Careers in sports management are still unorthodox and relatively new to the world. One of the reasons most people are unable to enter the sports management industry is the lack of information and resources available out there.
This trend is subject to change in the near future with the increase in the number of sports leagues, its rising popularity, and corporate investment in sports.
According to a FICCI report: India would require an est. 4 million sports management professionals by 2022! They would be required in various verticals of the industry as discussed in this article.
|SUB-SECTORS||DEMAND BY 2022||% of Total|
|1||Sports Science & Technology||10,27,681||26|
|7||Sports Event Management||3,32,667||4|
|8||Sports Broadcasting & Media||1,62,578||4|
While still being considered an unconventional career option sports management is a booming industry and an exciting one!
Careers opportunities in Sports remains to be one of the most sought and asked questions by any aspiring student or their parent.
In this article, we try to encompass all the aspects regarding career opportunities in the sports industry.
Also read: Five reasons to choose sports management
Sports Administrators are professionals who carry out a wide range of administrative tasks for a sports organization or team. Your work can be anywhere between from general administrative tasks to handling supply-chain management, scheduling sports events, managing budget or even overseeing recruitment and training of staff.
Largely, your focus will be to ensure smooth functioning of the organization, the event or any initiative started and providing administrative support.
Consequently, your profile will include providing clerical support including preparing and editing documents like letters, reports, memos, and emails, resolving problems, tracking information, maintaining databases etc.
Working opportunities for sports administrators are available in clubs, academies, schools, governing bodies, sports events, etc.
2. Operations and Logistics
Professionals of this profile are overseeing all vital elements of a sports event. Primarily the job of such dynamic individuals is to successfully execute a sports event which includes planning, promoting, executing, and broadcasting of the event. They are extremely organized and active individuals. They need to coordinate with all departments and also require certain soft skills while negotiating and dealing with vendors, leading a team of volunteers, assigning tasks, crisis management, etc.
Their work involves as liaisons between fans, the venue, and management, game day coordinators help to create a lively, engaging environment and ensure that the event is a pleasant experience for all attendees, planning, organizing and executing camps and tournaments, day-to-day venue management, coordinating and liaising with different people and agencies, drawing up calendars and schedules and business development, among other areas.
Individuals who like the hustle-bustle of sports on-field action, coordination, management and are good at multi-tasking will relish such career opportunity
3. Sales and Marketing
Sales & Marketing is an extensive field. It encompasses areas like Business Development, Sponsorship, Digital Marketing, Brand Awareness and Promotions.
Sports marketing professionals’ role is planning, creating and executing all marketing activities of the organization, team or event. The strategies must align with the organization’s vision and objectives.
They must be updated with all industry news and continuously look for new business avenues to explore.
Also read: Sports Marketing & Digital Media in Football
Overall a sports marketing specialist has the following roles:
- Creating exciting marketing campaigns & strategies for the team or organization they serve.
- Bring in more sponsors and further coordination with them
- Create buzz around its team or players and draw more public interest
- Increase the fan-base of the teams or players
- Communicate effectively the brand’s vision and provide updates
- Enhance the brand image of the organization
- Increase the brand value and look for more business opportunities.
This job requires a certain set of skills and knowledge. Most companies rely on such experts to carry out the entire marketing venture and communication for them. If you have a skill for sales and love sports, this might be a viable option for you!
4. Technical: Nutrition, Coach, Trainer, Officials, Physiotherapist
As the sports industry is advancing and the game is getting more competitive, athletes and coaches have begun to understand the importance of correct diet and nutrition provided to an athlete’s body to maintain fitness. Sports nutrition is growing business and often the nutritionists are certified, licensed, or registered with specialized training and expertise in fitness and sports.
For every sports superstar you see, there is a coach and mentor behind him who shared their knowledge and developed the skills of the budding star. If you are passionate about teaching and imparting your sports knowledge then this might be the fit for you. Coaching doesn’t necessarily require a degree although there are courses available. Even if you are or have been a professional athlete or senior player you can pursue this career option. Especially in India, today there is a dearth of skilled coaches and there will be a huge demand for them in the coming future.
Sports officials’ job is another viable career option for individuals who have extensive knowledge and experience of the game and its rules. You can choose to be licensed and certified official or in some cases depending on country and state it’s not a prerequisite. Sports officials’ jobs include Umpires, Referees, Judge, Scorer, etc.
Sports physiotherapists are professionals who help and treat athletes with sports injuries during training or game. They have sports specific knowledge allowing them to examine and treat injuries efficiently. One can acquire a diploma or bachelor’s degree to seek this career option.
5. Media & Communications
We are living in the golden era of sports media and broadcasting. There are more broadcasting channels and digital platforms today than ever before. There is abundance opportunity to create content to cater to the all the sports followers and fans across these platforms.
Sports broadcasting is one of the biggest revenue streams for any major league or event.
Sports brands look for individuals who have a knack for good content creation & clear communication skills who know to manage information.
This field includes but not limits to sports writing, broadcast, journalism, photography sports production, media, and sports promotion, show hosting, commentating, etc.
6. Public Relations
Sports Public Relation professionals are concerned with the image outlook of the brand they are serving. Their key focus is to create and maintain a positive image of the brand, organization or the athlete they represent.
It is their responsibility to give out information to the public or press which turns to create a favorable image of the brand or athlete in public perception.
