Why Communications Professionals Should Consider Pursuing Sport Management
If you appreciate sports, you don’t have to become a professional athlete to pursue a career in the sport industry. There are a number of opportunities in the industry that can pave the way to fulfilling careers for new entrants.
As you pursue your online sport management degree, the skills you learn as you advance in your courses can help in a variety of areas. For example, experience and education in communications could help you pursue a fulfilling sport management career, according to career expert Alison Doyle, writing for the website The Balance.
Explore some of the sport management jobs you can consider if you have strong communication skills:
Sports Teams Often Rely on Marketers to Fill Stadium Seats
Image via Flickr by Me in ME
Sport marketing has always existed in some form, but the internet and various media platforms have made sport marketers’ jobs more complex. In an interview with Forbes, Russell Scibetti, the founder of TheBusinessofSports.com, stated, “Social media has given athletes a very public and direct line of communication to their fans, so the brands endorsing these athletes want to tap into that conversation more and more. The size of an athlete’s social following is incredibly valuable.”
Based on Scibetti’s observations, communications professionals may have more opportunities open to them in sport management. Other interviewees for the Forbes piece echo Scibetti in terms of social media following. Athletes can’t always market themselves well online or off, and professional marketers may be able to direct an athlete’s or brand’s marketing direction.
According to Aimee Picchi of CBS News, marketing managers can experience excellent job growth potential. Picchi reported that marketing managers can earn an average salary of $90,000 per year, and she cited abundant job opportunities as evidence of this career’s attractiveness.
Many sport marketers devote their workdays to market research, advertising campaigns, product development, and building images for athletes and sports teams. Several avenues exist for communications professionals in this industry, including joining an athletic team, becoming part of a sports apparel company, or pursuing other sports-related business in marketing departments for professional sports organizations.
Journalists Use Their Sports Knowledge to Keep the Public Informed
Sporting events aren’t limited only to the players on the field, the coaches on the sidelines, or the fans in the seats. Many people follow online, on television, and on the radio. A rich demand for sport management experts in the journalism industry exists.
Whether you decide to write play-by-plays for a newspaper or offer commentary during live broadcasts, journalism may offer an opportunity to apply your communications background and your interest in sports toward career development. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts earn a median salary of $38,870 per year.
While the BLS predicts that job opportunities for these professionals will decline, this reduction may not hold true for sport journalists. Sport journalism is one of the fastest-growing areas of the broadcast journalism field.
Additionally, the Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) organization lists several of the top skills marketers will need to succeed in this industry. Social media tops the list, but sport marketers may also want to hone their SEO and marketing automation skills as well as their mastery of web analytics and e-commerce marketing. Communications professionals may enjoy an advantage over the competition in these areas because of their educational training and professional career experiences.
Communications Professionals Can Help Broker Sponsorship Deals
In addition to marketing and journalism, sponsorships may offer opportunities for communications professionals interested in sport management. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, sports sponsorships represent a $16 billion industry. Communications professionals who understand sponsorships and branding may leverage their skills to earn a desirable salary.
PwC also names merchandising as one of the most critical facets of the sport industry. If you have a communications background, you could obtain a sport management degree, then use your skills to help companies effectively turn sports teams and players into valuable commodities.
MarketWatch reported that the licensed sports merchandising industry will likely reach $48.17 billion by the year 2024. Additionally, North America is responsible for more than half of the industry’s revenue. MarketWatch also asserted that sports teams’ fan bases continue to grow, which could foster more job opportunities for communications professionals with sport management degrees.
Other Communications and Sport Management Options Await
If you’re not interested in marketing, journalism, sponsorship, or merchandising, you can leverage your communications skills in other ways. In her article for The Balance, Doyle mentioned several opportunities for communications professionals:
- Sports Announcing: Professionals who enjoy the spotlight can put their communication skills to use as sports announcers.
- Event Planning: Every sporting event needs someone to put the event together. Event planners coordinate every facet of a sporting event, then oversee its production.
- Sales: Whether you work for a sporting equipment manufacturer or a sporting event venue, inside or outside sales could allow you to extend your communications background to sales support roles.
- Human Resources: You may need excellent communication skills to oversee the talent management processes for a sporting company.
- Sports Agent: As a sports agent, you serve as the gatekeeper between an athlete and others. Negotiation skills may serve you well in this career.
- Camera Operator: Since many sporting events appear on television, you could work behind the scenes as a camera operator or director.
- Store Management: Sporting equipment and apparel stores need managers with communication and people skills.
- Facility Management: You could use your communications and sport management degrees to manage a sporting goods facility, whether it’s an event venue or a community gym.
According to Doyle, students can use their social networks to find jobs that unite their communications and sport management background. She also suggested securing internships while you pursue your sport management degree so that you can get hands-on experience in your chosen field. Doyle listed several communications skills that benefit sport management professionals, from collaboration and leadership to negotiation and teamwork.
If you’re thinking about shifting from your current communications job to one in sport management, visit the Adelphi University Online Master of Science in Sport Management program to learn more about your options. You’ll learn about the opportunities available for professionals in the sport industry as well as opportunities that may best fit your communications experience.