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Five Careers for Sports Management Graduates

Sports is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone. The industry generates anywhere from $440 to $470 billion annually according to reports from Plunkett Research. The industry revolves around several sports and the star athletes in each field generate their own buzz with mega-salaries and endorsements. The job of a sports management graduate will cover a wide range of essential tasks related to various sports, event management, arena management or on the athletes themselves.

1. Event Management

Sports are competitive events that follow a complex set of rules for progression dependent on the performance of the athletes or teams. These events will be played at different venues, the assignment of which will depend on which teams move on in the tournament. For non-team sports, event scheduling requires mobilizing resources to bring athletes together in one place. As a sports management graduate, you will have honed your business skills to ensure that you stay organized in a job that requires coordinating with people in different fields. Communication skills and the ability to establish interpersonal relations with people and companies at cross-purposes is essential to excelling as an event manager in the sports industry.

2. Arena Management

As a leading executive for the arena or stadium, you play multiple roles, including property manager, event coordinator and marketing director for the site. It is common knowledge that sports stadiums require a huge budget to develop and maintain. Often, the stadium is developed using public funds so that local governments and the taxpayers have an interest in ensuring efficient and profitable management of the site. With a degree in sports management, you should be well-equipped to oversee the maintenance of the site, manage the budget and revenues to meet pre-set expectations and execute a plan to meet established goals. Planning should include specific marketing strategies to maximize revenues during the off-season. A sports arena should consider other income-generating uses during downtime periods.

3. Manager/Agent for Professional Athletes

As the manager for a professional athlete, you make your income off their income. As such, your job is to negotiate the best contract terms for the athletes in your stable of talents. You become the athletes’ confidant, public relations director and spokesperson. You direct the persons appearances and endorsements to build and preserve a pleasing image for the public. You may also be asked to manage non-sports activities such as product or service endorsements to generate more income from the athlete’s celebrity status.

4. Manager/Executive for Professional Sports Teams

Typically, executives of sports teams would present a resume that includes involvement in the sport itself. A degree in sports management is certainly enhanced by your history as an athlete yourself. However, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to establishing a career as a team insider. If you aspire to an executive position in your favorite team, get your foot in the door with entry-level positions while completing your degree in sports management. The experience will demonstrate the various aspects of team management.

5. Sports Marketing Coordinator

Sports is a moneymaker in various ways, and as a sports management graduate, you can find a niche that is compatible with your goals and personality. Sports marketing may involve promotions and marketing for a team, an arena or a sports event. Your job would include planning, executing and measuring feedback on programs and events. A sports promoter may be involved in development of local leagues or the management of limited-scale tournaments such as fundraisers.

The sports industry is a huge and diverse sector. Armed with a degree in sports management, you will have the skills to play various roles in this sector. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expect a stable employment outlook for sports managers although the pay scale will vary, depending on your specific role in the industry.

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