What Can You Do With a Sport Management Degree?
Do you have a passion for sports? You may love playing sports, or you might be fascinated by the strategy and athletic prowess that are essential to making games exciting. It is possible that you could turn your love for sports into a career. That isn’t to say you should expect to become a professional athlete. Instead, you could earn a degree in sport management.
What can you do with a sport management degree? Here is a glimpse at what your future career might hold.
Marketing and Sales
Many sport management jobs are related to the promotion of sports, as well as the promotion of other products via sports. Sport marketing is different from traditional marketing for goods and services. According to Team Sports Marketing, an online sport marketing textbook, some of the unique aspects of this career include the following:
- In most types of marketing, consumers are looking to make an economical decision. They might change brands based solely on price. This isn’t the case in sports. A fan wouldn’t wear an opposing team’s jersey just because it costs less.
- The target audience is composed of fanatics, not regular consumers. Fanatics’ decisions are often based on emotions rather than pure logic.
- Many sports have worldwide appeal, so less translation and adaptation is needed to break into global markets.
- Sports entities often partner with other goods and services, resulting in a close cooperation between brands that is rare outside of sports.
To sum up sport marketing, the textbook says that it is “building a highly identified, passionate fan base such that fans, sponsors, media and government pay to promote and support the organization for the benefits of social exchange and personal, group and community identity within a cooperative, competitive environment.”
Image via Flickr by Keith Allison
As you’re studying for a sport management degree, you’ll learn how to do in-depth research. You’ll gain a better understanding of how to analyze statistics and how to communicate what those statistics mean. If you have a knack for telling stories in addition to a love of sports, you could enter the exciting world of sports journalism.
Sports journalist was a featured job in Forbes‘ Best. Job. Ever. series, which highlighted professionals from a range of jobs that many people consider enviable. For the series, Matt Marrone, editor for ESPNnewyork.com, commented, “I am proud to tell people what I do for a living; I know I’ll never cure cancer, but at least I can share my love of writing and my passion for news to serve sports fans in the greatest city on Earth.”
Universities, colleges, and even some large high schools have an athletics director on staff. Chron listed some of the typical duties of an athletics director, which include the following:
- Hiring athletic department employees. You might hire coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, and others whose responsibility it is to keep the school’s athletes performing at their best.
- Budgeting and fundraising. The athletic director balances the budget amongst the school’s sports, allocating a specific amount of funds to each sport depending on need. The director might also be responsible for organizing fundraisers to support the school’s teams.
- Scheduling. Scheduling games correctly ensures that there aren’t any conflicts with the use of a school’s facilities. It’s also important to schedule and organize other events, such as promotional gatherings, pep rallies, etc.
- Enforcing the rules. Sports organizations, especially in college and on a professional level, have rules about how athletes and teams in general are to conduct themselves. When someone violates these regulations, the athletics director may have to step in to administer the appropriate discipline.
It is unlikely that you will be able to get a job as an athletics director as soon as you earn your degree. You may start out as an assistant. Your career will likely move more quickly if you have previous coaching experience.
It isn’t just schools that need someone to oversee sports. Many communities need an athletics director to oversee sports, whether those sports are for local children or for adults who want to release pent-up tension on the field.
Managing Individual Players
Some sport managers operate on an individual level rather than on a team level. Sports agents, as they are often called, fill a dynamic role that helps athletes get the most out of their careers. According to The Balance, one of a sports agent’s main functions is contract negotiation. However, more is involved in this job. The agent might promote a player, manage his or her image, or help with financial planning.
Many sports agents hold a law degree in addition to a sport management degree. However, studying law is by no means a requirement for this job. If you have a sharp mind that can analyze details and handle the business aspects of sports, you might have what it takes to succeed in this career. You could simply hire a lawyer to review the legalese of any contracts that are presented to players whom you represent.
Managing Professional and Minor League Sports
The same skills that are necessary for the aforementioned jobs could work well in a career as the general manager of a professional or minor league sports team. Finding new talent, negotiating contracts, communicating with coaches, and juggling finances are all part of such managerial jobs.
Professional sport management jobs are more difficult to come by than other careers that a sport management degree can lead to. This is simply because of a lack of availability; there are far fewer professional sports teams than there are colleges that need talented sports managers. However, as you gain experience as a sport manager, you may be able to step into a high-profile role at a professional organization.
Working in sport management can be fulfilling and exciting. If the prospect of earning a degree in this field appeals to you, learn more about the Adelphi University Master of Science in Sport Management program online.