Two sports analysts observing a sports game through a monitor

Embarking on a career as a sports analyst opens doors to lucrative opportunities where your love for sports meets professional growth. This post guides you on how to become a sports analyst and introduces some of the most in-demand sports analyst jobs in the industry.

What Does a Sports Analyst Do

A sports analyst delves into the intricacies of sports performances, analyzing strategies, player statistics, and game outcomes using statistical data and real-time information. They create engaging content like articles, blogs, or on-air commentary to share their insights across various platforms such as television, radio, or online forums. Their role also involves extensive research to stay updated on sports trends, player performances, and other relevant factors impacting the game.

In some capacities, they collaborate with sports organizations and coaches, providing recommendations on team strategies and player recruitment based on their analyses. Utilizing analytics tools and software, they process data and may use video analysis software to review game footage. Their work requires continuous learning to stay abreast of evolving tools, technologies, and trends in sports analytics, ensuring their analyses remain accurate and relevant, thereby enriching the sports discourse and providing valuable insights to sports enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Sports Analyst Salary: What to Expect

The venture into sports analysis is not only an intellectually stimulating pursuit but also a financially rewarding one. The salary landscape of a sports analyst is as vast as the field itself, with earnings substantially varying based on the role, expertise, and geographical location.

In the United States, the average annual salary for a sports analyst is around $72,577, with the potential to earn an hourly rate of $34.89. Notably, the financial horizon broadens in states like New York, California, and Vermont, where salaries surpass the national average, marking New York at a striking 14.1% above the national mean​.

Highest-Paid Sports Analyst

The sphere of sports analysis witnessed a seismic shift when Tom Brady, the NFL legend, transitioned to broadcasting. Without even commenting on his first official game, Brady secured a 10-year contract with Fox Sports, catapulting him to the apex of earnings with a staggering $375 million deal​.

Several other seasoned sports analysts have also carved out their niche, earning not just a name but substantial financial rewards. Notable among them are:

  • Jim Nantz: A revered name in game broadcasting, Nantz’s new contract with CBS in 2021 reaffirmed his standing, boasting earnings of up to $10.5 million annually​.
  • Tony Romo: Romo’s analytical acumen led CBS to ink a 10-year, $180 million contract with him in 2020, making him the highest-paid TV analyst at the time.
  • Mike Tirico: Commanding an annual salary of $10.5 million, Tirico’s longstanding career, especially as a play-by-play announcer for Sunday Night Football on NBC, showcases the lucrative prospects the field holds​.
  • Stephen A. Smith: Known for his impassioned analysis, Smith earns $12 million annually, including an $8 million contract with ESPN and a $4 million-per-year production contract with the same company.

7 Steps To Becoming a Sports Analyst

 Sports analysts working in a workspace with computer monitors and charts

Your path toward becoming a sports analyst is a blend of formal education, practical experience, and a profound love for sports. Here’s an enhanced roadmap to aid your journey:

Step 1: Acquire a Solid Educational Foundation

Embark on your journey with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management, Journalism, Communications, or a related field. Delve into courses that hone your analytical, statistical, and communication skills alongside sports law, ethics, and marketing to broaden your knowledge base. Seek institutions offering specialized programs in Sports Analytics or Broadcasting to gain a niche understanding. Additionally, attend workshops and seminars to get insights from industry experts and stay updated on the evolving trends.

Step 2: Immerse in Practical Experience

Secure internships at sports organizations or broadcasting stations to gain hands-on experience and build valuable networks. Initiate freelancing by writing sports articles and blogs or creating analysis videos on platforms like YouTube. Offer volunteer services at local sports events to gain practical experience and make connections. Utilize online platforms to share your analyses and engage with a wider audience, which not only builds your portfolio but also helps in establishing an initial audience base.

Step 3: Network Relentlessly

Forge connections by attending sports industry seminars, workshops, and networking events to interact with field professionals. Engage in online sports communities, forums, and social media groups to exchange insights and stay abreast of industry movements. Following renowned sports analysts and interacting with their content can also be beneficial. Establishing a professional profile on platforms like LinkedIn and connecting with industry professionals can further broaden your network. Becoming a sports analyst can be quite tricky without the right connections, as the industry is crowded and competitive.

Step 4: Build a Robust Portfolio

Create a portfolio showcasing your analysis, articles, and any broadcasting or commentary stints. Maintain a personal blog or website as a centralized place for your work, which serves as a tangible testament to your skills and experience. Include any accolades or certifications you’ve achieved in the field. Request testimonials from peers or supervisors to add credibility to your portfolio.

Step 5: Pursue Continuous Learning and Specialization

Consider pursuing advanced degrees or certifications in Sports Analytics to deepen your expertise. Stay updated with the latest analytics tools, software, and industry trends, which is crucial to remain relevant. Engage in online courses or certifications like the Certified Sports Analyst (CSA) certification to enhance your credentials. Attend webinars and subscribe to relevant publications to keep your knowledge current.

Step 6: Dive into the Job Market

Apply for entry-level positions as a sports analyst, sports writer, or broadcaster. Leverage your network to learn about job opportunities and get referrals. Don’t shy away from roles in sports data collection and statistics, as they can also serve as stepping stones. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant experience and enthusiasm for each position you apply for.

