Like many Americans, your life may have been impacted greatly by sports. Perhaps your athletic "career" began with playing on a little league team, followed by junior high and high school sports. While only a fraction of high school athletes will go on to play at the collegiate level, a smaller fraction of those athletes will go on to professional sports. But you should not let the unlikelihood of your potential to be a professional athlete keep you from considering a fruitful career in the sports industry. There are many positions in sports management that make it possible to not only enjoy the world of sports and entertainment, but to be a major "player" in it. Overall, sports management deals with overseeing the business-management of athletes and organizations.
While some sports managers who have a history of participating in sports at the college or even the professional level have a unique understanding about how some organizations and programs function, it is not necessary for sports managers to have been high-level athletes. Many of today's most successful sports managers pursued degrees that would equip them for a career in sports management like an online Bachelor's in Sports Management. To give you a better idea of what jobs are typically available to professionals with sports management degrees, here are several general areas that a sports management graduate can operate in:
Work with a Team
Sports managers have the chance to get right in the action and lead out in positions as a coach, trainer, support staffer, or scout for a team. Positions like these are rewarding for professionals who want the opportunity to have a hands-on approach while working with teenagers, college students, and professional athletes. Athletes of all ages benefit from the guidance that sports managers can provide. Positions like these, which offer the chance to form quality relationships with athletes often offer the chance for travel as well. A scout may have to travel all over the country, or even the world, looking for promising athletes that programs may want to pursue.
Work as a Creative
All sports programs and sports retailers need business-minded creatives who have a good understanding of the sports industry and can think creatively to produce results for organizations. Creative positions would include professionals working in sports advertising, marketing and promotion. Tasks may include coming up with seasonal ad campaigns that a program or sports team would utilize throughout a myriad of media outlets. Imagine being able to create an advertising campaign for a professional sports team, which would be featured on billboards throughout a major city or commercials which would run in a region of a particular state. Managers with the ability to work with teams and that possess a creative flair will always be in high demand.
Work in the Business
Behind all the fanfare, athletes, mascots, uniforms, and trophies lies teams of individuals who work hard behind the scenes to make it all happen. For every well-known coach and athlete there are throngs of important individuals who work for an organization's staff who will never have a camera focused on them. Accountants, PR representatives, and legal aides are just a few of the positions that often get forgotten when we think about our favorite sports teams, but these professionals can be an important part of making it possible for those quarterbacks and star pitchers to hoist those trophies in the air at the end of a miracle season.
Work at the Collegiate Level
Many business professionals continue to remain fans of their alma mater's sports programs decades after graduation. They may have a long-standing tradition of tailgating outside the stadium for each of the program's home football games in the fall or be season ticket holders for lady's basketball. A school's alumnus organization may contribute millions each year to a university's various sports programs, and many of these groups depend on charitable donations given each year. Sports managers with a soft spot in their hearts for a particular college or university can find a wide range of occupation possibilities within some of the most prestigious collegiate sports programs in America. These positions range from working in the athletic department's office to taking a more hands-on approach and working with the coaching staff and student athletes.
These are just a few areas within athletics where a sports manager can pursue a career. While some professionals in sports management may begin their exposure to sports as high-level athletes, many will get their start pursuing a degree in sports management from some of the top business schools in the nation.