What is the Career Outlook in Sports Management?

Before enrolling in a degree program or deciding on this career path, students likely want to know what the career outlook in sports management looks like. It is always important to know what the future of any career is looking like before deciding to make such a commitment. Read on for an analysis of the present and future of this exciting career.

What Is Sports Management?

Sports management typically refers to a career where a person manages the business aspects of a sports team. They are responsible for holding press conferences, managing finances, handling negotiations and doing promotions. However, there is another side to this profession and that is the career path of becoming an agent or manager representing professional athletes. Sports management can be stressful because managers usually take a decent amount of the blame when their team loses. Too many team losses can also result in managers being fired. This turnaround, however, can create more job openings for job seekers and the profession can be quite rewarding for anyone with a strong passion for sports.

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Necessary Education

Formal education is not typically required to enter this profession. However, it can present additional job opportunities. Students can obtain a specialized sports management degree but they can also pursue a more generalized degree in business, marketing, law or a similar subject. Both options will prepare students well for a career in sports management. For advancement, a Master’s in Business Administration (commonly known as an MBA) is usually needed. A college degree or strong previous involvement in the sport will certainly increase the potential for a student to have a long and lasting career in sports management. Perhaps there are no better sports managers than people who have been heavily involved in the sport before going into management. Typically this means former players, although anyone who has worked in various aspects of a sport, such as handling equipment or selling tickets, has previous experience.


A key component of sports management career outlook is salary expectations. Salaries for this profession vary widely. Managers of highly successful players can earn massive salaries on commission and because other prospective players will want to be represented by them as well. Managers in charge of large, major league franchises also make significant amounts of money. However, salaries of managers working for the minor leagues or amateur sports can expect much lower salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median annual salary at $64,940, with the highest earners making over $200,000.

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Overall Outlook

The overall outlook for this profession is that it will remain steady. Sports management is not likely to see huge growth because there are only so many positions available. However, new teams are created every now and again, especially as new sports become popular and open up franchises. Even major league sports will occasionally expand and form a new team in a particular city. The career outlook in sports management is also not expected to shrink. Americans’ appetite for sports has not diminished significantly and there is still considerable money to be made in professional sports.

The career outlook in sports management is fairly good for the foreseeable future. Sports management careers are not likely to see drastic change one way or the other. This makes it a nice, steady career option for students with a passion for sports to consider.

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