Step 7: Cultivate Your Unique Voice

Develop a unique style of analysis and communication. Seek feedback from peers, mentors, and online audiences to refine your skills continuously. Engage in public speaking or commentary opportunities to hone your on-air presence. Stay authentic in your analysis and be open to learning from each experience to enhance your craft continually.

This structured roadmap is designed to provide a clear pathway from academic preparation through to job market entry, ensuring aspiring sports analysts are well-equipped to kickstart their careers in this dynamic field.

Top 9 Types of Sports Analyst Jobs

A sports game from the perspective of a broadcast analyst desk

The field of sports analysis is brimming with opportunities for enthusiasts to transition their love for sports into a fulfilling career. Here’s a detailed examination of several enticing roles within this domain, accompanied by a glimpse into the responsibilities they entail, the earning potential, and notable individuals who have made a mark in these roles:

1. Sports Writer or Columnist

Salary: The median annual salary is around $39,659.

Craft compelling pieces on sports events, teams, and athletes, delivering insightful analysis and captivating narratives. Rick Reilly has captivated readers with his engaging columns over the years.

2. Scouting Analyst

Salary: The median annual salary for scouts is around $42,224.

Scour the sports world for emerging talents and promising players, working tirelessly to analyze player performances and reporting back to organizations. Their keen eye for talent and thorough understanding of the game’s demands play a crucial role in team recruitment and development. Daniel Jeremiah is a well-known former scouting analyst who now shares his insights on NFL Network.

3. Sports Radio Host/Analyst

Salary: The average annual salary is $42,832, with top earners making much more.

Engage sports aficionados on radio shows, dissecting game recaps and discussing upcoming matches. Sports Radio Hosts/Analysts stir the conversation, invite guests, and take calls from listeners to delve into various sports topics. Their finger on the pulse of the sports world helps keep the audience informed and entertained. A prime example is Mike Greenberg, who hosts ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike.”

4. Social Media Sports Analyst

Salary: Earnings can vary widely, but an income of around $45,000 to $60,000 can be anticipated.

Build an online community around robust sports analysis on platforms like Twitter and YouTube. Social Media Sports Analysts create and share content, engage with online communities, and participate in sports-related discussions. Their online presence bridges the gap between the sports world and digital audiences. Jomboy, also known as Jimmy O’Brien, is a notable figure in this space, garnering a significant following for his detailed breakdowns and analyses of baseball games and moments on social platforms.

5. Video Analyst

Salary: The estimated total pay stands at around $52,640.

Decipher recorded game footage to unveil strategic insights, meticulously reviewing game footage to provide insights into team strategies, player performances, and opponent tactics. Their analyses aid coaches and players in understanding and improving performance, thus playing a pivotal role in a team’s preparation and success. Notable Video Analysts include Rob Caroll, who runs a website called The Video Analyst and is dedicated to football analytics.

6. Broadcast Analyst

Salary: The median annual salary is around $54,443.

Delve into the heart of sporting action by dissecting game strategies and evaluating player performances during live broadcasts. Broadcast Analysts are pivotal in enhancing the audience’s understanding and appreciation of the game with their insightful commentary. Their expertise in the sport, alongside clear and engaging communication skills, elevates the viewing experience. A prime example of a Broadcast Analyst is Troy Aikman, who has become a recognizable face during NFL broadcasts.

7. Fantasy Sports Analyst

Salary: Earnings can range between $71,011.

Icons and soccer balls surrounding a computer monitor used for fantasy sports

Guide fantasy sports enthusiasts with data-driven advice, analyzing player statistics, predicting performance trends, and providing recommendations on player drafts, trades, and lineups. Their insights significantly influence fantasy sports players’ decisions. Matthew Berry is a popular Fantasy Sports Analyst known for his expert advice.

8. Sports Data Analyst

Salary: The total pay for a sports data analyst stands at around $72,426.

Employ data prowess to dissect sports performances and strategies, translating complex statistical data into understandable insights that influence team strategies and fan understanding. Their analytical lens unveils the nuances of sports performances, making them invaluable assets to teams and media outlets. An example is Sig Mejdal, who has played a significant role in modernizing baseball analysis.

9. Color Commentator

Salary: Earnings can vary widely, with a median salary of $75,117.

Add a splash of “color” to the game narrative by providing expert analysis and background information during broadcasts. Color Commentators enrich the narrative with interesting anecdotes, historical facts, and statistical analysis. They complement play-by-play announcers, making the broadcast more engaging and informative. A notable Color Commentator is Cris Collinsworth, known for his insightful analysis during NFL games.

Find a Sports Analyst Job Today

Embarking on a career as a sports analyst is an exciting pathway where your love for sports meets professional ambition. The variety of roles discussed in this post demonstrates the broad spectrum of sports analyst jobs available in this dynamic field. At Jobs in Sports, we strive to be your trusted companion on this journey.

By signing up on our platform, you gain access to a curated selection of sports job listings and industry insights that are crucial for anyone looking to make their mark in sports analysis. Our sports job listings section is designed to cater to both budding and seasoned sports analysts, providing a range of opportunities to suit different expertise levels and interests within the sports analysis sector.

Your journey towards becoming a sports analyst is just a click away. Explore the variety of sports analyst job opportunities on our platform and take a solid step toward a fulfilling and engaging career. Join us today, and let’s work together to make your dream of becoming a sports analyst a reality.