Do You Need To Be An Athlete To Major in Sports Management?

Sports management is a broad field that focuses on the business aspects of sports and recreation, but one does not have to be an athlete to work in this field. People with a keen interest in sports and a business background are well prepared to excel in this competitive career. Functions may include running the front office of sports organizations and stadiums, acting as a liaison between athletes and the public, managing special events and overseeing the financial concerns of the organization or the individual athlete. Those who have played the sport may have an edge in this field as they would have insider knowledge of the workings of the sport and access to a network of decision-makers in the field,

Preparing for a Sports Management Career

There are several ways to explore the potential for a career in the non-athletic side of sports. Early exposure to the sport in entry-level positions or summer internship jobs will provide hands-on experience, interaction with athletes and their team and valuable connections. Plan on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business, sports management or similar studies to pick up the academic credentials that are typically required to get hired in the field.

Some sports enthusiasts concentrate on one field by following the games, supporting their preferred leagues and following the careers of certain athletic stars. This is a good way to develop a database of knowledge of the sport, which may be handy in job interviews and interactions with athletes, their managers and the media. Others may choose to focus their energies on honing their business skills in accountancy, financial management, marketing and promotions.

Key Skills

The sports industry in the United States and worldwide is a billion-dollar behemoth and continues to grow with the top organizations and athletes earning millions annually. This expansion means diverse opportunities for business-minded sports enthusiasts. With a bachelor’s degree in sports management, knowledge of the sports industry and some practical experience, one has the winning combination to get ahead.

A bachelor’s degree in this field will teach graduates to apply analytical tools to all aspects of the sports business. Learning about ethical conduct and how it applies to athletes and organizations would be a major component of the studies along with exposure to the legal aspects of managing a team or an individual. Communication skills are critical in almost all jobs in this field, so it is vital to learn to express yourself professionally in verbal and written communications in every situation. Make an effort to understand all the external aspects that affect the sports industry, including community relations, audience engagement, and social impact on the domestic and international fronts.

Related Resource: 20 Best Bachelor Degrees for Future Sports Management Professionals

Potential for Employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the public relations field specific to the sports industry will grow by 15 percent by 2020. This is faster than average, and it refers to one niche of various careers available in this field. Sports managers, coaches, athletic directors and other jobs in the industry are expected to grow at a steady rate as well. Sports management is a strong career choice for those who have the skills and credentials, knowledge of the industry and the sport, and the drive to succeed in this competitive field.

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