Before we look at some of the highest-paying sports management jobs, it helps to better understand the scope of the industry and how that relates to jobs in sports. 

The Sports Industry And Sports Management Jobs

We all know that sports are a popular point of interest for many people — but what is not immediately evident is just how enormous it is as a market worldwide. In 2018, the global value of the sports industry was nearly half a trillion ($488.5 billion), according to a ResearchAndMarkets report. The sector was forecast to expand at 5.9% through 2022 to achieve $614.1 billion.

Sports jobs are more varied than you might realize. The industry is vast and diverse, including stadiums and other venues; sporting goods companies; advertising and corporate sponsorship; sports media and communications businesses; sports management and marketing firms; and other settings. There is also a spectrum of sports levels: K-12, college, amateur, and professional. Plus, beyond the different traditional sports that continue, new women’s professional sports are emerging, as are extreme and alternative sports (e.g., snow kayaking, ice climbing, and boogie boarding). 

Due to this vast breadth, there are many incredible opportunities for jobs in sports; and many roles fall under the general heading of sports management. Sports management is the field of business that encompasses athletics and recreation. It incorporates finance, administration, law, ethics, and virtually all other elements of the sports and recreation worlds.

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What Jobs Are The Highest Paid In Sports Management?

This list of six sports jobs is not comprehensive but will give you an idea of how you can make a good income with a sports management degree.

1.) Marketing manager

One of the highest-paying sports management jobs is marketing manager. A marketing manager is fundamentally concerned with building a strong image with the consumers or fans of the organization for which they work. To achieve this end, they engage in marketing campaigns for the sports company or team.

Marketing managers must have great knowledge of the sports world and business. They also must be highly collaborative, since they will often be working in conjunction with agents, the media, other outside entities, and other internal departments.

Median income: $135,900 (2019, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

2.) Sales manager

In this leadership position, you manage a team of salespeople, build momentum, and energize everyone around shared goals. You need to understand how business functions and how to negotiate, as well as possessing great communication skills. 

Becoming a sales manager typically starts with an entry-level inside sales representative position. In that position, you sell group and individual tickets for minor league or major league sports teams. You act as a marketing consultant by helping find the most satisfactory product options for customers.

Median income: $126,640 (2019, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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3.) Sports Agent

If you want to work in sports and make good money, a sports agent might be the best job for you. You will excel at this position if you are strong at negotiation and well-versed in business, allowing you to land the most lucrative deals for the athletes you represent.

In these sports management jobs, you protect and advocate for your clients when they make deals with brands and teams. You serve as their professional advisor, managing the corporate and legal guidelines of their business relationships.

Median income: $110,000 (2020, Sports Management Degree Guide)

4.) Facilities manager 

Another of the highest-paying sports management jobs involves responsibilities to ensure the smooth operation of a sports venue, the field of facilities management. Facility planning and business management expertise are critical to this role, as are great communication skills for interfacing with the public. Key tasks for a facilities manager are: 

  • managing the turf, 
  • overseeing mechanical problems,
  • directing grounds workers and maintenance personnel,
  • handling safety, 
  • managing sports venue upgrades, and 
  • managing expenses and budget

Median income: $98,430 (2020,

5.) Administrative services manager

All organizations are made up of individuals. Leaders can help these people in achieving the company’s or team’s goals. A business administration role — such as administrative services manager — will bring together your skill at leadership, your passion for sports, and your knowledge of business. The academic track for this type of position often is a major in sports management with a minor in business. It can also be important to eventually earn a master of business administration (MBA).

Median income: $96,940 (2019, Bureau of Labor Statistics

6.) Sports accountant

If you have dual interests in finance and sports, becoming a sports accountant could be a great middle-ground since it is also one of the highest-paying sports management jobs. It is a vital role, since managing and assessing the money is pivotal to the company or team’s ability to succeed. 

While the demands of this position may fluctuate throughout the year if you are at a team, it will involve the typical accounting tasks. Those will include managing cash flow, analyzing and reporting financial performance to leadership, handling payroll, preparing tax paperwork, and processing revenue from various types of sales (tickets, food, and beverage, etc.).

Median income: $71,550 (2019, Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Start Your Career Today

Having reviewed the industry and some of the highest-paying sports management jobs, it is clear how valuable a degree in the field can be. Beyond knowing what jobs are the highest paid in sports management, consider your own passions and skillsets before focusing on a certain career track.

Are you looking to work in sports? The vast majority of respondents to a National Sports Employment News industry survey, 93%, said they were “more likely” or “far more likely” to hire members. Join our network today!