Few thrills exist as great as scoring that winning touchdown or making a last-second shot for the win. It is what keeps fans cheering year-round and keeps players pushing their bodies to the breaking point, just to stay in that moment for as long as possible. Whether you are a player past your athletic prime or a fan who has a passion for sports, a new career could be waiting for you that gets you back into the game you love.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Organizations are looking for professionals with a deep understanding of core management competencies, including finance, marketing, technology, and human resources, to establish successful and effectively operated teams. A successful career in the big leagues takes hard work, determination, and drive.
A career in sports management requires the same out of its professionals. Sports management is a competitive industry with many former athletes looking to transition from player to manager. For professionals who do not have player credentials, earning a degree in this field can give you an edge on the competition. With a degree, you will have a broader understanding of business principles and standards that allow you to effectively integrate sports and business for more efficient and profitable operations.
The life of a professional in sports management is rigorous, with immense travel time and wavering job security. However, those who have the guts to push through the trials and tribulations will reap the rewards of a job well done through career advancement and higher earning potential. For people starting out in this profession, the keys to getting ahead in the game are to make connections and to network. These connections will serve you well as you pursue new career opportunities and make efforts to get your foot in the door at larger sports organizations.
Careers in Sports Management
The sports industry is about more than high-profile athletes, endorsement deals, and championships. It is a business that needs qualified professionals to successfully operate and thrive.
From marketing to research to management, opportunities abound to turn your love of sports into a career. Here are some career paths you can pursue after you graduate from a sports management degree program.
A Love for the Team: Marketing Opportunities
Your passion for your team knows no bounds. Win or lose, no matter how good or bad things get, you’re there for it all. This level of dedication is perfectly suited to a career in sports marketing. Whether you are coordinating events, generating buzz, or taking the initiative to put sponsorships together for the team, you have an opportunity to make your love for the team contagious.
Here are a few fields in sports marketing to consider:
Public Relations Manager
In this position, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the public image of the team or company. Across the press, social media, and other outlets, you’ll have to take the good and the bad in stride.
Like a public relations manager, you’ll be involved in maintaining and promoting the image of a team. Organizing events that help get the community involved with the team is a great way to promote the organization. Attention to detail and a love of people are essential for this role.
This subfield of marketing is full of opportunities to display your passion. How will the organization connect with people on social media? What kind of place will it have across the news? As a communications specialist or manager, you’ll be able to answer these types of questions and let your passion lead you in the right direction.
A Love of Numbers: Market Research
In the world of sports, a passion for numbers shows how much of a true fan you are. You can immerse yourself with sabermetrics, stats from Synergy, and other obscure measurements that may not concern the average viewer. You can turn this passion into your career in a couple of ways:
As a market researcher, you can compile data for a team or organization that will have a tremendous financial impact. As a result, you’ll be able to provide the evidence for marketing campaigns, price changes, and other ways to impact the organization.
You could also pursue a career as a statistician. In this position, you would attend sporting events and record data in real time, look at league records, audit stats for play-by-plays, and prepare reports for the media. This role is often referred to as a statistical recorder.
A Love for Details: Managing Tickets or the Team
Would you drop everything to follow your favorite team? Is your dream vacation a road trip of all the fields or arenas in your given sport? If so, you may be the devoted sports lover who does what it takes to support your team. This level of dedication is perfect for a career in sports management. Opportunities that can utilize your strengths include:
Season Ticket Manager
From season tickets to group sales, you are in charge of these areas, as well as other accounts related to the organization.
This distinguished position involves everything from organizing practices and games to overseeing players and coaches. Typically, team managers work in leagues or associations in youth, collegiate, or adult amateur sports.
A Love of Sports: Career Options Across the Field
There are career opportunities beyond working with a team, as well. Other options include:
Management Opportunities for Parks and Recreation
Within communities, professionals are needed to coordinate programs, leagues, and other items that involve sports. Recreational resources are fantastic ways for children and adults in the community to get involved, which could give you an exciting career route that is linked to sports.
Sports Camp Director
Youth sports will always have plenty of opportunities. This is one of many job titles that blends sports with youth activities. As a sports camp director, you can take charge of exciting and healthy activities for children to build their skills and enhance their love of sports.
This position involves managing a wide variety of sports. From hiring and firing coaches to managing department budgets, athletic events, and fundraising, this dynamic leadership position entails a wide range of responsibility.
Turn Your Passion Into a Career
At Concordia University, St. Paul, we offer two online sports management degree programs that can help you obtain your dream sports job. Our B.A. in Sport Management and M.A. in Sport Management programs focus on practical application, enabling you to take your education directly into a sports career. Through both programs, you will learn from faculty who are experienced in the field of sports management as you explore relevant sports and business topics.