $54,086 per year
If you happen to be someone who’s tech-savvy, this could be a unique and highly beneficial way to elevate your career in Sports Management. Teams from high school through the professional level are often looking for people who can create content that the team can use to market their organization, their players, and their upcoming games and events.
Sports Information Director
Average salary: $36,092 per year
Virtually every university and professional sports organization employ a Sports Organization Department, which is effectively a cross between a public relations department and a team library of sorts. Before, during, and after games, members of the Sports Information Department provide the media and public with information like player news, team updates, and a variety of statistics.
Average salary: $50,354 per year
For some students, a sports management degree is the stepping stone to additional education and qualifications. Law school could be the next step, giving you the opportunity to become a Sports Mediator.
Average salary: $35,843 per year
Although being a Sports Writer may not be the first or obvious choice for a Sports Management career, having a degree and a love for writing about sports could make this a lucrative option. If you have a good background in the business of sports and knowledge from a degree in sports management, you could be quite successful. The key is bringing in traffic and generating income from ads and affiliate programs.
Average salary: $30,000 per year
While selling tickets might not seem to be the most attractive option, ticket sales are essential in professional sports. Sales help bring in revenue for debts and salaries. How can a sports management degree help? You could sell season ticket packages, fill expensive luxury boxes, and make deals with lucrative sponsors. Ticket sales is a great entry-level job that can lead to increased responsibilities and higher-salaried positions in the future.
- Manager of Membership Sales
Sales - Central Region
- Membership Sales Representative - MLS
Sales - Central Region
- Account Executive, Season Ticket Sales & Group Sales
Sales - Northeast Region
- Sales & Service Intern
Sports Internship - Northeast Region
Average salary: $40,224 per year
Like the events planner in this list, a Tournament Planner deals with booking facilities for tournaments, as well as overseeing marketing. Furthermore, they could supervise athletes interacting with the public and must be adept at public relations as well.
Youth Sports Coordinator
Average salary: $40,898 per year
Maybe you’d like to work with young athletes to learn from your sports management experience. Why not get involved with sports in a way that makes a difference in people’s lives? After studying for your Sports Management degree, you can work for a local community sports club.
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