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Career Development
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Sport Management Major Careers

Sport Management Career Information

Area

Employer

Amateur Athletics

  • Sport Management Related To:
    • Olympic
    • Intercollegiate
    • High School
    • Youth
  • Athletic Administration
  • Coaching
  • Recruiting
  • Student-Athlete Affairs
  • Compliance
  • Sport Information
  • Operations
  • Facilities Management
  • Equipment Management
  • Ticketing and Sales
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Sponsorship Sales
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Hospitality Management
  • Bowls and Special Events
  • Sport Governance
  • Colleges and universities
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
  • Conference offices, e.g. SEC, ACC
  • National sport governing bodies
  • State governing bodies
  • Regional sport commissions
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • United States Olympic Committee (USOC)
  • High schools
  • National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
  • Training centers
  • Youth sport organizations, e.g. Little League Baseball
  • YMCA’s, YWCA’s
  • Sport related franchises, e.g. My Gym
  • Sport camps
  • Gain experience working with youth, e.g. volunteer or work at sport and recreation camps.
  • Coach youth sport teams or assist with high school teams.
  • Get involved with college sport teams, intramural leagues, or campus recreational programs.
  • Seek leadership roles in campus organizations. Serve as a peer advisor, tutor, resident assistant, etc.
  • Build relationships on campus with coaches and athletic administrators.
  • Gain relevant experience through practica and internships.
  • Be prepared to work long and irregular hours.
  • Plan to earn a master’s degree in sport management, business, or college student personnel for more opportunities and advancement. Work as a graduate assistant (GA) in the athletic department.

Facilities and Event Management

  • Facility Management
  • Facility/Field Maintenance
  • Field Preparation and Conversion
  • Ticket Sales and Seating Management
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Event Planning and Management
  • Food Services and Concessions
  • Design and Development
  • Stadiums
  • Arenas
  • Golf courses
  • Tracks
  • Convention and visitors bureaus
  • Industry suppliers, e.g. Aramark
  • Local tournaments and festivals
  • Recreational facilities
  • City parks and recreation departments
  • Individual teams
  • Find a job managing facilities or fields on campus.
  • Work in the university center or union.
  • Get involved in organizations responsible for bringing cultural attractions and entertainers to campus for exposure to contracts, negotiating, and making arrangements.
  • Gain event planning experience by serving as the events coordinator or social chair with a student organization.
  • Work part-time or summer jobs in conference and convention centers, hotels, or local attractions.
  • Volunteer to work on community events, e.g. local races or festivals.
  • To succeed in this area, demonstrate skills in negotiating, business management, organization, budgeting, and marketing.
  • Research requirements for the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credential.

Professional Teams and Leagues

  • Management of:
    • Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Golf,
    • Tennis, Racing, Motor Sports, Soccer, and
    • Emerging Sports
  • Player Personnel, such as:
    • General Management
    • Coaching
    • Scouting
    • Community Relations
  • Business Operations such as:
    • Marketing and Promotions
    • Ticketing and Sales
    • Public Relations
    • Sponsorship Sales
    • Suite Sales
  • Stadium Operations such as:
    • Food and Concession
    • Guest Services/Suite Services
    • Parking
  • Sport Information
  • Professional Services
  • Player Agency and Representation
  • Professional leagues including:
    • National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Arena Football League, National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association
  • Motor sport organizations, including:
    • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), Indy Racing League, National Hot Rod Association, individual race teams
  • Sport associations including:
    • PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour, Nike Tour, United States Tennis Association
  • Professional player associations and unions, e.g. Major League Baseball Players Association, Professional Hockey Players’ Association
  • Player alumni associations
  • Professional minor leagues including:
    • AAA, AA, A baseball leagues, Arena Football 2, American Basketball Association
  • Individual franchises
  • Sport marketing firms
  • Management firms
  • Sport marketing departments in large corporations, e.g. Anheuser-Busch or AT&T
  • Law firms focusing on sport and entertainment
  • Plan to earn a graduate degree in sport management, business, or related area and acquire relevant experience in order to work in professional sports.
  • Be willing to relocate to larger cities where the teams are situated.
  • These positions are among the most competitive in the industry. Gain as much experience as possible and be willing to enter into the field in the minor leagues or in lower positions.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm, energy, and a willingness to work long or irregular hours.
  • Look for ways to get experience in sales and marketing as these are important skills to develop.
  • Earn a law degree and develop skills in investment management and negotiation to represent players as an agent. Research requirements for union franchises, licenses, or registrations to work in this field.

