Sports management is a broad field with several career options. Learn all about them
Sports management is about much more than “show me the money!”
While talent recruiters and agents are vital figures in the industry, the field is populated with players harnessing unique skills, who use them in various ways to support the industry’s success. Talent scouts and managers are the exciting public face of sports management.
Behind the scenes, facilities managers, public relations executives, broadcasters, nutritionists and trainers are just a few of the sports industry’s movers and shakers.
What education or certification will I need to work in sports management?
Consider an associate’s degree first base in your quest to work in sports management. Once you’ve rounded it, you can start to focus on a particular field of study while earning your bachelor’s. If your school doesn’t offer a specialization in sports management, many typical degree programs will prove useful, including management, marketing, business administration, accounting and health.
Because competition for jobs in the sports industry is fierce, earning a master’s degree will give you a significant advantage in embarking on your dream career. This will take between one and two years to complete. There are a few options to choose from:
- Master of Business Administration: This standard business master’s shows a commitment to excellence and your ongoing pursuit of knowledge and mastery of the field. You’ll want to concentrate in finance, marketing or sports management, if available.
- Master of Science in Sports Management: This degree prepares for a career in all levels of management, including recreational, juvenile, interscholastic, amateur, collegiate and professional.
- Master of Science in Sports Medicine: This degree focuses on health care issues for athletes, including prevention, assessment, management and rehabilitation of injuries.
When selecting your school and program, check to see whether they’ve been approved by the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). Once you’ve earned your degree, you can become a member of these associations to network and show your commitment to the field.
Learn more about sports management curriculum on What You’ll Study.
What does a sports manager do?
The task of a sports manager depends on the subfield that they specialize in. Managing people in the college or professional sports arenas may be the first thing that comes to mind. Other management areas include in office systems, marketing, events and facilities. Opportunities also exist in sports economics, finance and information.
Sports management professionals can also be found in business or medicine. A degree in sports medicine might see you teaching college football players how to stay healthy and keep fit by eating the right kinds of foods, or helping a tennis player deal with the psychological ramifications of stress and competition that come with being a professional athlete.
What career paths can I take in sports management?
Entry level opportunities in facilities and on sports teams are available to graduates with a bachelor degree, although you’ll want to position yourself in a community with multiple thriving sports scenes. Competition is so great for jobs in this exciting field that you’ll likely have many more options if you’re educated at the master’s level.
For instance, earning your Master of Science in Sports Management may open up job titles such as sports administrator, corporate sponsorship director, head coach or general manager. A Master of Business Administration in almost any concentration will prime you for executive-level positions on and off the field. How far you go is up to you.
Some students and professionals choose to continue their education by earning a doctorate degree, which allows an intensive focus on research, and job opportunities at the academic level.
- A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in sports management includes study of the psychological or sociological aspects of sports.
- A Doctor of Education (EdD) in sports management generally offers two areas of emphasis: sports medicine or Olympism, which studies the structure originated by the Olympic Games and encourages the balanced development of the body and mind.