How to Start a Career in Sports Management?

Have you ever considered a career in sports management? It can be a very rewarding and exciting field to work in. If you’re wondering how to start a career in sports management, here are a few things you should know.

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Sports management is a challenging, yet rewarding career field. Individuals in this field are responsible for the business and financial aspects of running a sports team or organization. If you have a passion for sports and possesses strong business skills, a career in sports management may be the right fit for you. In this guide, we will provide an overview of what sports management is, steps to take if you want to enter this field, and introduce you to some of the top universities that offer degree programs in this area.

What is Sports Management?

Sports management is a rapidly growing industry with many different career paths. It is the business of sport and everything related to it, including event management, marketing, public relations, media, and merchandising. A sports manager could work in any number of settings, from a professional sports team to a college athletic department to a corporate fitness center.

The first step to a career in sports management is to get a degree in the field. There are many different programs available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in sports management or a related field such as business administration or marketing. These programs typically include coursework in business, economics, accounting, and statistics.

Graduate programs in sports management are also available and can provide students with advanced knowledge and skills in the field. These programs often allow students to specialize in areas such as event management or athletic administration. Students interested in pursuing a career in sports management should check with their local colleges and universities to find out what kind of programs are available.

In addition to formal education, many employers also require sports managers to have some experience working in the industry. Internships or entry-level jobs with professional sports teams, college athletic departments, or corporate fitness centers can provide valuable experience and help graduates get their foot in the door. Many entry-level jobs are available with local recreation departments or community organizations that offer youth sports programs.

Those interested in pursuing a career in sports management should be passionate about sport and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They should also be able to work well under pressure and be comfortable working with both numbers and people. Sports managers must be able to multitask and manage multiple projects simultaneously while still maintaining attention to detail.

Education and Training

There is no one set path to becoming a sports manager. However, most sports managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business administration or sports management. Many also have previous experience working in the sports industry, either in a coaching or player development role.

In addition to formal education and training, good communication and interpersonal skills are essential for success in this field. Sports managers must be able to effectively motivate and manage employees, as well as build relationships with athletes, parents, and other stakeholders. They must also be organized and detail-oriented, with the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Skills Required

In order to start a career in sports management, you will need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You will also need to be highly organized and have the ability to multitask. As the manager of a team or organization, you will be responsible for handling many different tasks at once. If you are not comfortable with this, then a career in sports management may not be right for you.

Another important skill that you will need to possess is the ability to work well under pressure. This is especially important if you plan on working in a high-pressure environment such as professional sports. You must be able to remain calm and level-headed even when things are not going your way.

Finally, it is also beneficial to have some experience in the sports industry before beginning a career in sports management. This experience can come in the form of working as a coach, scout, or even just being a avid fan of the sport. Having this knowledge will help you better understand the inner workings of the industry and give you an advantage when applying for jobs.

Job Opportunities

With a degree in sports management, you will be qualified for a wide range of jobs in the sports industry. Some of the most common job titles include:

-Sports marketing manager
-Sports events manager
-Sports facility manager
-Athletic director
-Sports coach
-Recreational sports coordinator
-Physical education teacher

Salary Expectations

In order to have a successful career in sports management, you need to have a clear understanding of the industry and what it takes to be successful. From experience working in the industry to understanding the business side of things, there are a few key things you need to know before embarking on your career. One important aspect is your salary expectations.

While salaries can vary widely depending on your experience, education, and location, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for sports managers was $60,910 in 2018. Salaries at the top of the range can exceed $200,000 per year, while those at the bottom may be less than $30,000 per year. Pay also varies depending on the type of organization you work for—colleges and universities tend to pay more than professional sports organizations, for example.

In addition to your salary, you should also be aware of other benefits that come with working in sports management. Many organizations offer health insurance and retirement savings plans, and some also offer perks like free tickets to sporting events or access to exclusive facilities. When considering a career in sports management, be sure to research all aspects of the job so you understand what to expect—that way, you can set yourself up for success from day one.

Advancement Opportunities

In general, salaries in sports management are on the rise. As the industry becomes more established and integrated into the larger business world, opportunities for advancement will continue to increase. In addition, sports managers who have earned a master’s degree in Sports Management or a related field will be better positioned for promotions and higher-level positions.

Pros and Cons

While a career in sports management can be extremely rewarding, there are also some potential downsides that you should be aware of before making the leap. Here are some of the pros and cons of working in sports management:

-Many jobs in sports management involve working with and around athletes, which can be very exciting and motivating.
-Sports management is a fast-paced and challenging field, which can make for a very stimulating work environment.
-There is a lot of potential for growth and advancement in sports management.
-Jobs in sports management typically come with a good salary and benefits package.

-The hours can be long and irregular, especially when working with athletes who have early morning practices or late night games.
-The job can be stressful, particularly when dealing with unhappy athletes or managing tight deadlines.
-Travel is often required for jobs in sports management, which can be disruptive to your personal life.

Real-World Advice

A career in sports management can be very exciting and rewarding. It can also be difficult to break into, and competition for jobs can be fierce. If you’re looking to start a career in sports management, here’s some real-world advice from people who have made it in the industry.

1. Get experience any way you can.

Working in the sports industry is all about connections and networking. Any experience you can get will put you ahead of the competition when it comes time to apply for jobs. There are a few ways to get your foot in the door:

– internships: many sports management programs offer internship opportunities with local teams or leagues. These are often unpaid positions, but they’re a great way to gain experience and start building your network.
– part-time jobs: working as a concessions vendor, ticket taker, or merchandise salesperson at a stadium or arena is a great way to get started in the industry. You’ll be surrounded by people who love sports, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the business from the ground up.

2. Get a degree in sports management (or a related field).

While it’s not required, having a degree in sports management or a related field will give you a significant advantage when applying for jobs. A degree program will prepare you for the challenges of the industry and provide you with valuable connections. Look for programs that offer internships and externship opportunities so that you can get real-world experience while completing your studies.

3. Start your own business.

One of the best ways to get started in sports management is to start your own business. This may seem like a daunting task, but there are many resources available to help you get started. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers free counseling and training sessions on how to start and grow your own business. There are also numerous online resources that can help you get started, including websites like SCORE, which offers free mentoring services from retired executives who have started their own businesses.


In conclusion, a career in sports management can be a very rewarding experience. With the right education and training, you can become a successful sports manager. There are many different pathways that you can take to become a sports manager. You can earn a degree in sports management, or you can get an internship with a professional team or organization. You can also volunteer your time to work with youth sports teams. Whichever route you decide to take, make sure that you are passionate about the sport of management and that you have the drive to succeed.

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