Sport Merchandising

  • Product Development
  • Product Distribution
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Brand/Product Representation
  • Store Management
  • Internet Sales
  • Sport equipment and supply industry, e.g. Wilson, Spalding, Adidas
  • Exercise equipment manufacturers
  • Sport and recreation retailers
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association
  • Work in retail stores that sell sport or recreational merchandise or in campus recreation facilities that rent equipment to students.
  • Gain sales experience through part-time or summer jobs and internships.
  • Volunteer as a team equipment manager.
  • Make contact with college equipment or uniform representatives.
  • Develop strong communication skills and learn how to build interpersonal relationships.
 

Leisure and Fitness

  • Programming
  • Management and Administration
  • Facilities/Equipment Management
  • Operations
  • Travel Planning
  • Event Planning
  • Instruction
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Ski resorts
  • Tennis and golf clubs/resorts
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Country clubs
  • Racquet clubs
  • Executive fitness centers
  • Major health spas
  • Hotels
  • Parks
  • Recreational facilities
  • Hospitality and travel industry
  • YMCA and YWCA
  • Related nonprofit organizations, e.g. Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, Special Olympics
  • Sport related museums and attractions
  • Gain relevant experience through part-time or summer jobs or internships.
  • Work in campus recreation and fitness facilities.
  • Spend summers as an outdoor guide or tour guide.
  • Get involved in campus recreational organizations.
  • Volunteer to plan and lead outings or trips.
  • Maintain excellent personal fitness and athletic proficiency.
  • Develop strong communication skills and learn to work well with a variety of people.

Sport Media

  • Journalism
  • Broadcasting
  • Photojournalism
  • Sport Information
  • Advertising Sales
  • Newspapers
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Cable
  • Magazines
  • Special interest sport publications
  • Internet sites
  • Supplement a major in sport management with journalism and broadcasting classes. Earn a double major or minor if possible.
  • Complete an internship or work part-time at a newspaper or radio/television station.
  • Publish as much as possible in college and local newspapers. Work as a sport writer or photographer on campus.
  • Volunteer at the campus radio or television station.
  • Create a portfolio of published work, articles, and photographs or an online portfolio highlighting digital media skills.
  • Plan to start career in small markets and be willing to relocate to work into major markets.
  • Develop a solid command of sports, the ability to interview people, and excellent communication skills.

General Information and Strategies

  • The field of sport management is extremely competitive. Candidates must be willing to start at the bottom and work their way up.
  • Gain as much hands-on experience in the industry as possible through practica, internships, and volunteer positions. As a student, be willing to work for no pay in order to gain the necessary experience.
  • Once an area of interest is identified, find ways to gain experience and skills particular to that field.
  • Learn to work well on a team and learn how to get along with different personality types.
  • Develop strong skills in sales and marketing as these are critical in many aspects of sport management.
  • Demonstrate energy, enthusiasm, and a strong work ethic. Be prepared to work long and irregular hours, inlcuding weekends and holidays.
  • Build relationships with coaches, athletic directors, college equipment/uniform representatives, and student athletes. Networking is a very important skill to develop in this field and can lead to job opportunities.
  • Join relevant professional associations; attend their conferences and read their journals.
  • Earn a graduate or law degree in areas such as sport management, law, business, or college student personal for increased opportunities.
  • Sport management majors often find work in other areas and industries, particularly in sales and management.

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