Job Profile: Market Research Analyst

As major sports teams related to the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL continue to grow in popularity, the sports licensing industry is reported as one of the most reliable sectors of our economy with $698 million in royalty revenue annually for merchandise sales of a whopping $12.8 billion! Though they typically remain behind the scenes, market research analysts can be given a fair share of credit in helping sports organizations reach these high levels of licensing revenue being generated. Market research analysts are prominent bench-players for athletic teams who conduct research to determine which sports merchandise has the potential for big sales.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall mean annual salary for market research analysts is $67,780, which can be translated into $32.59 per hour. Market research analysts who are employed in Washington, Delaware, and California earn the highest yearly salaries in the United States at $78,920, $78,470, and $77,420 respectively.

Beginning Salary

When just getting started on their career in researching market conditions, analysts can expect to earn an average annual salary of around $33,490. While this may seem low, it is important to remember that market research analysts with additional years of work experience under their belts have the potential to earn a sizeable six-figure salary of $114,250 or more each year.

Key Responsibilities

In sports licensing, market research analysts are put in charge of studying current economic market conditions for helping sports organizations become more aware of potential sales for their products. On a typical day, market research analysts will be responsible for forecasting sales trends, measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies, creating method for collecting consumer data, using statistical software to analyze market conditions, converting findings into easy-to-understand written reports or visuals, and presenting results to company executives. Market research analysts often will collect information through interviews, questionnaires, surveys, public opinion polls, focus groups, or even literature reviews to determine which products sports fans are looking to buy. Analysts work to ensure that athletic teams avoid wasting time on inferior or unsold merchandise by conducting important market research investigating the worthiness of products endorsed by players.

Necessary Skills

As their name suggests, market research analysts need to possess brilliant analytical skills to collect, analyze, interpret, and report large amounts of complex data. Interpersonal skills are also a must because market research analysts will need to communicate effectively when presenting their findings to a panel of leaders on the athletic team. Most market research analysts also will utilize their findings to determine which marketing strategies would be most advantageous for companies, so critical thinking and problem-solving skills are also strongly recommended. Market research analysts should have solid organizational abilities to pay close attention to detail when pouring over loads of data in conducting their analysis.

Degree and Education Requirements

Most market research analysts need to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a major in statistics, mathematics, business administration, economics, marketing, or even computer science. Regardless of the chosen major, it is typically required that analysts have taken coursework related to market research, statistical analysis, research methodology, economics, and communications. Market research analysts who earn an MBA or specialized master’s degree focused in marketing will have the most room for career advancement into leadership positions or roles that perform extremely technical research. For those specifically in the sports licensing industry, analysts may want to consider earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree concentrated in sports management for the best preparation.

Pros and Cons of this Position

Market research analysts in the sports licensing industry are given the invaluable opportunity to use their head for numbers by becoming a valuable member of the team in helping develop the best marketing strategies and selling the best products that fans want most. As the second highest area of employment growth in America, market research offers analysts tremendous job stability and the promise for good prospects in churning out their detailed reports. However, just like with any other job, the role of market research analyst comes with some disadvantages. Analysts are required to spend a large chunk of their workday at a desk poring over facts and figures in their research data independently. Also, market research analysts often report a rather high level of stress because the detail-driven field has tight deadlines and many long workdays beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.

Getting Started

While still enrolled in school, it is suggested that aspiring market research analysts start gaining work experience in business, marketing, customer service, and/or sales through internships to complement their studies in the classroom. Before being promoted into market research positions, many individuals start by working in other relevant entry-level jobs involved in analyzing data, writing reports, conducting surveys, and collecting data. After acquiring a certain level of professional competency in market research, many analysts will further expand their credentials by pursuing voluntary certification. For instance, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) offers the opportunity for analysts to pursue Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) for members with at least three years working in market research to certify an analyst’s career-long commitment to the field.

Future Outlook

As long as fans continue paying ticket prices and purchasing merchandise to root on their favorite sports teams, there will be a high demand for market research analysts to work within the sports licensing industry. Since it is becoming more important for sports organizations to measure the effectiveness of their marketing strategies to build an advantage over their competitors and cut costs, market research analysts should expect to find plentiful job prospects in the booming sports business industry. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of market research analysts is projected to grow at the rapid rate of 32% before 2022, which will create 131,500 new jobs across all industries. Analysts can unlock the most promising job outlook by building a strong background in statistical and data analysis.

Overall, market research analysts often work within the sports licensing industry to guarantee that only the best products that fans want to buy actually bear the trademark of their athletic organization. If you make the decision to become a market research analyst, you will have the momentum to enter one of the nation’s most in-demand jobs and leave your ever-lasting mark on the success of sports business.

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