The sports industry continues to thrive. It’s easy to understand why. While sports have always appealed to many people, the rise of new sports-centric networks has attracted larger audiences than ever before.
Keep this in mind if you’re thinking about your future career options. With a certificate in sport management, you could significantly boost your odds of finding a job in a growing industry.
Best of all, if you earn a certification in sports management, your job options will be plentiful. There are many more careers in sports management than most people realize. The following are merely some of the more noteworthy options to consider:
- Field Management / Stadium Operations Internship
Sports Internship - Central Region
- Media Associate – Media Management
Sports Media - West Region
- 2021 Spring Event Management Intern
Sports Internship - Central Region
- Graduate Assistant - Athletic Equipment Management
Sports Services - West Region
Top Sports Management Careers to Pursue
1. Sports Agent
Professional athletes don’t achieve their career goals on their own. Agents play a crucial role in their success.
As a sports agent, you may have a range of responsibilities, including identifying and signing new talent, assisting in contract negotiations, and cultivating relationships between players and teams.
It often helps to have a legal background if you’re interested in this type of sports management job as attorneys are qualified to handle such tasks as negotiating an athlete’s contract. However, unless you’re planning on becoming a sports lawyer (described later), you don’t necessarily need a law degree to become an agent. Simply earning a sports management certificate can help you stand out to potential employers by demonstrating your passion for this line of work.
2. Public Relations Specialist
Sports organizations can’t succeed without loving fans. They need help from public relations specialists to maintain their relationships with audiences.
The nature of this sports management career can vary depending on several factors. A public relations specialist may work for an individual team, or they might work for a larger organization, such as the NFL. They might also be responsible for managing public relations across a range of channels, including print, TV, radio, Internet, and more.
3. Marketing Manager
Don’t make the mistake of assuming sports marketing is the same as public relations. Although there is some overlap between the two, a public relations specialist and a marketing manager fill different sports management jobs.
Public relations specialists strive to ensure sports organizations receive positive media coverage. Their goal is to ensure fans continue to support teams and leagues.
The work of a marketer is more promotional. They develop and implement ad campaigns to generate larger audiences. If you’re a Mad Men fan with a sports management certification, this might be an ideal sports management career for your talents and interests.
- Marketing Coordinator
Marketing/Events/Promotions - Southeast Region
- Director, Marketing & Digital Engagement
Administration/Management - Central Region
- Email Marketing Manager
Administration/Management - Southeast Region
- Head of Sponsorship & Athlete Marketing, WNBPA & USWNTPA
Marketing/Events/Promotions - Northeast Region
4. Statistician/Data Analyst
The role of data analysis is becoming increasingly important in sports. Leagues use statistics to develop stronger marketing campaigns and optimize their budgets. Teams use data to analyze the effectiveness of plays, and much more.
This role is growing more vital because data analysis technology has improved significantly in recent years. A sports fan who is good with numbers could enjoy a great deal of job security if they fill this type of position.
Again, athletes don’t magically join professional teams. Someone needs to recognize their talent for them to catch the attention of professional and university coaches.
Scouts travel to schools throughout the country, seeking out those young athletes. Become a scout, and you’ll leverage your sports management certification to help others achieve their dreams. That’s a very rewarding experience.
6. Athletic Director
A university’s sports program is made up of many different components, including athletes, coaching staff, facilities, and much more.
Someone needs to oversee all these components to ensure programs succeed. That responsibility typically falls on the athletic director. They make hiring decisions, coordinate with marketers to promote events, approve of important purchases, and generally direct the course of university athletic programs. It’s a perfect role for someone who likes to be involved in “big picture” endeavors.
7. Event Coordinator
It’s easy for fans to overlook just how much planning goes into coordinating a sporting event. The event coordinator runs the show behind the scenes, working with everyone from team coaches to marketers to facilitate the experience. Like the role of athletic director, you may wish to pursue this career in sports management if you like working with others to achieve a common goal.
8. Sports Journalist
Someone who is willing to earn a certificate in sports management is almost certainly someone who knows a lot about sports. They’re also likely to be the kind of person who enjoys talking about sports at every opportunity.
If this sounds like you, consider becoming a sports journalist. Although some journalists only cover local sports, many are responsible for covering the pros, traveling to games, and sharing their insights with fans.
The age of blogging has also given rise to numerous sports journalism opportunities. If you understand the industry and have the ability to express yourself clearly in words, the odds are good you’re qualified for this position.
9. Sports Lawyer
Sports attorneys can fill many roles. Sometimes, like agents, they negotiate player contracts. However, their clients aren’t always limited to athletes. They might also provide legal representation to coaches and teams.
However, they aren’t just involved in contract negotiations. Sports lawyers may handle union disputes, negotiate sponsorships, and much more. If you have a law degree but wish to break into the sports industry, consider supplementing your degree with a sports management certification to realize your dream of becoming a sports lawyer.
10. Coaching Staff
No one who is interested in sports needs to be told just how vital the coaching staff’s role is. A team can’t succeed without a visionary head coach. That said, all members of the staff, including assistants and specialized coordinators, contribute to a team’s success. Although it helps to have some degree of athletic experience if you wish to become a coach at a university, even if you were never a star athlete, you may still be able to join a coaching staff one day if you work your way up. Some people start coaching at the high school level, going on to coach at colleges, and even reaching the pro leagues in some cases.
Find the Right Job Opportunity for You
Each of these job options is worth considering if you’re interested in careers in sports management. Just remember, they are by no means the only options available. As this industry continues to grow, opportunities become more and more abundant. Getting a certificate in sports management will help you take advantage of those opportunities.