Do you want a career in sports (that doesn’t involve being an athlete)? If so, you’ll want to consider earning a certificate in sports management. Doing so will make getting a job in this industry much easier.
That said, you also might have a question: “What is sports management, exactly?” Don’t worry if that’s the case. We’ve put together some information to help you better understand what careers are available for a sports enthusiast, like yourself, in this field.
Sports Management: Understanding the Essentials
Handling Everything Off-the-Field
What is sports management? There isn’t one basic answer to that question.
Casual sports fans might not realize just how much behind-the-scenes work occurs in the industry. Pro athletes may be the stars of the show, but in order for sports leagues at any level to thrive, many people handle a variety of responsibilities off the field.
Teams and leagues need sports marketing and PR experts. Athletes need managers, agents, and lawyers. University sports programs need supervisors. Matches can’t take place without event coordinators. Teams rely on analysts and similar experts to help them make important decisions. Fans learn more about the sports industry by following the work of sports journalists and reporters.
Those are merely a few examples of necessary sports management jobs. Many of the people who fill these positions earn sports management certificates or degrees first. This helps in several key ways:
- Graduate Assistant - Facility & Event Management - NCAA
Marketing/Events/Promotions - Central Region
- Assistant Volleyball Coach/Building Supervisor/Game Management - NCAA
Administration/Management - Southeast Region
- Prospect Management Internship
Sports Internship - Northeast Region
- Executive Director, Project Management
Sports Media - West Region
Learning the Sports Management Industry
Again, “sports management” encompasses many potential skill sets and topics. Keep that in mind if you’d like to pursue a sports management career. Depending on how much thought you’ve given this, you might not be sure which specific sports management job interests you most right now.
This is one reason to pursue a certificate. Although this basic guide should help you more clearly understand what sports management is, you may still have some questions. Your sports management certificate program will answer them.
Many such programs provide a general overview of sports management and the sports industry, which introduces you to potential career opportunities in greater detail. After earning your certificate, you’ll find that determining what type of job you wish to pursue becomes much easier.
Specializing in a Particular Sports Management Career
Not all people fit the above description. Maybe you already know what type of sports management career you’re interested in.
This is yet another good reason to learn more about sports management in a program. While some programs cover the topic in a general way, others focus on specific aspects of sports management, such as finance, sports law, communication, facilities and event management, and more.
Earning a sports management certificate from such a program will help you illustrate to potential employers that you’re qualified for open positions. It will also let them know that you are passionate about working in sports.
Understanding Your Options
There are many more sports management jobs to be filled than most people actually realize. So much so, that the odds are good that you’ll find one that’s ideal for your preferences and skills.
However, it’s also important to understand that sports management jobs don’t always need to involve working in a major league, such as the NBA or NFL. A sports management certificate program will help you realize your options are even more abundant than they might already seem.
Instead of working for a major league, you can work for a university or high school athletics program. Maybe you can start out in the minor leagues before deciding if pursuing a long-term sports management career is something that still interests you. Depending on the nature of your job, you could potentially work as a freelancer or contractor. You might even be able to start your own business if you’re good at what you do!
This highlights an important point. Sports management careers are unique because they can appeal to people who are content with typical nine-to-five jobs, as well as people with entrepreneurial goals. Thus, both types benefit from earning sports management certificates.
It’s also worth noting that sports management jobs can be good fits for a wide range of lifestyles. If you’re the type of person who wants a job that provides a stable income and allows you to set roots down in one place, you have plenty of options to consider, from university athletic coordinator positions to facilities management positions. On the other hand, if you prefer a lifestyle that involves frequent travel, you might pursue a job as a scout, journalist, or a member of a team’s staff.
Once again, enrolling in a sports management program gives you the opportunity to learn more about these options. That naturally helps you decide which appeals to you.
Sports Management: An Evolving Industry
While this guide hopefully clarified certain key points, you should keep in mind that the sports management industry is always evolving. These changes bring with them new sports management job opportunities.
For example, the rise of digital media has created a greater demand for content producers. Teams and leagues can no longer produce print and video content solely for newspapers and TV networks. Now they need content to boost and sustain fan engagement online as well. If you have an interest in this type of work, there’s never been a better time to get involved.
The increasing importance of data analysis is another trend that proves the sports management industry will continue to develop and change over the years. Improvements in data analysis technology have helped teams, and leagues truly recognize the value of analyzing data when calling plays, developing conditioning programs, deciding who to cut, and much more. This trend has given math whizzes greater opportunities to land sports management jobs.
That said, regardless of which sports management career option most appeals to you, you’ll stand out among the competition if you have a sports management certificate. Consider earning one if you’re serious about working in the sports industry.