About Careers in Sports Management

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This article discusses the different careers available in Sports Management dealing with areas such as promotion, public relations, accounting, and representation. Also discussed are the various risks and benefits associated with such a career. Common misconceptions are covered so that one is aware of the truth of this industry, and although it can be very rewarding it is not always glamorous. Resources and advice are provided for all those interested in learning more about this field.

The Facts

  • There is a wide variety of sports industry jobs out there. Sports management jobs could be working as an agent representing professional athletes. There are also those that work for sports teams. Each team has a general manager, director of ticket Sales, director of sponsorship sales, director of promotions, and a director of public relations. Most teams are like businesses so they all have finance controllers as well. Depending on the size of the team, there could be other positions such as assistant managers in any of the above mentioned areas.

    Nearly all careers in Sports Management require a college degree. It is possible to study sports management in college, however this is not a very common major. There are resources out there to aid in the process of finding a sports management program. Other common fields of study for those in the sports industry include marketing, public relations, accounting, general business and law.

Risk Factors

  • The largest risk entering the sports industry is hitting what many refer to as the "glass ceiling" with a team or athlete. This is a situation in which the entity is no longer generating a positive revenue. This could be a result of a poor performance by the team, a decline in merchandise sales, or perhaps simply a lack of interest by the general public or the team's home location. When faced with this problem, many teams reduce staff and pay increases do not occur as often.

Benefits

  • The greatest benefit for most in the industry is the opportunity to be a part of a sports team and organization. Most people in the sports management industry love sports and the industries and have the desire and passion to make it a part of their livelihood. Many have unforgettable experiences. Also, free tickets to games and being able to form positive relationships with colleagues are some perks as well.

Type

  • Each position in sports management is vital. An agent negotiates contracts for an athlete and assures that they receive a fair wage and a proper contract. A general manager oversees all the general activities related to the team and finances and has to make many important decisions.

    Individuals in promotions must oversee all activities in regards to promotion not only of the team, but also of vital events. Most teams have dinners, meet-and-greets, fund raising initiatives and other events that involve the public.

    The promotions and public relations departments aid in the planning and execution of these events. Those in the sponsorship arena aid in generating sponsorship revenue for the team. No team can function without sponsorship. Also, there are many expense and revenue streams in any sports-related entity.

    Financial control and accounting are essential and those in the financial department have very difficult jobs.

Geography

  • Something wonderful about the sports management industry is that it is not limited to one specific geographic zone. There are major and minor league sports teams in many cities all across the US and the world. Some of the more popular areas for sports-related jobs are Ohio, New York, California, Illinois and Texas, but there are opportunities in every market.

Function

  • The main purpose of all of those involved in the Sports Industry is to be the connecting bridge between a sports team or athlete and the general public. Without public interest no professional sports team could exist. Sports Management professionals ensure that the proper footwork is being done to properly promote sports teams, that finances are being managed properly, that tickets are being handled and generating revenue, and that the team as a whole is operating in a financially and economically positive manner.

Misconceptions

  • The most popular misconception is that working in the sports industry is always glamorous and easy. It is hard work. It takes many hours and dedication. It also requires time. Most people start their careers as an intern and build from there. However, there are many advantages in working in the sports industry and many rewarding moments for those enticed by such a career.

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