Sport management is a massive industry with a ton of different opportunities. Many students pursuing a sport management degree grew up playing and watching sports – most students probably aspired to play sports professionally at one point or another. Students who wish to stay involved in sports may choose to pursue a sports management degree, but what can a sports management degree lead to?
While most people will never end up playing a sport at the professional level, there are a ton of opportunities to work with professional teams and have a successful and fulfilling career. Sports management degrees will prepare students for various roles in the industry and teach many skills that can be applied in their professional careers.
What Can a Sports Management Degree Lead To?
The North American sports market is a massive industry worth more than $70 billion. The industry is expected to continue growing and reach a valuation of $83.1 billion by 2023, according to Statista.
Size of North American Sports Market in Billions
Due to the size of the sports market there are so many different career opportunities for sports management degree holders. Students will find that there are job opportunities at every level of sports, not just the professional level. Some levels of sports that sports management degree holders may work at include:
- Amateur and Youth Sports
- High School Sports
- Collegiate Sports
- Minor League Sports
- Major League Sports
Students should work at a level of sport that they are passionate about. There are tons of opportunities at all the above levels and students can make a comfortable living working at any level of sport.
With that being said, students who wish to go big time and make a ton of money in the industry should be focusing on the collegiate and major league levels. These levels are the highest grossing levels of sport and if students can climb the sports industry ladder, they will be very well off.
Job Opportunities for Sports Management Majors
Sports management majors will be able to work in many different roles spanning across the above levels of sport. Some jobs may be more lucrative than others, but students will find the sporting industry to be extremely rewarding and fun to work in. Check out our list below, with information from PayScale, to see what a sports management degree can lead to.
Ticket Sales Representative
Just like any other industry, you must start somewhere. A popular entry level job in the sporting industry is ticket sales. It may not be the most glamorous job but it is a great way to learn more about the fans and your organization. Ticket sales representatives will meet many people within the organization which is a great way to move up the ladder.
|Ticket Sales Representative|
Strategic Partnerships/Corporate Partnerships Manager
Sports teams make a lot of their money off partnerships with businesses. These partnerships can range from buying box suites for a season to buying advertising on the court at a basketball game. Teams employ staff members that work specifically with corporate partners to find new opportunities and make sure the corporate partners are always happy.
|Strategic Partnerships/Corporate Partnerships Manager|
Executive Director – Front Office Staff
Working in the front office can mean many different things. You may be in charge of day to day tasks or may in charge of big picture items. People who work in the front office usually will have been with the organization for a while and have learned the ins and outs of the organization. The compensation of the front office staff will vary widely depending on the level you are working for, but in general the following is true:
|Executive Director – Front Office Staff|
Social Media Manager
Everything and everyone is online now. Teams, especially collegiate and professional teams spend big money on their social media presence. Social media is the face of the team and a great way for fans to interact with the team and see what goes on behind the scenes. Teams usually have a social media team that is in charge of all the social accounts and developing and maintain the voice of the team online.
|Social Media Manager|
An athletic director will usually be found at the high school and collegiate levels. This individual oversees everything relating to athletics, across all sports usually. An athletic director will be in charge of setting and tracking a budget, hiring and dealing with employees who work with their athletic teams, and other various tasks such as promotions, marketing, and facilities management.
Athletic directors can make a lot of money depending on what level of sport they work at and where they work at. For example, the athletic director for Ohio State, Gene Smith, makes more than $1 million per year.
Sports agents will be working at the professional level of sports. These agents are responsible for managing clients and negotiating deals for their athletes. Agents will usually work for an agency rather than work for themselves.
Working for an agency allows the agents to offer their clients other services like financial planning, brand management, and post-career help. For the most part, an agent will work with athletes in one specific sport because of the connections and relationships they have established. Agents compensation will range widely depending on the number of clients they represent and the amount of money their clients sign for.