PR specialists working in the sports industry have the primary role of creating positive media releases, suggest actions or campaigns to boost positive public image, increase awareness about the team or athlete, brand promotion, and keeping an eye out for any potential issue or threat to the brand image.
On a typical day, PR specialists will likely be involved in writing press releases, preparing media reports, responding to requests from journalists, drafting speeches, arranging news interviews, and creating promotional campaigns. Sports PR are extremely valuable for sharing team news in the brightest light possible.
Other responsibilities include coordination with journalists and managing their requests, drafting speeches, arrangement of news interviews, and creating promotional campaigns.
Public Relations is one of the most valuable divisions in sports because it helps brands to stay in the most positive light in the public eye.
7. Sports Analytics
Sports Analytics is a field of collection and analysis of all relevant data and statistics in various components of sports industry. The insights learnt from these collection and analysis is then used to gain a competitive advantage over the opponent and helps enhance the decision making process of the athletes or brands.
The analysis can be done on player performance or training, industry market, company performance, hiring process, etc.
According to a report released by Grand View Research “The global sports analytics market size was valued at USD 774.6 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.2% from 2019 to 2025”
As the world of technology has evolved, the depth and precision of data analysis has upgraded. Not only brands but now it’s common for teams in major league teams across the globe in different sports to have Sports Analytics professional on-board to help analyse team performance, player performance, weak-spots of players, etc. and according change their playing style or optimize training programme.
The on-field application of Sports Analytics include managing player or group performance records, help coaches optimize training programmes and schedules, develop nutrition plans, improve athlete fitness and develop new game strategies.
The off-field applications include the study of market, business acquisitions, suggesting ways to improve sales of merchandise and tickets, improving fan experience, etc.
8. Sports Entrepreneurship
Sports presents us with a profusion of entrepreneurial opportunities. It can be building infrastructure, manufacturing, retail, running an academy, creating an app, organizing sports events, sports hospitality and many more.
The business of sports transforms itself with innovation and creativity. It also inspires younger generation to consider working in sports industry a viable option and produces various career opportunities.
Given that Sports Industry is an emerging market it is highly attractive to venture into it. But even though the scope is high, there are definite challenges that exist in this sector.
9. Sports Governance
Sports governance can be at multiple levels like local, state, national, and international. At each level, the body has the exercise of power and the potential to influence sport participants, sport organizations, and other stakeholders within their limits.
Sports governance involves having thorough understanding of sports, the economics around it and the need for appropriate norms and regulations.
Just in India, there are more than 60 national sports governing bodies of various sports excluding private bodies. One can imagine the job prospects around the world.
10. Player management/ Sports Agent
Sports Agents are the representation of an athlete, They are professionals who handle and manage an athlete’s financial, legal, sponsorships, Public Relation matters. Their primary role is to negotiate and strike deals with brands that work in the best interest of the athlete. You need skills like salesmanship, promotion, networking, and negotiation.
Generally, Sports Agent gets into this career by joining a Player Management agency and once they are experienced and well known in the industry chose to branch out and do it solo.
One doesn’t necessarily require a degree to become an agent but it is recommended to do so. They must have acute knowledge and understanding of the sports business and able to gauge an athlete’s worth for a brand.
11. Grassroots Sports
The foundation of a strong sporting nation is excellent grassroots programs and initiatives and the professionals who work on grassroots development.
Focus on grassroots is the current need of the hour for India. The Govt. had introduced various grassroots development programs like Khelo India Youth Games.
According to a FICCI report, 4% of sports industry jobs would require at Grassroots development cumulating to more than 1.5 lakhs job opportunities by 2022
12. Sports Goods & Merchandising
This sphere of work includes working in the sports retail industry. It can be a sports store, a sports brand store or franchise or for store chains like Decathlon. You can deal with a broad range of products like clothing, sports equipment, posters or even sports team’s memorabilia.
The rise of sporting leagues and popularity of teams/clubs has increased the demand for licensed sports goods.
Although in India, according to industry experts the merchandising business is not up to the mark as they would’ve expected. It could be because of high price points of jerseys or lack of distributor channels across the country.
Another reason is that the Indian sports scene is still young as compared to the West and hasn’t created that much fan following in different sports. For instance, IPL is only 12 years old as compared to NBA which is more than 70 years old.
13. Sports Science & Medicine
Sports Science and medicine is a broad field. It encompasses several different branches of study like science, physiology, psychology, and biomechanics of the human body, nutrition, and anatomy.
It primarily focuses on the innovation and development of science to understand the human body and its relation to fitness and sports.
Sports medicine will also include physicians, nutritionists, therapists, and nurses.
14. Sports Academician
Sports academician are the professionals who are experts in their field of work and now have turned to impart their knowledge and experience to young aspirants pursuing a career in sports field.
By sharing their insights and experience , they make future sports professionals industry ready.
One needs to have considerable years of experience and qualifications to be a sports academician.
Sports psychology is the study of various psychological factors and its impact on sports performance and behavior.
Sports psychologist assesses their client’s individual needs and helps them in enhancing their performance on the field. They carry out their duties as trainers, consultants, or therapists. They help the athlete with mental health, to overcome injuries, mental preparation of games, and improving performance while playing.
One can practice this field in hospitals, clinics, gym, physical rehabilitation centres, schools or university or as private practice on contract.